Was there ever a song from the seventies that you secretly liked but knew you could never ever tell anyone about ? I think after 50 years I can come clean.
It was August 1972 and I was on the verge of manhood at the age of fourteen.
The radio was on in the background and I heard the dulcet tones of a brass band playing a short intro. Hardly rock ‘n roll. Mum must have changed the channel to Radio 2 as I normally had it tuned to Radio 1.
A soft voice, more a husky whisper, and a sparse piano accompaniment talking about leaving a dance. More Hoagy Carmichael or a northern Noel Coward, than Bolan or Bowie. No wailing guitar or four on the floor back beat.
Now the chorus ‘You’re a lady, I’m a man’. You don’t say. That’s original. In come the brass band again. That mellifluous euphonium and cornet give me a bit of a flutter though.
Crescendo. Slowly getting louder. It’s only a soppy love song John.
Back to the pleading voice and the scant piano. I must admit it’s all a bit melancholy.
Now the bold brass and the coursing chorus – and a choir. No not a choir! Strap yourself to the mast John. Don’t be dashed on the rocks with this siren song.
Rallentando. Slowing down. A bit of a reprieve. No, here we go again. Bringing out the big brass. Cranking up the choir. My bottom lip’s beginning to quiver. Hold on, there can’t be much more of this.
Flourished octaves up and down the keyboard. It’s Liberace with a cloth cap and whippet. Watch t’ candelabra ! I wur oop aw’ night polishing that !
It’s too much. The floodgates have opened. Pass me the Handy Andys.
It’s the Hovis advert, wet cobblestones and Lowry pictures all rolled into one and I’m a sucker for it.
This must go no further Skellern you scallywag !