THEY had more hits in the 1970s than Abba, Slade, The Sweet and Bay City Rollers – and, what’s more, they’re still going!
Rock ’n’ roll revivalists Showaddywaddy continue to strut their stuff in drape coats and brothel creepers – albeit not so energetically as when they burst on to our TV screens 43 years ago.
“I don’t think anyone would think that far ahead in any job,” muses bass player Rod Deas who, along with drummer Romeo Challenger, is one of two originals still in the six-man line-up.
“Romeo and I still enjoy it, that’s the main thing. We could pack up but there’s no plans to. It is quite remarkable that we’re still able to do something that we love doing.
“The fans are a big part of it too, most of them have been with us for 40 years.
“Everyone has fun, we love playing live, especially… although the dance routines are a bit slower!”
Showaddywaddy formed in Leicester in 1973 when two bands joined together – Choise and Golden Hammers – hence why they had two drummers and two bass players.
They soon won TV talent show New Faces and their debut single Hey Rock & Roll reached No2 in the charts in 1974. The band’s biggest hits came with cover versions of old songs like Heartbeat, Three Steps To Heaven and Under The Moon Of Love.
“It was frustrating that most of our hits were covers because (fellow originals) Dave Bartram and Trevor Oakes were great songwriters,” says Rod. “We’d probably have had an even longer recording career if we’d been allowed to do more originals.
“But in those days record labels were in total control and we kind of did what we were told. Because we had a formula that seemed to work of revamping old hits, they just wanted to stick with that which wasn’t really what we wanted.
“Anyhow, it worked – and we’re still going now so maybe they were right!”
Showaddywaddy still sport the brightly coloured outfits that fans remember from the 1970s, and Rod recalls: “It was just an image we adopted because we had older family members and knew other people who were teddy boys and it seemed to fit the music we were playing.
“It was an odd mix because some of us had ’70’s hair with ’50’s clothes, but we were young and it was a good image.
“The big difference was that our clothes were so bright. Teddy boys’ were much darker. We wanted something bright because at the end of the ’60s lots of bands were just wearing T-shirts and jeans and had long hair, we wanted to be a bit more fun.
“We still wear them… well, not the same ones but the same style, although I think I probably still have the originals somewhere.”
Showaddywaddy have a new CD album, featuring 15 songs (including new material), available to order from their website, and will play at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, on Friday 8 July.