Mud on the Road!

Posted by admin | August 7, 2007 0

On last Sunday Pop History and myself once again crossed paths and I “enjoyed” my most surreal experience since I saw the Bee Gees perform at the old Wembley Stadium. (You know the old one with the Way of Champions and the Towers of Glory, not the new one with the Arch of Agony.) The Bee Gees were different as all 4 appeared, 3 on stage and one, Andy on video. Being dead, Andy’s performing style was somewhat cramped. If the Bee Gees reprised their concert today the line up would be more evenly balanced and Andy wouldn’t have the pressure of being the only dead performer. As for the audience they were a spectacle in themselves, permed bouffant hair dos, rhinestone boots and luridly bright crushed velour jackets. And that was just the men, the female audience were even more dramatically attired!

So it was with a heightened sense of expectation that I took myself to Kingsbury Square (remodelled, with many delays, for only £2 M in the “continental” style) to have my senses assailed by those dinosaurs of Glam Rock, MUD!! O what a diet was promised “Oh Boy!”, “Tiger Feet”, “Lonely Tonight” – the best of MUDROCK!!!

The original line up of Les Gray, Rob Davies, Dave Stiles and Dave Mount

Doubts set in on the way about Carshalton’s great contribution to popular culture for like the Bee Gees, were Les Grey and Dave Mount not dead, resulting in a somewhat cramped singing style? Would this still count as “Live” music? Fear not for this free concert as part of the proud town of Aylesbury’s “Hobble on the Cobble” season (don’t you just love the ingenuity that goes into these names? No??) had spared no expense in ensuring a Glam spectacle.

Sure enough, after a suitably bad warm up act, the MUDS stepped onto the superb stage (OK, It was a Robinson’s of Aylesbury Removals open sided removal van) resplendent in powder blue Teddy Boy coats with leopard trimmed pockets and collars, blue suede shoes and red socks! Wow! Two of them did look suspiciously young but this didn’t hold them back from laying into a session of Golden Oldies before a sell out FREE concert of, maybe, 150 people. How the kids loved them as they danced in the fountains but, in fairness, they would have been doing that anyway. How we swayed on a lovely Sunday Afternoon to all those reassuring lyrics etched into our cerebella!!

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold, so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

Sometimes it needs lyrics like that put life into perspective – thank you MUD for getting stuck in!! Let’s keep MUD on the road, vote for eternal YOUTH, innit?

All my life
I’ve been a-waitin’
Tonight there’ll be no hesitatin’
Oh boy, when you’re with me
Oh boy, the world will see
That you were meant for me

Oh to be alive in beautiful downtown Aylesbury on a day such as this!!

Originally formed in 1966, Mud bumbled along for a bit before being taken under the wing of RAK and the Midas-like Chinn and Chapman song writing partnership. They’d already done wonders for The Sweet, what could they do for Mud?

In 1972, RAK and Mud were a partnership made in heaven. RAK was interested in scoring hits and Mud were interested in being on Top of the Pops and having a laugh. The partnership suited both sides and it worked a treat. They scored a total of 15 hits between 1972 and 1976 and the tigertastic Tiger Feet was top of the charts for six glorious weeks in 1974.

“That’s right, that’s right, that’s right, that’s right, Really love your tiger light
That’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, that’s neat, Really love your tiger feet”

(Cue two-note Woolworth’s guitar solo)

Their other great pop moment was also in 1974 when they had the Christmas number one with a song called ‘Lonely this Christmas’. Its opening lines were: ‘Try to imagine a house that’s not a home; try to imagine a Christmas all alone. That’s where I’ll be, since you left me.’

When the song was performed on Top of the Pops, tons of fake snow was showered on the group which got in their mouths as they tried to sing. It was enjoyable Christmas fun.

After the Glam bubble burst in 1976 they disappeared, jettisoned by their public like an empty fuel tank. Sir Les kept going (in his tight white Lurex trousers), renaming the band Les Gray’s Mud. The band continued touring until 1997 when ill health tapped Les on the shoulder – a bill from the early Seventies.

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