Throughout the 1970’s British pop music went through a mini renaissance as the youth of the day rediscovered the magic of the fifties Rock ‘n’ Roll sound. The swinging sixties were over and the psychedelic generation made way for political unrest, the three day week and constant threats of war. Such testing times called for a new era in music which harped back to a time gone by which put Rock ‘n’ Roll firmly back on the music map. Leicester born rockers Showaddywaddy formed in 1972 and were promptly put forward to audition for the popular talent show of the day New Faces.
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The opportunity to perform in front of 15 million people on a Saturday night prime time television series was too much for the newly formed band to turn down and was able to gain them nationwide acclaim. In an age before reality TV, New Faces offered a platform for acts already in the industry to extend their following on a national scale and for Showaddywaddy, this was just the exposure they needed. Yet by no means were Showaddywaddy a manufactured band and over forty years on, still have the scars to prove it.
Appearing on New Faces spurred Showaddywaddy on to bigger and better things. In 1976 the group had their biggest hit; a cover of Curtis Lee’s 1961 smash Under The Moon Of Love. This was the song which catapulted Showaddywaddy from a Rock ‘n’ Roll band into a national phenomenon and despite the song since being covered again by the likes of Mud, their version seemed to strike a chord with the British public and in some way made it more popular than the original. Even now, the audience goes crazy when they hear the first few bars and as original drummer Romeo Challenger explains, fans who have grown up with the band now bring their children and in some cases grandchildren so there’s now whole families of Showaddywaddy fans.
As is the case for many bands who are lucky enough to secure that invaluable gift of longevity. Forty years on the road is a remarkable achievement and despite members coming and going, Romeo and bassist Rod Deas remain as the consistent, evergreen spine and spirit of the band always happy to welcome talented musicians and entertainers to join their musical family. For Rod and Romeo, it feels like they’ve been on a forty year tour and they just love making music and entertaining people. The guys are under no illusion that the days of having a “Radio One” audience is over. However, if parents and grandparents keep educating their children on Britain’s rich and diverse musical heritage, there’s no reason why Showaddywaddy can’t perform to packed out theatres for many years to come.
It was a great pleasure to meet Rod and Romeo of Showaddywaddy and wish them all the very best for the rest of their glittering career in music.