Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 02/12/16

Catch This!

Musical Memories Time again, folks.

Back in June of 1983, I was back at my alma mater re-sitting the Part I exams I'd succeeded in screwing up six ways from the origin the previous summer. I had had to spend the intervening period outside of the Uni so great had been my failure, and I was re-sitting as an external candidate.

For the three weeks or so that this took, I was given shelter in John Williams Hall (very nice of Mr Hall, I thought) which stood on the Aberystwyth sea-front not very far from the Pier.

For utterly practical reasons to do with payload, my only entertainment whilst I was once again pretending to revise was my little radio. It was from that that I heard, for example, BBC Radio 1's broadcast of a Joni Mitchell concert one Sunday evening, listening to a performance of the sublime Free Man In Paris whilst gazing out of the window as the sun touched the horizon and turned the sea into burnished copper.

A track which featured far more often was what the late, great Tommy Vance described as a "nifty little record" from a bunch of Australians calling themselves Flash And The Pan. I thought that the record was more than just nifty; I thought that it grooved like fuck, with some great bass lines (for which Yer Judge has always been a sucker). It also chimed with the fact that I was travelling mostly by rail at that time, and I remember being on a train pulling out of Aberystwyth station with the song playing on a loop in my head.

Some years later, in - I think - the now-defunct Phase One Records of Wrexham, I managed to get a second-hand copy of the quite rare 12" release, featuring a 'disco' version, an instrumental version and - finally - the 7" edit. It's been on 'heavy rotation' in my life ever since, and I thought that I'd share it with you just in case you'd never come across it before (even though it charted quite highly over here).

First off, here's the 'disco' version:

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Now here's the instrumental for those long-distance journeys:

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And - to pull up to the buffers - the 7" version, complete with its promotional video featuring the band's singer Stevie Wright, although the likelihood is that the actual vocals you hear were provided by George Young (brother of AC/DC's Angus, and co-composer along with his fellow Oz-rock-svengali Henry Vanda) who was a band-mate of Wright back in the sixties with the Easybeats.

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All aboard!