Article - Sunday Night at the London Palladium
(with the John Barry 7)
2 September, 2004
I saw Sunday Night at the London Palladium show at the National Film Theatre on Tuesday, August 31. It was a strange experience, like being in another era. The programme began with selected clips from early shows which included Hughie Green introducing Mario Lanza, and Bobby Darin singing 3 songs at the end of a tour of England. What a classy performer he was. Some of the 'variety' acts were acrobats and dancers and, to be honest, didn't really hold the attention.
Then we had a complete show from 1960, introduced by Bruce Forsyth. It included a speciality dance act who threw some poor girl around the stage, Beryl Reid as 'Marlene', an American opera star I'd never heard of, "Beat the clock" and finally, the moment we had been waiting for: The John Barry Seven!
Brucie made a point of talking about the 'new sound' or noise, as he kept saying, during his intro. Then the curtains parted to reveal the JB7 playing 'Hit & Miss', apparently augmented by some pizzicato plucking from the pit orchestra, conducted by Cyril Ornadel.
Vic Flick got *all* the close-ups, probably because it was basically just him, Dougie Wright & Mike Peters who were playing, though all the Seven appeared to be. John Barry looked nervous on trumpet and again when conducting. One curio was that regular saxophonist Jimmy Stead was missing. His dep was a short, very thin guy with receding dark hair - no idea who that was. Vic's famous Clifford Essex 'Bond theme' guitar is now in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and waiting to be put on display. The curators seem to be much enamoured of it.
Of course, the real star of the show was Adam Faith. And he didn't disappoint. He sang What do you want, Someone else's baby and Big Time, all accompanied by the Seven, or some of them, with JB conducting. For Big Time they were augmented by the orchestra so it was a little weird to see both John & Cyril conducting together!
Then, Brucie came on dressed as Adam. They bantered and did a duet of 'Poor Me'. I was really impressed with Adam who couldn't have been more than 19 or 20 at the time. He seemed quite unfazed by it all and matched Brucie line for line. There was mention of a Blackpool summer season up and coming so I'm guessing the show was recorded around Easter of 1960.
When it was over they jumped on the revolving stage thing with the JB7 and the rest of the performers as the credits rolled. The NFT audience applauded loudly at the end. I was so glad I caught it and pleased that the episode is in the archives. So much of the BBC stuff has been wiped so well done to ATV (or whoever owns it now) for saving it.