Wednesday, July 6, 2011

1982: You won't even notice me

If you were a chart buff like me, and devoured Smash Hits and Record Mirror like I did, then you'll remember all those songs and bands you used to read about but never heard. White & Torch was one of those bands.

The only place to hear things like that was the David Jensen show on Radio 1. Post Peter Powell and pre-John Peel, it was the soundtrack to homework, and while not much work was done ears were fully engaged to hear exciting new music that you could like before anyone else did, which was incredibly important in those days. You were there from the start. Jenson would usually be way ahead of the game. For some people it was John Peel, but he was too late night for me at that age, and I preferred to go to sleep with Radio Luxembourg fading in and out.

On the erstwhile Kid's show you'd hear all sorts of things you'd never hear in daytime, usually stuff from the indie charts like Placebo (not that one), The Mood, the Pale Fountains, Haysi Fantayzee, the Higsons, the Farmers Boys, Mari Wilson and basically anything on Cherry Red records or that wasn't Adrian Gurvitz.

Some things might eventually get into the Top 40, while some foundered in the bottom reaches of the Top 75. Other never made it out of the indie charts. My record collection is brimming with these non-hits, the ones that got away but which still have a special place in my heart.

Anyway, this song is one of those songs, a sweeping, epic Walker Brothers homage that should have been a massive hit. If Midge Ure could hit paydirt with No Regrets then why not this?

I'm reminded of this because I heard it on the radio the other day. Except it wasn't White & Torch it was... Welsh X Factor nutjob Rhydian!. Well, the White & Torch revival starts here.


  1. This completely passed me by - I don't remember these two sensitive young men at all (though they had lots of heavily sensitive competition at the time.). That's quite a Scott Walker impression.

    I agree with you about David Jensen - he never quite got the praise he should have for his brilliant broadcasting. Where is he now?

  2. I think he's on Smooth or Heart or one of those easy listening stations somewhere.

  3. Don't remember this one at all - but Interferon were another band that had the ad's but never took off, along with the various Mute label bands (and budget Fame label splashes). Annie Nightingale also deserves more credit than she gets - as well as being the final nail in Apple records coffin - read The Longest Cocktail Party for more on that. She played some belters on her Sunday night show, also Mike Read before moving to breakfast. For similar check out the wallpaperof the toilet in my newly discovered secret bar..

    Do you remember Steve Wright when he was on Luxembourg? Or those Goons/Barclays ad's

  4. Oh yes, Mondo, Get Out Of London was pushed to death. Did nothing.

    I don't remember Steve Wright, mainly Stuart Henry and other mid-Atlantic types.

  5. Ah yes the Fab 208. I also shared my bed with the Big L's Bennie Brown (was he named after a drug perchance) Bob Stewart, Stuart Henry and Tony Prince many a night.

    I remember an Elton John 'Your Song' version done to advertise Luxy. "..and you can tell everybody, the station is great; I'm talkin' 'bout the one and only...208" [fades out then back in again].

    It astounded me at the time that a major pop star would record an advert for a radio station. Little did I know then, the power those radio stations and jocks wielded....