Hey Rock and Roll - Showaddywaddy to play Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe on Friday, February 15
THE showband of Showaddywaddy celebrate their 40th anniversary this year and throughout their career, they have spent an impressive 209 weeks in the singles chart.
At their peak, they were doing 250 shows a year.
The band are still gigging and are due to perform at the Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe on Friday, February 15.
Rod Deas and Romeo Challenger are the only original members still in the band after Dave Bartram retired in 2011, although he continues to manage the group.
Rod said: "It's a surprise to be still touring – it's not something you think about but it's brilliant still being together after 40 years because we enjoy it.
"Still performing after all these years shows that you need to have fans to continue and it shows how faithful they are.
"It's great for us all to entertain people and Romeo and I are not ready to pack it up yet.
"There are lots of reasons why bands pack up but if you're still having fun being in the band and still want to do it, that's a good enough reason to carry on."
Rod was born in Scarborough and for the next 16 years lived in Malta, Scotland and Hampshire because of his father's occupation.
He started playing in groups in Malta while at school and joined rock 'n' roll band The Hammers after moving to Leicester from London.
Rod said: "We used to do a lot of gigs in pubs and clubs and small venues.
"It was semi-pro but then The Hammers and another band called Choise came together and it picked up.
"Our band used to use this room in a pub in Leicester to perform and we attracted the public.
"This led to extra trade through beer sales and we would take the money made on the door.
"We did a couple of nights and Choise would do a couple of nights.
"We got together for one night and did a joint gig, jamming with songs we all knew and that was it really.
"We thought we might have something so we started rehearsing as two bands together as one."
Rod said nobody claimed the credit for coming up with the name Showaddywaddy.
He said: "It comes from those backing lines in rock 'n' roll songs.
"I didn't regret merging bands because we blossomed quickly as an eight-piece band playing music people wanted to hear, we had songwriters in the band and the takings on the door were bigger."
In 1973, the band appeared on television talent show New Faces and were runners-up in the all-winners final, leading to record company interest.
Rod said: "We didn't win it because the judges said we were too outrageous, which was quite a compliment to our music and the rock 'n' roll.
"Being on TV gave us the exposure we wanted – it's like what happens with the X-Factor."
He believes the TV platform helps bands succeed.
But he said: "Nowadays I do think they can dominate the charts rather a lot, even those that don't win, and sometimes they leap-frog the winners."
One of Showaddywaddy's biggest selling singles was their cover of Under the Moon of Love, which sold 985,000 copies in 1976.
"It was knocked off the number one by Johnny Mathis on Christmas Eve," said Rod.
"In those days, the number one was decided by the biggest selling singles from a selection of towns and cities.
"They used to take the sales figures from selected shops around the country but we were a hit in the wrong shops.
"It was quite a strange system and we've always been miffed about that because we should have been Christmas number one."
And with a combination of instrument players – two of everything – Showaddywaddy had great flexibility on stage. Rod said: "I got out of doing everything.
"It was just a case of getting the music right for each song and the others who were not playing an instrument would either click their fingers or do silly dance routines but these were different and exciting – we were like a showband.
"But at that point we were very young and had lots of energy and we've still got a bit – we're quite dynamic.
"We were all pretty bad at dancing.
"We all put in moves to a routine because nobody offered to do our choreography – we were a lost hope."
And if you fondly remember going to a past Showaddywaddy gig, then you can pretty much expect the same kind of atmosphere today.
Rod said: "We have got four 40-year-old youngsters in the band with us, so we still do quite a long show.
"There is a big choice of hits and we perform most of the songs that people want to hear like Hey Rock 'n' Roll and Angel.
"We had 24 top 40 hits and seven top five hits, which is quite a lot to go at."
A new live album will be available during the tour and the band are in the process of writing new material.
The Scunthorpe show will begin at 7.30pm, with tickets priced at £17. Call 0844 8542776.