Thursday, 29 November 2012

“Now there’s no excuse not to sing,” 1978

The decline in public singing that characterised the last two quarters of the 1970s was attributed to, among others, the television, the discothèque and the ravioli restaurant.

Keen to hear Britain’s saloon bars avoice with revelry again, the NOI teamed up with the BBC to launch a radio programme, For Pubs And Oil Rigs, and an accompanying book of traditional pub singalong songs.

For a brief, glorious period, pubs up and down the width of the land were again arenas of full-throated crooning and gay serenade. Regretfully, it didn’t last, and by the 1980s most pubs were silent places full of the tearful unemployed, staring holes in their solitary pints while the etiolated afternoon surrendered all hope to the sickly grey of empty evening. Luckily, there was Bananarama.


  1. I was a regular at the Dog and Bucket in Cheam in the early 1980s when two thirds of Bananarama would come in of a Wednesday evening and lead all and sundry in a cheery rendition of 'Up and Over the Mulberry Bush, Missus'. They'd even help with oiling the one-armed bandits and mopping up tear stains. Lovely girls. The other third would wait in the car park, sighing heavily.

  2. By gum, if this site ever offers T-shirts featuring some of the posters I'll buy a few.