Des Henly's Rock and Roll Circus

music paper articles

Disc Magazine
Aug 11th 1973

FUMBLE - "Alexandra Park (Palisades Park)"

(Sovereign SOV 121)
My love for rock’n’roll started and finished with Tommy Steele’s Singin‘ The Blues, or whatever it was called, so I’ll admit to a gross prejudice when it comes to rock revival bands. Sure, one respects their technique and carefully-culled authenticity but that tinny sound always grates.
Patto were the only band I ever saw who could do it well and make you laugh at the same time.
Musically and vocally this is a pretty fair repro, of the old Freddy Cannon kneetrembler. It has the requisite banshee guitars, teen-angel back-up vocals and tremulous lead voice... and the topical substitution of titles; for what reason, I can’t imagine. This year’s festivals have been nothing to shout about.

FUMBLE: "Million Seller" (Sovereign)

SOUNDS - May 19, 1973
Fumble are a kind of spoof english rock revival band, and this number is pretty much based on Buddy Holly’s "Peggy Sue" – at least that’s the way it sounds. It’s quite well done, with chugalong rhythm and anguished teenage wail vocals, but the thing I’ve enjoyed most about Fumble in the past was the excellent cover of their first album, and this doesn’t change my opinion.

DISC – May 26, 1973
sounds like a song out of the late fifties‘ hit parade, which is probably what it’s meant to do. In places it seems too similar to Bobby Vee’s "Rubber Ball." I doubt whether it will live up to it’s names.

MELODY MAKER - May 19,1973
(Sovereign) The much loved rock band who can play a tune for all reasons , take us back to the days of teenage love and surfin‘ style harmonies. This actually owes more to Buddy Holly than the Beach Boys, but’m not an expert in these matters, and Richard Williams is on holiday in Scilly (the travel agent made him an offer he couldn’t refuse), we shall have to go over to the Daleks for their verdict: "Exterminate!" Quite so.

New Musical Express - May 12, 1973
(Sovereign). Smart move, friends. Faced with everybody and his nine-year-old brother recording revivals. Fumble have written an original, though very neo-50‘s tune, and it’s very charming indeed. It might put some in mind of "Crocodile Rock", but there’s nothing significantly wrong with that. It’s absolutely faaaaaabulous.

Not Fade Away (RCA 2479)

RECORD MIRROR - Nov 30, 1974
New version of that old Stones' favourite, with full audience participation on the appropriate bits. Very nice stereo on this single, especially through the old headphones. Good build up at the end.

Melody Maker - Dec 7, 1974
Slower than the old Stones version of this venerable song, without any of the freneticism normally associated with "Not Fade Away." Fumble build up nice and easy with the aid of what sounds like the Red Army Choir singing along with that familiar Bo Diddley style beat. It's not a particularly imaginative treatment of a number that must have been done by every band in the country at one time or another, but it's tremendously enjoyable. The question of chart potential is a difficult one. Fumble have been trying for a while but this one, while it will probably get a few plays on radio, doesn't sound like the breakthrough Fumble needs. A miss.

NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS - Nov 23, 1974
Wishful thinking (theirs)
Audience sing-along, like Chuck Berry's "Ding A Ling" without the naughty idea. And of course there are another forty new records we haven't mentioned at all.