I’m not sure about regional variations but on STV, Revolver aired on Saturday nights at eleven o’clock. 45 minutes later it was followed by a quick religious spot called Late Call, which usually consisted of some Church of Scotland Minister telling you about his friend Jesus. Then the channel would shut down for the night.
Many including myself have very fond memories of the show; even back then the idea of Peter Cook playing the part of an old school ballroom manager fallen on hard times and forced to book new bands that he despised like The Jam and X–Ray Spex was infinitely preferable to the unfunny, narcissistic (and worse) DJs on Top Of The Pops or the earnestness of Bob Harris on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
The audience certainly seemed to enjoy themselves as you can see here. This is I Don’t Need to Tell Her by The Lurkers:
Revolver is sometimes remembered as a punk and new wave show but there was also a smattering of just about every genre of music that was popular in the late 70s at some point during its eight episodes: reggae, disco, power/pop, rock’n’roll and heavy rock. Nick Lowe made an appearance the same night that The Rezillos were on. As did Elvis Costello, The Motors, Matumbi and an act called Brent Ford (geddit?) and the Nylons that I have very little recollection of – some of the band wore nylons over their faces like robbers and they played high octane cover versions of sixties classics.
Kate Bush turned up on the pilot of Revolver to sing Them Heavy People. XTC appeared on that show too and in later weeks there were Siouxsie and The Banshees, Ian Dury and The Blockheads, Buzzcocks, Boomtown Rats, The Jam, Rich Kids and Eddie and The Hotrods and more but some folk still hated the show and ratings were never that high.
‘I enjoy pop shows as well as the next person, but I can honestly say this is the biggest load of garbage seen in years,’ one Evening Times reader complained. ‘Top of the Pops has nothing to fear from this awful show.’
Revolver only lasted for a single series which is a pity. From the final show this is The Only Ones with Another Girl Another Planet, one of the greatest songs ever recorded and featuring former Beatstalker Alan Mair on bass, a man who will be releasing a debut solo album this year which I’m looking forward to hearing.
The Lurkers play live tonight at The Wunderbar in Midsomer Norton. Here’s their official site.