Monday, May 17, 2010

Pan's People are in noisy chainmail and all is right with the world

In my previous post, on the subject of Freddie and the Dreamers, I pointed out how in the clip of them performing Do the Freddie it was an especial treat to hear Garrity's feet banging on the wooden boards of the studio, something you rarely get to enjoy in the more professionally sound-recorded tv of today.
Well in just the few minutes that have elapsed since the piece went live I have been inundated with emails, and even one postcard - very quick work, there, Mr C. of Wolverhampton - from readers who share my love of this lost joy of the 'let's just have one big microphone and point it roughly in the direction the noise is coming from' age.
And all are agreed that the all-time classic example is the performance by Pan's People, from an early episode of The Two Ronnies, that you can enjoy at the end of this post.
As you'll see, the girls are all done up with long braids of chain-mail, and all the time, above the track, you can hear this constant swishing and rattling, almost hypnotic in its distracting intensity. And I think, although I can't swear to it, there's also the sound of their boots scraping on the floor to be enjoyed somewhere in the mix too.

Incidentally, were Pan's People supposed to dance completely out of time with both the music and each other, and not do very much anyway, as if conceding that the reason we are watching them has nothing whatever to do with what they are ostensibly doing? Because my girlfriend was wondering.

"Pan's People have a particular attraction for me..."
I don't know what it is, all I know is whenever I see them I have to go out and steal tape.
You and me both, Keith. One minute I'm watching them cavorting on The Two Ronnies, the next the clock has mysteriously jumped forward one hour and I'm waking up in the middle of the room clutching an Asda bag and surrounded by unopened rolls of sellotape. My girlfriend is starting to ask where they keep coming from and, let me tell you, I'm running out of excuses. There's only so many things you can tape to other things in an average-sized flat without it starting to get obvious that you're just looking for things to tape together, just so you can use up some of the damned stuff.
If Keith Jackson is still out there and reading this, please get in touch. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.
More on Pan's People can be located here, but for now, on with the show.
You may want to put a sheet over the budgie's cage first.

Anybody want anything sellotaping?