DAVE BARTRAM OF SHAWADDYWADDY

From an interview with Michael Skywood Clifford.
Originally published in the Musical Crocodile 1993

The band started way back in late 72, early 73, the amalgamation of two bands.

I was in a professional band called The Choice that was doing a resident gig at a pub called the ‘Fosse Way’, on the outskirts of Leicester. Another band, comprising mainly of mates and fans, used to come over. Eventually we amalgamated to make the Shawaddywaddy production. We started off with eight members. We only lost three in all this time.

Malcolm Allurd was originally with us. What did he play? He was half a drummer. He hasn’t played in the band for twelve years. The main drummer was Romeo Challenger then – as now. Malcolm went on to run various pubs, such as the Crazy Horse in Nuneaton, the Traveller’s Rest at Griffydam and now I believe he’s got a pub in Osgathorpe, near Loughborough. We’ve lost complete contact.

We also lost Bill Buddy Gask. He was the other lead singer, with all his 30 or 40 flashy suits and Elvis type delivery. He was fired about eight years ago. There were a few personality clashes and problems. He lives in Whitwick somewhere, I think.

One day in Germany he was setting up one of his explosions for a desired stage effect. In those days, to do this, you poured powder into a small tray and lit it. On this particular day, while pouring out the powder into the small tray, there was one thing he had overlooked: the cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Whoosh! The whole lot went up. He went into a German hospital with ten toasted digits, but a couple of nights later he came out with a new pair of hands. He was fine. His new hands were as good as his old ones, but I don’t believe he’s done a days work since!

In those days we used to have a 40 foot trailer, now it’s bigger: it’s a 45 foot trailer. Even though the size of equipment has diminished over the decade, we’ve got more kit now than ever.

Recently we’ve been completing a national tour. A nostalgia package with Shawaddywaddy topping the tour, complimented by Alvin Stardust and Rubettes.  

A Roadies Tale  
(Edited from a chance encounter with Mike Stainton)

I was employed as a member of  Shawaddywaddy’s road crew from 1978 to 1979, together with another seven or eight technicians. Shawaddywaddy owned a 40 foot trailer, where they stored their equipment. (In those days the lighting rig impressed me with its 120 bulbs). A pick up would be hired to haul it all to the gigs.

Our itinery

Mid-day:  Arrive and off-load the equipment from  trailer.  
1.00pm:            Garg would set the fireworks and explosions.  
5.00 – 600:    Sound check.  
7.30:          Support group would go on stage and perfom.  
9.00:    Shawaddywaddy would go on stage and perform. (They’d go on later if it was a club gig)  
10.10:     The band would finish with one encore. (Usually ‘Hey Rock and Roll’.)  


One night the band did a gig (at the Alex Palley) for the 18-30 C.lub. Was it wild? After the second number, a can of larger hit Dave on the head. The band finished the number and walked out.

I almost remember my Birthday. Dave got me drunk (in Baileys at Watford) on pernod and lemonade and I ended up drinking three pints of the stuff!  In the morning Dave gave me a glass of water and I collapsed.

I eventually left the band after an argument with sound man Do Dah Day.

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