Wednesday, 20 July 2011

I Can Say What I Like On The B-Side/Nobody Much Will Ca... Hello?

At the risk of coming across like a pale imitation of John Fowles (or, on the available literary evidence, more likely that robot calendar thing off of Once Upon A Time... Man)... OK, let me have a guess. The reason for the sudden dip in 'audience appreciation index' - now so low that it's making The Trial Of A Time Lord look like all three The Lord Of The Rings films combined - is that you're all a tad fed up of how long it's taking for each instalment of this ludicrous tale to appear (apart from Dave Bryant, who is simply fed up of being publically accused of liking that bloody Mrs Pinkerton record). This, it has to be conceded, is a fair point. It's been six months already, and we haven't even got to the end of the first side of Music From BBC Children's Programmes yet; at this rate, it's going to run in to the only reasonable timeframe for the proposed follow-on storyline (Spoiler, as the 'fans' have it, Alert). And, let's be honest about it, it's only five paragraphs at a time of stream-of-consciousness nonsense about Barnaby sub-dimensionally splitting into millions of showering fractal particles, so there shouldn't really be remaster-of-Loveless-length gaps between each five-paragraph burst. So yes, let's have this updated a bit more regularly, and you can all start reading again. Deal? Anyway, where were we...?

You may well have noticed that, thus far, Music From BBC Children's Programmes has yet to stray into the realms of the arcane and obscure. The nearest that it's come to anything gathering dust in the most neglected corners of the mass retroreminiscence, and indeed to anything gathering dust in the most neglected corners of the BBC Archive, has been 4th Dimension, and even that is at least semi-known from its Everett-and-Radiophonic-Workshop associations. What we've covered so far have been welcome - and in most cases enjoyable - inclusions, but they're all pretty much what you'd expect to find on an album with this title dating from 1976. In fact, if you drew up a list of shows that you expected it to contain the themes from - and that's a proper list, not that weird counting-off-on-fingers thing Peter Kay used to do when making dull observations about old-skool children's TV on clip shows - then you'd probably nail 99% of the tracklisting there and then.

But what of that other 1%? Well, it's composed of a small but jarring handful of shows whose inclusion must have seemed a foregone conclusion back in 1976, but that have since almost entirely vanished into, and indeed subsequently from, the cultural ether. You won't find them on DVD, or in fact even mentioned anywhere outside of TV Cream. These shows are - and pardon the grammatical mismatch - The Music From BBC Children's Programmes That Time Forgot. But Music From BBC Children's Programmes sure didn't forget them. And this, readers (those of you that are still left, at any rate), is where it really starts to get para-reality-psychedelia headsplitting, heading off into the same musico-cerebral realm occupied by, well, the theme music from Para-Reality-Psychedelia Smith's Cookery Course. Which was, incidentally, stolen lock stock and barrel for the theme music from Press Gang, but that's another another another anoth- ("oh don't start all that again...").

And you can bet that if anyone had visited said musico-cerebral realm, it was long-forgotten globetrotting medallion-sporting bear Teddy Edward. Once a regular fixture in the Watch With Mother schedules, but now scarcely remembered by anyone, Teddy Edward did his travelling to exotic climes with the aid of a natty motorised jeep and a procession of Richard Baker-narrated still photographs, interspersing proto-globalisation facts and figures about other cultures with surrealist whimsy about why those crazy humans insisted on wearing knotted hankies on their heads. It was, to all intents and purposes, like watching someone's holiday slides as rewritten by JB Morton, and better still it all played out to a deliciously funky jazz instrumental, led by one of those 'angry' flutes that a certain TV Cream contributor spent their childhood fearing signified the collapse of social order and the rise of The Yippies or someone.

But, unfortunately, that's all that there is to say about said theme music for now (though it was released on a record, but that's... hey, come back!), as - surprisingly - it's not actually included on Music From BBC Children's Programmes. So why mention it in lieu of whatever programme we should actually be talking about? Stay 'tuned' to find out. If you've not heard the remaster of Loveless before then, that is...

No comments:

Post a Comment