Ladies get your tartan at the ready as Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers roll into to Southport for tomorrows concert at the Southport theatre 26/9/15 TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE
Anyone who grew up in the 1970s will remember Bay City Rollers. With their tartan-trimmed flares worn at half-mast and platform shoes, they racked up a string of hits such as Shang-A-Lang and Saturday Night, which had young girls everywhere swooning and in hysterics.
In late 1973 McKeown recorded lead vocals on “Remember (Sha La La La)”, and a lead-in to a series of UK chart hits. A young 16-year-old Stuart Wood completed the ‘Classic Five’ line up in February 1974 a week after the band had debuted the “Remember” single on Top Of The Pops (in which John Devine had mimed the piano part), and by the dawn of 1975 the band were well on their way to achieving global success likened to Beatles fame. The successful Classic Five line up consisted of Alan Longmuir, Derek Longmuir, Stuart Woody Wood, and Eric Faulkner & Les McKeown.
Beginning with “Remember” (UK No. 6), the Rollers’ popularity exploded, and they released a string of hits on the UK chart. Following in succession were “Shang-a-Lang” (UK No. 2), “summer love Sensation” (UK No. 3), and “All of Me Loves All of You” (UK No. 4).
By early 1975, they were one of the highest-selling acts in the UK. That year saw a successful UK tour (which prompted newspaper headlines about “Rollermania”), and a 20-week UK television series, Shang-a-Lang.
A cover of the Four Seasons’ “Bye, Bye, Baby” stayed at No. 1 in the UK for six weeks in the spring of 1975, selling nearly a million copies to become the biggest seller of the year, and the subsequent single “Give a Little Love” topped the charts that summer, their second No. 1 hit. Two full-length LPs were produced during this period: Once Upon a Star (1975) and Wouldn’t You Like It? (1975). Faulkner and Wood undertook the majority of the song writing duties.
By this time, Bay City Roller fans had a completely distinctive style of dress, the main elements of which were calf-length tartan trousers and tartan scarves.
REPORT BY STEVE C