Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Mermaid Frolics

Selections from the Amnesty International benefit at the Mermaid Theater, London, May 8 1977 (except “Miner” by Peter Cook, which is from Amnesty’s 1976 gala). Side one (cuts 1-7) is all music; side two (8-14) is all comedy. And boy does this deserve a proper CD reissue, not only because of the great comedy bits that aren’t available anywhere else, but because of the fact that side two is 40 minutes long. Put 40 minutes on one side of a 12” 33 1/3 RPM record and you’re shoving your material's face down onto the noise floor. Oh well.

Hot Jazz combo The Bowles Bros. Band, featuring Sue Jones-Davies (Judith Escariot in Monty Python's Life of Brian) and her crack bandmates Brian Bowles, Richard Lee, and Julian Smedley, only ever had one full-length release: Roger Buys a Fridge, released on Decca in 1978. It's never been reissued on CD, and if I can score a copy you bet I'll post that baby here.

Julie Covington & Pete Atkin with the Bowles Bros. Band “The Original, Original Honky-Tonk Night-Train Blues”
The Bowles Bros. Band “Charlie’s Nuts”
The Bowles Bros. Band “Nagasaki”
John Williams “Sevilla”
John Williams “Cavatina”
Julie Covington & Pete Atkin with the Bowles Bros. Band “After You’ve Gone”
Julie Covington & Pete Atkin with the Bowles Bros. Band “At the Hop”
Peter Cook “E.L. Wisty from Beyond the Veil”
John Cleese & Connie Booth “Bookshop”
Peter Ustinov “Queen Mary and Pieter de Hoogh”
Terry Jones & Pete Atkin “Forgive Me”
John Cleese & Jonathan Miller “Words…and Things”
Peter Cook “Miner”
Peter Ustinov “Oratorio”

DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.


  1. Oh, you just rock SO hard!
    I haven't seen this album in years. I've scoured various ends of the interwebs for it with no luck - - but here it is, simple and perfect.
    Thanks. The music's fun, the comedy sublime.
    In my youth, this was the first version of the "Bookshop" sketch that I'd encountered. It was interesting to hear it re-cyled a couple of years later with Cleese and Graham Chapman on the Python "Contractual Obligation" LP, but revelatory decades after to finally discover the much earlier (original?) "1948 Show" version with Cleese and Marty Feldman.

    ...Yes, I'm a big ol' nerd. Cheers to you!

    1. Marty also did Bookshop on the Flip Wilson show in 74, maybe? Its on youtube


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.