2 questions to start with :
Q Itchychoo Park-Is it a real place ?
A depends who you believe – searches came up with :
· University park in Oxford where the small faces allegedly got stoned.
· popular name for parks in London that had tramps
· a park where children cause havoc by making itching powder out of rose hips.
· a park with stinging nettles and cavorting couples
A park in Ilford or so the small faces claimed when the bbc threatened to pull it because of drug references
seems like itchy choo was a common language term like peekaboo at the time
Q What species of fungi are the girls sitting on ?
A Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria– this famous variety grows widely (including in Canada) and in keeping with the song’s theme gives hallucinogenic effects (as well as poisoning if exposed to large quantities)Stay safe and don't eat this mushroom friends.
Why I like this :
Classic 60s song which was re-released in the 70s enabling our girls to perform to it and get an even higher chart position than 1st time -
lovely tune and lyrics and great if simple drumming at 1.15,2.15 and 2.35s
Flick took the chance to go back to the 60s
Unique original unconventional lets face it there’s nothing else like it
Swirly pink pea-soup effects at the edges of the screen
Heavy duty papier mache rainbow in background -did Blue Peter help make this ?
Mushroom props I would love to have been in the props department at the time - were they made specially or were they stock left over from a panto or an episode of noddy ? What happened to them after the performance- were they recycled ?
Great moment when Cherry appears to struggle to get her leg over the mushroom at 2.20s
Finger puppet moves, heads side to side and miming
Lee cross legged on the mushroom
If you watch it a few times it grows on you and you see different things
Could they honestly have done any better with a song like this
Itchy peasant costumes
it could be said they look more like witches overseeing a steaming cauldron
What is that pale rope like thing in Cherry’s hair ?
Some of the faces Cherry pulls are dodgy and a bit embarrassing.
Where was Sue or did she have a lucky escape- was the mushroom too small to seat 5 so she was given a day off ?– Sue do let us know as we think this is possibly the only pans routine you missed during your pans time.
No bikini version but then only Barbados has bikini versions anyway
Tidybeard’s unfunny fungi jokes on the intro and afterwards but then that is not flick or the girls fault
Some big positives and negatives to weigh up I’m going for 9 here and Cherry dotd for entering into the spirit more than the others seem to- Lee a narrow second- no half marks on my shift.
Is it all too beautiful or all too silly ?- no one word replies please.
Wow what an intro! Well my one word answer is "Silly" but I did watch a few more times and it does grow on you a bit. Cherry really does go over the top here and I like Lee's messy hair look and Ruth's rather subdued narcosis but for me it's Mary who gets the mix right. She's high but beautiful too. Although I'm not that keen on this performance I'm really not sure how I could improve on Flick's vision but it just isn't a favorite of mine at all sorry. One thing is that if I got high (oh all right when, not if) then I would not be dreaming of Pans People wearing more layers of clothing! OK it's 6/10 and Mary for DotD
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Not one of the later Pans routines that I watch very often but an enjoyable one nonetheless. All four girls really get into character with Cherry pulling the best faces, as she often did, and her clamber atop the fungi is perhaps the moment that remains longest in the memory. I don't mind the odd costumes, which seem to be in keeping with the trip they are all on, so a score of 7.5.
Don't like this at all, silly beyond belief..........it may work with the dragging out the old corpse that are Beatles records, but not this from the Small Faces, it's stuck sadly in one place 1967/68 and should stay there........it's like Ruby Flipper dancing to 'Strawberry Fields'
Magic mushrooms, you really have to be careful there, fortunately none were ingested, even partly, we just had some great dances around one of them, & a great display of sitting poses, as the ladies each took it in turns to sit on it, like it was a yoga mat, & they all looked so lovely, especially Mary.
Great intro BB, I really enjoyed your one-of-a-kind style. I think the lyrics to this song are very clever indeed. My own interpretation is that they do describe the childhood memories of the writer in a real park, but at the same time the walk through the park is used as a metaphor for a drug trip. There are just too many hints to drugs in the lyrics that I cannot ignore them. Both stories are cleverly woven into each other, and you're never quite sure if the singer is describing the park or his acid trip.
Flick's take on this is rather witty as she is deliberately using psychedelic effects and props which could be connected with drugs (the magic mushrooms spring to mind) but it remains ambiguous. I am not quite sure about the dresses, this wasn't quite what the hippies wore! Nevertheless it's a fun routine, and the girls seem to enjoy what they're doing.
The song sounds a bit dated to me now, but it's still a classic, though not a personal favourite. The routine is not one I watch very often, the main reason being the ladies looking a bit, err, unfavourable. When I do watch it, my eyes are mostly drawn to Mary.
The week after this performance, IP climbed from No. 23 to its peak of No. 9. Coincidence?
7 / 10 DotD: Mary
And when the stewardess is near do not show any fear
Terrific intro Babsy, well researched and thought out, even if it took three weeks . I really like the song, does anybody know why it was re-released after a relatively short nine years ?
The routine itself is watchable, even if Cherry looks like shes smoked one to many reefers , whoops, im supposed to say eaten magic mushrooms aren't i. I do think `Mary` looks bright as a button (maybe a button mushroom) in this and she is my DOTD.
The song has dated badly. A ‘70’s imitation of some kind of ‘60’s hippy-trippy very repetitive mantra…its all so tiresome. So it’s neither a classic piece of ‘70’s Rock Music or a genuine ‘60’s love song to Lysergic Acid [Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, no protestations excepted] even though I can tell a lot of effort has gone into the production to try and make it a hit record. The original recording says Babs and Wiki et al is from 1967 but I am surprised indeed because to my ears this so '70's ersatz. Anyway musically to me it falls between two toadstools, meh. So from the start off I can’t get involved in the performance, of end of their tenure era Pan’s and consequently as a bored viewer reaching the end of my tether.
5/10 A lot of effort also has gone into the presentation of the, dance ? It looks a place where Hobbits may roam. As an actual Routine it sucks worse than one of those gruesome toadstools possibly would by the look of them.
DotD: I won’t affront the dancers involved, especially Mary and Cherry who I could throw out a badge of merit to. They deserve better as gifted dancers for not once did they have a proper dance step to perform as I recollect and I certainly don’t wish to take it upon myself to go through and stop-start the Routine again to make certain one way or the other. This dance outing for Pans’ it’s like a concert pianist is handed to play ‘chopsticks’ at the Albert Hall.
Just to say Babys, its generally considered good protocol on OFTDs for the hosts of the three comments sections to also join in and make comments, give ratings, add DOTDs etc on the other comments sections. Think of it has a un-written rule. So i look forward to seeing you become a regular contributor to the Legs & Co and Ruby Flipper sections as well.
yes fair cop
also seems to be usual form to post this at the beginning so will update for future
Performed by xxxxxxxxx and reaching number x in the UK charts
Original broadcast date :
Dancers -- __________________________________
Yes great intro BB. The new manager has certainly put his stamp on things. I'm just surprised at the generally unenthusiastic response to your first choice.
It's notable how many oldies Pan's People danced to in their last months. (Itchycoo Park, Paperback Writer, Yesterday, Jungle Rock...) The psychedelic Itchycoo Park does seem the most dated, even the considerably older Jungle Rock sounded more contemporary with its relatively timeless novelty rock n roll sound. Itchycoo Park was hopelessly behind the zeitgeist of 76, but you can't keep a great song down and its top ten chart position showed what a welcome re-release it was.
Of course the routine is silly and there is some strange face pulling, they're supposed to be off their heads. I don't like the be-shawled caravan dwelling hippy look, but it's what fits the bill. Flick's attention to detail is again in evidence. As BB notes, she chooses Fly Agaric, which has been used as a hallucinogen since ancient times, and not just any old Magic Mushrooms. And I like the rainbow spanning the netherworld. It's very playful and the girls alternate between the joyful abandon and blissed-out lethargy that characterizes a trip. With some hand signals that, wisely, hint at peace and love without being a parody. In fact the whole routine very successfully occupies the border between period homage and mickey taking. And I'm glad one of them in their befuddled state didn't conflate the pink marshmallow effects and the mushroom and bite off a big chunk!
DOTD Mary. No wonder the camera homes in on her mouthing the chorus. If it's possible to be too beautiful, she is.
Hi thanks for all your thoughts on this one this one
by bizarre coincidence i have learnt if I go to brighton beach just 8 miles west of me on Sunday night there is a dry run of a musical about the small faces and a mods in brighton relived event. The drummer from the small faces attending too
Give this one a bit of a bump also. Its only received 10 sets of ratings, the average Pans routine on here seems to be about 13. So come on guys can we eek out a couple more. Maybe some of our Legs & Co fans may wish to show support to our new Pans host Babsy and give some comments/ratings.
A slightly reduced number of Pans People to accompany Itchycoo Park by the Small Faces. The set includes all the references from the lyrics that you don’t need any further evidence to be convinced of their meaning and we are all set for a quick trip back to 1967.
I quite like the quirkiness of the routine also Mary and Cherry beauty just radiates throughout. Dotd Mary 8/10
I am not sure why Itchycoo park became another big hit in 1976 but there was a string of reissues on the Immediate label around this time like Chris Farlowe's Out of time and Amen Corner's Half as nice that made the lower regions of the chart. Yeah the routine is a bit silly but harmless enough I do like Cherry in it though so DOTD belongs to her for me and I will give the routine a 7.