NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW - NIGHT CLUB
Original Broadcast Date: 17/08/1972
Troupe: Pans People
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise & Ruth
Link: http://oneforthedads.org.uk/?p=2611 ____________________________________________________________________________________
Nothing Can Stop Me Now is a song from the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd which was first produced in 1964. The lead role of ‘Cocky’ was originally played by Norman Wisdom but the show only started to prove successful when Anthony Newley took over from him. Newley had also co-written the songs with Leslie Bricusse, and the original cast included the 16 year old Elaine Paige in her first professional stage role. Sadly the performance we are featuring here does not include Paige or Newley or even Wisdom but we do have Barry Crocker.
In my eyes, Barry Crocker will always be best remembered as the bloke who sang the theme tune to Neighbours. For those people who don’t know, Neighbours is the show which launched the careers of stars such as Kylie Minogue, Guy Pearce, Margot Robbie, and arguably the most talented of all, Bouncer the dog. It is also the only soap opera worth watching. I have to say that the whole Fake Dee storyline has really blown my mind and who could have imagined that Cassius the gardener would turn out to be a murderer? OMG!!!
Interestingly Barry Crocker is also part of Australian Rhyming Slang. If you have 'had a Barry' it means that you have had a shocker.
Here we see Pans People performing a support role which begins with some skipping. Perhaps this made Crocker feel at home since he also appeared in Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
Their costumes are fine and there are a few good wiggles and moves.
Sadly the footage is a little fuzzy and in monochrome which has made it hard to produce good quality screencaps. If Panslegs has a clearer version then he is welcome to supply some better ones.
Nothing is ever as good in black and white. Let’s consider the evidence.
Panda – It’s quite cute but it would lose in a fight against any other bear except a Koala.
Penguin – Quite cute but it can’t fly and when it walks it just looks like a drunken actor at The ‘Oscars’
Zebra – It’s just a fancy horse and no Zebra has ever won The Grand National.
Also no British football club that regularly play in black and white have won anything of note since Derby in the 1970’s.
So we have established that Black and White sucks but that is not the only problem with this production. I am not a fan of the song and there is too much focus on the singer and not enough on the dancers. To sum it up, it is rather like a badly organised kitchen in that there is far too much Crocker(y) and not enough Pans.
My score is a disappointing 5 out of 10.
Nice that it still exists though.
I look forward to receiving your thoughts. Hanway has already rated and reviewed this. I wonder if it would be possible for Ryan to move his review from 'The Theme From Shaft' onto this thread?
As there are two videos of Pan's People routines in this section, I shall review them both separately. In this first one we have the ladies all dressed up very becomingly in corsets and short white outfits, armed with skipping ropes, and accompanied by a orchestra, audience and the toothliness of a certain Mr. Barry Crocker. Clearly a cabaret style of entertainment show and performance unlike those we became so used to in the Top Of The Pops Studio. But this is an enjoyable dance to go with the warm vocals of Barry Crocker to this song from a show number. One part particularly pleasing for me was at about 00.30 when the girls intertwine their skipping ropes to make a large shape or frame. ( This action reminded the viewer of his own Primary School's May Day Celebrations, when the 11 year old, or final year, boys would perform a Sword Dance and use our wooden rapper swords to similar effect. I was part of the team of 1971, about a year before this number ).
To recap fairly briefly on this routine, points that I felt especially worth remarking upon were about 01.09 when the team rise up and start to run round as Mr. Crocker sings, leading to the best part where we see some enjoyable hip shaking at 01.12. Then at about 01.16 Pan's wave the ropes around and above themselves, again very noticeable to me. We then come to about 01.43 when we see the girls, using the ropes as props, obviously and commence some as expected very agile skipping round the small stage, followed by the lovely high kicks from the group at 02.02, finishing off from about 02.10 with some more skipping round the stage to the finale on one knee with arms and handles held aloft, with the actual ropes hanging in the expected manner between the girls, led by Andi and Ruth to the front- even if Ruth is obscured by the singer. Obviously, much of the time the camerawork is concentrated on Mr. Crocker and we cannot see the ladies, who may possibly not be moving anyway at those precise moments. A pleasant enough routine all round, even if there is nothing too extraordinary or memorable about the routine. Can I mark this, and suggest a Dancer Award here? Yes, of course I can and will. I trust this is allowed in the 'Miscellaneous Section'!
One thing to be remembered is because of the cabaret type performance and the fact that we do not have any real or genuine close ups, it is sometimes difficult to judge who is who, and there is the risk of wrongly attributing a certain movement to the wrong member. I think I have avoided this, but in my 'Dancer of the Day' quest I seem to concentrate on just two of the team. Louise is very noticeable at about 00.23, producing a great spin right at the front of the screen. And at 01.44 where she circles round the most prominent of all on the right side. On first viewing for this review I felt Louise had done enough to capture the prize today, particularly as I thought she performed a move which, on repeated watching, is in fact by some one else. Yes, step forward my own beloved Ruth! From about 01.52 to the termination of the number she wins it for me as she hops clockwise past Barry Crocker maintaining her poise and beauty right up to the end, even if 'Digger Barry' does block our view of her at the final piece. Earlier on at about 01.13 she performs one of her mesmerising for me hip shakes at the rear of the stage- so very noticeable to me! And at about 01.24 when Ruth undertakes another of her so lovely spins. 'You little ripper' as Barry himself might have said at the time!
DOTD- Ruth of course. Even in monochrome she shines forth for me. A very bright star even on a very dark night.
Routine- 6/10. A nice little number, as an accompaniment to the singer, which we should feel pleased we can still see today. And if the girls had performed this on there own, the score would have been higher.
Well I started off determined to debate this Black & White put down but I find myself singularly unable to come up with any decent examples of good black and white stuff and I'll be damned if I'm going to try to defend Newcastle Utd . I suppose Soccer and Hockey Referees are pretty good but that's all I've got. On to the Dance.... I quite like the outfits and the skipping in a ring with interactive "ropes" is quite well thought out (and way better than the interminable Temma Harbour picnic blanket) and the ladies do very well not to get tangled up. On the other hand the singer and the song are hard to swallow and you certainly need a darn good meal and lots of booze at the Talk of the Town before he and it would be even tolerable. The optical focus is fuzzy and it always seem ironic to me that we find so few performances where the audio is rotten, or hopefully lost altogether, and the visuals wonderful. Ah well I guess some of the TOTPs episodes/links are mute but not always the right ones. What on Earth am I wittering on about? Anyway I'm giving 5.5/10 as the ladies look good and I do like skipping and the half point is for OGW's spirited attack on Black and White. Too late but as an afterthought what about Twotone?
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Nice write-up OGW, but frankly this clip is not really my thing at all. Its smashing that it survives, but after this id suggest it takes its place back in its natural home, sitting snugly on the archive rack.
I suppose the black and whiteness of it will hamper all our scoring, and im afraid thats very much the case with me. 4 out of 10.
Peripheral Pan's People perform largely as adornments whilst crooner Barry - throat spray or gargle routine carried out before hitting the deck - steadfastly belts out a voice which at times bounces to the rafters and back, looking highly polished in a dust-free dinner jacket which, going by his posture, still has the coat hanger in the back of it.
Black and white further blurs the lines between decades and lends further weight to the overall impression that this could have been performed in the Pigalle a good few years before Man landed on the moon When the nature of their routine was decided upon, PP must have licked their lips in delight at the simplicity if not at the dance content shortage. Still, although this can be classed as a ropey performance, a touch of discipline would still have been required for the girls to crochet that star without any sag in the sides - an aerial shot of completed star might have been appreciated.
In the grand scheme of matters Night Club, the scenario plays out over what could possibly be the markings of a badmington court situated on a cruise ship, Pan's People as the fitness instructors. Barry "Davis Junior" loses a point for resisting the natural urge to leg-kick his way through the "Walk a million miles.." conclusion. Mind you, had Pan's People successfully lassoed a rope around Barry's neck and dragged him off when he belts out that final line and holds on to the last word of "Nothing can stop me nowwwwwwwwwwww!", the applause would have been even bigger.
The alternative use of those skipping ropes had also occurred to SF, while I'm sure Captain Mainwaring would have seen their potential for dealing with a crooner. It a wholehearted effort though, I'll give the fellow that. Unfortunately there is so little of the soft focus on the ladies that its difficult to judge it as a routine but, if only for Andi's smile at the end, I'll give it a 4.
I guess the girls had to earn some money. There is no other explanation for this sort of "performance". Why does this survive and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is lost? So much injustice in this world...
3 / 10
(further cementing my 'meanie' status on this thread)
And when the stewardess is near do not show any fear
Well here's one tailor-made for schoolchildren inclined that way to recreate in the playground...if they'd been allowed to stay up to watch it.
It certainly shows its age and more this one. The TV equivalent of when women were in headscarves at 40. I'm no fan of modern light entertainment but whatever else today's greatly more sophisticated production values wouldn't have denied us an aerial view of the shape they formed with their skipping ropes. Who knows?, conspiracy theorists on the David Icke forum might have got a ten page thread out of the symbolism if they had.
The skipping ropes concept is welcome as something different, the girls seem to handle the choreography well, and the costumes are cute, but Pans' contribution is sadly diminished in blurry black and white.
I'm resolutely no musical conservative, the star and his show number like a thousand others make zero appeal and frustrate in substantially reducing what that lucky audience are beholding. They were probably watching a nice 7/10 at least, I'm half that. 3.5/10
How the team managed to skip so confidently in heels, and then remember the rope sequences is, to my mind, quite amazing.
Not fussed in the least about the song or the singer, nor how the troupe are treated as confetti (Crocker doesn't even acknowledge them), but well done Pan's People!
As an aside, one of the aspects of 'early Pan's People' I really like, is that they had a real synergy not only with contemporary dance styles of the day, but a also genuine link with Vaudeville/cabaret/Tiller Girls-style choreography.
Whilst this is no desert island selection, I feel that a few people have underscored this item. The moves are well executed and fit in with the sound , the outfits are of their time . A period piece worth at least 5. Be grateful that this was saved and shared.
I’m not too keen on this – Barry Crocker is a crooner rather than a good singer, and he holds the microphone in a suspicious way at times. PP’s dance routine is complex but we don’t see too much of it as the camera’s focus is mainly on Barry.
Probably ok in 1972 but it’s not stood the test of time – one I think I’ll skip for the future.
All bound for Lulu Land in an E Type Jag (but more likely to be an E reg)
With PP undertaking a huge amount of non TOTP work over the years some recorded, some not, its always nice to see something different when it turns up even when its just artist support, and also which highlights the type of shows that were on TV then in those relatively early days, it seems the variety show was king back then.
The skipping ropes are the main feature here and a nice if somewhat brave move to introduce these into the act, potentially more to go wrong but hey it works surprisingly well as a distraction while Barry does his turn.
Its not the most interesting of performances from Barry i think we are all agreed on that, but the Pans support dance is pretty good if not quite essential viewing 5/10.