Summertime City _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byMike Batt (with the New Edition)and reaching number 4 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date04/09/1975Duration of dance - 3.26 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Babs, Cherry, Dee Dee, Ruth, Sue _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Michael Philip Batt LVO is a British songwriter, musician, producer, director, conductor and Deputy Chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (phew!). He is notorious for creating The Wombles (and singing on their records), but he also wrote "Bright Eyes" for Art Garfunkel. The first time that Mike worked with Pan's People was in 1974 as the writer and producer of their debut single "You Can Really Rock And Roll Me".
Surprisingly, as a solo artist, he entered the UK charts only once in 1975 with "Summertime City", billed as Mike Batt (with the New Edition). The song became the theme for the "Seaside Special" show on BBC1 which started in July 1975. The New Edition was of course the resident dance act of the "Seaside Special". They released a single on their own called "Sunshine Saturday" in 1976 (another Batt composition and the new theme tune for "Seaside Special"), but even a performance on TOTP couldn't prevent the record from becoming a bargain bin item pretty soon.
Even more surprisingly, the New Edition did not perform with Mike Batt on TOTP. Instead Pan's People were dancing around Mike amidst a city built of miniature skyscrapers (with a few clouds hanging from the ceiling). Now, while there can be no doubt that Pan's People were a much better choice than the New Edition when it comes to dancing, I still find the presence of Mr. Batt a bit interfering. And is it just me who permanently seems to anticipate a womble coming out from behind one of those skyscrapers?
That's not to say this performance is a downright dud. The girls look quite lovely in their two-parters, doing their best to spread good mood. But it's clearly just a support routine for the singing redhead. Add to this the slightly deteriorated picture quality of the UKGold copy and you know why this performance isn't played very often here on the Continent.
As the two subsequent editions of TOTP were wiped by the BBC, "Summertime City" is currently the last publicly available routine that features Babs but I am confident that this might change soon.
When Pan's People are relegated to 'accompanying' mode or worst still 'backing' mode (when usually even less is seen of them) there is obviously a dilution of performance. This is one of the better ones thanks to actually starting the proceedings and a fair amount of screen time shared with the performer until the very end. Mike Batt and Pan's People obviously knew each other, with Mike having been the producer behind Pan's singles of 1974 - alas not afforded the kind of promotion they should have had (certainly in comparison to what a girl group would get today) it was something of a missed opportunity.
An upbeat track coupled with a visually colourful set of city buildings and equally colourful costumes (what there is of them!) this is definitely a light, fun routine. It's strange to see Dee Dee in green here and it appears that Sue's costume is the odd one out without the same flowered pattern of the others, which makes you wonder if they should have swapped in order to better follow Pan's traditions. Dee Dee does some of her very good longing type looks here, Cherry is demure yet cheeky and there's generally a good deal of smiles around therefore I'm inclined to rate it highly for the fun factor alone. 9/10, DotD Dee Dee
Come on now, who hasn't fantasized about Attack of the 50 Foot Woman at one time or another and here we get 5 gigantic beauties threatening to knock over buildings and capture us for their own nefarious purposes.
What's more they look absolutely drop dead gorgeous in these skimpy two-piece suits. I totally love that bit where the ladies take turns leaping up from behind the buildings too. But there is a problem and yes it's the 48 Foot Red Head with a 24 Foot Stratocaster. He really is a bit distracting even when faced with the volume of bodacious womanhood prowling the skyscrapers so I can only give this visit to Adult Disneyworld 8/10 and I too must commend Dee Dee for trying to beckon us into her clutches and not letting us go until she is awarded DotD.
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
Top marks for the girls who are gorgeous and give it their all. Those outfits, with those super short skirts, are super sexy, and they throw themselves into this supporting routine with gusto....... but boy did it need all the support it could get.
I do like the leaping and the side shuffling from the ladies, while Dee Dee gets chance for a spot more practice with her shy come hither looks which would reach their apotheosis in a fortnights time, but MB is AA (Absolutely Abysmal) so overall this city break only warrants a 4.5 with DD as my DotD.
Here we see some very tall people, at least it looks like that, with the buildings, obviously not made to scale, & that idea was probably recycled for Soul City Walk, the following year.
Pan's People look as elegant as ever in their pastel colours, & they're having an absolute ball hiding away, & leaping out, teasing Mike Batt, it's another of these feel-good dance routines.
`That Mike Batt`, looking as card board as those buildings certainly benefited from a touch of Pans involvement in this. The song and the performer appear to be quite lame, but our five dollies decked out in uber cute cossies rescue the day. I have to say i very much like this one and often play it.
`My rating is 8.50 out of 10`
DOTD--`Beautiful Babs` (not the one from Brighton)
No problem with that Mike Batt would you believe as the ladies are too much of a distraction to be much bothered with him. A jolly little dance that I quiet enjoy watching, so I'll give it a 9. Dotd is quite tough I was tempted by the birthday girl but I think I'll pick Dee Dee who was looking particularly stunning in this routine.
really enjoyed watching this again Vin good choice though i think you could be up for meanie marker of the week and didn't elizabeth beresford create the wombles ?
intro b4 mike appears girls look like they mean business
some subtle literal moves to lyrics for example to kick off your shoes and out of reach
sequenced jumping moves i think later copied by the tele tubbies
girls sort into height order with babs at front ruth rear at 3 minute mark
when 'come one come on' is sung they shimmer and ruth really goes for it and shakes hair see pans legs great screenshot
girls hiding below skyscrapers out of camera
likes less :
mike batt gets in the way and has thin annoying voice
the wave good bye to mike from babs reminds us that she is about to leave
sue deedee and arguably cherry are wearing the wrong colours
slightly too simple
picture a bit soft
pretend guitar playing when no/little guitar on track
dotd deedee love the bit where she appears solo behind mike and an 8 - sorry babs but you touch mike in this blowing all chances of dotd
Thanks guys, may I say I'm a bit surprised about the rather high ratings that this one is gathering. When I was accused recently of picking just the good routines here to raise the average ratings on this thread, my plan was to post a couple of supposedly low-charters in return just to prove that I am not biased at all. This was meant to be one of them, but it seems no matter how I try, there's hardly a Pan's People routine with an average below 7, let alone 6.
There aren't many left to score lowly (apart from a few JD maybe), so I guess there's not much I can do to clear my name
Well this supposed low-charter is to a song I like and I always have done, it's far superior to Sunshine Saturday and it should have remained the Seaside Special theme. (Any word as long as it starts with or sounds as if it starts with an S, it would seem!) And the routine is a personal fave of an accompanying the singer kind. The drawback was the timing: the week many of us went back to school after the summer holiday. Yes, Mike Batt is more at home Wombling or song-writing, but I expect we all agree rather him than some slick sex god.
It's pleasing to see the older young ladies showing they can wow and carry-off their skimpy outfits just as well as their juniors. Pack them safely away for next summer girls. Just the thing if we get a scorcher...I like all the shuffling along and wiggling as Mike gets trial and top-treat by teasing - those multiple Come Ons are milked! As BB says the subtle literal moves, starting with them popping up above the cityscape at 'wondering where you are', are a strength of this one. Passing as they would below the radar of most Panophobes. People often lose themselves momentarily on city streets, and that's what happens here. Had they stopped-off at a park in the foreground this may have been a maximum. I'm batting for it with a hefty 9.25/10. DOTD Dee Dee for her excellent turn as an unseen temptress.
Mike Batt has produced some good music over the years but I think this was at the lower end of the spectrum. The Pans People girls do a good job of brightening proceedings though and seem to be enjoying themselves as well, however, despite their salvage job I can't go above 7 out of 10 for this.
DOTD is Dee Dee.
This is all very perky, but i get the impression PP are just doing Mike Batt a favour as the song is a bit naff, and the constant showbiz smiles throughout are annoying after a while. This looks like something that should be on kids TV, even the set looks like it was borrowed from Play School with its cartoon clouds and buildings. On the plus side, again the wardrobe dept come up trumps with the shortest skirts ever devised (or was that Green River?) and matching tops. Flicks choreography is limited to shuffling around the buildings, and hiding from Mike before he gets too excited, although i guess for an artist accompanyment this is certainly better than Ruby Flipper got a year later in that department.
6/10 DOTD Dee Dee for a adding a bit of raunch to an otherwise silly performance.
For an accompanying routine involving the artists, working alongside the song, this is probably the pinnacle of those routines - it seems more like an equal Pan's/Mike 50/50 split in the spotlight, and I do love Dee Dee's solo part.
Never really liked this song at all and was quite amazed it went as far as it did. The outfits for the girls were very good and Cherry's was out of place slightly but irrespective the routine was very good and I loved Dee Dee's solo bit. Presume she must have been poorly with her hip here. I will award this dance ten out of ten and the best dancer is awarded to Dee Dee.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.
This is an enjoyable way to start the day, watching Pans gyrate around while eating my weetabix. Must admit this song is a guilty pleasure and I remember it fondly from Seaside Special and a family holiday in Blackpool, where it seemed to be playing everywhere. You have to give it to Batt, he certainly knew how to craft a decent pop toon.
I think the dance here is really good albeit it's more in a support role. Some nice moves and Dee Dee and Ruth seem to be giving it their all.
Marks: 8/10 DotD: Ruth expends some energy here, but seeing as this must be near the end of her tenure I'll give it to Dee Dee