Temma Harbour _________________________________________________________________________________
Performed byMary Hopkinand reaching number 6 in the UK charts _________________________________________________________________________________
Original broadcast date26/02/1970Duration of dance - 3.17 mins _________________________________________________________________________________
Dancers: Andrea, Babs, Dee Dee, Flick, Louise, Ruth _________________________________________________________________________________
A link to the dance:
Mary Hopkin is a Welsh folk singer, best known for her 1968 UK No. 1 single "Those Were The Days". After model Twiggy saw her winning the British ITV television talent show, Opportunity Knocks, and recommended her to Paul McCartney, she became one of the first artists to record on The Beatles' Apple record label. Mr. McCartney also wrote her follow-up single "Goodbye" which peaked at No. 2 in the UK. "Temma Harbour" was her third single, still reaching a respectable No. 6 position. In March 1970, Mary represented the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, singing "Knock Knock, Who's There?". Despite being the pre-contest favourite, Hopkin only came second, beaten by a young singer from Ireland called Dana (with "All Kinds of Everything"). After "Knock Knock..." her career began to dwindle and Hopkin withdrew from the pop-music scene to have a family, but nevertheless she is still releasing new recordings occasionally.
"Temma Harbour" is a nice song about a picturesque place - the real Temma Harbour lies on the North West coast of Tasmania, a large island that is part of the Commonwealth of Australia, located south of the Australian mainland. The record is light and breezy with a catchy melody, and while it's certainly not of the social consciousness kind, the enjoyable arrangement and the sweet soft voice of Miss Hopkins provide a pleasant listening experience.
The song had first been featured on TOTP 29/01/1970, using a strange montage of footage showing Miss Hopkins and shots of dancers in the TOTP studios. But four weeks later Flick Colby was asked to rehearse a new Pan's People routine for the record. And even though the 45 actually went down from No. 6 to No. 7 that week, the result was shown on TOTP 26/02/1970. The good news is that this TOTP episode was not wiped - the bad news though is that the archive copy is in black and white only. Sadly, unlike other early 1970 clips ("Green River", "I Want You Back"), no colour footage is available.
In the case of "Temma Harbour", I find this particularly regrettable. I am sure the girls' clothing in this performance was eminently colourful and appealing and the waving of the big blanket created an impressive effect. But none of all this comes across in the b/w copy that we have. Au contraire, the routine looks quite strange and cluttered in large part. Hence it is not surprising that "Temma Harbour" is often cited as an example for a Pan's People "turkey". Personally I think this is a bit unfair, though I can see the reasons why.
The whole routine is still a bit hippie-esque with a dreamy atmosphere. In the second half the girls seem to be meditating with moves reminiscent of "Spirit In The Sky" (actually the other way round of course). But as I said, much of it is lost due to the lack of colours. Add to this some sloppy camera work which at times focuses more on the audience than on the dancers. I won't pretend that the routine is one of my favourites but just the same I like to play it once in a while, mainly because I really like the song. It's a tough one to rate, but
6 / 10
just seems to be right. A colour version would definitely get a higher grading.
Another of those performances that's unfortunately afflicted with the problem of lack of colour when no doubt the original recording would have been very colourful indeed. I'm sure a world of difference would be made should the colour ever be recovered on this footage but even in this state I do have a soft spot for this one.
An interesting first third involving a large sheet of material (looks like the same pattern the outfits have been made from) under which Andrea and Ruth run conjures up the feeling of waves and a sea breeze at the beginning of this rather wistful single from Mary Hopkin. The design of this performance really suits the soundtrack and the director has chosen (possibly advised by Flick) slow changes from each shot, although at times it feels the camera is not best placed.
At a time when Pans performed their Top of The Pops routines on an actual raised stage, it allowed the middle kneeling part of this routine to be possible and work well being just the right height for the camera's point of view. You can almost believe they are on the beach such is the atmosphere that is created which still comes across even in a blurry, black & white version of the original.
This episode also contains the 3rd of the three existing mini performances in the opening titles. These all have the same basic moves and only really vary in costume and style of camera work. Whether the choreography did change much is now difficult to tell with the existing examples in such close proximity to each other during the run of 9 months that this occurred.
As for the main performance, everyone literally looks bright and breezy and with perfect harmony to the soundtrack I have to give this an 8 (thinking in my head how it would have looked in colour). Ruth just nudges DotD for me.
This is a fine example of Flick's skill as a choreographer, an almost perfect blending of song and dance. Its a great song to start with, which the routine both compliments and enhances and the roar of the appreciative audience at the end says it all. Yes, its a real shame that a colour copy hasn't survived so we have to imagine all those brights yellows, oranges, reds and purples in the girls costumes but this is still worth a 9. I'm tempted to choose Andi as my Dotd, for as usual her lovely smile is captivating, but instead I've chosen Flick for inventing this little treat.
A while back I was discussing this routine with Sue and she told me this interesting tale. A few years later Flick decided to return to the 'floaty sheet' idea for a Legs cabaret routine to the Denise Williams number I Just Got To Be Free, with Gill, Lulu, Rosie and Sue having the task of the sheet bearers whilst Patti swanned around underneath it. However, things didn't always go according to plan. At one venue the ceiling was so low the sheet kept getting snagged on the overhead disco lights whilst on another occasion Flick decided it would be a good idea to have some glitter and tinsel folded into the sheet so that it would sprinkle down each time the thing was wafted. This looked great but proved rather messy, left the floor incredibly slippy, and so was a one-off!
At first glance, this looks a tad chaotic, a free-for-all, with all manner of different things happening on stage, but watching more carefully, we seem to get an entire showcase of every type of dancing ever performed by Pan's People, including a curious looking sequence, whereby they're sat down on their knees, & are waving their whole upper bodies in a circular motion.
It also looks like this was performed live in front of a TOTPs audience, they must have really enjoyed seeing just about everything that Pan's People can do during their dance routines.
The most famous thing about Tasmania as far as I'm concerned is its devil and I mean to stay true to this, unlike this little ditty. May I also say that in my Antipodean travels I did not see a lot of coconut trees this far South. Yup you're right, I don't like the song and I don't really like Mary Hopkin either and no-one was happier than me to see the exquisite Dana trounce her in the Finals. There I'm glad I got that out of my system as this song is the main downer here if I'm honest and this is always a bit unfair to the valiant Dancers.
The Dance itself is pleasant and although it takes them forever to lay the picnic cloth on the ground (reminds me of me trying to make a bed before the days of Duvets) I quite like the soft and flouncy look of the ladies and there are indeed quite a variety of moves here to admire. I must say they had some weird backgrounds to TOTPs in those days with the massive stilted-flares in this one being rather conspicuous and in my nightmares I recall a horrid crazy face in at least one other Dance the name of which I've inconveniently forgotten. The B&W is certainly a downer too as others have mentioned and I think this might well be quite stunning in colour and a lot of my minor gripes might then be forgotten (except the song!)
Anyway I am awarding 5.5/10 as this is not likely to hit my playlist again any time soon sorry. As for DotD I find myself drawn to Babs this time but there were several near-Misses
PS Really interesting anecdote SF and I wish I could have seen the swanning (nothing to do with the Stratford, Ontario procession which occurred this last weekend)
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
even as a die hard pan fan I can't go higher than 6, but Flick is trying to change dance on tv. compare this with the rare clips from two years earlier, she is feeling for a style. As for the dreary song, least said the better. nobody really stands out but Babs manages a lovely smile
If it didn't encourage drinking I could have believed this sweet ditty was a children's song. Too airy fairy for me I'm afraid. I think it's a safe bet this sun-drenched performance is very multi-colourful and it suffers as much as any routine I know from being in B/W. It appears that Flick has done a wonderful job transporting an antipodean paradise to a corner of Britain in winter. Beginning through wisps of dreamy cloud, it's as if such an idyll can only exist in the imagination. A dream that will evaporate with flower power. But while it lasts the weightlessness of the blanket, costumes, yoga practise and easy flow make this one as carefree as they come. It's not one I can enjoy much with the song and at times blurry monochrome, but the realization deserves to keep it barred from Bernard Matthews's gates.
Thanks guys. This routine is actually more popular than I expected, but deservedly so. A few of my regular contributors haven't commented yet, so there must be some more opinions about this early Pan's presentation.
A whistful and optimisic song from Mary at the tale end of hippiedom, clearly embraced here by Flick and the ladies with this overtly girly and rather lovely tribute. I like the combination of Ruth and Andi together as they duck and run through the sheet wafting stage. The second kneeling part also fits in a few yogic style movements, excellently sequenced in time with the drumming. At the end we finally see what those excess bits of flowery material they are wearing are for as they wave them around like butterfly wings. Very much of its time with some nice creative ideas and a good performance, 8/10. DOTD Ruth.
Flick came up with some imaginative choreography for this routine. At the beginning they look as though they are trying to put a tent up in a strong wind before they do some keep fit exercises.
There is no doubt that a colour version would look better and I never really like it when the audience come between the stage and the camera. The song is quite nice though.
If a colour version ever becomes available then I will probably bump up my score a bit but in the meantime I will give it 7.5 out of 10.
DOTD is Babs
As has been said several times the outfits were obviously highly coloured and the inability to see them detracts a lot from the performance (Montego Bay is much enhanced by surviving in colour). I don't know if the B&W footage survives with chroma dots, but it would be interesting to see this colourised. Imagining the colour I'll give it an 8/10.
Dotd: Andi stands out at the start.
An adolesence with dream girls once every Thursday and twice if I was lucky.
Song dreamy hippy song which the dance fits perfectly. Sunshine, waves , breeze all covered in moves
Unique point shared blanket/shawl moves
Pans people logo as it opens
Seated elements with some great babs gyration at about 2 min mark
Not so good:
Black and white
Coconut and giant lemon trees unlikely at this location as Canada pointed out
Audience too close
I don't play this often (maybe I should)
7 and babs pips Andrea just for dotd.
I have this dance in my collection but never seem to watch it. It never floated my boat and I presume the reason being is that it is poor quality black and white. I enjoyed Flick's expressions though and I will award this dance five out of ten. The best dancer is awarded to Babs.
Everywhere, wherever you look, manipulation rearing it's head.