Year of Release: 1972
Although it's not talked about often, the cabaret and working man's club circuit appeared to have a notable influence on the mechanisms of the music industry in the early seventies. It wasn't where progressive artists of any hue could be found impressing punters chowing on their supper (although stranger things happened - Woody Kern regularly played the circuit, for instance, and once had a live set interrupted by an intercom announcement that the pie and peas were ready). More usually, it tended to be where the slicker artists dispensing their liquid-soap smooth brand of post-Beatles pop could be found, people we could probably fairly describe as potential New Faces or Eurovision contestants. Then, of course, the likes of the Batley Variety Club were cash generators for old hands such as Scott Walker, providing the foundations for comebacks and career resuscitations aplenty.
Bollard were yet another one of the hard-working circuit bands who littered the early to mid seventies. Consisting of Ron Blake, Ron Castor and Mick Snell, they formed in Essex (the precise location doesn't seem to have been recorded) and were initially known as Solid Gold, and you really can't get a more cabaret club sounding band name than that. Changing their names to Bollard and signing to Satril for a one-off single, to have a "highly successful career in records… accepting the challenge offered by all sides of the Entertainment industry" according to the press release, this one seven inch appears to have been their lot. Rainbow-hued and soaring, "I Need Your Love" sounds like the commercial noise of Love Affair being propelled into a new decade, slick, joyous and sun-kissed. It's not radical or in any way jarring - meaning the record seller who tried to tell me it was a "psych/prog" record was talking out of his rear - but it does stake out its own particular territory confidently and does sound like a possible hit.
It didn't happen, though, and that seems to have been the lot for the band's "career in records". Of some interest is also the fact that the B-side was co-written by David Mindel, who we've talked about elsewhere on this blog. There is some dispute about whether Bollard played on it at all, as it seems to be the same as a demo recording Mindel and Gary Benson recorded rather than a final product.
Thanks to the ever-fantastic 45cat community for all the pieces of information about this record.