Year of Release: 1968
The Irish Showband circuit produced numerous incredibly popular dance bands from the fifties through to the late seventies, groups who were stars in their home country but meant very little indeed, if anything, across the Irish Sea.
Gary Street and the Fairways formed off the back of the Agents Showband, adding Gary Street to their line-up as a vocalist following a long live stint in Germany. Returning back home to Ireland they immediately impressed with their new disciplined set and impressive new singer, and were quickly signed to King Records there. "Flipiddy Flop" was the first single, a band composition, and reached number ten in the Irish charts.
The tiny Domain label seem to have picked up the rights to the record in the UK, and it - er - flipiddy flopped into the British shops to a lot of general disinterest. Of more interest to me is The Equals cover on the flip, "Hold Me Closer", which has a bit more beef and swing to it. "Flipiddy Flop" is a wee bit too bubblegummy even for my sweet tooth.
The original line-up of The Fairways carried on for a couple of years after this, but no record they issued was ever as successful as this one, and they gave up before the 70s got properly underway. The name continued to be used by various other members until as late as 1983, however.
Possibly of greater interest than this record to "Left and to the Back" readers is the truly bizarre ska record they issued in 1969 entitled "Yoko Ono", which can be heard over on YouTube. The band busy themselves by singing about trying to get to a plantation on which the famous artist and Beatle-wife appears to be waiting for them. I'll give it this much - it's better than "Ob La Di, Ob La Da".