2 July 2009

Sandy Coast - True Love, That's a Wonder

Sandy Coast - True Love, That's a Wonder

Label: Polydor
Year of Release: 1971

There's an enormous difference between the way Sandy Coast are perceived in the UK (if people are even aware of them at all) and how the Benelux nations regard them.  Over here, they're the flop sixties band who ended up on the Rubbles series of compilations with the utterly great "Back to the City", a track which has already featured as part of one of our compilations too.  Over in the Netherlands and Belgium, though, they were big hitters and something of a star turn in the early seventies.

Formed in 1961 as the Sandy Coast Skiffle Group, they were lead by Hans Vermeulen, and had to sit and wait patiently until 1966 before the Dutch audiences would allow them to grace the charts.  Even then that was with a cover of Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again", which only reached number 39 (I'd argue that's way more than it deserved - I include a link to the YouTube video with the greatest of reluctance).  It was a long, slow climb to the top for the band from that point on, and it wasn't really until 1969 that they began to have any hits of note, with the likes of "Capital Punishment" and "I See Your Face Again" becoming moderate sellers.  

"True Love, That's a Wonder" is probably their biggest and most highly regarded single, reaching number three in the Netherlands charts and sounding peculiarly like a nineties Paul Weller single two decades before time.  It's a gruff, gravelly little rocker with the kind of studied vocal harmonies which would become increasingly prevalent as the seventies progressed.  Naturally, it was greeted with total disinterest by UK audiences, who had always ignored the band in the previous decade, and weren't about to change their minds in the seventies.

Still, if you head off to iTunes or any equivalent music stores, Sandy Coast will be available, and this song will be top of the popularity pile by a ridiculous margin.  For that reason alone, I'm going to break with tradition and not put it up for free download here, and instead resort to a Youtube clip.  You may download the B-side "If" if you wish, but the thought of having this blog closed down by the Dutch legal authorities for making their massive hits available at a single click is one surreal war I could do without in my life at the moment.  Look what the bastards did to Radio Caroline - I don't want them coming in here smashing up my flat and my laptop PC, thank you very much.  

The first person to successfully tell me what the band are doing playing this song in a bottling factory gains my eternal gratitude.  Thanks to VinylFlavoured for the video upload.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful !

Yes, this was truly a nugget.

As a UK guy living in South East England, I reckon I was Radio Veronica's biggest fan.
And this was a terrific track.
Who was the lead guitarist on this ?


23 Daves said...

I believe it was probably Charles Kerslake, Paul, who was the group's usual guitarist after they became a rock band (they were a skiffle group originally).

Good fretwork too!