17 March 2019

Quator - Spy Trap/ Playgirl

Funky, flutey theme tune grooves ahoy

Label: BBC
Year of Release: 1972

The early releases of BBC Records and Tapes are fascinating in that amidst the really obvious stuff such as the "Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads" single are theme tunes and soundtrack excerpts to long-wiped and forgotten series. "Spy Trap" is one such example. While the series, based on a shady MI5/ MI6 styled organisation called "The Department", was apparently popular through its 1972-75 run, it's never been repeated in recent years nor commercially released. 

A shame, because if its theme tune is anything to go by, this would have been wondrous. Sassy, fruity and decidedly flutey, "Spy Trap" is all darkness and mystery with a strange chugging Status Quo styled rhythmic underlay. The flipside "Playgirl" isn't too bad either, which will instantly bring to mind a backstreet heist. Give 'em hell, cops. 

This single is unusual in that it features the efforts of Brian Wade of the group Trane, who had already had one vaguely psychy single out on BBC thanks to their appearances in the then-popular radio soap "Waggoner's Walk". They would go on to release one more single on Penny Farthing in 1971 ("Still Burning Bright") before calling it quits.

As for Johnny Pearson, he lead the Top of the Pops orchestra for sixteen years, and has a deeply impressive set of credits on top of that, from working with Cilla Black and Dusty Springfield to his library music work with KPM. Sadly, after an incredibly broad and fascinating career, he died in 2011. 

1 comment:

Andrew said...

If you like that, you'll love the original by Keith Mansfield. Still with us. Top musical pedigree.