15 December 1973 – Series One (12)

Ricki Disoni. Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Acts on episode twelve were;

  • Desmond J and Triangle (four-piece group)
  • Ian MacGregor (vocalist)
  • Ricki Disoni (vocalist)
  • Stu Williams (comedian)
  • Drops of Brandy (five-piece group)
  • Renie Barce (vocalist)

Ricki Disoni was judged by the panel to have been the winning act from episode twelve.

Five-piece group Drops of Brandy had already taken their brand of pop music from Land’s End to John O’Groats, yet they were still relatively unknown in their home town of Coventry, as they hardly ever played there.

Coventry group Drops of Brandy. Image Trinity Mirror. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited.

The group had enjoyed a weekly four-night residency at Bloomers Club, Birmingham and played regular gigs at RAF bases all over the country before their TV debut.  Their regular work was the result of two years of real determination as back in November 1971 the group had their van and £3,000 worth of equipment stolen from outside lead guitarist John Duggan’s home.  Neil Richardson, bass guitarist told the local newspapers that the items were not insured. The items stolen included two guitars, a brand new £400 drum kit, amplifiers and speakers.  Having everything stolen only six months after forming really pushed the band on and they worked like mad and chased bigger jobs so they could earn the money to pay off all the equipment.  

Some of their booking have included four months in Bradford. a nine-month residency at Tiffany’s in Liverpool as well as the Bloomers residency. They played strictly disco music and pop that people can dance to, songs from John Kongos and Hallelujah Freedom.

In November 1972, the group had the idea of playing their way from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for the Variety Club of Great Britain children’s fund. Mecca provided them with a float and during their fourteen day tour they played 30 gigs at pre-arranged venues, as well as playing continuously on the back of the lorry all the way. Money raised from their shows, street collections and sponsorship totalled £1,000 and their gig marathon was given a fifteen minute slot on Granada Television. 

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