Interview with Dave Bartram from Showaddywaddy – NEC, Birmingham, Memorabilia Show

Interviewed by Helen and Garry McWilliams

Hello Dave, thank you for talking to the Good Review, today – tell us about your book ‘The Boys of Summer’

Some people think it’s a biography, it’s not, it’s about a certain time in our career in the year 2005. We (Showaddywaddy) had chart success over a ten year period in the seventies and a good following. We have fans that have been loyal to us all their lives. Then in 2005 (Dave was lead singer and manager at this time) we had 33 dates booked across various holiday parks. We sent out all of our technical information to the holiday parks but a lot of paperwork was not returned before the ‘tour’ started. We went ahead without the basics covered. The first camp we visited for the first date of the 33; had facilities that left a lot to be desired. However, it wasn’t quite as bad as some of the camps we later played at. The staff at the parks thought that we were ‘prima donnas’ but the accommodation in the caravans was squalid. The book also covers the personal issues that I had around this time. It’s a bitter-sweet account of a tour that wasn’t a tour!

Did you feel it was a ‘come-down’ and how did that affect you?

It was a come-down and it was upsetting that we couldn’t put on a performance at the level we were used to. The conditions were worse than working mens’ clubs and there were ‘hot and cold running rats’! I said to the rest of the band “this would make a good ‘fly on the wall’ documentary”.

Have the other band members contributed towards the book?

They feature in the book and it is autobiographical with regards to the other band members.

As you manage the band, now but don’t perform as the lead singer – do you miss performing?

I don’t miss the travelling or the performing, I realised that I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons.

What is your favourite single from your days performing with ‘Showaddywaddy’?

‘I Wonder Why’ is my favourite single, it was recorded during a successful period in the band’s career. I had been determined to get it exactly right and when I listen to it, I think it is.

Do you see yourself as a perfectionist?

Oh yes! I need the self-satisfaction that a track sounds how I want it to sound.

Are there any songs belonging to other artists that you and the band would have liked to have recorded?

I’m a ‘Beach Boys’ fan, so any of their songs.

Have you and the band ever performed a duet with another artist or band?

We have never performed a duet with anyone but we would have liked to have collaborated with a German band called ‘The Baseballs’. We have appeared in videos with Peter Kay, though.

What plans do you have for the future? Will there be more books to follow?

There is a second book coming, I am writing the final chapters at the moment. I am outlining ideas for a third book. I think that the books would make a great television series and I would love to see someone acting as me!

What advice have you got for anybody who wants to start a career in music and do you agree with television programmes such as ‘The X Factor’?

It’s a different game these days, when I was a youngster you learned your trade and then you knew if it was ‘for you’. We worked hard until we got noticed, the modern age is different.I agree with the talent show concept, but I don’t feel that it’s a treadmill to enable people to get noticed. There is no opportunity supplied for song writers, where are the new ‘Beatles’? They’re out there somewhere but there’s no way to come through.

Thanks for talking to us, Dave – enjoy the rest of your day at ‘Memorabilia’. We would like to thank the ‘Fantom Films’ crew for allowing us to interview Dave as well as Jan Harvey and Stephen Yardley. Dave’s book ‘The Boys of Summer’ is available from hardback copy priced at £19.99 and abridged audio edition to be released in April 2013 priced at £14.99 (pre-order for a signed edition).


First published 21.03.13


3 thoughts on “Interview with Dave Bartram from Showaddywaddy – NEC, Birmingham, Memorabilia Show

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  1. Fantastic group, I remember years ago we were in a Leicester restaurant The Costa Bravo. it was my husbands birthday and we were having a meal with friends and they had a small dance floor. Dave Bartram was there and he got up and was singing all night Great voice and a really nice guy. It was a memorable evening one we will never forget.

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