July 26, 1975: “My secret system for making flower displays and gardens look lovely in the dark”


SOME light relief – mainly, details about my own secret system for making flower displays and gardens look lovely in the dark!

I must confess that I’ve never really gone in for the more flashy types of disco lighting. Instead, over the years I’ve developed a rather theatrical method of using coloured filter gels on my lights to emphasize flower arrangements and architectural features in doors, and – on a much larger scale – whole gardens and houses out of doors.

The basis of this system, apart from miles of electrical cable and dozens of adaptors, is a time-consumingly assembled set of nearly sixty swivel-mounted Par 38 150 watt lamps, some spot but mostly flood, all fitted with Rank Strand colour frame holders (and If you can get any of them these days you’ll be lucky!). Indoors I use specially wired switching circuits that give me many ways of controlling the lighting, while out of doors the Par 38s are very often wired up in conjunction with 500 watt or 1000 watt floods (which I hire). Anyway, on to the principle of the idea.

Light casts shadows, and several sources of light cast several shadows. If the lights are different colours, they combine to produce yet another colour where they all overlap, and then the shadow of each is filled in by whichever other colours can reach it. The effect of a vase of flowers or anything else multi-faceted when lit, preferably from ground level, by several sources of different coloured light is one of distorted reality and incredible depth. In gardens, a border of flowers looks like a jewel box if each individual clump is lit with a different colour so that one stands out against another. All this is hard to explain without the benefit of some colour pics, but hopefully you can get some idea of the effects that are possible. I’ll try and expand on the methods and results at a later date.


“Cinemoid” is the brand name of the moist commonly available coloured gel for use as filters in theatre lights, etc. A combination of the following Cinemoid colours will make most flower displays look incredible: – Number 16 Blue – Green, No.34 Golden Amber, No.12 Deep Rose, No.45 Daylight, No.26 Mauve, No.6 Primary Red, No.22 Moss Green, and – depending on the flowers – No.36 Pale Lavender (Surprise Pink), No.1 Yellow or a duplication of one of the others. Those are trade secrets, y’all.

New Spins


K. C. & THE SUNSHINE BAND: That’s The Way (I Like It) (Jay Boy BOY 99) Casey and the kids get a crystal dear rhythm thing going and get to chanting “That’s the way I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh.” Millions will concur.

THE STYLISTICS: Can’t Give You Anything (But My Love) (Avon 6105039). Eddie Calvert lives!

Bunny Sigler penned/prod, Norman Harris arr, vocal group dancer with untypical Philly backing which sets it apart and has made it a big NY disco hit. Disco mix flip

JOHNNY RIVERS: Help Me Rhonda (Epic EPC 3482)
Punchy re-working beefed up by Brian and the Beach Boys (reputedly) in the background – some help!

BOBBY BYRD: Headquarters (Augusta GA) (Seville SEV 1005)
Incredible jerky choppy sparse TK funk which stand alone on the instrumental flipside version.

BLACK BLOOD: A. I. E. (A Mwana) (Bradley’s BRAD 7518)
Genuine African funk (tho’ with rather suspect Hair-type harmonies) just starting to hit US R&B, this launches Bradley’s new “black label”. Shades of Soul Makossa with chanting.

THE BEST EVER & MUHAMMAD ALI: The People’s Choice – Muhammad Ali (Polydor 2001594)
“I’m a baaaaad brother” yells Ali as useable intro, then the Shirelles (and if that isn’t Shirley and the girls I’ll be surprised) do the actual singing over fairly funky rhythms.

THE CHANTELLES: Runaway (Black Magic BM 108)
Effete Soul singing – Northern rhythm track – Del Shannon tune – instrumental version flip – strangely effective.

FREDDY FENDER: Wasted Days And Wasted Nights (ABC 4067)
Probably two people remember Joe Barry – well, this Louisiana-steeped rolling semi-slowie is like Joe (and thus Fats Domino), and is the real thing in comparison with MUD’s similar re-working of One Night (Rak 213). Guess which’ll hit?

MATATA: Gimme Some Lovin’ (President PT 438)
British-based Afro-Funk with James Brown-type things goin’ on. Hit me one time, good god!

5000 VOLTS: Still On Fire (Philips 6006464)

SMOKY & THE FABULOUS BLADES: Jerk, Baby Jerk (Route RT 10)
Great if esoteric blues instrumental with pounding beat and harmonica to the fore, aimed squarely up North.

THE PEARLS: Love Sensation (Private Stock PVT 28)
Careful listening reveals that these cooing chix and their groaning boyfriend are singing about a blow–job! Dancers will hear a fluidly pumping Steely Dannish beat Scubiddu!


BILLY DAVIS: Three Steps From True Love (ABC 12106)
The “other” version of the Reflections’ hit, this import (a hit too) has less emphatic Detroit Emeralds rhythm and muzzier vocal track.

JAMES BROWN: Dead On It, Pts 1 and 2 (Polydor PD 14279)
Long jive rap intro over suspenseful synthetic noises before the tension’s broken by basically instrumental funker. No way his best but beautifully done as ever.

JACKIE MOORE: Make Me Feel Like A Woman (Kayvette 5122)
M/s Precious Precious sho’ feels real on this TK label’s soul-drenched slow rolling thumper.

UK Disco Top 20 – July 26, 1975

01 05 Typically Tropical – Barbados – Gull
02 01 Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony – The Hustle – Avco
03 03 Bee Gees – Jive Talkin’ – RSO
04 09 Hamilton Bohannon – Foot Stompin’ Music – Brunswick
05 04 Rimshots – 7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Blow Your Whistle – All Platinum
06 11 Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet – Island
07 02 Hamilton Bohannon – Disco Stomp – Brunswick
08 07 Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her – Brunswick
09 16 Brian Hyland – Sealed With A Kiss – ABC
10 NE Linda Lewis – It’s In His Kiss – Arista
11 14 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – EMI (Import)
12 12 Linda Carr & The Love Squad – Highwire – Chelsea
13 13 Johnny Nash – Tears On My Pillow – CBS
14 NE Moments – Dolly My Love – All Platinum
15 NE Ike & Tina Turner – Baby Get It On – United Artists
16 NE Tony Camillo’s Bazuka – Dynomite – A & M
17 06 10cc – I’m Not In Love – Mercury
18 15 Sharonettes – Going To A Go-Go – Black Magic
19 18 Biddu Orchestra – Summer Of ’42 – Epic
20 NE George McCrae – It’s Been So Long – Jay Boy

Syreeta – Harbour Love – Tamla Motown
Earl Wright – Thumb A Ride – Capitol
Judge Dread – Je T’aime – Cactus

Hamilton’s Disco Top 10

1 Ray Stevens – Misty – Janus
2 Clive Baldwin – Now It’s Paul McCartney – Mercury
3 Lyn Paul – It Oughta Sell A Million – Polydor
4 Bimbo Jet – El Bimbo – Columbia
5 Harry Hastings – She’s A Great Great Girl – Bell
6 Pete Wingfield – Eighteen With A Bullet – Island
7 Bryan Ferry – You Go To My Head – Island
8 Narvel Felts – Reconsider Me – ABC
9 Johnny Nash – Tears On My Pillow – CBS
10 Crown Heights Affair – Dreaming A Dream – De-Lite

No Breakers this week.


BIDDU ORCHESTRA Exodus (Epic LP) is the flash, from Phil Black (Barry Butlins, Wales), and I agree that the whole album is as useful in its way as was the old JOHNNY HARRIS Movements (Warners) . . . action for BEACH BOYS Sail On Sailor (Reprise) sez Les Aron (Club Rex, Bognor Regis) and for BEACH BOYS Breakaway (Capitol) retorts Mark Rymann (Porthcawl, Mid – Glams) . . . more confusing, Mark Rymann’s pushing BRIAN CADD Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ (Chelsea), as is Marc Roman (Charing, Kent) . . . lucky there’s several hundred miles between them! . . . Rockin’ Roy Williams (Wild Wax Show, Acton) had ’em boppin’ to ROY HALL Diggin’ The Boogie (MCA Rockabillies LP) down at the Lyceum last week . . . Jon Taylor (Crocker’s, Norwich) digs Z. Z. TOP Tush (London) . . . El Bimbo dying the death for Tony Farmer (Stevenage. Herts.), but they do like such as RUFUS THOMAS Funky Bird (Stax) and DISCO TEX Boogie Flap (Chelsea) at his Watford New Penny residency . . . Peter Dunn (Haverfordwest, Pembs.) prefers BIMBO JET El Bimbo Part 2 (EMI) . . . informal now, Alex Henderson (Victoria Bars, Weymouth) lists SOUTH SHORE COMMISSION Free Man (Pye), JIMMY CASTOR BUNCH Potential (Atlantic) and FABULOUS BLADES Jerk Baby Jerk (Route) . . . surprisingly mundane, RIMSHOTS are top for Doctor John (Newport, Salop) this week . . . what’s up, Doc? . . . John Paul (Warley, West Midlands) gives the nod to Jo King’s Daddy Dewdrop re-make, 53RD & 3RD Chick-A-Boom (UK) . . . GLORIA GAYNOR All I Need Is Your Sweet Lovin’ (MGM) a breaker for Vic Trotter (Dunfermline, Scotland), as is JOE SIMON Get Down Get Down (Polydor) for Alan Gold (Brighton, Sussex) . . . Charts in by Wednesday if poss, please … thanx! OOPS! So finally it turns out to be Paul Waldron NOT Phil Cordell who’s behind the Harry Hastings single . . .


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