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Christmas 2007
A merry Christmas and a joyous festive season to you all. I hope you all have a wonderful time. Don't forget, if there's anyone you've yet to find a stocking filler for, there's still a few "When Showbusiness is No Business" books left on our shelf. In addition to this all the CD catalogue is still available. What could be a better present for someone who has yet to discover the 'Pigeon/Makepeace' sound?

 
Many thanks to all of you who spotted that the album "Mouldy Old Music" made it into the Guardian's list of '1,000 albums to hear before you die'. In case you haven't seen the comments, log on to http://music.guardian.co.uk/1000albums/story/0..2213499.00.html  . Does anyone know what, "Psychedelic in a rather brown way" is supposed to mean though??
 
Regular correspondent Dave Ashby of Bury St Edmunds has unearthed a gem. A copy of "The World of Lieutenant Pigeon" has turned up after all these years. He's managed to purchase said rare item and has been good enough to scan and send us pictures of the sleeve. The boys say they only received a test pressing of the album off Decca back in the mid 1970s, and were not even aware that front and back sleeve designs had been completed. They were given the catalogue number SKA 5226 at the time but then the record was deleted, before even the release date. Dave's copy of the back sleeve clearly shows the catalogue number SPA 414. This confirms that the number the boys were given by Decca all those years ago was false. Has anyone else got a copy of this very rare LP? The emergence of this copy is akin to someone finding a 1933 penny as far as we're concerned!
 
Finally, congratulations to all the many people who emailed us with the answer to the teaser in my last Newsletter. Yes, of course it was Gilbert O'Sullivan who knocked Lt Pigeon off the top spot all those years ago with his song "Clair". Here's a much harder one this time. Which Stavely Makepeace track was released as the B side of two different singles?
 
All the best Bill B.


 

November 2007

Another milestone was passed in October. It’s now 35 years since those heady days when the boys spent 4 weeks at the top of the music charts with “Mouldy Old Dough”. Speaking to Rob the other day he said it certainly didn’t seem that long! Something else I learned that day. Apparently it was always customary in those days, (perhaps it still is now?), to send a congratulatory telegram to the artist or band who replaced you at No.1. Certainly the boys did receive theirs off a gracious David Cassidy who’s record, “How Can I be Sure” was toppled by Lieutenant Pigeon. Four weeks later it was Rob, Nigel, Steve and Hilda’s turn to do the honours. Hands up all of you who remember who knocked Lt Pigeon off the top spot, and what was the record?

 

Back to the reality of today. So far reaction to the new Stavely Makepeace single has been excellent. Many local radio stations up and down the country are playing it and sales & downloads via the web site have exceeded all expectations. If there is a down side it’s that BBC Radio 2 have failed as yet to pick up on it. (So what’s new!) Lots of staunch fans have commented on Lauren Woodward’s fine duet with her dad Rob. If you haven’t heard it yet, click on the downloads button, you’ll see what you’ve been missing!

 

Another piece of ‘archive enigma’. A number of you have asked for a full list of all the Woodward/Fletcher titles which have been recorded and released by other bands and artistes. This list might be somewhat difficult to comprise. A band from South Africa released a version of “Give me that Pistol” and there was also that magnificent cover of “Coconut Shuffle” by Dennis Matumbi’s outfit. Then there was Slow Dog and Red Fox who both did versions of “Walking Through the Blue Grass”, but there must have been others that Rob and Nigel have either forgotten about or have yet to learn about. For example, Nigel tells me that the Worzells asked for clearance many years ago to put words to “Mouldy Old Dough”. Permission was granted but then nothing more was heard. In my next Newsletter I will try to throw a little more light on these little mysteries.

 

All for now.

Cheers BB.


PS...LATE NEWS. In time for Christmas the BBC have published a book called "Top of the Pops" by Ian Gittins. It's full of colour pictures, memories and anecdotes from the heydays of the programme. There's even a bit about Lieutenant Pigeon/Stavely Makepeace! It's published by 'BBC Books'.  Details can also be found by visiting www.rbooks.co.uk

 

September 2007

Thirty six years ago this month Rob and Nigel tried an experiment. Together with bass guitarist Steve Johnson, they called on Rob's mum Hilda to join them in a novelty offshoot group from their main 5 piece band Stavely Makepeace. This they would call Lieutenant Pigeon. We all know what happened next!
 
This month sees the release, (both on CD and as a download), of a new Stavely Makepeace track. This time it features Rob playing with his daughter Lauren. Could this be an omen?
 
The boys have got a little political with their lyric writing this time. "We want a house" is all about the difficulties young couples experience when trying to get on to the exclusive 'housing ladder'.

Also released are two more new titles, "It's a nanny state" and "Buy one get one free". they can be downloaded individually or bought as one CD single.

Check out our "Music Download" page

 
Also new for the autumn is the "Lieutenant Pigeon" group on Facebook. Long time friend of the group Simon Shaw has launched this on the internet 'social networking' site to open up LIEUTENANT PIGEON to an even bigger audience. Early days yet but already lots of people have shown an interest. See "Links" or click here http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5740247620 to access this site.
 
More soon. Bill.


Summer 2007

(If you can call it that!)
Well, half way through another year! Is it my imagination or are the years speeding up? Anyway, as you'll see, a few more tracks have recently been added to our Downloads page. These are some of the earlier Stavely Makepeace recordings. "The Charity Show" harks back to the very early days and was one of the recordings the boys did at the Pyramid Recording Studios in Fulham way back in the late 1960s. Apologies for the rather 'demo' quality of the performance but these were the days of 'one take' backing tracks and very few over dubs. Pyramid boss Graeme Goodall engineered this session himself. He'd just had his first No.1 at the time with Desmond Dekker's "Israelites"
 
Great news about the film Hot Fuzz. It broke all British box office records in its first few weeks of release. An awful lot of people will be familiar with the Stavely Makepeace track "Slippery Rock" now, though we doubt it will cause a rush on old vinyl copies of the single! Having said that, the track is featured on the film's sound track CD issued by Island Records so a lot more people will discover the band. Let's hope they become curious about the boy's music and buy the Stavely CD album.
 
A big welcome to all our overseas 'surfers'. We can tell by the amount of emails and downloads coming in from different parts of the world that Lieutenant Pigeon and Stavely Makepeace music has become truly international. I promise I will badger them until every recording they ever did is found and given to me to issue in one form or another.
 
More soon. Bill B. 
 

Spring 2007

Here's another page from the local 'Coventry Evening Telegraph' about the boys. As you'll see it alludes to the use of "Slippery Rock" in the film Hot Fuzz.


Click to enlarge

More soon. Bill.

Spring 2007

Well, the Stavely Makepeace recording "Slippery Rock" has definitely been included in the sound track of the film HOT FUZZ so that has cheered us all up at 'Fort Pigeon' Seems the film is doing very well at the box office too. Good job we had some good news because February hasn't been the best of months.
 
At the end of last year we discovered a bogus recording of ''Mouldy Old Dough' included in a compilation 'box set' of CDs of number one hits.It was on sale at Tesco. Our 'team' got on the case and the track will be replaced by the genuine article. However, we had to agree with Tesco that they can sell their existing stock and this includes the bogus version of 'Mouldy'. This means that there will be more people disappointed when they get home and find they haven't got the original. We're sorry but unfortunately this can't be helped. Good news is that very soon the revised CDs will be out with the genuine Lieutenant  Pigeon version.
 
Many thanks also to all of you who pointed out another anomaly. There's another band calling themselves Lieutenant Pigeon who have a CD out called Selected Hits. This is out on Charly Records and was released in 2006. Again we have to say that this is NOT the real Lieutenant Pigeon so beware of falsifications. We hope to have this album removed from Charly's catalogue very soon.
 
Let's hope that's our run of bad luck done for the rest of the year. We're still smiling anyway!
 
All for now, Bill


New Year 2007

A very happy new year to you all!  Our aim this year will be to dust down as many of the old unreleased Lieutenant Pigeon and Stavely Makepeace tapes as possible and put them on the site for download. Eventually we hope to have every piece of music ever recorded by the boys available. This will not be easy however as some of the recordings have either been lost or tapes have deteriorated in quality over the years. Keep your eye on the 'Downloads' page for further information.
 
A new film to be released in February has used one of the Stavely Makepeace recordings in its sound track. It's called "Hot Fuzz" and is supposed to be released on February 16th. The Stavely Makepeace track is "Slippery Rock" but before we get too excited, it could still end up on the cutting room floor--even at this late stage.
 
Now, here's a novelty. Starting on Jan 30th Rob and Nigel will be presenting 3 hours of original music on CD every Tuesday from 7pm at the Old Fire Station building in the centre of Coventry. The Old Fire Station has been converted into a plush bar/club and is now known as The ESCAPE Bar. Rob and Nigel have offered to present this night of music 'still waiting to be discovered'. There's a plethora of undiscovered talent in Britain and this showcase will offer some hope for all those who have recorded tracks which have not yet been picked up by record labels. Come along and judge for yourselves whether or not they are 'hits' or 'misses', and if you have something you have recorded yourself, bring that along too. The lads can't promise to play everything but if the time allows it they will try.
 
Cheers Bill

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