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  Never Too Young To Rock Wham Bam Thankyou Glam
Year: 1975
Director: Dennis Abey
Stars: Peter Denyer, Freddie Jones, Sheila Steafel, Joe Lynch, John Clive, Peter Noone, Scott Fitzgerald, Sally James, Mud, The Rubettes, The Glitter Band, Slik, The Bob Kerr Whoopee Band
Genre: Comedy, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It is the late seventies of the future and pop music has been banned from television, but one man is determined to overturn that, and he is Hero (Peter Denyer) who is being driven around Southern England by his colleague Mr Rockbottom (Freddie Jones) with their detector van. When they pick up a signal from a rock band, they immediately head over to check it out, as they do when the strains of Mud playing The Cat Crept In are discovered at a motorway cafe. But while the dynamic duo manage to get in contact with them, they do have the unintended effect of kicking off a mass brawl...

In 1975 glam rock was beginning to tail off as Britain began casting around for a different type of music to obsess over, which turned out to be punk rock and disco, but that was not until the following year before they began to gain a major foothold in the popular consciousness. Which was why Never Too Young to Rock blithely carried on as if the bands it featured were going to last forever, or at least until the end of the decade when the film is set, unwittingly placing them in a time capsule which few would actually take the time to seek out seeing as how their careers would mostly rely on the nostalgia circuit from then on.

Although let's not forget Mud's Rob Davis continued writing pop hits for some time to come, even if he wasn't wearing a dress and dangly earrings to do so, so it's not as if we should close the book on these characters too hastily. Besides, as Mud and The Rubettes, who appear playing on the back of a lorry driven through the streets as if they were Cup Final winners, proved they had some pretty solid pop tunes here, definitely the musical highlight. As for the others, The Glitter Band (setting out on their own without Gary Glitter) offered lumbering stompers and Slik showed up for one song to illustrate that before they were emulating the Bay City Rollers they were big fans of, well, Mud.

Not that Slik's Midge Ure could have pulled off the Les Gray look, and didn't try, already having grown the pencil moustache that would serve him well into his Ultravox days. So the concert footage was interesting enough, and even quite entertaining for at least two of the acts' material, with the last twenty minutes or so taken up with a fake gig in front of an unseen crowd, unseen because they patently consisted of dubbed on cheering. The rest of it, however, was a barely coherent shambles of comedy set-ups with Please Sir! sitcom star Peter Denyer and future respected character actor Freddie Jones bumbling their way through some decidedly low rent wanderings through an overcast British countryside.

It wouldn't be so bad of some of this raised a titter, but with muffled dialogue and a heavy dose of wackiness in lieu of wit, you could quickly grow tired of the way fifty percent of the dialogue between the leads was one repeating "Mr Rockbottom" to which the other reiterated "Silver band", the latter being what the driver considered real music and just as set on finding one as his partner was in hunting the glam acts. Celebrities of various hues also appeared, with TISWAS star Sally James of Saturday morning kids TV legend showing up for a scene, regular comedy actor John Clive and his steamroller trying to sabotage the excursion, and Herman's Hermits frontman Peter Noone as a non-regulation haircut-sporting Army sergeant drilling his troops - and the leads - through an assault course. Add in a helicopter/hovercraft chase, a haunted house, and practically the whole cast getting shot in the head with rubber arrows, and you had a mess which summed up its era, but not in a flattering manner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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