A bowl of porridge and a slice of toast
A ride on a train, a day at the coast
A walk up the pier, a ride on a boat
A pink candy floss and an ice cream float
A couple of rashers and a slice of bread
A day at the farm in a tractor shed
The smell of pig, the cowpat crunch
A country pub, a ploughman’s lunch
There’s string in my pocket
There’s a hole in my shoe
There’s a broken penknife
There’s a worn out screw
I’ve got some elastic bands
I’ve got some chewing gum
I’ve got a roll of caps
I’ve got my cowboy gun
There’s frog spawn in the jam jar
There’s some tadpoles in a pot
There’s a penthouse in my duffel
There’s a hankie full of snot
I’ve got a box of matches
I’ve got a nut and bolt
I’ve got a bag of marbles
I’ve got my catapult
I can’t explain I ain’t that smart
Why do bake beans make you fart??????????????????????????????
Im grown up now but!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Still a kid at heart
Formed in 1977 to promote Ian Durys’ album ‘New Boots and Panties’ on the first Stiff Records tour of the U.K. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, Charlie Charles, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher became known as ‘The Blockheads’ (a reference to a song on Ian’s album). As ‘Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ they went back out on tour, this time without Chaz Jankel, and in 1978 released ‘What a Waste’ a single that reached number five in the U.K. charts. They were then joined by saxophonist Davey Payne and toured the U.S.A supporting Lou Reed across North America ending with their own dates in California (with backline roadie Pete Rush)
In late 1978 Chaz returned to the fold and composed ‘Hit me with your Rhythm Stick’ with Ian. The band recorded it in The Workhouse Studios, Old Kent Road, London and in 1979 had a number one hit record with it in the U.K. Ian Dury & The Blockheads went on to record the ‘Do it Yourself’ album and toured Europe and the U.K. recording ‘Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3’ in Rome. Released as a single in late 1979 it reached number three in the U.K. charts.
In 1980 Chaz, once again, left the band to pursue solo projects in California and Wilko Johnson joined Ian, Norman, Johnny, Charlie, Mickey and Davey to record and release a third album for Stiff Records called ‘Laughter’ and released ‘I Want to be Straight’ and ‘Supermans Big Sister’ as singles. They toured throughout 1981 in the U.K and Europe, sometimes augmented by Don Cherry on trumpet, ending the year with a tour of Australia.
In 1982 Ian Dury & The Blockheads disbanded and were not to play together again until 1987 when they went out to Japan in June to play three shows in four days, disbanding again until 1990 when the death of Charlie Charles in September of that year re-united them to play two Benefit gigs at The Forum, Camden Town in aid of Charlies’ family. Chaz returned from America and Steven Monti picked up the drumsticks for the hottest ticket in town. The band, now augmented by Merlin Rhys-Jones on guitar and Will Parnell on percussion, recorded a live album ‘Warts & Audience’ at the Brixton Academy in December 1990.
Chaz returned to California and the band toured Spain in January 1991. Once again the band stopped working until August 1994 when, with the return to England of Chaz, the band were invited to play the Madstock Festival in Finsbury Park in August which led to a series of hit and run gigs in Europe, Ireland, the U.K.and Japan throughout the rest of 1994 and 1995. In March 1996 Ian was diagnosed with cancer and, after recovering from an operation, was determined to write another album.
To this end The Blockheads went into rehearsal in August 1996 and began recording at Air Studios, London in October. The album ‘Mr. Lovepants’ was released in 1998 and in May, Ian & The Blockheads hit the road again. This time with Dylan Howe replacing Steve Monti on drums. In August Davey Payne left and was replaced by Gilad Atzmon. This line up continued to play gigs throughout 1999. The last performance by Ian Dury & The Blockheads was February 6th 2000 at The London Palladium. Ian died at 9am on 27th March 2000.
blow the whistle
Bend the ball
Watch the striker
Move the wall
Play it hard
They’ll get no points
In our back yard
When Norman was a four year old his family moved to England and settled in Highbury, North London and at eight years of age relocated to Essex where he remained until he left school and moved back to London.
In 1967 he formed ‘The Living Daylights’ with his brother Garth and released a single on the Philips label called ‘Lets Live For Today’ and did regular gigs in venues such as The Angel Blues Rooms in Edmonton, London. In 1968 Norman and Garth formed a nine piece soul band and toured U.S. bases in Germany backing American soul singers such as Sonny Burke and played a summer residency at the Maddocks Club in Spain. By this time the band were known as ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ and by 1969 had procured a recording deal with Harvest Records leading to the release in February 1970 of a single ‘Real Cool World’ which was a hit in Europe and reached No.1 in Switzerland. A debut album was to follow entitled ‘Horizons’ and by 1971 they had put out another single ‘Tell The Story’ and a second album ‘The Goings Easy’.
72 / 73 Norman joined Glencoe and met guitarist John Turnbull. This funky quartet released two albums ‘Glencoe’ and ‘The Spirit of Glencoe’ along with three singles and four recorded John Peel radio sessions before breaking up, and in 1974 got together with keyboardist Mick Gallagher to form the nucleus of a band which ,with the addition of drummer Charlie Charles, was to be called ‘Loving Awareness’ (managed by Radio Caroline guru Ronan O’ Reilly) .It was while doing a session with Charlie for a friend in 1976 that they met Chaz Jankel and Ian Dury and went on to play on the album ‘New Boots and Panties’.
The ‘Loving Awareness’ quartet were later to join up with Chaz and Ian for the first Stiff Tour of U.K. and became known as ‘Ian Dury and The Blockheads’ releasing two more albums on Stiff and a bevy of singles, achieving No1 status in the U.K. in 1979 with ‘Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick’ (featuring a dazzling bass line by Norman which can be heard jammed in music shops around the world by aspiring bassists everywhere).It was when Chaz Jankel was replaced for a time in 1980 by Wilko Johnson that a rapport between Norman and Wilko resulted in Norman becoming a regular member of Wilkos’ own band by 1985.
During the 1970’s and 1980’s Norman did session work, appearing on albums such as Nick Lowe’s ‘Jesus of Cool’, Rachel Sweet’s ‘Fool Around’ and Jona Lewie’s ‘No.1 single ‘You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties’. He also made an appearance on Selectors 1981 album ‘Celebrate the Bullet’ and played on The Clash ‘Sandanista’ album along with fellow Blockhead Mick Gallagher on keyboards. Norman also put his bass on their ‘Cut The Crap’ recordings.
In 1983 he provided the original bass line for the ‘Frankie Goes To Hollywood’ single ‘Relax’ and in 1984 teammed up with Mickey again for Eric Goulden(Wreckless Eric)s’ ‘Captains Of Industry’ album.
In 2001 Norman completed sessions with members of ‘Madness’ (with whom he sporadically joined for live work at the time) and the ex producer of Depeche Mode who had recorded him jamming with drummer Steve Monti with plans to sample the results. Since then he has been busy working with Nick Cave on Nick’s solo shows (without the Bad Seeds) and continuing to be Wilko Johnson’s secret weapon. Which brings us up to date… Where’s The Party Norm?