Amen Corner were a successful Welsh rock group, formed in late 1966 in Cardiff, Wales. The band was named after The Amen Corner, a weekly disc spin at the Victoria Ballroom (later to become The Scene Club) in Cardiff, Wales, where every Sunday night Dr. Rock would play the best soul music from the United States. Initially they specialised in a blues and jazz-oriented style, but were steered by their record labels towards a more commercial sound. Their first singles and album appeared on Decca's subsidiary label, Deram but they left at the end of 1968 to join Immediate, where they were instantly rewarded with a No. 1, "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" in early 1969, followed by another Top 5 entry with the Roy Wood composition, "Hello Susie". After recording a final studio album, Farewell to the Real Magnificent Seven, with a cover version of The Beatles' "Get Back" released as their swansong, they disbanded at the end of 1969. The band also appeared as themselves in the 1969 horror film, Scream and Scream Again.

Links To Peel

Peel played Amen Corner's single "Gin House Blues" on Radio London; it was recorded for the then fashionable Deram label and received heavy airplay during the station's final weeks [1]-. Amen Corner did two sessions, consisting largely of cover versions of soul material, in the early days of Top Gear at BBC Radio One in 1967-68. In 1968, the DJ was invited to present Top Of The Pops with Jimmy Savile on 01 February 1968 (TOTP), but forgot the band's name when presenting the show live. But Rob Chapman from the Missing Episodes forum site claimed to remember seeing the show and stated that Peel had nearly forgotten the band's song rather than their name:

"Don't want to set myself as mister memory man or anything (my memory can be as fallible as the next persons) but I do remember pretty much precisely what Peel said at the time on TOTP. His appearance on the programme at the time was as incongruous as John Lydon's later would be on Juke Box Jury. It was that unexpected so for that reason alone I was probably paying more attention than I would have done, say, to Pete Murray. The Amen Corner slip, which everyone makes so much of now, was actually no big deal. All he said was something along the lines of "here's Amen Corner with the shape me bend me thing." That's really all it was - shape me bend me. Much more memorable - to me at any rate - was when he drawled, right at the start of the show as I recall "no Tyrannosaurus Rex or Captain Beefheart tonight. You'll have to wait till the weekend for those." Or he may have said "you'll have to wait for Top Gear for those." [2]

However, Sheila, Peel's wife, recounted in Margrave Of The Marshes, that he forgot the band's name and show didn't go too well:

"He was supposed to say 'And here's the latest happening platter from Amen Corner' - or words to that effect. But nothing came to mind, least of all the band's name; he had gone blank. As John tiptoed towards the exit after the show finished, the producer spotted him, stamped over and hissed, 'I'll make sure you never work in television again.' These were among the most wonderfully thrilling words John had ever heard, since he had no desire to set the world of television aflame with his talent."[2]

In 1981, Peel came back to co-present the Christmas edition of Top Of The Pops on 25 December 1981 (TOTP), where he recounted his debut appearance of the show in 1968:

"Last time I was on this programme, I forgot the name of The Amen Corner. No chance of me forgetting the name of the, uh, uh ... Human Leagues!"
In their heyday, Amen Corner were often thought of as a "teenybopper" band rather than typical Top Gear artists, hence the lack of appearances on Peel's shows after 1968. However, after they split up, lead singer Andy Fairweather-Low had a successful career in the 1970s, which included two Peel sessions, in 1975 and 1977.


1. Recorded: 1968-10-18. Broadcast: 22 October 1967. No repeats.

  • Let The Good Times Roll / Beauty Is Skin Deep / In The Pocket / The World Of Broken Hearts / Open The Door To Your Heart / A Man's Temptation

2. Recorded: 1968-01-01. Broadcast: 07 January 1968, 18 February 1968

  • I Don't Want To Discuss It / Bend Me Shape Me / The Duck / Satisnok The Job's Worth / Shake A Tailfeather

Other Shows Played

Amen Corner - Bend Me, Shape Me - Top Of The Pops (1968)

Amen Corner - Bend Me, Shape Me - Top Of The Pops (1968)



External Links


  1. It was "Radio London Club Disc Of The Week" in the week beginning 9 July 1967 [1] and remaned in the Big L Fab 40 until Radio London closed down on 14 August 1967 .
  2. Although in the discussion thread mentioned above, Rob Chapman casts doubt on the accuracy of this anecdote, pointing out that Peel wasn't noted for his good memory, and that at that time BBC producers didn't always show their displeasure in such an obvious way.
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