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The Leyton Buzzards a.k.a. The Buzzards were a British rock band, active between 1976 and 1980, best known for their minor hit single, "Saturday Night (Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees)". The band took their name from their home town of Leyton, an area of east London, punning upon the name of the Bedfordshire town, Leighton Buzzard. They were initially a pub rock band, but soon adapted to punk rock/new wave.

Their debut single, "19 and Mad", was released in 1977 by Small Wonder Records. They won a high-profile "battle of the bands" competition organized by BBC Radio 1 and The Sun, resulting in a major-label deal with Chrysalis Records. The first fruits of this deal, "Saturday Night (Beneath the Plastic Palm Trees)", reached Number 53 in the UK Singles Chart in March 1979, spending five weeks in the chart, and led to an appearance on Top of the Pops.

The band shortened their name to The Buzzards for the 1979 single "We Make a Noise" and the album Jellied Eels to Record Deals, before reverting to The Leyton Buzzards for their final single, "Can't Get Used To Losing You". They recorded four sessions for BBC Radio One's John Peel between July 1978 and January 1980.

The band split up in 1980, with Deane and Jaymes going on to greater chart success with salsa-tinged pop act Modern Romance.

(Read more at Wikipedia.)

Links to Peel

While the Leyton Buzzards came to wider attention with their victory in Kid Jensen’s “Band of Hope and Glory” contest, leading to their signing by Chrysalis Records, Peel had already played their debut EP on indie label Small Wonder. Two sessions were recorded by the band before the arrival of their first major-label 45, “Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees.” In 2002, Peel recalled:

“We used to play [it] to death when it was around in 1979."

The DJ was a strong supporter of the short-lived outfit, who eventually recorded four sessions for his show but split up after just a few singles, which received heavy airplay from him, and a widely ignored LP. Their third session was repeated four times, including as one of the best of the year for 1979. On his 17 November 1979 (BFBS) show, Peel played three tracks from their ill-fated debut album, a compilation released under the Buzzards name.

He also saw them live in Hatfield in May 1979[1] and only failed to catch a gig by them in Norwich soon afterwards because of national petrol shortages.[2]

The DJ is not known to have played any records by successor band Modern Romance, although he did introduce the pop combo twice on Top Of The Pops.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None

Sessions

Leyton Buzzards - Peel Session 1978

Leyton Buzzards - Peel Session 1978

1. Recorded: 1978-07-26. First broadcast: 01 August 1978.

  • Through With You / I Don't Want To Go To Art School / Can't Get Used To Losing You / 17 And Mad

2. Recorded: 1978-12-18. First broadcast: 22 January 1979.

  • Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees / Baby If You Love Me Say Yes If You Don't Say No / The Greatest Story Ever Told / Love Is Just A Dream

3. Recorded: 1979-06-06. First broadcast: 27 June 1979. Repeated: 16 July 1979, 03 September 1979, 01 January 1980, 29 July 1980.

  • Sharp Young Men / Last Tango (In Leyton) / People In The Street / Sweet Dreams Little One

4. Recorded: 1980-1-14. First broadcast: 21 January 1980. Repeated: 21 February 1980.

  • When You Walk In The Room / Telephone / Jealousy / Swanky Pop

Other Shows Played

1978
1979
  • 16 January 1979: 19 And Mad (7”) Small Wonder
  • 25 January 1979: Saturday Night (Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) (7") Chrysalis
  • 29 January 1979: Through With You (single-B side) Chrysalis
  • 06 February 1979: Through With You (single-B side) Chrysalis
  • 13 February 1979: Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palmtrees (Single-A side) Chrysalis
  • 13 February 1979: Through With You (Single-B side) Chrysalis
  • 22 February 1979: Through With You (b/w 7" - Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) Chrysalis
  • 19 March 1979: Through With You (7” – Saturday Night Under The Plastic Palm Trees) Chrysalis
  • 17 April 1979: Saturday Night (Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) (7") Chrysalis
  • 07 May 1979: I Don't Want To Go To Art School (7"- I'm Hanging Around) Chrysalis
  • 09 May 1979: I’m Hanging Around (7”) Chrysalis
  • 12 May 1979 (BFBS): I'm Hanging Around (7") Chrysalis
  • 14 May 1979: I Don't Want To Go To Art School (EP - Hanging Around) Chrysalis (JP did manage to see The Leyton Buzzards in Hatfield on the Friday night)
  • 24 May 1979: I'm Hangin' Around (7") Chrysalis (JP (affecting a kind of Listen With Mother tone): 'I sometimes feel, don't you, that we're all the buzzards. Am I right?')
  • 28 May 1979: The national petrol shortage meant that Peel had to cancel his weekend plans to go and see the Leyton Buzzards in Norwich on Sunday 27th
  • 02 June 1979 (BFBS): unknown track
  • 04 June 1979: I'm Hangin' Around (7") Chrysalis
  • 21 July 1979 (BFBS): I'm Hanging Around (7") Chrysalis  
  • 02 August 1979: We Make A Noise (single)
  • 28 August 1979: We Make A Noise (7") Chrysalis
  • 05 September 1979: We Make A Noise (LP - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 27 September 1979: Disco Romeo (single – We Make A Noise b-side) Chrysalis
  • 13 November 1979: I'm Hanging Around (LP - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 17 November 1979 (BFBS): I Don`t Wanna Go To Art School (album - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 17 November 1979 (BFBS): People On The Streetl (album - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 17 November 1979 (BFBS): No Dry Ice Or Flying Pigs (album - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 20 November 1979: Sharp Young Men (LP - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 24 November 1979 (BFBS): Through With You (album - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 03 December 1979: Sweet Dreams Little One (LP - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
  • 06 December 1979: British Justice (LP - Jellied Eels To Record Deals) Chrysalis
1980s
2000s
  • 08 October 2002: (JP, reading listener's email: '"On another note, Liz Kershaw played a song by the Leyton Buzzards from one of your sessions on her R6 show: shockingly good, what happened to them? Did they released anything?" Well they did release quite a few singles, I think, and I don't remember that there was an LP. I had a quick look in what we all laughingly call my files over the weekend, and I couldn't find an LP in there, but this was a tune of theirs which we used to play to death when it was around in 1979.')
    - Saturday Night (Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees) (7 inch)' (Chrysalis)
  • 17 October 2002 (Radio Eins): Saturday Night Beneath The Plastic Palm Trees (7")
Modern Romance

See Also

External Links

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