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Barclay James Harvest Discography
Barclay James Harvest TV and Film Appearances
UKWhilst Barclay James Harvest's UK TV appearances were, as you might expect, concentrated in the seventies, the band have turned up on the small screen throughout their career, and their TV debut actually took place before they had even released a record...
Scene: Mr. Sunshine
(Granada TV, 1968)
Thanks to their friendship with Lawrence Moore, who had also worked with Pink Floyd, BJH found themselves the subject of a short film at the beginning of 1968, just before the release of their first single. The film is a ten minute black and white piece with no commentary, and shows the band clowning around Preston House, to a soundtrack consisting of early demo versions of “Early Morning”, a jokey Woolly number called “Washing The Dishes” and “Mr. Sunshine”. The film also features a classic interview with John’s father expressing his views on the band’s decision to become full-time pop musicians! Part of the film was re- broadcast by Granada before the band’s Oldham concert in March 1992.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 09-01-73, introduced by Bob Harris)
Included “Thank You”, filmed at the Marquee Club in London, although we have no record of the band playing live at the Marquee around that time. There’s no sign of an audience, and the band appear to be miming to the single recording, so the film was probably made for the Harvest label as a promo.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 15-10-74, introduced by Bob Harris)
Included live film of the Drury Lane concert of June 30th, 1974 (also recorded for the BJH Live album), with BJH performing “Crazy City” and “For No One”. The film was made by Polydor for promotional purposes.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 21-03-75, introduced by Bob Harris)
More from the Drury Lane film, this time featuring “Mockingbird” and “For No One” again. Programme recorded 20th March, 1975.
(Granada TV, 30-10-75, introduced by Tony Wilson)
BJH recorded promo videos for several songs from Time Honoured Ghosts, and Granada showed the clip for “Moongirl” on the “what’s on” slot of this programme. The film showed BJH on a round stage which was surrounded by water, with a “winged woman” swimming around the stage and a pyramid for the backdrop.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 20-01-76, introduced by Bob Harris)
Included BJH playing live in the studio versions of “Sweet Jesus” and “Hymn For The Children”.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 01-03-77, introduced by Bob Harris)
This show featured a Polydor promo, filmed at Shepperton, of BJH performing “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” and “The World Goes On”.
Top Of The Pops
(BBC1, 17-03-77, introduced by Tony Blackburn)
BJH’s one and only appearance on Top Of the Pops was when the Live EP cracked the UK Top 50 chart, and they were shown miming to “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star”, which Tony Blackburn described as ”one of the best numbers out at the moment”. The show was repeated by satellite channel UK Gold on November 30th, 1994.
You can see a thirty-second streamed clip of the video on the excellent BBCi website video archive.
Top Of The Pops
(01-1979, not broadcast)
The band were also filmed miming to “Loving Is Easy”, but the song was never broadcast as the single was banned by the BBC for its risqué lyrics.
The Old Grey Whistle Test
(BBC2, 12-02-80, introduced by Anne Nightingale)
Another Polydor promo, filmed at Shepperton, this time for “The Song (They Love To Sing)”.
The Multicoloured Swap Shop
(BBC1, 22-11-80, introduced by Noel Edmonds)
Featured the “Life Is For Living” promo video.
Late Night In Concert
The Berlin film of the landmark concert on 30th July, 1980. Later issued as a commercial video. A 35-minute edit was repeated on 01-11-83.
(Channel 4, 16-05-85)
The Victims Of Circumstance video, including concert footage from the show at Wembley Arena on 13th October, 1984, plus interviews with John, Les and Mel. Later repeated as part of Mike Mansfield’s Cue The Music series.
Late Night In Concert
An edited version of the Glasnost video, filmed in East Berlin on 14th July, 1987.
(Central TV, 16-03-92)
An edited version of The Best Of Barclay James Harvest Live video, filmed at the Town & Country Club in London on 14th February, 1992. Broadcast dates varied according to region.
Satellite TVApart from the UK Gold repeat of the band’s Top Of The Pops appearance, BJH have appeared on a couple of other satellite channels - in late 1986 they gave interviews to Music Box and Sky Channel, one of which features an interview with John by Timmy Mallett and the “He Said Love” promo video. MTV also featured BJH on 23rd April, 1988, playing “African” from the Glasnost video.
Other European TV Appearances1975
NETHERLANDS: Avro’s Toppop, December ’75. Playback of “Titles”, as it was favourite track of the week. BJH on stage surrounded by palm trees ?!?
Rock-Pop, 14.10.78 or 04.03.78: playback of Hymn, repeated by ZDF in November 2003
Musik-Szene (German). Live clip (or playback?) of “Loving Is Easy”, with Les singing the lead vocal.
Programme and date unknown: Full playback of “Love On The Line” on stage with Kevin McAlea and Colin Browne. The place looks like a gym (?!), some girls in sports suits are sitting in front of the stage, and in the background a big transparent cube is projected on the wall. The same show included Suzi Quattro and Abba... Any more details would be welcome!
SPAIN: Show maybe called “Noticias”; date unknown. The band appeared on Spanish TV to perform “Love On The Line” and “Hymn” playback. As Mel had been stuck at Zürich airport, he had to be replaced by Colin Browne, who looked the most convincing drummer! Colin, in turn, was replaced by Dennis May, the band's tour manager at the time! The other keyboard was played by Kevin McAlea. At least the presenter owned up to the swap!
Rock-Pop, ZDF, 05.01.80. BJH, Kevin Mc Alea and Colin Browne doing a playback of “Love On The Line”. Repeated on 3Sat in 1993?
Excerpts from the concert in Munich’s Olympiahalle on 1. and 2. April ’80: “Love On The Line”, “Sperratus”, “Loving Is Easy” and “Hymn”. Filmed by Rudolf Dolezal and Hannes Rossadier. Who knows more??
SWITZERLAND: Szene 80, DRS, May/June ’80. Interview with BJH and short excerpt from their Zürich show of 16.3.80: “Love On The Line”.
Musikladen, ZDF, 11.12.80. Official clip of “Life Is For Living”.
Navajeros, Spain, 1980. In this Spanish cinema film about juvenile delinquency, one of the scenes features five teenagers at a Barclay James Harvest concert in Madrid (07.03.80). Although it is clearlty BJH on stage, the music on the film soundtrack is actually from a Spanish band, Burning. See the film online. [special thanks to Antonio Javier Roldán Calzado for the information]
Disco ’81, ZDF, 16.02.81, presented by Ilja Richter. Full playback of “Life Is For Living”. BJH with Kevin, John “plays” keyboard. Les wears a leather all-in-one, Mel a black jacket with silver zigzag “flashes” and John a white jumper with tassles! Repeated on 3Sat on 21.2.96 and probably more often.
SWITZERLAND: Karussell, DRS, 26.6.81. Short interview about the open air in Winterthur on the next day. Playback of “Highway For Fools”.
Bananas, ARD or ZDF (?), 08.09.81, presented by Frank Zander. Playback of “Back To The Wall”. Repeated on West3 in 1993.
Music Box, ZDF, end of ’81 or early ’82, presented by Desiree Nosbusch. Very short interview with the band, then playback on stage with Kevin and Colin (Les with a V-shaped bass) of “Child Of The Universe” (Berlin album version). Repeated shortly afterwards with a short voice-over translation of the lyrics into German and a comment, then the original without interview on 8.10.94 on 3Sat and ZDF.
AUSTRIA: Okay, ORF2, 25.4.82. Interview due to concert in Vienna, with excerpts from the Berlin video in between. John about the reason why the butterfly is their trademark: “It gets off and flutters away!”.
Thommy’s Pop Show, ZDF, mid-June 1983, presented by Thomas Gottschalk. Short Interview with Les, then “Just A Day Away” clip.
Vorsicht Musik, ZDF, 13.6.83, presented by Frank Zander and his dog “Feldmann”. Band miming “Just A Day Away” on stage with Bias, all laughing because Bias’s keyboard is set far too low.
Thommy’s Pop Show Extra, ZDF, 17. December ’83, recorded on 15. or 16.12.'83. German end-of year various artists show, partly playback, partly live. BJH doing full playback of “Life Is For Living”, “Paraiso Dos Cavalos” and “Ring Of Changes” with Bias Boshell and Pip Williams on keyboards; nice laser show with butterflies. Repeated on 4.12.89 on 3Sat.
BELGIUM: The “Victims Of Circumstance” promo clip was shown on BRT on a “gap filler” programme called Jukebox.
Vorsicht Musik, ZDF, early ’84, by Frank Zander + “dog”. Band miming “Ring Of Changes” on same stage as above, with Bias Boshell and Pip Williams on keyboards.
Wetten, dass...?, ZDF, 14.04.84, presented by Frank Elstner. Band miming “Victims Of Circumstance” with Kevin McAlea on keyboards Sam Brown and Jan Ince; John wears blinding neon outfit! Repeated on 3Sat on 26.8.96.
Tele-Illustrierte, ARD Berlin, 30.4.84. Filmed in Würzburg. A report on the stage preparations for the concerts on the “Victims” tour, just after the tour had started. Short interview with the whole band, including a classic joke from John: “We love to hate one another!”. Includes some excerpts from the Würzburg show.
Tele-Journal, ARD Berlin, 30.4.84. Parts of the “Victims Of Circumstance” clip as in Formel 1 was shown, interrupted by a mini-interview with Les while the band was signing 10 “Victims” LPs which were given away afterwards in a free draw.
Formel 1 (chart show), ZDF, 08.05.84, presented by Peter Illmann. This was when “Victims Of Circumstance” had just entered the German charts at number 51. BJH in a “clip” produced for the song, which was so much better than the official one that most German programmes used this one instead, which shows the band, Sam Brown, Jan Ince and Bias Boshell in soft focus on stage. In this case, only 1-2 minutes are shown and faded out.
Thommy’s Pop Show Extra, ZDF, December ’84, presented by Thomas Gottschalk. BJH, Kevin, Bias and the girls miming “Rebel Woman” and “Victims Of Circumstance”.
Date and programme unknown: “Mother & Child Reunion” - official clip with Les and John singing and playing amongst many other artists, including Frank Farian and German band Trio.
Peter’s Pop Show Extra, ZDF, December ’86, presented by Peter Illmann. BJH and Kevin McAlea miming “He Said Love” and Prisoner Of Your Love” in a refreshing denim outfit!
SWITZERLAND: Downtown, DRS, 27.2.87, presented by Ernst Buchmüller. No interview, just playback of “He Said Love” with Kevin and Colin.
East German DDR1/DDR2: Shortly after the Treptow concert of 14th July 1987, the whole concert except “Kiev” and “Berlin” (because of political content?) was shown on both East German TV channels, the first of these simultaneously with a stereo recording on GDR radio Jugendradio DT64. Both times, a 7-minutes interview with the band was inserted after the first five numbers. Only much later, the complete concert including “Kiev” and “Berlin” was re-broadcast on radio only...
2 half-minute snippets about the Treptow concert in the TV news. Both use live footage of “Hymn”.
NETHERLANDS: EO’s Spelregel, October ’87. “He Said Love” shown playback in the studio, with Kevin; Dutch subtitles of the song lyrics. EO is a Christian broadcasting company in Holland.
Tracking, SUPER Channel, 16.4.88. Interview with John and Les, then “African” from the Glasnost video.
Musikladen Eurotops, NDR3, March ’90. NDR made a “clip” that is almost worthy of official status: BJH miming “Welcome To The Show”, surrounded wall to wall by lots of TV screens which all show different scenes, many of which are other artists’ clips or live performances. Change of background to the “Welcome” album sleeve, with interesting and clever digital picture modulations and tricks, so that parts of the picture move through others etc. Recorded playback without audience in Bremen. Repeated on 23.7.90?
Live aus dem Schlachthof, BR3, March ’90, several presenters. The place looks like a pub with tables, and BJH do a playback of “Welcome to The Show” in front of an audience. Les receives a rose for his birthday... Also shown on HR3.
P.O.P.Special, TELE5, March ’90. A feature on BJH’s ’80s history. Shows “Victims” clip (the one shown in Formel 1 in ’84) with a voice-over history about their history, interspersed with short interviews of Les, John and Mel with simultaneous translation. The same happens with the “He Said Love” clip (see NL32). Finally we get the “Cheap The Bullet” clip, but none of these clips is complete.
Ragazzi, RTL, March ’90? Interview with all three band members. German questions, English answers with subtitles. Playback of “Welcome To The Show” with rather inaccurate synchronisation.
TELE5, spring ’90: The official “Cheap The Bullet” clip was shown. The title shown during this clip runs “Cheap The Bullit”. This is, incidentally, the same mistake as on the label of the German 7” pressing, which was never officially released but still found its way to mail order companies. SUPER Channel also showed the above clip during the spring of ’90.
ITALY: The clip of “Cheap The Bullet” was shown in “Video Music TV”.
Guten Abend, Deutschland, ZDF,6.5.90. Estimated audience 25 million. Presented by Frank Elstner, Thomas Gottschalk and five other German presenters in the Friedrichstadtpalast in East Berlin. BJH and Kevin on stage doing a playback of “Halfway To Freedom”, with video footage behind them of the fall of the Wall in November ’89. Also shown on DFF1 (East German TV) a few days later.
FRANCE & LUX: Vents d’Est (chart show), French RTL, 17.6.90, presented by Jean- Luc Bertrand. BJH appear live in the studio for interviews, question times and a quiz. The “Cheap The Bullet” clip is played, and BJH and Kevin mime “Welcome To The Show” and “African Nights” without audience. Repeated on 18.6.90.
Gottschalk, German RTL, autumn ’90, presented by Thomas Gottschalk. Playback of “John Lennon’s Guitar” by BJH, Kevin and Colin. Background: A large picture of John Lennon and next to him one of the guitar in question. John (Lees) “plays” his Epiphone.
1991 When the German Best Of on Polystar was released, adverts were broadcast on radio and TV, which used excerpts of the official “Cheap The Bullet” and “Just A Day Away” clips despite the fact that the songs to be heard were “Poor Man’s Moody Blues”, “Child Of The Universe” and “Hymn”!
Gottschalk - Model ’92, RTL, spring ’92, presented by Thomas Gottschalk. BJH, Kevin and Colin on stage full of dry ice, Mel at the top of some white stairs at the back of the stage. Playback of “Stand Up”.
Fernsehgarten, ZDF (a pretty dire Sunday morning show), early summer ’92. BJH, Kevin and Colin miming “Stand Up” on a pompous, flowery stage in Mainz.
Chiffre, ZDF, autumn ’93. John is holding a new type of guitar and is asked what he thinks about it; then he is even “allowed” to “play” it! BJH do a playback of “Who Do We Think We Are”, but it’s not the whole song, because it is the “outro” music of the programme, with credits across the screen!
Glücksrad Gala, 3Sat, autumn 1993. BJH, Kevin and Colin miming “Who Do We Think We Are”, after their first introduction was interrupted due to some winning numbers coming in; then they were introduced again. Glücksrad is an advertising programme similar to “Wheel Of Fortune”, and despite 8 million viewers probably one of the band’s most embarrassing appearances.
On the rather new Middle German TV, MDR, “Life Is For Living” was voted “Favourite oldie of the month March” by viewers, and the official clip was shown.
When Frank Farian, mastermind behind Boney M and Milli Vanilli, celebrated his 25th “stage anniversary” earlier this year, Les amongst many others expressed his congrats to him on German TV, with German subtitles. The band became good friends with Frank when they recorded “Ring Of Changes” in his Far Studios in Frankfurt, and since then he has even been spotted backstage when they played the city...