My school friend Bill Llewellyn’s dad would sometimes collect him from school. Occasionally I would cadge a lift too – it swapped the two buses from to Rumney to central Cardiff and on to Whitchurch for a shortish walk.
One in May 1969, shortly before O’levels, during one of those trips “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman came on the radio – it immediately grabbed my attention and has remained one of my favourite “play it louds” during the intervening years – it never fails to lift me (Wilhelmena was a great B-side). Written by Speedy Keene (died 2002) and featuring guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (died 1979) the track was produced by Pete Townshend, who also played bass under the pseudonym Bijou Drains. The final member was piano player Andy “Thunderclap” Newman – he died on March 30th.
Any excuse to hear this again from the magnificent opening chords, to the handclaps over the instrumental break through to the orchestra on the final bars. Better appreciation here.