Saturday, 20 August 2011

Cannon and Bawl

My thanks once again to Ross Hamilton for bringing this early 80s clunker to my attention. This is for anyone in the UK who has fond memories of spending Saturday nights sat in front of the television. Or better still, everyone - like me - who looks on that period of their lives with heartfelt thanks that its over. Britain has a long history of comedians making records - the Goodies became major chart stars a decade or so before this dross was released - but its unlikely Cannon and Ball Together will ever be considered as one of the greats.

Comedy double act Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball originally met in the early 1960s in Oldham, Lancashire. Apparently they began working the northern club circuit as singers (not that you'd know that from listening to this drivel), switching to comedy after being told that comics earned more money.

Their first TV appearance was in 1972 in the variety show The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, but it wasn't until 1979 that they became known to anyone outside of the North, when the now-defunct LWT offered them their own series, The Cannon and Ball Show - which continued right through until 1988, despite their shtick (imagine a violent, unfunny Morcambe and Wise) being usurped by the up and coming alternative comedy scene - I always thought the violence of Ade Edmundon and Rik Mayall's Dangerous Brothers was influenced by the bullying of poor little Bobby by the thuggish, heartless Tommy - and their appearance in the dreadful feature film, The Boys in Blue, a piss-poor update of the Will Hay classic Ask a Policeman.

Despite a complete lack of interest in their dated routines, and a major falling out between the duo which saw them hardly speak to each other offstage for a number of years, they are still touring today - splitting their time between end of the pier shows and gospel revues. Tommy and Bobby (that's the shorter one, who can currently be seen in Sky's new comedy drama Mount Pleasant) are devout Christians: Ball became a born-again Christian in 1986 and Cannon in 1992, their conversion having a lot to do with the re-kindling of their broken friendship (according to Wikipedia).

I'm glad they're talking to each other again. I just hope they don't start singing.

Here, to spoil your weekend, is the entire Music for Pleasure (seriously?) album Cannon and Ball Together, featuring the stand out tracks Crying, Bandido and Everybody's Making It Big But Me, which references Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and includes the statement 'You're a poofter!' Ahh, memories.


For those of you who don't want to download the whole album but would still like to sample this claptrap, here's Everybody's Making It Big But Me


  1. Sorry to sound desperate to hear the single track (I point blank refuse to download the LP).. but both links are the same.

  2. Yes, the film WAS rubbish (I've still got the DVD somewhere) but I liked 'em enough to go and see them in person a few years back.

    wv Wobbster!

  3. That guitar solo came out of left field!


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