The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club – 3rd August 1974

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Tonight’s Turns:

Amazing Bavarian Stompers
David Copperfield
Barbara Sharon
Susan Maughan
Paul Wynter
Winifred Atwell

What can you say about the Amazing Bavarian Stompers? If you like oom-pah music then this is the act for you. They’re still going strong today, with a website and Twitter feel, which obviously suggests there’s a market for this sort of thing. The Wheeltappers crowd, pints in one hand and pennies in the other, seem to be enjoying themselves tremendously as they use the coins to tap out a relentless beat.

The one from Three of a Kind who wasn’t Lenny Henry or Tracy Ullman, David Copperfield has tended to exist in the shadows of his more illustrious later co-stars, but his solo spot here (which would seem to be his earliest television appearance) isn’t too shabby at all. A mixture of music, comedy, magic and ventriloquism, it’s very decent. His red suit is nice as well.

As has happened before, when it’s adverts time Colin Crompton announces that they’ll entertain themselves with a nice game of bingo. But this is only a cover story, as they’re really enjoying the stripper (Barbara Sharon) and it’s only due to a spot of miscuing from the vision mixer that the punters at home receive a flash – as it were – of anything titillating.

Like a number of other Wheeltappers acts, Susan Maughan’s career peaked in the 1960’s with success a little harder to find in the following decades. She’s still able to entertain the packed crowd though and her two songs are passable fare.

Twice a winner of the Mr Universe contest, Paul Wynter’s appearance has to be one of the strangest seen so far on the Wheeltappers. He begins by flexing his impressive muscles and then moves on to bending a nail. It’s a pity that the camera isn’t able to pick up the bent nail, so we have to assume from the warm applause that he actually did bend it. Wynter then uses a karate chop on a piece of wood, shattering it in two, before bending an iron bar. Well it was the 1970’s, so possibly people were more easily impressed. As Wynter doesn’t speak, it’s down to Colin Crompton to keep the audience informed (“he’s now pulling a funny face”).

Pianists are obviously a big draw at the Wheeltappers. Last week it was Russ Conway, today it’s Winifred Atwell who tickles the ivories. She had a string of instrumental hits throughout the 1950’s and as her performance here demonstrates, still had the magic touch. An entertaining end to a bill which is a typical Wheeltappers mixed-bag.

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