This BBC show of the late 1980s was truly superb. The premise, an aging rock and roll band who were a one hit wonder going back on the road to celebrate their silver jubilee, may not be an obvious foundation for a sharp witted, thoroughly entertaining drama but John Byrnes and the rest of the cast and crew definitely manage to pull it off.
First and foremost is the quality of the ensemble cast. Robbie Coltrane is excellent as Danny, the failed artist brother of the lead singer who is asked to go on tour with them following the sudden death of his brother. Meanwhile, Emma Thompson does a quite credible Scottish accent in a superb performance as the feisty Suzy Kettles. Together they play great sparring partners. The other band members all have a crucial part in ensuring there is never a dull moment as their personal lives threaten the success of the tour. Most notable is Maurice Roeves’ outstanding performance as Vince: from comical scenes where he is obsessively protective of his carpet to the self-destructive moments where his troubled personality gets the better of him.
The second key element that made this show so much better than many of its contemporaries was the quality of the dialogue. Don’t be put off by the Scottish brogue. Switch off for one moment and you will miss some of the sharpest, funniest lines that have ever been heard on television. I kid you not. Discussions about kebabs, bus shelters, french fancies and shag pile carpets will have you laughing out loud ages after the scene has finished.
An excellent series that should either be re-shown or officially released on DVD!