leejohnson's current selection is:
Hold On
by Streetband


This was the A-side to the more often played "Toast", and was later included on the 1984 compilation double album "London Dilemma A Compleat Collection" (credited to 'Paul Young and Streetband').

Jon Kutner is a DJ, author and entertainer* (*he can also do quizzes during his gigs as a DJ). His website focuses on a variety of different acts and eras, and today's copy-and-paste comes from his piece on Paul Young, 'Streetband' and "Toast", the B-side to my selected video:


One of the enduring pop singers of the Eighties was the man who opened his chart account with a No. 1 and followed it with five further Top 10 hits, and no doubt one of his proudest moments would have been when he was chosen by Bob Geldof to sing the opening line of the 'Band Aid' charity classic, "Do They Know It's Christmas". His name is Paul Young, "the man with the golden larynx" as he was known, but his debut chart appearance was as a lead singer with an act called 'Streetband' who had a ridiculous novelty song called "Toast".

Paul was born in Luton in 1956 and as a teenager loved football and was chosen to play for the Vauxhall Motors team who were based in his hometown. In his early twenties, he was invited to sing with a short-lived band called 'Kat Kool & the Kool Cats'. Realising he enjoyed it, in 1978 he joined 'Streetband' which comprised guitarists John Gifford and Roger Kelly, Mick Pearl on bass and a drummer called Chalky.

In an early review, one scribe classed "Toast" as an early 'rap' record. It had no chorus and a lyric structure which compared to no other, not even 'punk'. Paul recalled how it all started: "Well it was my fledgling beginnings at recording so it was all a bit of a learning curve and a tremendously happy time. We were far from being the kind of band that threw TVs out of hotel windows - in fact, we carried our own toolbox with us so that if anything got broken, we could nail it back together and not be charged for it."

So how did the lyrics come about? Paul: "They were made up on the night Chaz Jankel came to see us (he was the producer and arranger behind 'Ian Dury & the Blockheads'), and he was scheduled to produce us. Believe it or not, it all came about because we had a novice road crew and not one of them could change a guitar string. When the rhythm player bust a string, he went off to do it himself which was at the John Bull pub in Chiswick, and the rest of the band started busking on "Lover", the 'jazz' standard that I'd heard by Tony Bennett. So I wouldn't be standing there like a plonker, I started scatting over the rhythm and arrived at the word 'toast' at the end of the chord sequence. It made sense, so I repeated that at the end of every chord sequence. Chaz thought it was part of the act! And I suppose the 'Cockney-ness' of it appealed to him. He suggested it as the B-side of our first single, "Hold On". So yes, I wrote the lyrics, although I had to make it up again in the studio as it was all off the top of my head."

[ There's even more to read about this at: https://www.jonkutner.com/toast-streetband/ ]


The two tracks as a pair reached No. 18 in the UK Singles chart on November 25th 1978, remaining in the Top 40 for five weeks. They were never ever promoted in the US.
1978 - Logo Records - United Kingdom
Posted: 20th September 2019
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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22 Oct 2019
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