Seaside Special

Filmed 15-16 August 1975  
Location Torbay, Devon, UK
Broadcast 16 August 1975, BBC1, UK (date now confirmed)
Released The performance of SOS has been released on the ABBA Deluxe Edition CD
Seaside Special was broadcast every Saturday through the summers in the mid 1970's (and I LOVED it!). The theme song, "Summertime City" was by Mike Batt (the man behind The Wombles). The main stage was held in a circus tent (Big Top).  The shows were always featured a variety of acts - some music, some comedy. Guests on this edition were, amongst others, female impressionist Janet Brown, composer Mike Batt and Lulu. Other guests were "Penny Whistle Man" Des Lane, singer Kenneth McKellar and comedy duo Dailey and Wayne.

ABBA were introduced by DJ Tony Blackburn and performed  "Waterloo" which had been recorded outside earlier (and performed to playback and first verse only) and "SOS" LIVE quite beautifully.  In the 70s in the UK there was a rule that only British musicians could be heard on British TV (or something like that). So whenever ABBA performed on any UK pop programs that had to re-record backing tracks with British musicians and sing live. Which is why ABBA stopped doing such appearances after Fernando, by which time they didnít need to do it to publicise the latest singles. The rules were relaxed in the late 70s, that non-British backing tracks could be used, but all musicians on a recording had to be seen, hence the remixed version of If It Wasnít For The Nights that ABBA performed on the Mick Yarwood show in late 78, which removed all but the basic keyboards/guitars/bass/drum.

The clip of "Waterloo" shows up on many fans video lists as a "Swedish Folkpark" performance. But the proof that it's a UK performance is right there in the clip with the appearance of a bright red London bus in the right hand corner of this shot.

The running order was:

New Edition sing & dance to "The Main Attraction", "Be A Clown" & Funky Gibbon
Dailey & Wayne Keep The Customer Satisfied "Hey There"
Des Lane Yellow Rose of Texas" & "Long Way to Tipperary"
Lulu I Was Raised On Rock & "Boy Meets Girl"
ABBA "Waterloo" "S.O.S."
Janet Brown The Pleasure Of Your Company
Kimberley Clarke Call The Preacher
Kenneth McKellar Without A Song & "O Sole Mio"
Mike Batt Summertime City
Tony Blackburn "Tie A Yellow Ribbon"

                                         Part 1                                                                           Part 2 (no ABBA)


Duration Both the ABBA clips together about 6 minutes (the whole programme was 51:00)  
Watch Out For The names of "Agnetha" and Frida" appearing on the back of their outfits for the first time  
Pictures Click on image for a larger view (or to see more images):


Related Links    
Credits Thanks to Paul Russell, Jozsef, Philip Muytjens, Ian Cole, Paul Neilson, Petr Mlejnek, Pam Alvarado, Carl Magnus Palm, Richard Knight and "Cyclops".
YouTube links c/o DAVID PYPER