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Disappearing Lewes - The Lambrettas (continued...)

He got us a deal on a compilation album, called 499 2139, on Elton John’s Rocket Records label. The deal was that the best band on the LP would go on to record a single. We had to play in a sort of play-off in a place called the National in London. We didn’t play well that day, and a band called Malcolm Practice were offered the deal. But they couldn’t agree terms - and I think somebody in the record company liked us - so we were offered the chance of a single. They brought out Going Steady - the track on the album. It didn’t get make much of an impact on the charts - it just got into the top 100 - but that was good enough for them, so they offered us an album.

So there we were, recording this album in a little studio in Tooting, and the record company put out our second single, Poison Ivy. It was released in a mock-2-Tone sleeve as a tribute to the Specials and the other 2-Tone bands. It started getting airplay, and soared up the charts. Before we knew it we were recording a version for Top of the Pops, which we had to mime in front of in the studio audience. The next day we drove up to London and our little studio was mobbed with Mods. We’d made it. It got to number seven in the charts; everything was fantastic. I’d just turned 19.

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Poison Ivy: ‘suddenly Priory lads were on Top of the Pops’