Pink Floyd and The Incredible String Band.
The Incredible String Band.
One of Sheffield’s few claims to fame (along with having a football team called “Wednesday”) is a film titled “The Full Monty”, which was set and filmed there. It was moderately successful ten or so years ago. Anyway, after an intro comprising a publicity movie made in 1972, the film proper starts with Supertram gliding along West Street past the Job Centre. This imposing stone edifice was known as the Labour Exchange in 1976, as indeed it had been for many decades. Students could easily get short term jobs there during the summer vacation, and in 1976 I did so. For a gruelling five day week I earned £30, which was a lot of money in those days.
Like Rome, Sheffield is built on seven hills, so just about everywhere is on a slope. Down a hill a bit from West Street, on the city centre side, and running more or less parallel to it, is Division Street, on which on the same plane as the Labour Exchange was a shop called “Rare & Racy”. In 1976 it had a long reputation as a vendor of a huge range of second hand LPs. The shop is still there, but I do not know what it sells now. The important thing is that it was a two minute walk from the Labour Exchange, so I spent most of my lunch hour each working day browsing through the racks of albums in it, often buying something.
As mentioned in the last post, the summer of 1976 was the hottest one of the 20th Century in the UK, which ended with a thunderstorm during my final week at the Labour Exchange. However, the first three or four weeks remained blisteringly hot, and on one day during that period at lunch time, as usual I was flicking through the LP covers in Rare & Racy when to my shocked amazement and intense delight, I found this:
Yes! It was the legendary double ISB album called “Wee Tam & The Big Huge”!!!
The words for the songs on Sides 1 and 2 were on the front cover.