Des Henly's Rock and Roll Circus

music paper articles

Melody Maker
7 October 1972

Fumble (sovereign) 1972

Some people dislike the oldies trend, while some people find the current groups playing oldies sacriligeous. Me? I think there're good songs being written now but that doesn't make those written in the late fifties and early sixties any the worse. And, dammit, I like hearing them - if they're done "lovingly." Fumble do Presley, Holly, Nelson, Vee, Sedaka, King and Everlys songs and do them "lovingly." That doesn't mean to say they all stand up well. For instance, I shall never be able to take a guy singing Carole King's "It Might As Well Rain Until September" and I don't think lead singer Des Henly has the vocal aggression to do Presley's "One Night", justice. His voice is, however, superbly suited to Rick Nelson, Bobby Vee, Buddy Holly and Everly Brothers' tunes. "Ebony Eyes" is gloriously maudlin. Henly, surprisingly, does come to grips with Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It" and Barry's "Let It Rock" and "Rave On" proves a perfect foil for his style. But it's on side two Fumble are at their best. It opens with "Hello Mary Lou," which has a rather fine guitar solo. "Take Good Care Of My Baby," poses the question is Des Henly the new Bobby Vee? He certainly has a penchant for Vee material. I get the feeling that if Des had come along in about 1958-59 he could have been very, very big. He might even be able to fulfill his promise in the 70's. "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" shows how important the piano was to the era's songs and rounds off a thoroughly enjoyable and singable album. I reviewed Fumble's act recently and apparently credited them with "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," a song they didn't do. They'd do well to include it in the act in the near future. It'd be perfect for Henly. Still, the last thing I want is a rumble with Fumble. All together now . . . "come - a - come - a - down - doobie - doo - down - down..."
G. B.
Melody Maker, October 21, 1972