The Kursaal Flyers were a British rock band that emanated from both the Southend/Canvey Island scene (as did Dr. Feelgood and Mickey Jupp) and the London and south-east pub rock circuit. They were formed in 1974 and took their name from one of the more daring rides in Southend's Kursaal amusement park. Vocalist Paul Shuttleworth, original guitarist Graeme Douglas and drummer Will Birch had all previously been in Surly Bird in 1970, but as the Kursaals they broke through with a residency at Southend's Blue Boar pub, following which their reputation and engagements spread through the south-east and then nationally, culminating in a signing to Jonathan King's UK records.
Their music was broadly rock 'n' roll with country and theatrical leanings and a certain degree of wit: their one and only chart hit Little Does She Know deftly sent up sixties pop songs. After two less than satisfactory LPs, Chocs Away and The Great Artiste, they moved labels to CBS and released Golden Mile, whence the single came. After this success, Douglas left the band as he was critical of their change of style and joined Eddie And The Hot Rods: Barry Martin took his place. Although Five Live Kursaals took their sound in a power pop/punk direction, the Kursaals failed to gain any further commercial momentum and fell apart in 1977. However, they reformed for tours and on a more permanent basis in 2009.
Links to Peel
The group recorded two sessions for Peel, the first of which was permeated by country leanings that presumably got them booked in the first place. They shared an In Concert bill with the Feelgoods on 10 October 1975, but this was not presented by JP. In 1988, Peel played a track from the band's A Former Tour De Force LP, which the group released 12 years after their last studio album.
Festive Fifty Entries
- Two sessions, neither commercially released.
- Tennessee / Route 66 / Yellow Sox / Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Version)
- Cross Country / Fall Like The Rain / Willin' / Pocket Money
Other Shows Played
- 23 August 1988: A Former Tour De Force Is Forced To Tour (LP - A Former Tour De Force) Waterfront