A Little Bit Off The Top - Chris Sandford

This was a happy record to make if only for the large amounts of alcohol consumed on the sessions. We hope you'll be equally happy listening to it-with or without the alcohol.

When I first met CHRIS SANDFORD I knew him as the pop singer Walter Potts on TV's Coronation Street and as a pop star in his own right with "Not Too Little, Not Too Much". When he came to me and suggested a record of comedy music hail numbers I thought he was having delusions of grandeur. But variety is in Chris's blood. He remembers his grandfather, who was a butcher, singing "Come Down and Open the Door and I've Got Something for You". His great aunt was a Gaiety Girl; his father is Sandy Sandford the famous comedian and children's entertainer. At the age of nine Chris played in "The Gondoliers" in a company that visited mental homes. This experience came in useful when ten years later he played a retarded youth in "The Unexpected Guest" in the West End for 18 months. In the army which was not his favourite experience, he managed two things, the Garrison Theatre at Catterick and to keep his hair its normal length (see cover). After much varied theatre work including Wesker's "The Kitchen" at the Royal Court he got his big break on "Coronation Street" and with "Not Too Little, Not Too Much". However, pop did not entirely appeal to him and during ballroom tours, he and CAVAN MALONE a jazz drummer's mate with a love of the "off beat" used to sing George Formby numbers to keep themselves human. Cavan's dad was the famous Irish Singer Danny Malone.

For this L.P. Chris also roped in another pal BARRY "FISTS" BOOTH to play jangle piano and do the arrangements. Barry, one of the original Sons of the Piltdown Men, has a very remote connection with George Formby "all due to cousins of my mother". Barry is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and East End pubs and plays piano for Roy Orbison on his British tours. MARTIN FRY on tuba had two seasons with Bertram Mills Circus and a stretch with The Temperance Seven. As such he is the only tuba player to have had two numbers at the top of the Hit Parade. He is at present playing farts in the Royal Shakespeare Co's production of "Victor". Finally SONNY FARRAR on banjo has been in variety all his life and played banjo with the famous pre-war Jack Hylton band. ERIC SMITH is an engineer who came along for the booze and to get the money back on the bottles. Chris made this record because he loves these songs, had a great booze-up with his pals and because he and I think they're commercial and we need the money.Nathan Joseph's sleeve notes

Barry Booth / Chris Sandford
Fathers Got The Sack
The Old Dun Cow
I'll Tell You Where To Put It
Alice Is At It Again
Sitting On The Ice
Hi Tiddly Hi Ti Island
If It Wasn't For The Houses In Between
A Little Bit Off The Top
If You See Her You Can Tell Her From Me
Barry Booth / Chris Sandford
A Proper Cup Of Coffee
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