Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Join Our Club: More Songs About Chocolate and Girls

For some unfathomable reason this blogger recently got into a lengthy (and only marginally completely bloody pointless) conversation with his good friend, Deborah Williams, on the subject of Club biscuits. Don't ask why, please, it's genuinely not worth knowing! Now, yer actual Keith Telly Topping really likes a nice Jacob's Club®™. Deb was wondering if they still existed having not seen them in the shops that she frequents for a while and this blogger was jolly happy to tell her that, indeed, they do. Yer actual Keith Telly Topping still gets a seven-pack at his local Morrison's every now and then for the singular purpose of keeping them in business. Jacob's still make the - classic - orange filled ones (in an orange wrapper, of course) the version that, I think, most people reading this bloggerisationisms will be familiar with. And they also do a fruit and nut variant (in purple) and a sort-of minty variety (in a greenish wrapper). Never been particular keen on either of those two, personally. Not liking either fruit or mint, it's reasonable that this blogger wouldn't.
The ones that Keith Telly Topping used to hugely enjoy scoffing as a kid were the original milk chocolate brand (in red) and, particularly, the dark chocolate version (also in green but with a comforting golf-ball on the wrapper for some obscure reason) but Jacob's seemed to have stopped making those sometime around 1982. Tragedy.
If anybody from Jacob's happens to be reading this bloggerisationisms and is in any sort of position of authority, please tell us why you stopped making them for Heaven's sake? They were very nice and yer actual Keith Telly Topping liked them! A lot. So, start making them again. Instantly. If not sooner. For some reason yer actual Keith Telly Topping always associates the plain, golf-ball Clubs with Telly Topping family holidays at Butlin's in Filey in the early 1970s - probably because he scoffed copious numbers of them whilst he was there. Jacob's also, for while, made a chunky milk chocolate version of the biscuit (in a blue wrapper) but this blogger hasn't seen one of those for ages, either. This blogger recalls there was also a wafer version at one point (also in blue) and the very familiar milk chocolate variant (with an Ace of Clubs playing card on the wrapper) in red along with the orange one. And, apparently, during a web-search this blogger discovered that Jacob's had a brief flirtation with a lemon and lime variant in the 1980s (in light green, and pictured to the left). This blogger never experienced those, his very self, but I am assured they did, indeed, exist.
Marginally related to all of this, yer actual Keith Telly Topping still has, in his record collection, Called To The Bar, a 1980 compilation vinyl LP of some great 1960s and 1970s tunes - on CBS Records whom Jacob's had obviously done a deal with; That was, probably, because at that time they were using a cover version of The Beach Boys' 'Barbara Ann' on a TV advert (slogan: "If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit, Join Our Club"). The idea was that you collected about twelve Club biscuit wrappers (any sort would do) and sent them in with, like, fifty pence or something to cover postage and you got the LP in return. Bargain. The advert which it tied in with featured a stereotypical Teddy Boy in the dock of a court singing 'Bar-bar-bah, bar-bar-bah-a-Club' and all the jury doing the harmonies after the usher had shouted 'Prisoner at the bar...' A - reasonably flattering - bit of artwork of the actors involved is featured on the LP's cover holding a Club orange-backer whilst the - I'm presuming prosecuting - barrister has one of the previously mentioned dark chocolate variants in his grubby mitt.
On the back cover, the judge is looking faintly groovy in a Batman-style with his wig, clicking his fingers to the sensational soaraway summery sounds thereupon. But, he has no obvious Club biscuit to hand. More fool he, I say. Fine bunch of songs on the LP, as you'll note. Why don't biscuit companies do stuff like that these days to promote their nice choccy biccies? That LP may well have been the first place this blogger ever HEARD things like The Honeycombs' epic 'Have I The Right?' It was certainly the first time that he had owned songs like 'Waterloo Sunset', 'Albatross', 'An Everlasting Love' and 'Something In The Air' on a record. In fact, apart from the thoroughly crap Dr Hook dirge on side two I reckon Keith Telly Topping still has just about everything on that LP somewhere in his CD collection. Yes, even Tina Charles.