The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop [1976 to 1982]
Rock Garden Party

Many thanks go to Peter Lane for generously sending us the pictures he took during the rehearsal of the event, leading us to produce this page.
Click on any of the pictures to see a larger version.

Noel Edmonds
The Multi-Coloured Swap Shop Rock Garden Party took place on Spring Bank Holiday in May 1978.

The stage was set up at Jubilee Gardens in London, a site that is next door to County Hall (then the home of the Greater London Council), and in the shadow today of the London Eye.

The idea was to offer a free concert to Swap Shop viewers featuring some of the biggest names in pop of the time. Some five thousand Swappers turned up to see the show on what turned out to be the hottest day of the year!

A Happy
The line-up of performers defines very much the pop scene of the time. Darts, Showaddywaddy, Patti Boulaye and The Goodies were all flying high in the charts at the time, so it was they who took up the offer to perform at the event hosted by, who else, Noel Edmonds.

The choice of site led to some unusual arrangement for the cast and crew. They all had to park at a local car park and make their own way over to the site with all of their clothes and equipment!

Dressing rooms came in the shape of three caravans parked on the site, however with the soaring temperature they were not the nicest of environment to be in. As for the toilet facilities...

A BBC Chef and assistants were on site to provide lunch. Steak and chips were cooked and served from a removal van.

The Performers
As we mentioned, the list of performers was varied!


Darts were formed in 1976 and performed as a 'doo-wop' group. Their harmonies and performances both drew great admiration. The four vocalists were Bob Fish, Den Hegarty, Rita Ray and Griff Fender.

Rod Deas
& Al James
Trevor Oakes, Malcolm Allured
and Rod Deas

Showaddywaddy were formed in 1973 and their style was 50s US rock. Their first TV outing was on the show New Faces, and they were runners-up in the All Winner Final! The face most associated with the group is that of Dave Bartram, but on the day of the Garden Party he appears to be absent with Al James taking over the lead vocals roll (which he did on occasion anyway).

For the Garden Party they performed A Little Bit of Soap and Say Mama.


Patti Boulaye
Patti Boulaye came to the UK when she was in her mid teens. She has appeared on stage in many musicals, acted in several films, performed in cabaret around the world, and as a pop singer of course. She is also a talented painter having exhibited for the first time in 1999.


The Goodies
There's not a lot you can say about Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie that hasn't already been said! The hugely popular trio had their 'The Goodies' TV series and a string of Top 40 hits during the 1970s. They're still best know for Funky Gibbon, one of the songs they performed at the Garden Party. The musical inspiration for the trio came from Bill.

Graeme and Tim's shirts have 'The Unvarnished Truth' on them - this is a reference to a play that they were both appearing in at the time (see Wikipedia for more information)

From our Media Gallery
Here's the only video we have of the event, and very short it is too!

Rock Garden Party - The Goodies
[1978 - Broadcast 2004/2005]

Here's a collection of 3 short clips of The Goodies performing 'Funky Gibbon' at the Swap Shop Rock Garden Party held at the Jubilee Gardens on London's south bank on Spring Bank Holiday Monday 1978.
Click on the image to play the media

All photographs on this page were taken by Peter Lane and the copyright remains with the photographer. They may not be reproduced without permission.