Video Saturday – Focus

Yes, this is all your fault Tim Knowles, for its was you who extolled this band of scruffy Dutchmen to us scruffy schoolboys back in Mr Summers’ form room in the days when we could all grow hair on our heads, unlike now when some of us can’t, grrrr.

Tim Knowles, avant-garde arbiter of all things groovy in the 1970s, it was he who introduced the whole form room to Ralph McTell too and it was he who “went home for dinner” every day and so could rush back to school every Tuesday afternoon with the new charts biro’d to the back of his hand, he is still doing it now, not writing the charts on the back of his hand no, but extolling unknown acts to us via Facebook, he knows his stuff does Knobby Knowles.

But there was one boy who was even more avant-garde, even more an arbiter of the 1970s music scene than Tim Knowles and that boy was the most unlikely one in the whole year at Leeds Modern School, yes, David Asquith.

David Asquith was your archetypal geek, unkept hair that his mother tried to lick-spit into some conforming style every morning, side parting, not a single hair over the back of your collar, that sort of thing, he had black national health spectacles, instant indicator of a geek, nothing cried “geek” more than a pair of thick black national health specs, he had what we regarded as a posh accent, sat at the front of the class by accident of the alphabet and was almost totally clueless about popular music, in fact thinking really hard about the matter I can’t recall a single artist that he liked enough to write on his haversack, not that he had a haversack as he was a geek, he had a briefcase for gods sake.

So probably as un-typical an avant-garde arbiter of progressive 1970s music as anyone else you could imagine then ?

Not so, for David Asquith went to every single gig in the City of Leeds for years and years.

David Asquith saw every act that ever played in the City of Leeds for the whole of the most formative time in British popular (and unpopular) music ever, if you name any act who was playing the rounds in the 1970s then David Asquith will have seen them for in those days Leeds was part of the touring circuit (before the fookwits on the city council placed a decibel level on live music in a move that inspired the film “Footloose”), yes, if it was a gig night then David Asquith would be there, avant-garde arbiter of all that was “in” during the 1970s.

He knew fook-all about music though.

He was in the St Johns Ambulance Brigade.

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