Some songs are really irritaiting and some songs you know you should find irritating but for some reason you can’t help listening to it and (secretly) enjoying. ‘Woodpeckers From Space’ is one of the latter. There is something unexplainable about this track which your sensible side say, ‘dismiss this as a load of tosh’, but a deep dark side of the brain is saying, ‘come, get down and boogie to this’.
Café Society started off sensibly with a dance cover of Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Somebody To Love’ which made it to 22 on the SA charts. They followed this up with a cover of Dan Harman’s ‘Relight My Fire’. And then, who knows what happened. They somehow got to hear ‘Woodpeckers From Space’ by a Dutch band called Video Kids. The Video Kids refused to have their song released in South Africa due to Apartheid, so Costa Anadoitis, the driving force behind Café Society, decided to release a cover version of the song.
With its helium induced vocals, 80’s white guy rapping and Woody Woodpecker laugh sound reproduced by synthesizer, it is a cross between a kiddie’s dance song (something akin to ‘The Birdie Song’) and bubblegum pop with a disco/hi-energy dance beat thrown in for good measure. It would have had people on the dancefloor of the clubs in 80s South Africa as most people when dancing at a club just care about the beat and nothing else. But somehow, this one leaked out of the clubs and onto the radio and pecked its way to the top of the Springbok charts, where it sat for 7 weeks. It’s one saving grace was that it prevented Modern Talking’s ‘You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul’ from making it to number 1 as the latter sat at number 2 for 4 of the 7 weeks. For that alone it deserves recognition.
Where to find it:
Vinyl: Relight My Fire – Café Society (1985), Passion, RSL1012