This is fascinating – a 20-minute BBC Schools documentary shot in 1973 about a jobbing semi-professional rock band called Renia, some with day jobs, some washing dishes, all subsidising the dream of turning professional (nothing changes…).
They released one album (on Transatlantic Records, home of 60s folk legends like Bert Jansch and Pentangle but by the 70s, home of third-division rockers like Stray, Skin Alley, Marsupilami…) and appeared in session once on Radio 1’s ‘Sounds of the 70s’.
Transatlantic label boss the legendary Nat Joseph is one of the interviewees here – displaying his charming but ruthless approach to business. It’s the only period film I’ve seen of Nat.
Also interviewed are Whispering Bob Harris and his producer Jeff Griffin, who (albeit very pleasantly) damn Renia with faint praise…
Renia are seen here in the studio and in concert in Liverpool – earning £30 and making a loss of £5 on the trip. Seemingly, the band knocked it on the head in the same month that the TV doc was broadcast (March 1974).
It’s a charming glimpse of a lost (but tough) world.