Such a sweet song and yet, for some bizarre reason, it haunts me in a way that makes me shudder. It was one of those songs that soundtracked a part of my very young childhood and not necessarily the bits I want to remember. Lennie Peters and Dianne Lee couldn’t have happened in any other era than the early 1970s. They were ridiculously naff. How naff? They were like K-Tel, Polyvelt shoes, Ronco and Blue Nun wine rolled into one. With Old Spice and Brut splashed all over it. They came to prominence on Hughie Green’s conveyor belt of naffness, Opportunity Knocks in 1973. Having won seven or eight shows on the trot it was inevitable that a record deal would follow and Welcome Home did indeed hit No1 in May 1973. For a good chunk of my childhood, they were on every TV chat show, game show and variety show – they even had their own short-lived variety show, just as they were about to sink into end-of-pier obscurity. All we really have left is this warm, gorgonzola-scented glow of Welcome Home on Top Of The Pops to remind us what they once were. It’s not an awful song, and it really ought to remind me of cosy winter adverts for the South of Scotland Electricity Board or Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate – but it just doesn’t. It only takes me back to endless, cold, bleak, wet winters. Sometimes, you just get nostalgic for having to wear uncomfortable raincoats and wellies, for getting bored in the space between playgroup ending and dinner time, and for wondering why women were ever suckers for Lennie Peters’s voice – never mind why my dad always described Dianne Lee as “a crumpet”.
What was the rest of Peters And Lee’s musical catalogue like? Litres of pee, sadly.