Bonnie St. Claire & Unit Gloria – Clap Your Hands

9th March 2022 · 1970s, 1973, Glam, Music

Dutch singer Bonnie St. Claire represented the European wing of 1970s Glam but failed even to cross over the Channel – because she sounded like a shit Suzi Quatro.

Glam was largely a British phenomenon. Even the biggest bands, like T.Rex, Slade and Sweet, failed to translate their chart success to America. But in Europe it was a different story. 

They even produced their own Glam stars… well, one.
Bonnie St Claire (aka Bonje Swart) was the self-styled star of Nederglam; or would have been had such a thing existed.

This is, as far as I know, its solitary example, though Bonnie would go on to have further hits in her native Netherlands – as a solo artist, as part of a trio (Bonnie, Debbie & Rosy) and a duo (Bonnie & José).

This tune was huge on what we then called ‘The Continent’ but did absolutely nothing in the UK, where we had rather better taste.

I’ve included it because for some inexplicable reason it is beloved by punk historian Jon Savage, whom I once worked alongside at a long-gone music paper called Sounds during the punk era.

Released in 1973, it is another of those songs that does exactly what it says on the tin, consisting largely of foot stomping and football-terrace-style handclaps combined with riffs cheekily borrowed from Bolan.

Or what Savage, who is a few years older than me, optimistically hears as Beach Boys-style backing vocals and Chuck Berry riffs.

Anyway, it’s bloody awful and goes some way to explaining why EuroGlam never caught on. Here’s a video of Bonnie and her band miming the song in a factory. Don’t ask me why.