A blend of sketches and 'sophisticated song' from the Bobo Girls, aka Rebecca Front and Sioned Wiliam. Front's brother Jeremy wrote the sketches, while Rebecca wrote the songs. The material was culled from an Edinburgh Festival showcase called Bobo Girls Go Boom. (Wiliam to this days hates the title the BBC forced them to use.)
This was one of Radio 4's most underrated series, all the stronger for its simple and old-fashioned revue-style feel. Rebecca Front's songs were incredible -- not only witty and moving, but imaginatively arranged, beautifully harmonised and sung with great verve. The scanning of the lyrics was especially clever, Front making clever use of assonance and para-rhymes ("Once in a while, it's nice to have a smile/Or a friendly hello for the face you see over the microphone stand..."), while sounding completely at ease with the material. The Millicent Martin influence was very prominent.
The sketches were amusing, but nothing special. There was a level of detail in the writing which was impressive, but the spoken elements really came second to the musical material. Sadly, The Bobo Girls were never developed any further than the eight episodes, and songwriting remains Rebecca Front's best kept secret.
Since the Bobo Girls era, Rebecca Front and series producer Armando Iannucci have become well-known thanks to a variety of projects stemming largely from On The Hour. Wiliam, a producer by trade (her pre-Bobos credits include Jonathan Ross's The Last Resort), has occasionally been involved with these, as when she produced the mock-fly-on-the-wall special Knowing Knowing Me, Knowing You (1993). Her latest project has been BBC2's Big Train.