Saturday, October 18, 2008

Undercover with the Wurzels

Dear Blog-readers,

I know there are many of you who are keen to learn more about my musical tastes, and as it happens an event this week gives me the perfect opportunity to expound upon this topic. It would appear some members of my project have during my recent period of absence from Worcester inadvisably attempted to form some kind of local band. "Colonel Sin and The Bon-Bons" they have named themselves, though for the life in my I cannot work out why. In any case, this very Wednesday evening just passed, I found my evening one of my regular haunts (a pub which those on the project refer to "amusingly" as "Spur 0") disturbed by an almighty racket from the back room. Whereas I had been intending to spending the evening holding forth on a number of topics dear to my heart -- readers I trust are aware the high esteem in which my holdings-forth are held -- with colleagues, I found myself having to speak much louder and hold forth on said topics against the backdrop of a number of songs -- which were ill chosen in the first place -- being murdered by a bunch of incompetent amateurs!

Don't get me wrong - I am no musical snob. Indeed I have the widest, the most catholic (small C, I don't do hymns) taste in music which you could imagine anyone with my facial hair pattern to have. Very people would look at me, for example, and believe I was once the only white person to attend a Niggers With Attitude concert during their heyday. I've no fear of being in the minority, oh no, although I should confess I did black-up a little for the occasion. Unfortunately I forgot to do around my eyes much so I ended up looking like some kind of latter day Black and White Minstrel and was soundly beaten up. Anyway, that's an aside. Where was I? Oh yes, musical diversity. Very few people would also know to look at me I am somewhat of a Mahler expert, indeed I can only describe his 5th symphony as one of the most uplifting and life affirming pieces mankind has produced. Sadly NWA never covered it - which is a real shame.

My musical eclecticism doesn't stop there, however. Doyens of this blog will know I spent some time with the Special Forces in a previous part of my life. I don't like to talk about it much for reasons of national safety of course, however I can reveal perhaps a glimpse of what one of my assignments was like. A major fear at the time was that British Scrumpy and Western bands were in fact far from being innocent and amusing oddities, but were in fact a major breeding ground for home-grown terrorists and anti-capitalists. On the particular assignment in question, I was sent undercover to be a "roadie" for the Wurzels, a prospect which as you can imagine at first was not a particularly appealing one. My mission was to gather intelligence on any suspicious activities of this band or any of their sort, especially at concerts and festivals. One threat was thought to be a plan to attach miniature warheads to the tops of turnips which could then be used as explosives e.g. in crowded markets and at bring-a-turnip parties. However the worst I encountered on this front was a hollowed-out pumpkin with a sparkler in it on bonfire night. Which was fair enough - we all like a bit of fireworks now and again. No, reader, these were no "Wurzels of Mass Destruction" as had been suspected, and in fact (returning finally to my point, I thank the reader for their patience) over the period of time I spend with this great band I came to admire them immensely. Their great musicianship, their pithy, down-to-earth lyrics, their antipathy to regular washing. My particular favorite of theirs is the great, anthemic "I've Got a Brand New Combine Harvester and I'll Give You The Key". That's proper music, and I sometimes sing it out loud as I sit bare-breasted on my Massey Ferguson at the end of a long day's toil.

I have no audience (other than the odd crow) for these al fresco renditions, dear friend, but I dare say if I had it would go down a lot better than this Colonel Saunders lot I was subjected to this week. I mean, since the advent of "reality TV", "X-factor", "Stars in their Ears", and other similar televisual garbage, anyone thinks they can put a leather jacket and shades on, pop down to the local pub and make a din whilst perfectly decent, ordinary people are trying to have a beer or few. It's not cricket. Not that I play cricket, can't stand the game - no idea what it's about. Neither have the French for that matter - there are no wickets in a game of petanque. Which reminds me of a rather amusing incident recently in the village near my chateau, where for reasons of inveigling ourselves with the local community I was forced to engage in a game of 'boules' with the Mayor and his family. No one however had gone to the trouble of explaining the rules to me, some my throws were somewhat random. How was I to know the objective was not to hit members of the opposing team? The major's wife only suffered a minor fracture however, and all is smoothed over. Another one of my "boules" went astray and was later found up the business end of a cow in the adjoining field. Anyway, we're certainly known in the area now.

Mmmmm, I seem to have digressed again. Returning to my main thesis ... well, I didn't have a thesis really. If any of you want to see the audio-visual insult to which I was subjected on the evening in question, head over to "MySpace" and search for Captain Sin and the Blue Bums (urgh! baboons -- that's another story, did I tell it already?). Just remember to cover you ears, and your eyes, as you watch.

"Oooooh I am a cider drinker ...
I drinks it all o' the day ...
I am a cider drinker ...
It soothes all mi troubles away ....
Ooh aar ooh aar ayyy ..."



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