Wednesday, January 23, 2008

live in trouble

Growing up in England in the 1970s and 80s, you couldn't move for variety acts (like family-friendly singing artistes The Dooleys and funnyman Mike Yarwood) popping up on every page of your TV Times. To put this into some kind of context for the benefit of our overseas viewers, Mike Yarwood was a comedy impressionist who started all of his characters with, "Hello, I'm (insert name of person being impersonated, invariably Deputy Dawg, Frank Spencer or Bob Monkhouse)". Never a good sign.

If any younger readers want to complain about how they have it tough, I urge them to listen to these tracks by The Barron Knights. These guys were my Sex Pistols, the best that we could hope for in our Saturday afternoon TV schedule, with their stoopid versions of hit songs.

The Barron Knights - Live in Trouble Part 1
(please note this vinyl is very old, hence the jump in the middle - the missing line is "They flew right off the end / And landed in the Thames / Hand in hand")

To be fair , The BK's had chops, chucking out fairly faithful versions of such popular faves as Leo Sayer's You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, Brotherhood of Man's Angelo and Float On by The Floaters. This was a time when Irish people were thick and homosexuals were intrinsically hilarious ("What?! He doesn't like girls? The very idea!"). Also if you wanted to do an impression of (at the time, very dangerous, foul-mouthed comedian) Billy Connolly, all you had to do was put on a hyper-exaggerated Scottish accent. And shout.

The Barron Knights - Live In Trouble Part 2

This was one of the records I remember playing on repeat as a child alongside The Muppet Show Album and Regatta de Blanc by The Police. Sure, it's all very dated, but the last track (Kenny Rogers' Lucille), genuinely made me laugh out loud when I played it for the first time in years the other day. It's just what people do - re-write the words to popular songs to make your mates laugh.

The Barron Knights will be celebrating 50 years in showbiz next year.

Visit - The Barron Knights
Buy - Funny in the Head: The Best of the Barron Knights

No comments: