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Wurzelmania! Wurzelmania! News Archive 2001

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This page contains an archive of the News items for the year 1999 (the first year of the website) written by Zider Ed whilst he was maintaining the Wurzelmaina! website.

Wurzels Annual Christmas & New Year Message (December 2001)

[This link has been removed at the request of Sil Willcox, The Wurzels manager.]

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Wurzels In The Top 40 (5th August 2001)

The Wurzels' new Cowshed Remix single has cracked the UK Top 40, putting the band in the charts for the first time since the 1970s! It entered the chart at No. 39 and was played on the BBC's prestigious national chart rundown on Radio 1. Wurzelmania! wishes to congratulate The Wurzels on this incredible success, and to thank all the thousands of people who have helped to get it there by not only buying the record themselves, but tirelessly promoting it and persuading everyone else they know to buy it too!

Message from Tommy Banner: "Many thanks to Zider Ed and all they Wurzel Fans who've supported us forever and have now gone out, bought the Remix and got us to No. 39 in the Charts - it is incredible, 25 years on! Those of you who have not yet bought it, get out and buy it this week - PLEASE. The more you buy, the more those farmers who need it will benefit. Remember, all farmers are not rich. Cheers!"

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Mangel rock is set for comeback (Swindon Advertiser; 19th July 2001)

THE evergreen West Country 'mangel-rock' group The Wurzels, brought their Brand New Combine Harvester and other favourites to wow a crowd estimated at more than a thousand at the Shalbourne Country Fair on Saturday, July 14.

The organising committee from Shalbourne Club had booked the Somerset-based group with their unique scrumpy sound back in October, not knowing their performance in Wiltshire would coincide with their re-launch. The Wurzels are now back with their new style of what they call cowshed music. The crowd at Shalbourne could not get enough of it and whistled and called for more when the performance came to an end.

The group hopes Wurzelmania is back in a big way the same as it was with legendary founder, the late Adge Cutler, when it stormed to number one in the charts with the original Combine Harvester and Drink up Thee Zyder. Now, 25 years on, the group has re-launched with what it calls its Combine Harvester 2001 remix and produced a new CD The Wurzels Collection.

Shalbourne Club chairman David Byrne said: "We had no way of knowing when we booked them last October that their re-launch would coincide with our country fayre."

In the four years since it started, the Shalbourne Fayre has doubled in size each year with more than 3,500 attending during the day on Saturday and more than a third staying on for the evening concert on the recreation field. The Wurzels headed a line-up of seven live bands with jump-rock bands JP and the Wiseguys and Flash Harry, country and western singer Liza Marshall, rock band Doreen Doreen, samba band Samba Sulis and rural humour band The Plonkers.

The evening concert brought to an end a day of activities which raised more than £20,000. The profit will go towards sports and leisure facilities in Shalbourne and the villages around.

There were 31 different real ales available in the beer tent and drinkers got through 70 barrels of beer. In total the drinkers consumed more than 40 nine-gallon barrels and 30 eleven-gallon barrels of beers all recommended by the Campaign for Real Ale. Activities included a pig roast, line-up of steam engines, vintage tractors, lawn mower racing, a classic motorcycle scramble, a display of vintage Triumph sports cars, children's amusement and a huge fireworks display. Eight pub teams competed in a tug of war which was won by the Swan at Inkpen.

[From the Swindon Advertiser]

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New Wurzels Remix Single (July 2001)

Twenty-five years on, a new 2001 Remix of The Wurzels' chart-topper Combine Harvester is to be issued. more info here...

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Wurzels Comeback for farm crisis (BBC Online; Friday, 13 July, 2001)

Seventies pop stars The Wurzels are re-releasing their biggest hit to help farmers stricken by foot-and-mouth disease. They have agreed to donate 50p from each sale of 'Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)' to a fighting fund for the crisis. The move comes as the band celebrates the 25th anniversary of the hit topping the charts.

Tommy Banner, an original Wurzel who is still with the group, said: "A lot of our friends are farmers and we were extremely pleased to be able to help. Foot and mouth does not just affect farms, it affects the whole community. Our own gigs have had to be cancelled or put into smaller venues because of the crisis and it has hit our area very hard."

The Wurzels were one of the biggest-selling acts of the mid-70s and made it to number one with 'Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)' in 1976. Other hits included 'I am a Cider Drinker' and 'Farmer Bill's Cowman'. However, Mr Banner, who is now in his sixties, insists the Somerset-based band has never gone away.

He said: "We have been busy doing concerts all over the country. We are popular among younger people now and many of out biggest fans are students. Youngsters from the West Country seem to go away to college and take our music with them and play it to their friends."

A spokeswoman for The Wurzels' record label EMI said: "The band were very keen to give something back to the farmers. There is always a lot of farmers at their gigs. Cash raised from sales of the single will go into the National Farmers' Union 'Supporting Farmers in Crisis' fund.

NFU president Ben Gill said: "We are very grateful for the support of The Wurzels. Many farmers and others in rural areas have not earned any direct income for months now due to the impact of foot-and-mouth disease. This fund will proved them with the help they so desperately need to re-build their businesses and, in many cases, just to keep going."

The single, which has been re-mixed to give it a new electronic dance beat, is due for release at the end of July. The band hopes to take a combine harvester into central London for a concert at the Fitz and Firkin pub in Great Portland Street today.

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Wurzels on TV again! (June 2001)

The Wurzels appeared on Channel 5 TV's "Open House With Gloria Hunniford" on 11th June 2001, to plug their new single Combine Harvester 2001 Remix. more info here...

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HMV Release Exclusive Wurzels CD (April 2001)

The Wurzels Collection is a brand new CD available exclusively from HMV stores or HMV Online! Following the phenomenal success of the EMI CD issued last year, HMV have negotiated with EMI to issue a Wurzels Compilation CD on their own budget-priced label. more info here...

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