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The Wurzels Hit Woodside!

A review of The Wurzels' gig at the Woodside Park, Almondsbury near Bristol (17th June 2000) by Andrew Down

Saturday 17th June 2000. Nice hot weather, nice cold Scrumpy (and plenty of it), England beating Germany at football, and a Wurzels concert - what more can any man ask for?

The 107th Whitchurch Scout Group, Bristol, recently held their annual barn-dance and fundraiser at Woodhouse Park Scout Campsite, just off the A38. Due to the unfortunate clash with the football it was very much downsized from their original plans due to poor ticket sales. However, the event still drew over 250 people, and although most were local some travelled many miles to the concert from such far-off places as Shrewsbury, Brighton, Woking and Hitchin, with myself possibly taking the record on this occasion in travelling from Billericay in Essex.

The pre-concert disco was more-or-less abandoned and a telly provided (adjacent to the Scrumpy tent, of course!) for all the die-hard footie fans to watch the great game, the rest of us trying to get the barbecue going (providing open-heart surgery sausages, cremated beef-ish burgers, and silage-in-a-bun for the vegetarians). At the end of the match, the disco cranked up with Vindaloo and several other football-related songs to fill time and raise the spirits before the great moment - The Wurzels arrive on stage!

With the usual mix of banter and jokes, the set played consisted of:

 - The Blackbird
 - Champion Dung Spreader
 - Keep your hand on yer ha'penny
 - Wish I was back on the farm
 - Twice Daily
 - Somerset Trouser Shakedown
 - Combine Harvester
 - Farmer Bill's Cowman
 - Somerset Crumpet Horn
 - Morning Glory / One For The Bristol City
 - I am a Cider Drinker
 - Malt and Barley Blues / Drink up thy zider

Highlights for me were most definitely the special rock-style version of Wish I Was Back On The Farm (the electric guitar work certainly as good as Eric Clapton-in-Gordano), and everyone dancing to the Somerset Trouser Shakedown.

As it was the first Wurzels gig I had managed to get to, it was a great encouragement to see loads of young people singing along to all the songs and having a really great time, as the next generation of Wurzels fans.

Although I wasn't on the scrumpy that night because I was driving, I heard that it was "good stuff", despite the fact that it looked rather cloudy and like orange squash! The 2 barrels that were meant to last all night ran out around 8.30pm, which meant a mad rush to the nearest farm for a few more!

After the concert, the disco continued into the wee small hours, and no doubt there were many sore heads the next day due to the copious amounts of scrumpy consumed.

On my return to work in London, it was great fun trying to explain who and what the Wurzels were to my colleagues - "the who?" was the most common question, to which I could only reply "no, Pete Budd, not Pete Townshend"! But once you mention Combine Harvester everyone knows exactly who you mean and for some strange reason most start singing the words - just proving that 'once heard never forgotten'! I also managed to confuse a poor assistant at Our Price near Liverpool Street station, by pre-ordering the Wurzels CD due to be released in July. Fancy never having heard of them!

Altogether a thoroughly excellent night, and I really look forward to getting along to another Wurzels gig - pity they don't venture up Essex way much!

Andrew Down

Comments from others lucky enough to be there:

" The Summer of Scrumpy all over again! The best ever gig, as far as I'm concerned - brilliant weather, excellent scrumpy, and the most cyderdelic performance anyone could wish to see from The Wurzels! The audience was great too - I should know, I was one of 'em!" - Paul Gunningham

"Oh ar, Almondsbury - 'twere a great evenin' an' the scrumpy were on top form as well as they Wurzels. Count I in fer the next 'un!" - Zider Ed

Technical note for Scrumpy Drinkers:
The first lot of cider referred to by Andrew above was Thatchers medium cider. The second lot they got in when the Thatchers ran out was Riddle's, the nearest scrumpy supplier to the site of the concert - another excellent pint. All in all, a most enjoyable evening and a superb choice of cider.
- Tom Putt, the Scrumpy User Guide

"Buggered if I don't get 'n!"

The lads get off to a cyderdelic start with The Blackbird
John Morgan

'Tis about time we 'ad a picture of 'e on the drums
"'E makes it fly fer miles!"

The Champion Dung Spreader strikes again...
Another shot of Pete and Tommy

earning themselves another pint in the hot summer weather
A Wurzels' Eye View

See what it looks like when you'm up on stage
"I upped an' zlipped an' zummat ripped"

Pete sings the old Adge Cutler favourite Twice Daily while Tommy slips out for a quick pint of scrumpy
"C'mon, lads - let's 'ave a drop o' thy scrumpy!"

The lads in the audience have sensibly got the scrumpy in to ensure they keep well lubricated in the heat
"It Soothes All Me Troubles Away!"

The young 'uns get a taste of Wurzelmania

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