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
- 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 (encore)
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
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!
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
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
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
- Tom Putt, the Scrumpy User Guide