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Wurzelmania! News

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Older news items which have appeared in the Wurzelmania! website have now been archived by year. Feel free to browse...

Wurzels Valentine's Tour (posted 16 Dec 2008)

West Country promotions company Midnight Mango have announced a four day Wurzels tour for next year which takes the band across Devon and Somerset over the Valentine's Day weekend.

The Wurzels' management normally handle all their own bookings, but Midnight Mango have consistently proved themselves a good promoters for The Wurzels with their annual springtime shows (as well as having an excellent reputation in the local music business as a whole) - and 2009 sees them taking The Wurzels on a whistle-stop four-date tour across the West Country.

The tour - seasonally named the Love A Wurzel On The Valentine's Tour (which I'm not sure actually makes sense - but we get the idea!) - starts in Plymouth on the 11th February, and ends on Saturday in 14th in Plymouth. And what better way to express your feels to a loved one than buying two tickets for a romantic hoe-down with The Wurzels?

Tickets are on sale now priced at £12.00 in advance and £14.00 on the door; except for the Exeter date which is a snip at £10.00 in advance and £12.00 on the door. In saying that, I wouldn't guarantee that there will be any tickets left to buy on the door. And if that isn't enough to impress the object of your affections, I'm sure that a Wurzels CD bought and signed on the night will do the job!

Wednesday 11th February 2009 - The Lemon Grove at Exeter University

Thursday 12th February 2009 - The Palace Theatre, Bridgwater

Friday 13th February 2009 - Cheese & Grain, Frome

Saturday 14th February 2009 - University of Plymouth Students' Union

Support comes from Peachy Farmer (Exeter), Fizzy Milk and My Name Is Ian (Bridgwater), Who's Afear'd (Frome) and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Plymouth)

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Wurzels Guest On Bush and Troy's Christmas Single (updated 15 Dec 2008)

GWR FM DJs Bush and Troy's have done it again! Their new Christmas single is a parody of Wham's Last Christmas and features The Wurzels on vocals throughout the song. Also appearing are regular show guests 'Spidey Man' and 'Jack Nicholson' and for footie fans there is some lovely one-twos from Lewis Carey (Bristol City captain) and Stevie Phillips (Bristol Rovers goalkeeper).

Breaking News!!! George Michael has given permission for Bush and Troy to use the Last Christmas tune! This means that very soon you will be able to buy Bush and Troy's 2008 Christmas song. All proceeds will go to the GWR Big Give campaign to raise funds for the Bristol Children's Hospital. Watch this space and listen on air to Bush and Troy's radio show on GWR FM for details of where you can buy the song.

The chorus goes something like this:

Last year we had champagne and wine, now it's twenty Scotch Eggs for 3.99;
This year, The Wurzels are here so we might as well all drink cider!

But if you want to hear it in all its glory, check out GWR FM's YouTube page, and the full lyrics on the GWR FM website - or listen to Bush and Troy's radio show on GWR FM!

This is Bush and Troy's fourth single - previous songs were the 2004 Christmas single Feed The Wurzels (featuring The Wurzels), the 2006 World Cup anthem Peter Crouch In Lederhosen (also featuring The Wurzels) and the 2007 Fairytale of Bristol (which sadly did not feature The Wurzels at all!). And we have just uncovered a neat YouTube video (well, audio only) of the Feed The Wurzels song.

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Wurzelmania! Forum - new to the website (posted 13 Nov 2008)

We are pleased to announce the addition of a Wurzelmania! Forum as part of the Scrumpy & Western website. This means that you can ask your questions, share your Adge Cutler & Wurzel memories, chat with other fans of the band or just tell us what a good (or otherwise) job you think we are doing.

I have set up the Forum so that you can send messages as a guest without needing to Register - although if you are a regular, it would be nice to have a core of registered users. And if the board starts getting too many 'difficult' guests, I may be forced to make registration mandatory. So, be nice to each other!

You can find the Forum here.

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Wurzels have the Monopoly on new Somerset game! (14th October 2008)

Monopoly, the great property trading board game now finds its home in Somerset. You can now play the classic game with the landmarks and locations which give the county its distinctive appeal and character. And pride of place on the board are The Wurzels!

Yes, where once there was a Water Works (£150), now you will find Tommy, Pete and the rest of the band. Now that's a good use of a brownfield site!

Sadly the picture (right) doesn't show it too well. The band are in the top right hand corner in between the Yellow 'properties' of 'Cheddar Caves & Gorge' and 'Minehead', and two places short of the 'Go To Jail' square. But you will have to shell out on a copy of the game to see them in all their glory - and have your opportunity to buy The Wurzels! What would Adge have said?

The manufacturers, UK-based game firm Winning Moves, say of the game: "In Somerset you will find a wonderful mixture of countryside and coast. Inland there are many hills on which to stroll and numerous areas of natural beauty. The Levels and Moors form a backdrop to Glastonbury Tor, centre of mystery and legend. Not far from Glastonbury is Wells, England's smallest city with a magnificent 13th Century cathedral and a delightful market square. The nearby caves at Wookey Hole and at Cheddar Gorge will transport you back to prehistoric times while in Taunton Vale lies the town of Taunton. Somerset's county town has shopping, entertainment and a famous castle, now the home of the Somerset County Museum. In a County of such beauty, you'll find few squares on the board you won't want to land on, so give the dice a roll and see where the game of Monopoly takes you in Somerset, The Jewel of the South West!" For more information - including a list of all the new squares, check the World Of Monopoly website.

The Somerset edition of Monopoly was released today and is available on the Amazon website priced at £24.99.

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Drink Up Thy Cider - For Charity! (1st July 2008)

West Country favourites The Wurzels will headline a popular charity night near Bridgwater next month.

The marquee event at Bullhorn Farm, Andersea, on August 8, will be supported by comedian Phil Lowen and solo singer Scott Bench Taylor. The spectacular show has been arranged to raise money for the Bridgwater branch of Cancer Research UK, and all profits will be donated to the charity.

One of the organisers, Dave Stokes, said: "This charity is extremely close to our hearts, and ever since last year's event we have been asked whether we would do it again. Plans are taking shape to ensure that this year's show will be the best one yet."

A grand raffle will also take place during the evening and organisers are hoping that local businesses and organisations will donate raffle prizes.

Tommy Banner, accordionist and vocalist with The Wurzels, said: "Cancer is a terrible disease, and we are only too pleased to play our part in raising money for this worthwhile charity. It's going to be a great night, and I look forward to seeing you all there!"

Tickets are £12.50 (including food), from Gary Stephens on 07711 446930, Marie Howes on 07714 102731, Dave Stokes on 07909 567888 or The Puriton Inn on 01278 683464. The venue address is Bullhorn Farm, Andersea, Westonzoyland, Bridgwater TA7 0LU.

from the 'Bridgwater Mercury' website

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Combine Harvester To Get The Rap Treatment (30 May 2008)

Cider-swilling pop legends The Wurzels are planning a rap version of their 1970s' cult classic Combine Harvester, insiders revealed yesterday.

The country-bumpkin rockers shot to fame with classics such as I Am a Cider Drinker and Drink Up Thy Zider - all sung in a thick West Country accent. But now they plan to swap their farmers' favourites for trendy baseball caps, baggy jeans, and "bling" jewellery, and re-release a hip-hop version of their 1976 hit.

According to record company insiders, the new version could be a chart hit and harvest the band a small fortune. A source said: ''The original version was, and still is, immensely popular all over the world, so a rap version of it would be massive. It would sell tens of thousands of copies and has real potential to snatch the #1 spot all over again."

The band formed in 1966 as a backing group for West Country singer Adge Cutler, but re-launched as The Wurzels in 1974 when Adge was killed in a car crash. Since then, the band has shot to fame with songs about farming, cider making, rural villages and local pubs.

Yesterday band manager Phil Wilcox would not comment on the single, but said:"I'm not ruling anything out for the band's future."

from the 'Western Daily Press' website

[Ed comments: Considering that Tommy Banner writes for the Western Daily Press, one might have hoped that the paper could have got more facts and less speculation! 'Record company insiders' and 'a source' - and, of course, Phil Wilcox (presumably Sil Willcox's less famous brother!) Still, if it's true, it can't be a bad thing!]

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Wurzels sign up to music festival (9 May 2008)

Preparations are well underway for the Bradford Festival next month, with The Wurzels booked to headline on the first night.

Sponsored by the Wiltshire Times, the festival promises to be a great day out for the whole family with events going on all day and well into the night too.

The event, which is now in its eighth year and held in the field behind The Beehive pub, is run by Sparky Bloodworth and his wife Lynne. But this year he has had some extra help to make the festival the biggest and best yet.

Sam Nash, who is helping him out, said: "This year it's going to be running day and night over a whole weekend. It's going to be more of a family event with rides and a circus skills workshop during the day. It's also going to be a community event with lots of local people doing stuff too."

On Friday June 20, The Wurzels will be headlining with the Cleverly Brothers playing earlier in the evening.

Then on Saturday, Rolling Stones tribute act The Rollin Clones will be headlining, with local bands Carnaby Street, The Bad Detectives, Mike Eaton and the Young Leonardos playing.

On the Sunday, The Boghouse Boys will close the festival with Tom Rockcliffe and Sonny performing earlier in the evening.

Mr Bloodworth, 53, said: "Up until now it was only myself and Lynne organising it but we could only do two music evenings, so we've formed a committee to help take it to the next level and hopefully it will get bigger and better."

Usually the festival has tribute acts dominating the line up but this year they have booked many more local bands playing original music.

The daytime event is free but tickets for the evening events cost £15 in advance or £17 on the gate.

They can be purchased from Bradford on Avon Tourist Information Centre, the Wiltshire Times office in Duke Street, Trowbridge, from Sam Nash on (01225) 764516 or online from www.bradford-festival.co.uk.

from the 'This Is Wiltshire' website

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Wurzels Confirmed for Glasto 08 (30 April 2008)

The Wurzels will be playing on the Avalon Stage at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

The line-up for this year's Glastonbury Festival, taking place between Friday 27th and Sunday 29th of June, has now been announced. As promised the Wurzels have been awarded a higher profile slot in the festival, having being promoted from headliners on the Band Stand to a mid-afternoon slot on the Avalon Stage on the Saturday (28th).

The boys are fifth on the bill, which is headlined by The Proclaimers and also sees Will Young, Alabama 3 and The Handsome Family playing. The Wurzels follow Rachel Unthank & The Winterset, Bacalao, Malarchy and One String Loose on stage; which should see them on stage at about tea-time (timings approximate!). And I'm sure that the fact they are not headlining the stage will be no chore, as the band has a second gig booked for the same day in nearby Longleat Estate!

The Wurzels, of course, made national headlines for all the wrong reasons last year when they pulled out of last year's Glastonbury Festival after being offered a slot on the Band Stand (the same stage they had played on at their Glasto debut in 2000). At the time, organiser Emily Eavis promised the band a better slot in 2008, and seems to have lived up to her promises.

And it is not lost for any Wurzels fans who have not got their Glastonbury tickets yet. The anticipated rush for tickets seems to have been a little over-optimistic, and as a result there are still tickets available - but get your applications in ASAP as I'm sure the confirmation of The Wurzels on the bill will mean a last-minute rush for tickets!

Glastonbury Festival website

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Wurzels Go Back To School (12th March 2008)

Tommy Banner and Pete Budd took time out from gigging to visit students at Churchill Community Foundation School in North Somerset.

Students studying A-level Product Design at the school had been given a project as part of their course to design and manufacture items creations based around songs by Adge Cutler & The Wurzels; and Tommy and Pete were invited to come along and see what the results were.

The twelve students had created a range of Wurzelly products - a 'Blackbird' light which will shortly be migrating to the nearby Thatcher's Cider farm shop to highlight their Wurzel-Me Cider, a tractor-shaped hen house that will be donated to nearby Court Farm Country Park in Banwell, a range of six bar stools that will be donated to pubs in the local area, and two park benches that will be relocated to Barrow Gurney and Easton-in-Gordano (both mentioned in Adge's songs). One student also made a weather vane which is apparently mentioned in one of the Wurzels songs, but I can't place which!

Their visit included a guided tour of the school's high quality Performing Arts department. Anyone who 'never went to school' doesn't know what they were missing! Churchill Community Foundation School is renowned for its support for live music, and is a specialist school for the performing arts. It has specialist dedicated teaching and technical performing arts staff, and plenty of top qualities facilties including a 300-capacity theatre, a state-of-the-art recording studio, a drama studio and rehearsal room, and new dance studio, music and practice rooms and a music technology suite. And to show the benefits of studying live music, Tommy and Pete serenaded staff, students and visiting media with a couple of songs.

Churchill Community Foundation School website

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Wurzels Launch New Website (27th February 2008)

The Wurzels have launched their brand new official website Wurzelworld. The website was launched on 27th February and contains everything that an official band website should have - band news, gig dates, band biogs, discography, gallery, shop, and a forum. There is also a mailing list for you to sign up to get the latest news from Wurzelworld - sign up now and you get a chance to win a signed copy of the Mervyn Hancocks book, 'Wurzels World'.

The website announces that it has recently ‘rediscovered’ the two hand-written letters by Adge Cutler that are stored in the archives of the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office in Trowbridge. See the Wurzelmania! news archive for 2005 for more information about these letters, and how to get a look at them yourselves.

New Wurzels website

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The Wurzels Confirmed for Rock'N'Roots Festival (20th February 2008)

The Wurzels will be playing at the Rock'N'Roots Festival in Herefordshire this August. Great family days out with three music tents, stalls, craft displays, exotic foods, juggling schools and wine bar set amongst the beautiful green fields of picturesque Herefordshire.

This new eclectic festival is buried in the heart of ciderland, showcasing folk, blues and rock'n'roots for all ages. Two Big Top marquees and an outdoor stage will be hosting the music over the bank holiday weekend. Marillion and USA legendary axe man Steve Cropper, alongside reformed blues rockers Bad Company and Curved Air, will be featuring amongst the hefty blues and folk roots line up.

The Wurzels are booked to play on the bank holiday Monday 25th August and will join Bad Company, blues guitar maestro Walter Trout and the Radicals, Neck, Stan Webb's Chickenshack, Michael Chapman, 3 Daft Monkeys, Cheryl Beer.

The Rock'n'Roots Festival takes place at Rye Meadows, Much Marcle, near Ledbury, Herefordshire HR8 2NL. Tickets go on sale from 8th April 2008 at www.rocknroots.co.uk (website not live yet!). Great family days out with three music tents, stalls, craft displays, exotic foods, juggling schools and wine bar set amongst the beautiful green fields of picturesque Herefordshire.

Check the official The Rock'n'Roots Festival for more information (official website currently down - check Ents24 for full line-up).

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Wurzels To Headline Buckland Beer Festival 2008 (11th February 2008)

The Wurzels have been confirmed as headliners at the 2008 Buckland Beer Festival on Saturday 16th August.

Landlord and festival promoter Jeremy Westcott (pictured right with The Wurzels in preparation for the 2008 festival) confirmed that The Wurzels will be playing on Saturday evening with live music all day building up to their show.

The Buckland Beer Festival takes place at the Buckland Showground, behind the Bell Inn in Buckland Dinham (on the A362 midway between Frome and Radstock). The festival takes place over three days - Friday being the annual Blues & Rock Evening, live music all Saturday culminating in The Wurzels, and Sunday being the annual Pirate Festival & Village Day. Jeremy promises over 50 beers, lagers, ciders and wines.

Tickets cost £20.00 in advance for the weekend, £15.00 in advance for Saturday, £10.00 in advance for Friday; Sunday is free to everyone. Tickets include souvenier glass and first drink free (exc. Sunday!). Onsite camping costs £5.00 per pitch per night (motorhome, caravan or tent); limited to 250 so booking in advance is recommended!

Buy Your Tickets Here

Check the official Buckland Beer Festival website for more information.

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John 'Jai' Howe Passed Away (6th February 2008)

It is with great sadness that we report the death of former Wurzels bass player Jai Howe.

John 'Jai' Howe was one of those rarities - a two-times Wurzels. He first joined the band in the mid-1980s replacing Tony Baylis the band's long-time bass player. Although he left not long after, he returned towards the end of 2002 when he replaced Dave Wintour. Interviewed in 2004 for Mervyn Hancock's book Wurzels World, Jai (then 57) hoped that this was a job that would last him for the rest of his life. Sadly that wasn't to be, and in the autum of 2006 he left the band for a second time, due to ill health.

That illness turned out to be inoperable brain cancer, and sadly on Monday, 4th of February 2008, John 'Jai' Howe died surrounded by close friends and family. Our thoughts go out to his wife Susanne and family.

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Wurzels To Play Camp Bestival 2008 (4th January 2008)

The Wurzels have been added to the 2008 Camp Bestival line-up along with the likes of headliners The Flaming Lips and Chuck Berry, Suzanne Vega, Billy Bragg, Kid Creole & the Coconuts and The Cuban Brothers.

Camp Bestival takes place at Lulworth Castle, Dorset on the weekend of 18th to 20th July 2008; at this time, we have no idea which day The Wurzels are playing; but as you can only buy a weekend ticket, it hardly matters!

Tickets cost £120 for adult weekend tickets; £60 for children (13-15), free for the under 15s; booking fees may apply. All children under 16 must be acompanied by a paying adult. Tickets include free camping for the weekend; Campervan Tickets are £50.00 per vehicle.

Buy Your Tickets Here

The Camp Bestival press release reads: "But remember Camp Bestival's not just about the music - for us it's the first festival to fully cater for people who love the whole camping experience, tailored for families, kids of all ages and folk who are just as happy lolling about in their own camp whiling away lazy afternoons or getting stuck into one of the many options for fun and entertainment - from Come Dancing dance classes, knocking up a scarf in the world's first Knitting Tent, storytelling around campfires or performing your own Spoken Word on one of our open stages."

Check the official Camp Bestival website for more information.

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