Frome Strikes Comedy Gold

14 Jul

Well, words fail me, almost.  How can I convey the exuberance, anarchy and sheer fun that the Bonzos created in Frome on Sunday night?

I didn’t quite know what to expect.

I was familar with The Doo Dah Band’s choice back catalogue (‘Looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes.  Nice’) and remembered their appearances on ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ through a haze of youthful nostalgia, but nothing can prepare you for the full impact of the live show.

The whole performance is based on the premise ‘if you don’t rehearse, how can it go wrong?’

It’s an attitude I think we should apply to Life.

The show teeters on the edge of being completely shambolic, but there’s method in the mayhem.  The make-it-up-as-it-goes feel is a carefully constructed front for truly excellent musicianship and strong material.

I can’t think of any other performers who combine music and comedy so well.  Their performance isn’t funny, they are funny.

They are part of an immaculate comedy pedigree that stretches back to the surreal nonsense of Dada, the vulgarity of vaudeville and music hall and the ludicrous world of The Goons; their inheritance can be found in The Young Ones, Bill Bailey and Vic & Bob.

Though there were some Bonzos fans in the audience who knew each song (and shirt – listen to the recording) inside out, anyone could enjoy this show for the unrestrained pleasure the musicians have in performing which they share lovingly and generously with the audience.

That’s enough from me.  You can judge for yourself with a recording of the show available here under Programmes/New Stuff, courtesy of Frome FM and, of course, the band!

One Response to “Frome Strikes Comedy Gold”

  1. Tim'sDad1 February 5, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Some 45 years ago I saw the Bonzos at the Magdalene College May Ball: can’t really remember a thing about that performance but have just seen them at Ruislip: took my wife who had hardly heard of them with some trepidation as, although we love each other dearly, our sense of humour does not quite mesh sometimes. But what a fantastic act/performance/evening – I am not given to laughing out loud (post-war upbringing and rationing I suppose) but by the end of the evening I was quite worn out with the fun of it all – and Susanne had a great time too. Her word – “zany”. But hidden under all the fun is, of course, a very talented group of characters. Were they ad-libbing when things appeared to go not quite right – or was this part of the show ? To not know the answer to that question is one of my measures of a great act. Thank you Three Bonzos (and the piano) and Andy (I don’t know how used he is to playing with the other four, but the fact he held himself together is something of a tribute). I shall look out for the next visit to West London. Thank you all five.

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