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Scrumpy & Western News 2009

also see old news archives from 2007 and 2008

Bill Bailey Tickets - on sale today! (posted 2nd Mar 2009)

Tickets for Bill Bailey's summer tour have gone on sale today for dates in Salford, Dublin, Oxford and Bristol.

Fresh from his marathon run at the Geilgud Theatre in London, Scrumpy & Western comedian Bill Bailey has announced a summer tour. Instead of braving the elements by performing at festivals this year, Bill Bailey has decided to move indoors where the acoustics are better and the Tibetan Hat stalls are less frequent. Coinciding with the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's seminal work, 'On the Origin of Species', Bill will continue to provide the masses with his comedic take on the world, showing us all that he is really is one of a kind.

The Bill Bailey: Live tour will feature much new material as well as including parts of Tinselworm, performed at the Gielgud recently, which was in itself a significant development on from the arena shows. Tickets are now on sale for dates in Salford, Dublin, Oxford and Bristol, with Nottingham, Plymouth and Glasgow tickets due to go on sale soon.

The tour starts on 9th June with six dates at the Lowry Centre in Salford before moving onto the Olympia Theatre, in Dublin for three dates at the end of June. After a month's break (possibly to insert more dates at other venues - or perhaps so he can have a holiday!), he takes to the stage in Nottingham at the end of July, followed by Plymouth, Oxford, Bristol and Glasgow across August.

Nottingham: 27th July - 1st August, Plymouth: 3rd - 8th August, Glasgow: 17th - 22nd August.

Tickets will sell fast (and are probably already half sold out when you read this!), so grab them while you can. And seeing Bill live is an experience you will not want to miss. He's damned good on the TV, but he is superb live!

Check the gig guide for full dates, prices and times (where we have them) and links to ticket agents.

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Get Orf My Land CDThe Mangledwurzels New Album Due In March! [posted 24 Feb 2008]

The Mangledwurzels long-awaited second album Wurz'ee II now has an official release date - and the band are now taking advanced orders to be shipped with a free bonus CD as soon as the album is completed.

Wurz'ee II is a collection of what is mostly the band's own compositions which they hope will stand up as a Scrumpy & Western album in its own right. It is a wholly studio-based album with much more instrumentation than you would hear at a Mangledwurzel gig. Seth is caught playing bass guitar and Variaxe as well as his normal electro-acoustic guitar, while Jethro has dug up some different sounds from his new Korg synthesisers. The band has also incorporated the drumming and percussion of Dozy Trowel - aka Cozy Towel from Seth's previous band The Glambusters - which adds a new dimension to the band's sound.

The project has been dogged with delays - back in July 2008, the band announced that they had virtually finished recording the first ten tracks for their new album, and were working on the final few. Then - disaster struck! The hard drive on the recording studio computer corrupted and all the band's hard work was lost. Even worse, in the depths of the credit crunch, it took an age for the studio to get the bank loan to buy a replacement! As a result it was late November before the band could return to the studio recording five songs which have never seen the light of day before - Five Miles A Hour, I've Been Everywhere (In Somerset), Listening To The Archers, Porthemmet and Somerset Maid. The rough mixes of these five tracks from the bonus CD What Rough Mix which will be given away to the first 50 people who pre-order the CD!

And that should have meant the end of the project, but of course then they had to start all over again with the first batch. February 8th 2009 saw the drums laid down for the re-recordings, and by the end of the month it is hoped that these tracks will be completed - again! Then it's just a matter of mastering and post-production, and off to the pressing plant. The band is hoping to have the album ready to distribute for a release date at the end of March.

And the album is taking shape nicely; permissions are being sought for the two parody/cover versions - No Sheep 'Til Ammerdown and I've Been Everywhere (In Somerset) - and the final track listing has been decided (subject to the necessary permissions, of course):

  1. I Can Drive A Tractor
  2. The Shepton Sheep
  3. Cider Be Good For 'Ee
  4. The Poacher & the Gamekeeper
  5. No Sheep 'Til Ammerdown
  6. Valleys Girl
  7. Listening To The Archers
  8. Porthemmet
  9. Five Miles A Hour
  10. Farrington Gurney
  11. I Likes Cider (The Flatulence Song)
  12. The Rat Song
  13. I've Been Everywhere (In Somerset)
  14. Somerset Maid
  15. Beta Vulgaris Vulgaris (The Mangold-wurzel)

Wurz'ee II is now available for pre-ordering with the first 50 orders received being shipped with the limited edition (and numbered) What Rough Mix CD.

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The Cutlers Release Cornish Album! (updated 24th Feb 2009)

As you might know, St Piran's Day (5th March) is just around the corner - and to celebrate their national day, The Cutlers Of Cornwall are releasing their new album entitled One And All.

One And All is a celebration of popular music sung in Cornwall and includes the songs Lamorna, Hail to the Homeland, The White Rose, Lily of the Valley, Silver Dollar and many other songs, finishing of course with that evergreen favourite Trelawney. To this, the band have added four of their own songs: The Miners Wife, Country Life, Gisson and a brand new previously unheard song entitled Faraway - these were all written with Cornwall in mind, and have been well received locally. As a band they are pleased with the outcome, and hope others will be equally delighted.

The final track listing is:

  1. Lamorna
  2. Let The Lower Lights
  3. Railroad
  4. Faraway
  5. Little Lize/Camborne Hill
  6. The White Rose
  7. Silver Dollar/Abie
  8. The Miners Wife
  9. Cornish Lads
  10. Hail To The Homeland
  11. Gisson
  12. Lily Of The Valley
  13. Old Grey Duck
  14. Country Life
  15. Trelawney

The CD is available at a cost of just £9.99 - including free worldwide postage - from St Day General Stores in St Day in Cornwall; through the band's website or by sending a cheque/postal order for £9.99 to The Cutlers of Cornwall, 7 Bosawna Close, St Day, Cornwall TR16 5LB, UK. The CD will also be distributed across USA through CD Baby and worldwide as a Download via iTunes at the end of March.

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Wurzels Flying High at South West Birdman 2009 (posted 19th Feb 2009)

The Wurzels will be the headlining act at South West Birdman 2009 in Ilfracombe this August - although they may be overshadowed by the 'would-be aviators' flinging themselves off the end of the pier!

On Sunday 2nd August 2009 Ilfracombe Pier will host the annual South West Birdman competition which involves lots of crazy people or so called 'would-be aviators' flinging themselves over the pier to see who can 'fly' the furthest or at least plummet hilariously into the waiting sea. South West Birdman 2009 - the biggest and best Birdman event in the UK for 2009 - is not just about people flying from the pier. Organised by Ilfracombe Round Table, it should also raises thousands of pounds for local and national causes; and this year they have booked The Wurzels to help swell the crowds and swell the coffers!

South West Birdman 2009 is an all-day event - starting at 11am and running through to 8pm; at this moment we have no details as to when The Wurzels will be playing, but my guess would be towards the end of the day. But don't arrive late - this is an all-day event you won't want to miss!

As well as The Wurzels and the wannabe aviators, there will also be a Strongman Competition (to be confirmed), and other bands playing on the Truck Stop Stage, as well as fairground attractions, stalls and refreshments to ensure that you have a fun-packed and unique day out in a stunning setting.

To view more details about Birdman 2009, why not visit the event's Myspace page - and sign up as one of their Friends. And if you are mad enough to want to have ago at flying - entry packs will be available to download from the Ilfracombe Round Table website shortly. Anyone planning to jump (sorry, fly) dressed as a Wurzel will get a special mention on this website! (Proof required - we want to see the pictures!). The event organisers are also looking for sponsors and volunteers; so get in touch with Ilfracombe Round Table directly if you can help.

South West Birdman 2009 takes place on Sunday 2nd August 2009 at Ilfracombe Pier in North Devon. Ticketing prices and links will be added as soon as we have them.

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The Plonkers Plan New Album! (posted 13th Feb 2009)

The Plonkers announce the biggest thing to happen to the band in their 30 year history!

We have exclusive news, so hot it's not yet on The Plonkers website yet! Hampshire's favourite sons, The Plonkers, now have their own 24 track recording studio - The Dairy Recording studio, and they are wasting no time in using it to record their new album (codename Plonk 3) with original artwork from Golly.

Between milking sessions and fixing that flipping tractor again, The Plonkers have been finding time to work on many new songs. These are still being mixed at the moment but we have been promised some mp3 samples as soon as the recording process is complete.

The new songs will appear on the new album as well as featuring in the band's 2009 set. They include:

  • Wash Another Udder (The Dairy Man Song) - lyrics by Sarah Jane and music by Golly.
  • Have You Seen The Cider Man - lyrics by Sarah Jane and music by Gary Leport.
  • Rock Around The Barn Tonight -a modern rock'n'roll song with a rural twist.
  • We Are The Plonkers Farmers Band - lyrics and music by The Plonkers has been updated for 2009.
  • And for good measure they have Plonkerised the The Yetties classic - Fling It 'Ere, Fling It There, and Adge Cutlers's The Tanglefoot Twitch.

When we spoke to Chris Plonkmaster on Saturday (7th Feb), he informed me that Gordon and Gary were planning to record Fling It 'Ere, Fling It There that night in a local pub!

The Plonkers have also bought themselves a new Plonker Bus, and a second back-up Groupie Bus, which, by mid season, they are hoping to replace it with a Groupie Coach.

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Cider Festivals! 3rd Bath Cider Festival tickets "selling phenomenally!" (posted 12th Feb 2009)

Tickets for the 3rd Bath Cider Festival featuring over 90 ciders and The Mangledwurzels are "selling phenomenally" according to a spokesman for the Bath Pavilion ticket office.

The event, which takes place this weekend (Friday 13th & Saturday 14th February), is already looking to eclipse the success of the 2007 and 2008 events where both evening sessions sold out on the night.

According to the Pavilionshop website less than 150 of the 1000 tickets remain for each of the evening sessions, and both evening sessions will sell out on the night. Lat year over 250 people were turned away on the door over the weekend - and cider fans are urged to get their tickets in advance to avoid being locked out on the night!

Cider Festivals!The 2nd Bath Cider Festival takes place at the Bath Pavilion on North Parade, Bath BA2 4EU on Friday 13th February (7.30pm-11pm) and Saturday 14th February (11am-4pm and 7.30pm-11pm). Tickets cost £6.00 in advance per session, and £7.00 on the door.

There will be over 90 ciders and perries from across the West Country and Wales, as well as food in the shape of roast pork rolls and cheese & biscuits.

And each session will include a full show from The Mangledwurzels providing all the music to drink up your cider too.

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Wurzels To Headline Green Man Festival (posted 11th Feb 2009)

The Wurzels together with Irish folk punksters The Popes have been confirmed as headliners for the Green Man Festival in rural Clun in Shropshire.

The Clun Green Man Festival is a traditional springtime festival, held on the first May bank holiday weekend of the year. The Festival takes place in the picturesque town of Clun in South Shropshire. The programme is full of live music, drama, colour and medieval malarkey and is fun for all the family.

The Popes headline the Saturday (2nd) evening's entertainment, with The Wurzels plus local cajun favourites The Whiskey River Boys providing the support on the evening of the Sunday (3rd) with the show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale now through online ticketing company Skiddle.

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Win Wurzels Tickets! (posted 5 Feb 2009; updated 10th Feb 2009)

The Wurzelmania! website teamed up with Midnight Mango to offer readers a chance to win a pair of tickets for a Love A Wurzel On The Valentine's show of their choice.

We were given four pairs of tickets to win, courtesy of those nice guys at Midnight Mango - one pair for each of The Wurzels shows at Exeter (Wed 11th), Bridgwater (Thur 12th), Frome (Fri 13th) and Plymouth (Sat 14th). But we are not going to make it easy for you - prizes mean competitions, so we need to test your Wurzelknowledge to ensure that we are sending true Wurzels fans off to the gigs!

We devised a fiendishly complex competition in which you need to guess the title of the Wurzel songs from the initials. So, for example: DUTC would be Drink Up Thy Cider. Easy! Here are the questions and the answers:

  1. WTCMCTSD - When the Common Market comes to Stanton Drew
  2. MOTM - Moonlight on the Malago
  3. TGWTCBH - Thee's got'n where thee cassn't back'n, hassn't?
  4. ASB - Aloha Severn beach
  5. CC - Cheddar cheese
  6. SBAP - Somerset born and proud
  7. IAACD - I am a cider drinker
  8. GME - Give me England
  9. INGASH - I'll never get a scrumpy here
  10. DLBIA - Don't look back in anger

We had four winners: Chris Wilshire (Frome tickets tickets), Edd Rendell (Bridgwater tickets), Steven Todd (Exeter tickets), and Chris Ingham (Plymouth tickets). Hope you all enjoyed the shows - and maybe you can send us a review of the gig!

Many thanks to everyone else who entered the competition. That was fun! As soon as I can get hold of some suitable prizes, we'll have another competition...

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The Mangledwurzels Reissue Live Album On Loose Records! (posted 30 Jan 2009)

The Mangledwurzels have reissued their 2007 live album Get Orf My Land! on Loose Records (LSECD93) with a previously unreleased bonus track.

Get Orf My Land! (LSECD93) becomes the first album by The Mangledwurzels to be released by Cumbrian independent record label Loose Records - who had the real Wurzels on their books in the 1990s. Alongside the original nineteen tracks is the previously unreleased live version of the band's anthemic I Can Drive A Tractor, which was recorded for the album but due to technical problems never appeared on the original release.

The album was reissued on Friday 30th January, with the launch party being the first night of the 1st Bristol Winter Cider Festival, with over 900 ciderheads enjoying the band's music - as well as the ciders! The album is now available from the Loose Records website, and will soon be available on Amazon, CD-Baby, and as a Download on iTunes - as well as being sold at the band's gigs and on their own website.

Get Orf My Land! was the debut album by The Mangledwurzels, recorded live in front of an appreciative audience on the 25th November 2006 at the Charlton Inn in Shepton Mallet in the heart of Somerset. The album consists mostly of covers of Wurzels songs seasoned with a generous handful of original Mangledwurzels compositions. The album was recorded and engineered by Will Angeloro of Handsome Llama studios in Frome, Somerset. The album has been remastered for its reissue on Loose Records with a bonus song added to the track list, which now reads like this:

1. Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)
2. Drink Drink Yer Zider
3. Cider Be Good For 'Ee
4. Twice Daily
5. Chitterlings
6. I'll Never Get A Scrumpy Here
7. Valleys Girl
8. Pill Pill
9. Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee
10. I Got Me Beady Little Eye On Thee
11. I Wish I Was Back On The Farm
12. The Rat Song
13. Keep Yer 'and On Yer A'penny
14. The Champion Dung Spreader
15. Drink Up Thy Zider
16. Farmer Bill's Cowman
17. I Am A Cider Drinker
18. The Blackbird
19. Beta Vulgaris Vulgaris (The Mangold-wurzel)
Bonus track: I Can Drive A Tractor

The Mangledwurzels’ second album Wurz’Ee II is currently in the final stages of recording and is due for release at the end of March, also on Loose Records.

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The Mangledwurzels Sign To Wurzels Old Record Label! (posted 5 Jan 2009)

West Country Scrumpy & Western band The Mangledwurzels, brought up on a diet of cider and Wurzels songs, have struck a deal with Cumbrian record label Loose Records – who had the real Wurzels on their books in the 1990s.

Based in Somerset, The Mangledwurzels started performing as a Wurzels tribute band, but quickly started to write and perform their own songs. Even at their first gig, a short support slot back in 2005, their 13-song set contained two of their own compositions, parodies of pop songs in the Wurzels style. Now the band are in the studio recording a complete album of original songs – with titles like Cider Be Good for 'Ee, The Poacher & The Gamekeeper and I Can Drive a Tractor due for release in the first quarter of 2009.

Loose Records quickly snapped up this hard-working band. Said Loose head honco Andrew Titcombe: "The band are gigging pretty much every weekend of the year – with some high profile venues and events booking them; and once I heard the new songs they were recording I felt that this is a band who are on the way up. We have agreed a two-album deal in the first place, a re-issue of their first album Get Orf My Land! which has previously only been available at the band’s gigs – and the new album Wurz’Ee II as soon as they have it finished. We also have some singles planned for the coming months too."

Singer and frontman Hedge Cutter said: "Getting a chance to work with Andrew is something we are happy to do. The business side of the music industry is a complete mystery to us, and having Andrew there to look after that side of things means we can concentrate on what we do best - entertaining people! We were a bit suspicious of working with him at first; let’s fact it – he’s a Northerner! But if The Wurzels were happy to trust him, then we’d be fools not to…"

The Mangledwurzels live album Get Orf My Land! will be re-issued on Loose Records in January, and made available from the Loose Records website, online record store CD-Baby, and as a Download on iTunes. The band’s second album Wurz’Ee II is currently in the final stages of recording and will be released in early Spring.

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