Thursday, May 28, 2009


Does the idea of seeing Spinal Tap live appeal? Bad enough in a venue but standing in a field?

Thousands of people will be able to experience the Tap this summer at Michael Eavis's Funny Farm. Of course, any entertainment on show in the film was to be gleaned from offstage areas. A shit rock band trying to be funny onstage is just a shit rock band trying to be funny onstage.

I've seen some unintentionally funny bands in my years of gig-going. There was the craply-caped Rick Wakeman, Yes starring The Buggles, Genesis with pervy little Phil in his raincoat, the very hairy ponce Sammy Hagar, the very hairy ponces Rush, The Tolkeinesque Enid, the preposterously portentous Comsat Angels, the ridiculously "wasted" Wasted Youth, the comically "lovesexy" Prince, the pretentiously ironic REM...

I could go on. Of course Spinal Tap will think they're going to be the funniest thing at Glastonbury. But with Tom Jones, Tony Christie, Status Quo, Blur et al on the bill they won't even come in the top ten.

Which unintentionally funny bands or artists have you seen live? i.e. the opposite of The Grumbleweeds.


  1. I was dragged to see Wilco Johnson once in Norwich. Only about 12 people turned up so there wasn't the mass of people to absorb the wall of unbearable sound.

    On a slightly different angle, comedy never seems to work outside a small Theatre size - I'm thinking of Smith & Jones at Live Aid etc. Comedy isn't a Stadium gig even for comedians, let alone "ironic" musicians.

  2. That would be Crass at Digbeth town hall.

  3. I saw Sporty Spice live once. She sang:

    "I am the anti-christ...
    I am Sporty Spice"

  4. WASP at Donnington '92. Blackie Lawless was unintentionally funnier than Bad News.
    Tickets for Tap's London gig cost around £45. I'd go and see them if I could pay using Monopoly money 'cos they're not a real band.

  5. Rog - I saw Wilko when he was in the Blockheads. Backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards. He should really have joined the Fine Young Cannibals. Only Chris Rock can play to a large theatre. Most comedians are better off staying at home.

    Arabella - I didn't get to see Crass play Crayford Town Hall. I feel like I missed something now.

    Dopper - She must have been channeling Bryan Adams.

    Istvanski - I think I'd rather see a wasp than any of the bands at Donnington. £45? You can get a couple of matinee tickets for Chicago for that!

  6. Lulu - about 100 years ago.
    She was exactly like Janette Kranky. I think she's been to finishing school since then.

  7. Christ, I read that as Spinal Tap live aid appeal... I need to lie down some more...

  8. Watching New Order squirm uncomfortably through their 45 minute set, following their support - Musical Youth - in Balsall Heath.

    Derek Smalls is a Shrewsbury Town fan.

  9. Scarlet - What a horrible thought.

    Malc - That's a very strange bill. Derek must be very disappointed.

  10. Not to worry, saddled with his penchant for supplementing his swimsuit area, Smalls won't get through the airport security in this post 911 world.

    Thanks again for the Empire Of The Sun tip..I have to tell you that I hear a lot of 10cc in there and I play Half Mast about 10 times a day.
    Any other tips?

  11. He's leaving his cucumber at home this time.

    Glad you like Empire Of The Sun. Other recent decent bands with high voices are Passion Pit and Friendly Fires. I presume you've heard Ladyhawke and Robyn (going further back)? I'm trying and failing here to be up with the pops. Just shoot me now.