Friday, September 17, 2010

Manager Wanted: Apply Here

Whilst strutting back to work from my lunchbreak one day much in the manner of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (only without the tin of paint) I came across an unexpected and rather fragrant piece of street theatre.

Though I’d like to think these boys were fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe I know for a fact they’ve not missed a single day of retching through the park gates for at least the last 3 months so I know they haven’t been as far north as Boots The Chemist let alone Scotland.

But there they were. 5 of them. A street drunk quintet all sitting on the steps of the KL Oriental Supermarket looking like a living, moving fly tip.

They’re a strange combo in terms of audience demographics but I can see they’re trying to cover all their potential bases. Their ages seem to range from mid 50’s down to early twenties. There was even a guy with a porkpie hat and a moustache who looked as if he’d been exhumed from the communal grave of 1960’s skiffle.

Now it’s not unusual to see one or other of these guys singing. Usually a bad Tom Jones (geddit?) or a raspy Shirley Bassey – occasionally a bit of Happy Mondays – but to see all of them performing as a single ensemble was quite frankly so jaw-droppingly amazing that I literally nearly dropped my... well... my jaw.

They were singing together. They were organized. They’d obviously rehearsed. Even worse / better one of them – the baby of the group (a 6 footer of around 25 but undoubtedly with the liver of a 65 year old French man) was attempting to provide percussion solely with his mouth. A human beat-box. Or in his case, a human beat-up-box.

Unfortunately he hadn’t quite mastered the art so all his spitting and raspberry blowing sounded less like a kick-drum and a snare and more like an elephant farting into a biscuit tin. With the addition that everyone in a 2ft radius of him was getting wet.

Best of all these guys weren’t singing into “air mics”. Oh no. Nothing so crass and amateurish. They were singing into their cans of Special Brew. Possibly this deepened the rich timbre that their vocal chords were producing and added a touch of reverb.

Anyway, I confess I had a Dick Rowe moment and briefly considered taking these boys on and seeing if I could steer them to fame and fortune. Or if not that then at least The X Factor (I’d love to see Simon Cowell getting rhythmically spat on) but what with my other commitments – Take That, Amy Winehouse and Jane McDonald – and a young family to raise I just don’t have the time or the energy to take on a boy band with so much genuine street cred and so many permanent health issues.

So I’m throwing it open to the blogging community. This could be your opportunity to get onto the ground level of the next big thing. A contact in Alcoholics Anonymous would be a plus as would a natural immunity to the combined odours of vomit and beer breath. A sponsorship deal with Heineken is already in the pipeline and A&E are expecting you.

Good luck.


45 comments:

MOTHER OF MANY said...

It is a pity you did not video them on your phone and Youtube it.I bet it would have gone viral!

Steve said...

Ally: sadly I never think on my feet enough to whip out the ol' phone camera besides which another virus is the last thing these boys need...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

If I ever have to move back to the UK, I heading straight to Leamington Spa, these guys sound a veritable aural treat.

Being Me said...

Fan-bloody-tastic. What a visual you've provided. Including the prospect of you wearing some bell bottoms a-la SNF style.

French Fancy... said...

Singing and spitting as therapeutic entertainment? They should try the plaza at Covent Garden next - that should clear the place.

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: don't forget the smelly vision aspect too - it's a full bodied experience!

Being Me: I look good in a head band too, man...

FF: I was thinking a great name for the band might be Hawk/Wind but apparently a variation of that name is already in use.

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

Me! Me! I'll do it. I've got ideas of combining them with the Trowbridge Trio who perform similar stuff near my office on the 'riverside walk' where nobody walks except those of the unwashed and alcoholic persuasion (or those with an extraneous supermaket trolley to dispose of) and our local 'Singing Man' who wanders the streets singing hits from the West End. Whaddya think?

Steve said...

Previously (Very) Lost in France: I think you have a Broadway show in the making - The Skids From Fame! What do you think?

Modern Military Mother said...

If only......but....damn! I have these moments too - I am thinking Alley Cats from Disney's Aristocrats. A black and white photo - you are the Robert Doisneau of blogging.

Previously (Very) Lost in France said...

That's it. Fantastic. I'll share my management fee with you. Do you like Special Brew by the way?

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Its not unusual....Tom Jones. YEAH I GOT IT (after some considerable time)

Steve said...

Modern Military Mother: I had to Google him but I'm taking that as a big compliment - thank you.

Previously (Very) Lost in France: I do like Special Brew - but only on the way down; I'm not so keen on it on the way back up.

Trish: I was afraid it might have got a bit lost; glad someone found it!

missbehaving said...

You had me at John Travolta.

Steve said...

MissBehaving: you can tell from the way I use my walk...

the fly in the web said...

Crumbs!
Leamington Spa was never like this when I used to go up there over forty years ago....when did it get all arty?

You need to get the Guardian arts and culture journalists on to them...before you know where you are they'll have sponsors and will be playing to middle class audiences in London....a plastic mac will be included in the ticket price.

Steve said...

The fly in the web: I look forward to them being conducted by Sue Perkins on the Last Night Of The Proms...

Curry Queen said...

I've heard Louis Walsh likes a boy band (oo-er Matron). I will make a point of seeking them out on one of our regular visits to Leamington and will have the camera at the ready!

Steve said...

Curry Queen: Louis will need to give these boys a damned good polishing before their stageworthy... but I'm guessing he'll enjoy that...!

Heather said...

When we were kids we used to have a guy that would come around the bus station singing very badly and incomprehensibly to whatever music was playing in his ear phones. He sounds like he would fit in very well. Or perhaps he already has...

Kelloggsville said...

I need a picture, it's all in the visuals these days and whilst I have an image of Robbie singing to Special Brew, I need to confirm it is so before commiting to investing. (ps my date turned up and he performed splendidly!)

Steve said...

Heather: did he wear a porkpie hat and sport a rather broom-like moustache...?

Kelloggsville: glad to hear you're basking in the afterglow of a good plumbing session... if I see them out again performing I'll make sure I whip out my camera and take a few publicity shots!

Fran said...

I think I know exactly the boy band you mean ...

Steve said...

Fran: we could use a backing singer if you're interested...?

Owen said...

Susan Boyle move over !!!!!

Steve said...

Owen: definitely. The stage isn't big enough for the both of them.

The Sagittarian said...

haha, an elephant farting into a biscuit tin! Where do you get these ideas? Love it.
Maybe a Life times of the poor and debauched?

Steve said...

Amanda: I must admit I nicked that from an old boyhood joke - what's the definition of thunder? - an elephant farting into a biscuit tin! It kind of stuck with me.

The Dotterel said...

I've never heard an elephant fart into a biscuit tin before, and now - thanks to you, Steve - I feel I don't have to.

Another tick (albeit vicarious) in the box of life's experiences.

Steve said...

The Dotterel: it's all part of the service. I try these things so that you don't have to.

LöstJimmy said...

What a pretty pictue you have described. Plenty of more where that lot came from around here. The usual 'A Team' (a for alcohol) suspects juiced up on Electric Soup.

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: damn. Sounds like the competition is liable to be pretty tough.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think you could have made a fortune; and strutting like Travolta could have been performed in Hollywood. You never know what's around the corner...!

CJ xx

Steve said...

CJ: alas, I don't think these boys will travel well...!

Michelle Twin Mum said...

Well, who said lunchbreaks at work were boring??? Sounds like your town sports a lot of talent. Shame that right now I am busy too and can't offer my managerial services....

Mich x

Steve said...

Michelle Twin Mum: pity, I don't think it'll be long before these boys are snapped up. Probably by the police for their Christmas ball.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

The Leamington Lepers, I can see it now! ;- )

Steve said...

Laura: everybody will want a piece of them!

Suburbia said...

Wish I'd been there (just to get a look at your John Travolta !)
;-)

Steve said...

Suburbia: the airplane wing collars make me stand out a mile. Literally.

femminismo said...

Sounds like a fascinating street scene. That stuff doesn't go on around here ... or else I miss it all.

Steve said...

Femminismo: sometimes you just need to check out the underbelly of life to find some fascinating belly button fluff...

misssy m said...

Sorry I've got that niche totally covered. I'm the agent of the old boy with the accordion that hangs about with the newspaper seller outside Marks and Spencers in Aberdeen.

Steve said...

Misssy M: can I interest you in a managerial buy out?

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Impressive. Down to the beer bottle mikes and the 2 foot radius spit spray. I definitely think this is a golden opportunity. Too bad I'm 3000 miles away...

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: don't worry; I'm sure he can spit further if he puts his mind to it.