EDitorial ± 9-Sep-2010

Neil Innes, Ipswich

There was once a most peculiar show on BBC2 called The Innes Book Of Records (see clip). It featured the eponymous Mr Innes in a series of pop videos, kind of, with a wide variety of musical styles. He might be dressed as Chaplin, or a suave concert pianist, or with a Peter Gabriel flower mask. One clip would end, another would begin, then half an hour was up and that was it. Most odd. I thought it was great.

Only much later did I discover that:

  • the two main men in the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band were Viv Stanshall and ... Neil Innes
  • the chief minstrel in Monty Python & The Holy Grail is ... Neil Innes
  • the two main men in the Rutles were Eric Idle and ... Neil Innes
  • the protest singer from The Secret Policeman's Ball is ... Neil Innes

Seemed that he's been everywhere -- including a Ukulele Orchestra concert in 2007 -- and is now doing a "four night residency" at McGinty's in dear old Ipswich. As the great man says, "not quite the Hollywood Bowl."

Warming up the audience, he begins with a brief I'm The Urban Spaceman, or, as he calls it, "a medley of hit". He talked us through the early days of the Bonzos, buying penny 78s with awful titles like "I'm Going To Bring A Watermelon To My Girl Tonight", and did a French accented hum-along version of Love Is Getting Deeper, complete with dodgy moustache. Took me back fully 30 years to The Innes Book Of Records. Marvellous evening with fine support from The rocking B.Goodes and the girly Ladybird & The Larks.