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Wednesday 13 June 2012

how I almost became an entrepreneur,
Simon Cowell style

skiffle : our first gig

If there had been a skiffle group*
five hundred years ago,
I doubt it would have looked
or sounded like
our Anglo-Saxon Bang-Go Band.

So forget about authentic,
just feel the rhythms 
and the beat, beat, beat.

So read the poster for the group's big day.

As for authenticity... could you have seen
the motley crew...Bluebottle II,
Scarag the hardy, Blanket Boy,
Shamrock VII, Sangfroid Albatross,
Lady Mitch and Scavenger at Sea.

Rain in quantities which I thought Biblical
throughout our Project: Anglo Saxon.
Lashings of it. Permanent wet play. Please Sir,
could we start up one of these?
These = pic. of skiffle group.
And that's how it was born.

Blanket Boy was first: arrived next day
with tea chest (stencilled on the side
the magic words One Anglo Saxon
all in sepia) complete with broom
and miles of string and fishing line.
Next in: assorted hollow things, rolled,
drilled and stretched or bent to blow or bang;
a toy guitar - more lute-shaped than guitar -
and one monstrosity of cartons on a pipe -
three, I think - from large to small,
each complete with its own reed. Lady
Mitch - her dad had made a Rackett.
So would she. Their thought to call it
Anglo Saxon - never mind the Saxon,
feel the thrum, the hum and sum of it.

Alas it didn't last and I was never threat
to Simon Cowell - still waiting to be born.

* here


Brian Miller said...

ha....a band of home made instruments....hey it would have been interesting hear for sure...i had my band days...we were metal though....smiles.

Jinksy said...

assorted hollow things, rolled,
drilled and stretched or bent to blow or bang

Reminds me of parties when my kids were small! LOL

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of fun, the way you tell it - the rain especially dramatic. k.

Ygraine said...

Thank goodness you never rivalled Simon Cowell!

Your observations are always constructive;
His are destructive.

If I were performing, I know who I'd rather have judge me!
Hehehe :D

Mary said...

The term "skiffle group" is new to me. I do wonder if this is a British term. In any case, this definitely sounds like a lot of fun.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

About skiffle I don't know anything, but I was musically born into the Rhythm & Blues: Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett...mainly.
And I felt the atmosphere here in this poem all the same very familiar.

Dulcina said...

Hehehe, amusing piece, Dave, thanks; I could hear the "music" noise while reading, I felt the rhythms and the triple beat, yes.
Les Luthiers, that excelent Argentine comedy-musical group, came to my mind, real high quality skiffle.
"Forget about authentic", why? Can there be anything more authentic than playing with everyday's objects; just like children in a kitchen.
About the names of the "musicians", all of them are funny, especially Scavenger at Sea, hehehe.
What a pity it didn't last! American Idol talent judge has been lucky and people searching for easy fame and glory too.
Your piece hides some smart critique and irony about today's musical fashion, such as pop opera - Il Divo - or a Philharmonic Orchestra playing in the underground and in a supermarket, mamma mia!

kaykuala said...

'feel the rhythms' of the Bang Go Band. I could well imagine the beats, Dave! Must have been lots of fun. Good music and good guys and no Simon! Great verse!


A Cuban In London said...

You were born, re-born and will many times continue to be born, as long as you carry on writing delightful poems like this. I didn't know what a skiffle was until last year when I saw the film critic Mark Kermode (sp?) discussing his love of rockabilly. He mentioned skiffle bands in passing and I was pleasantly amused by the existence of these groups of musicians that played their homemade instruments. It goes to show that we all carry a melody inside. Yours comes out in poetry as well.

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Apologies for replying to you all individually, but I had no broadband (again!) for a good part of yesterday, and so have a deal of catching up with myself to do.

I thank you all for your delightful responses - and they all were, without exception, delightful. They have given me much pleasure, and will give more when I can find the time to read them rather more leisurely.

Thanks again.