10th February 2012
Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Hampshire.For Hog the Limelight
The Codfathers of Croon
The Opera Dudes have been ruminating on the life of celebrities this week, reading about the downfalls of a life in showbiz - the stresses of touring, entertaining and living in the public eye and generally dealing with the hazards of fame.
To be honest, we don't know what all the fuss is about….
We prepared for Week 2 of our three month worldwide (almost) tour, heading off in the tour bus (fiat van) to entertain the folk of the South Coast and Hampshire; not so much sun, sea and sandwiches as traffic, tribulations and technical problems. Ah well, that’s showbiz.
It all began in Totton, to the left of Southampton on the map. Driving through a housing estate thinking we must be lost, we suddenly alighted upon Hanger Farm Arts Centre, a former 17th century barn now converted into the most lovely theatre space.
|Its Dean and Neil?|
Luckily the press hadn't got wind of our arrival yet so we were able to unload without too much difficulty. In fact the place was deserted - we learned that the technical team was stuck in Cheltenham - apparently his Morris Minor had broken down - but a replacement was on the way.
As we started to sound-check, it became clear that there was an issue with the in-house PA. Never mind, we said, we'll use our trusty Bose PA system - easy to set up and it works a treat. Not on Friday 10th Feb in Totton it doesn't!!
The amp wouldn't kick up properly, so we had to resort to wheeling in another speaker on a trolley. At that point we felt like wheeling in another act on a trolley!
Anyway, the show must go on and the replacement techie arrived eventually - a lovely guy who turned out to be the most amazingly motivated 17 year old on the planet. He sorted the lights and did a sound check and we were finally ready to go, with 10 mins to spare. No time to worry about the show.
There had been some concern about the size of audience - would there be room enough to cope with the hordes of screaming Doodlies (as our dedicated fan base are now known) but luckily in the end we didn't really need the police cordon to help seat the capacity crowd at the five tables in the auditorium.
At last the Codfathers Of Croon were in business - dodgy business, maybe, but business as usual! Several audience members had to be restrained...in their cars...as they drove home...due to The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1993, but not before they had proclaimed themselves thoroughly entertained.
|I make the ladies "qviver"|
The most discerning and forthright member of the audience was young Adam, who came up on stage to help Tim and Neil deliver a much-needed singing lesson.
Not only that, his comments and contributions (aka heckling) during the show were as entertaining as they were perspicacious.
At the end of our ridiculous German set we walk off stage to beer music and then return almost immediately to sing some sublime operetta, at which point Adam shouted "They're back" (well spotted); then when Neil left the stage in a huff, Adam said "O don't go, you're brilliant" (creep!) and finally, during the piano duet, he opined, clear as a bell, "It's just like the Headmaster and a naughty schoolboy" (spot on!!)
I don't know what your problem is, Billy Connolly!