Tuesday, 3 September 2013

The Rutles : The Time Of Our Lives - Live!

The Rutles - Live at the Borderline, London - 30th August 2013

It's not my cup of tea / Its all the same to me

"Welcome to London's very own rat seller cellar" the artist known for tonight as Ron Nasty but otherwise Neil Innes beamed to an overjoyed and equally thrilled sold out Borderline crowd at this reunion of the Prefab Four.

Of course like those other crazy moptops , there can never be a reunion. Stig has again gone so quiet that no one can find him and a thorough body search of many female cabin crew of Indonesian airlines failed to turn him up.

Dirk was reported missing believed drowned while counting his money but was later rescued from a pile of premium bonds. His rift from the group is still open and bleeding five pound notes as the unsanctioned 'Rut-A-Lot' musical tours the UK with Christopher Biggins as Barry, Sanjay from 'Eastenders' as Stig, Dirk played by Steve Punt and Nasty by Shed Seven's Rick Witter.

But Nasty and Barrington Womble aka Barry Wom aka John Halsey keep the flame alive. 

When you go to see The Rutles its as if you are part of the joke, part of the films, part of this alternate history of 20th Century pop and therefore part of the Beatles mythology. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels this way. We are the strong devoted, we know every line, every side gag and every Beatles song that is being honoured / parodied / imitated or as Neil would say, being ruttled.

This isn't simple parody, that devalues how wonderfully Rutles songs capture the essence of Beatles and 60's pop with wit and subtle musical jokes. Regardless of the publishing disputes - standing on their own these are fabulous songs. 'Doubleback Alley' sparkles with carefree childhood memories

The band have the original 1978 soundtrack to the film to draw from and the lesser known 1996 'Archeology' album and they played nearly everything they had. Innes donned flowery specs and silver CND symbol for the 'Tea' years material. Their onstage banter and fun was infectious to the audience free of wazzocks talking, texting and twatting about - it was pure celebration.

Barry Wom "the voice of 1964" was like a delightfully dodgy stick of dynamite at times, overplaying his drum solos, trying to catch Innes out and making him laugh in the process. His star turns on 'Living In Hope' and 'Rendezvous' were greeted  with name chanting and thunderous applause. 

A charming version of 'All Things Must Pass' with Innes On uke was a nice nod to the guiding hand of Beatle George through the Rutles career in a way he would have loved.

Despite the heat we kept bringing them back for more and lesser known gems like Questionaire and 'Lonely Phobia' mixed with mass sing-a-longs to 'Ouch!' and 'Piggy In the Middle and the perfect Lennon ennui of 'Let's Be Natural'.' The evening ended not with the expected Oasis baiting 'Shangri-la' but one of my favourites 'Back In 64' with the sublime lyric 'Back In 64 before you were born, people were unconcerned with pouring scorn (or scoring porn)'.

"We should all go on tour" Neil yelled as the band took their bows. We love them, yeah, yeah, yeah. 

So put your hands together and let's really hear it for
Major Happy's Up and Coming Once Upon a Good Time Band...


Goose Step Mama
It's Looking Good
With A Girl Like You
Let the Good Times Roll
Major Happy's Up & Coming Once Upon a Good Time Band
I Must Be In Love
Another Day
Living In Hope
Piggy In The Middle
Love Life


Hold My Hand
Cheese & Onions
Doubleback Alley
Eine Kleine Middle Klasse Musik
Lonely Phobia
Hey Mister!
Joe Public
Easy Listening
All Things Must Pass
Number One
band Intros \ Get Up And Go
Let's Be Natural
Coronation Street Theme
Back In 64

1 comment:

  1. I was *this* far off being there myself. Though I did see Neil Innes in 2010 and his Rutle set was way too short. Nice write-up btw,