Three Bonzos And A Piano - Bestival 2012 review

'It has been a privilege to be here'

Photographer: John BownasJohn Bownas on 08 September 2012

While Florence plays her heart out to tens of thousands, there are plenty of alternatives available to the discerning Bestival-goer.

Tucked away in a far corner of the furthest field tonight is the perfect antidote to over-produced power-pop. Three Bonzos and a Piano could not be further removed from the polished world of Florence Welch.

The stage is littered with jokey, makeshift props. The crowd are sat cross-legged on the floor. The lyrics are often forgotten and are regularly mangled. But there is a friendly warmth about the wholel show. A bonhomie born out of the Bonzo’s legendary musical lineage.

Their original decade is now forty years behind them – and even back then they were a gimmicky bag of quirky oddness.

However they played alongside many of the greats, and their jokey songbook has a boisterous and irreverent music hall quality about it that has somehow stood the test of the passing years.

‘Jollity Farm’s’ cows still go ‘moo’ (and the bull does too...), and ‘Out in India’ and ‘The Tale of Ali Baba’ both bounce along with the joyous abandon of a bunch of old geezers having a laugh.

They are not allowed to play with pyrotechnics anymore, so the crowd have to shout ‘bang’ on cue.

Their special effects are limited to ‘toast charming’ (you had to be there...).

The crowd ‘autocue’ is held upside down and back to front, but frankly nobody cares.

This is a lingering remaining fragment of the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah Band, and it has been a privilege to be here.


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