2005-02-15 : Operation Yum Yum

Well kids, there's another tick on the list of Uncle Humpy's lifelong goals being realised ! As the photo below illustrates, I've now met The Goodies !

OK, well that there was one hell of an action packed weekend. And I suspect if I ever have another one like it, I shan't survive – this one was touch and go as it was…

Friday night I managed to get the bulk of my packing done for the big move on Saturday. In hindsight I probably should have started earlier in the week (to be fair, Thursday night almost saw some achievements in this dept., but progress was sadly thwarted by the appearance of Captain Procrastination).

Saturday morning I caught the underground in to meet Richie, Paul and Jaim for the event of the decade – the launch of the new Goodies DVD, featuring 8 more episodes, including Radio Goodies (Boom) and Bunfight at the OK Tearooms. What an awesome moment – being in the same room as 3 of the architects of my childhood memories… One thing I learned that was somewhat surprising to this punter was that their following in Australia is far larger and more enthusiastic than their following over this side of the pond ! The chief reason for this is that The Goodies was never replayed by the BBC (whereas it was repeated ad-nauseam by the ABC and Channel 7 !). I guess it makes sense that they would test the water for a Goodies reunion in a fairly large Australian city (i.e. London).

Interesting fact: London has only slightly fewer Aussies in it than Darwin.

After the screening of a couple of the episodes, we had the opportunity to get our DVDs autographed by the Three, however sadly there wasn't the time for a better photo opportunity. Although Tim Brooke-Taylor did say “Smart hat” to me.

After that pinnacle of human existence, I went back home and helped with the move – and are we all SOOOOOO glad that that's all over and done with ? Yes, we are ! All of our stuff's now in place, and I've handed over the keys for the old Kensal Rise lodgings. NO MORE SILVERLINK !!! No more Silverlink Bitch apologising for their hopeless bloody train service. Friends, I cannot begin to describe (owing to my stunted vocabulary) how replete with exultant jubilation I am at this moment.

Saturday night the lot of us made our way down to Shepherd's Bush to see everyone's favourite rockgrass band, Hayseed Dixie. Once again, a totally rockin' gig – those guys sure know how to turn on some badass tunes, and the crowd was 100% into it too. It was a bit of a moment for them, because they said a couple of times with awe that it was the biggest venue they'd ever headlined at – it had twice the crowd that the last gig had, and was every bit as jam packed. About the only thing wrong with it was it was nigh on impossible to get to the bar and refill with JD, cos the damn place was shoulder-to-shoulder.

Interesting fact: The mandolin player and the banjo player from Hayseed Dixie are both world class artists in their own right, and sons of the legendary banjo player Don Reno, who co-wrote Duelling Banjos.

Sunday morning (yup, there's more !) Andres and I went down to Heathrow to meet Steve, freshly arrived from his latest bunch of touring on Mousecatraz. After what seemed like only 5 hours on the underground, we made it back to Camden, dumped Steve's luggage, and then headed off for a nose around the Camden Markets. I have to say, I love taking people in to Black Rose and Cyberdog – it's reassuring to see their jaws drop about the same distance mine did on my first trip in there… and of course, there's the requisite amount of giggling to be done at the concept of vinyl nurse's outfits.

Finally, Charlie and her mum got back from Ikea with their bountiful stash of Swedish goodies (possibly a bad turn of phrase in light of the previous paragraph…), and we set about making some home improvements. At 4:45 we realised that we were meant to be somewhere at 5, and all bundled into a bus to go see The Umbilical Brothers in their latest show, “Thwak!”.

I'd been telling everyone about the Umbies for a while (including Wazza the Wonder Horse, who's a complete twonk and forgot to turn up), and hopefully my descriptions did them some form of justice… the show contained several Umbi classics, such as “Hans und Klaus” the German mime artists (vis zee Klapp! Und zee Shimmy…), and the “Teamwork” sequence. A lot of it was quite different though, and it was a strange moment for me, because whilst at the same time I found the new stuff to be deep fried gold, I was wanting to see stuff I knew because I knew the others would find it hilarious. Evidently the way a show works though is that the artists performing it get creative control, irrespective of whatever psychic messages an audience member tries to foist upon them.

So in summary, I am now utterly knackered, and I've seen 3 awesome acts, an autographed DVD, a house full of Australians, and it's only Monday.