"Send In The Clowns ..."

November 30, 2018

Dedicated readers of our Blog page will recollect an earlier post (published on 18 Sept 2018) which revealed Steve Graham's Cold War activities as an undercover Sicilian goatherd. After a brief recuperation from this loyal service, and having transferred his musical expertise to the kazoo, Steve auditioned for that much sought-after ensemble, The Nempnet Thrubwell All Star Kazoo Band and - after considerable competition from Alice Leggings (aged 8) - proudly landed the job and joined the band on an extensive tour of the Deep South (including Brighton, Eastbourne, Portsmouth, and Hove) with The Fibonacci Brothers' Circus. It was during this sequence of gigs that the amusing little ensemble became pre-eminent among kazoo bands emanating from the Nempnett Thrubwell area.

 

The comedy aspect of the band - reflected in their colourful (and really rather hilarious) clown costumes - concealed a more serious purpose, as their performances were actually required to divert the audience's attention from the somewhat unsavoury (but of course very necessary) sweeping-up operations after each animal act - especially the elephants. These gentle giants were taught by their trainer to 'applaud' with their front feet whenever Steve launched into his virtuoso version of When Erastus Blows His Old Kazoo. This cheerful song of yesteryear remains even now (thankfully) the sole kazoo item in his repertoire, though the spread of political correctness eventually led to his abandonment of the Jolly Comic Scoutmaster costume (see photo - extreme right) which so used to entertain the younger members of the circus audience, as he passed among them distributing quacking rubber ducks, which sounded for all the world like a load of kazoos ...

 

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