Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Recent Gigs Part Two: Ed Tudorpole / Chinese Burn

One of the first gigs I ever went to was a Tenpole Tudor concert at Stroud Leisure Centre, waaaay back in December 1981 when I was the tender age of 14. The band were riding ( relatively ) high on the success of two Top 20 singles, Swords Of A Thousand Men and Wunderbar, and were touring their second album, the massively under-appreciated Let The Four Winds Blow. Tenpole Tudor were an exciting, enthusiastic live proposition, with their Punky-rockabilly racket, medieval costumes and boggle-eyed, eccentric frontman, Ed. My teenage mates and I had a great time, jumping around and singing along to the bands' anthems, dodging the scary Punks and even scarier Skin'eads around us, and singing Happy Birthday to Mr. Tudorpole because 'twas his birthday that day. Ah, memories...
But now, a frightening 32 (!) years later, Ed was back in Stroud, this time appearing at the Stroud Fringe Festival with his one man show, accompanied only by a battered old acoustic guitar. Could he relive the magic of days gone by...?
Well, we'll get to that shortly. First of all I have to mention Stroud's favourite sons, the mighty Chinese Burn who were supporting Ed at Stroud's Queen Victoria pub. This was their third gig in three days at the Fringe and they were well-rehearsed and firing on all cylinders by this point. The last time I saw them play was at Stroud's Subscription Rooms a couple of months back, with Gloucester Street-Punks, Demob. Not their best gig, it has to be said, but even on their more ragged days the Burn are always worth watching. No problems this time, however. They stormed through a set of tuneful, Punk-pop firecrackers, to the delight of a packed-out Queen Vic, and even dedicated a song to your humble blogger. Cheers guys! After they finished with the obligatory cover of Beat On The Brat it was time for the main event...
 Ed sneaked out of a doorway and proceeded to beat the living daylights out of his acoustic while regaling us with hilarious, touching and witty songs and stories. A ball of furious energy with a wicked gleam in his eye, Ed Tudorpole is a captivating performer, a true English eccentric. Topics covered in his warm, friendly, funny set included Malcolm McLaren and the Sex Pistols, moustaches, his teenage son, the merits of Mercedes versus Fiat, love, ageing and the pigeon-holing of artists as "Punk" or otherwise...
Here are Sarah and my mate Glenn's daughter Millie enjoying yet another of Ed's mad utterances.
( Ed actually made a bee-line for Sarah after the set, prompting her to splutter "I'm married... to him"  -  indicating me  -  much to Ed's disappointment. He said to me "Why do girls always mention their boyfriends to me? Why do they do that?" Bless him! She did give him a peck on the cheek before we left, so that will have to do... )
As well as many unfamiliar, but great, songs we were treated to some Tenpole Tudor standards like Throwing My Baby Out With The Bathwater and Three Bells In A Row as well as hilariously mangled versions of Friggin' In The Rigging and Who Killed Bambi?
After winning over a delighted audience Ed came back to encore with the most well-known of his songs... this time with a backing band...
Yes, Chinese Burn backed Ed Tudorpole  for a storming version of ( what else?) Swords Of A Thousand Men. With no rehearsal and having learned the song overnight, the Burn absolutely tore up the place with an awesome take on this old favourite, all clearly having the time of their lives. And that went for the audience too. To the untrained eye this all might have seemed like a bunch of drunk, middle-aged men shouting "Hoorah Hoorah Hoorah Yay!"... and that's exactly what it was... but it was fantastic :-)
After the set I got Ed to sign a couple of old pieces of vinyl for me and also bought the long-lost third Tenpole Tudor album, Made It This Far, from him. I'll sign off with his own words from the sleeve-notes of the album:
"God bless us all, love from Ed, Edward Tudor Pole, Ten Pole Tudor, Eddie Tenpole and all at no. 93..."


 Soundtrack: Rebellion ( Lies ), The Suburbs, Ready To Start and ( awesome new track ) Reflektor  -  all by Arcade Fire

2 comments:

Glenn Lander said...

Great review mate of one of the most enjoyable 4.5 minuits I've ever had (or will have) behind a guitar!

cerebus660 said...

And it was great from the audience's point of view too! One of the best gigs I've been to in ages and a real treat to see you guys rockin' out with Ed Tudorpole and having a blast :-)
Long live the underdog!

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