THE Kaiser Chiefs aren’t the only famous Leeds band to be visiting the island in 2012.
The Grumbleweeds, who shifted their focus from music to comedy long ago, will take the stage in Peel on Saturday, April 14, for the first gig since the Centenary Centre’s re-opening after closing for refurbishment throughout March.
Professional entertainers since 1967 and most popular in the 1980s, the name Grumbleweeds is firmly synonymous with a bygone era, and as such they remain chronically unfashionable, but there is no getting round the fact that these two are still very, very funny.
Once a five-piece, today’s act is down to founders Robin Colvill and Graham Walker, veterans of radio and TV series and stages both grand and modest. They are famously adaptable; the jokes, characters and impressions are regularly updated and therein lies the secret to their continued ability to sell tickets; seeing two men of pensionable age bouncing around the stage dressed as Ali G and Cher, or Little Britain’s Andy and Lou is funny without them even having to throw in the jokes.
But the gags are still the mainstay of The Grumbleweeds – famous routines over the years still raise a chuckle; the ‘stool trouble’ jaunt for example, or the equally ridiculous ‘mouse eradicator’ invention, flawed only because it required the hypothetical mouse to saw its own head off as it looks side to side for cheese.
As a 10-year-old this writer actually saw The Grumbleweeds live, albeit as a three piece, in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. It wasn’t by choice – they were the warm up act for Joe Pasquale – but even as a kid I vividly remember tears of laughter rolling down my cheeks as they blew the squeaky comic off the stage. I even still remember a handful of the jokes.
The group have also been regular visitors to the Isle of Man over the years, including extended summer season runs at venues like the 4,500 capacity The Lido in the 1980s, so they are no strangers to Manx life and this local knowledge is invaluable material when building a rapport with the audience.
The show is very much in the cabaret vein, indeed the duo have been recently plying their trade on cruise liners, and though their own publicity material, featuring quotes like ‘The Number One Comedy Act in The World’ and ‘probably the funniest show you’ll ever see’ is pushing it, there is no doubt the audience in Peel will be treated to a very entertaining, warm-hearted and laugh-out-loud evening.
The show starts at 8pm, and tickets are £16, available from Celtic Gold, Peel, Shakti Man, Ramsey and Peter Norris Music, Douglas, or at www.etickets.im/centenarycentre.asp