I thought something dodgy was going on when I got to The Rescue Rooms and the main act was already on stage singing his own special version of Love Will Tear Us Apart and getting the audience to sing along. He then remembered that he was only there to introduce the support act and offered us the legend that is Charlie Chuck
I first became aware of Charlie when he was known as Uncle Peter on The Smell Of Reeves & Mortimer. His large backcombed hair is as mad as he is as he waffles on about things that quite often makes no sense. Every so often he would list off a group of amusing one liners before heading back into his surrealism and complete bonkersness. He says that words most people say after seeing him are usually 'what the f**k was that about?' I agree, but can see a spark of genius in there disguised and madness. It was an honour to have seen him do mostly the same things he’s always done while often shouting out his catchphrases of donkey woof bark, where am I?, itchy bow wow, stop staring at me, oopy doopy doopy doo I want a cup of tea, and other strange noises and facial expressions. He also ‘played’ a drum with a large wooden plank. A very bizarre 30 minutes.
Frank then appeared again to tell us that there would be an 11.5 minute break, but before that he got carried away with Love Will Tear Us Apart and again.
13 minutes later Frank Sidebottom returned. I remember him from TV in the late 80s/early 90s with his northern twang, nifty suit, positive childlike attitude, oh and a great big fibreglass head with side-parting and big blue eyes.
He started off with a story of how he nearly became a Beatle before switching on his trusted mini keyboard and leading us in a few Beatles songs with different lyrics, like 'Na na na na na, na na na, Paul McCartney'. He also mentioned how with his previous 2 wives Paul McCartney could not say 'Nice leg of lamb'.
Occasionally a member of the crowd would shout things out. This led me to finding out that he once wrote and episode of Pingu called Bedtime Shadows.
The music continued, the chatter continued, and there was also a bit of puppetry including little Frank and an assortment of mini Franks made from wooden kitchen implements (a pastry brush makes a good punk rocker).
There were more songs including one where we had to sing ‘in your big red shorts’ and a tribute to some obscure bad where he sang about his various toys dancing like a horse.
Somehow he filled over 80 minutes of our time. Repeating a lot of songs and having a 3 prize raffle helped (aided by Charlie Chuck) as did his final 5 minutes of making all of his action figure toys and anything else he used in the show take a bow. His proper finale included a few Queen songs with changed and repeat after me lyrics.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but it turned out to be quite an amusing evening. As Frank would say ‘you know it was, it really was’.
Today at work was a little tiring but it’s partly my fault as I had to watch the start of the new season of Heroes before bed :)