Saturday, 10 December 2011

The Wurzels: Revolution In The Shed

After so much has been said and written about the fab five, it is difficult to get at the truth. The band avoids giving interviews preferring to concentrate on developing the music that has changed rock music forever. Elvis, The Beatles, The Stones, Dylan, Hendrix and The Wurzels: we’ll never see their kind again.

Beneath the hype, this much is true: Bazzer, Bert, Denzel, Dennis and Mungo were just five ordinary farm lads who grew up in the quiet village of Gurney Binegar.  Had it not been for the invention of the wireless it is unlikely that these boys would ever have heard the exciting new music that was being broadcast from the other side of the Atlantic. Inspired, the boys began meeting in the chicken shed after the ploughing was done. The rest, as they say, was history. Wurzlemania swept the fields of the country.
Never afraid of controversy, the band upset the crowds who gathered at the now legendary Shepton Mallet Farmers Market in 1966. Bert had gone electric, replacing his paraffin lamp with a new-fangled torch. As if this wasn’t daring enough, Denzel went on to make his infamous ‘The Wurzels are bigger than Jesus’ statement. The band decided to lay low for awhile.

Bert, ‘the quiet Wurzel’ retreated to Frome and began experimenting with cider and transcendental inebriation. He became a follower of the Myhedge Yokel. The others soon followed. It wasn’t until Woodstock, when the band broke their silence, and blew everyone’s minds with their rendition of Drink up Thy Cider which ended with Bazzer setting fire to the hay barn.

The pressures of fame pushed the band over the edge. They went their separate ways. Dennis became a recluse in Upper Buncombe until, in 1980, he was stalked by a deranged fan who deliberately shoved him into a baling machine. The world never recovered from this senseless murder. Bert died of farmer’s lung in 2001.
The surviving members are back on the road with ‘new boy’ Thick Woods. They play Salisbury Arts Centre in spring 2012.

Anyone up for it?

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