Thursday, February 05, 2009

at the Civic


The unthinking man's Ian McMillan, Shuttleworth is a myth in his own lifetime; the minotaur mask was soon tossed aside in favour of his Sheffield stamping ground, and the familiar cares of Northern life.

This rambling show is a string of favourite numbers, linked by often surreal musings, couched in cliché and platitude. I loved the little riffs on junk mail, daytime television, waste bins and the loner in the interval foyer.

His confectionery gripes were lovely too, but surely a spoiler for the Mars of Slough/Mutiny Over The Bounty number included in his back catalogue round-up which ended the evening: Eggs and Gammon, Pigeons in Flight, and, how could he not, I can't Go Back to Savoury Now.

This is an entertainer whose natural home is the scout hut or the working men's club. He was supported, off stage and on video, by Dave Tordoff, the concreter from Goole, his agent Ken Worthington, and of course Darren and Plonker.

Live support was provided by another obsessive failure, Newcastle-under-Lyme's foremost rock musicologist Brian Appleton; his Morrissey spoof My Turn to be Poorly was especially well received.

No more touring for this man and his tinny synth now till 2010, when Graham Fellows is planning a big event to celebrate twenty-five years of Shuttleworth's Northern nonsense.

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