A Quiet, Relaxing Evening With John Otway...

In honour of Chris's birthday on December 4th 1999, our local Superstar, John Otway, appeared at Aylesbury's Civic Centre

Chris, resplendent in birthday badges, was right at the front to catch some terrific action shots of Otway's ever-hilarious act. Some of the stage crew attached to other bands on the bill had clearly never before experienced an Otway extravaganza. They stood, stage left, with their mouths hanging open! The way the man abuses his microphones is enough to make a hardened roadie weep. These guys should have been at the Civic twenty years back, when our hero was death-diving off expensive speaker stacks. Nowadays, he just uses a step-ladder.

How Richard, the other half of Otway's minimalist 'band', holds the performance together, and how he puts up with seeing Otway half-naked each night, is beyond comprehension. It's bad enough for the audience.

John's long-suffering mother still sews his buttons back on for him after his regular shirt-busting antics.

Someone had had the brainwave of buying Otway a Theremin, to go with the drum-sound trigger-pads he has long been attaching to his skeletal frame for the purpose of enhancing his 'Body Talk' number. (Otway's stature can be aptly summed-up by the lyrics of one of his famous piss-takes - Bobby Goldsbo's death-ditty, 'Honey' - as "Just a twig".) The Theremin and Otway were a marriage made in Aylesbury and destined to live daffily ever after. We always knew there was a use for the instrument other than making sci-fi sound effects for 50s 'B' movies!

As usual, we left the twig-man's performance with clapped-out hands and laughter-aching faces.

PS – Thanks for the birthday dedication, John.

If you've never seen John Otway on stage and think you want to, well, you really are missing something... A few screws perhaps? If you're still determined to attend a gig, have a look at www.doremi.co.uk/otway/.

Find out even more about Otway at www.compsoc.man.ac.uk/~xav/otway_home.php3 along with the story of how some idiots decided John needed a Theremin...

Never mind Richard, it'll soon be over...

© Chris Payne 1999

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