finest voice since Caruso": "the greatest singing
discovery since Sinatra": "a paragon of teetotalism":
these are just a few of the things were never said of Adge
Cutler. But when it came to entertaining, whew !
2nd November, 1966, was a night of entertainment to remember
in Nailsea. For a studio recording you can reckon on allowing
thirty minutes or more until the audience warms up and you
begin to feel atmosphere. For a Somerset pub recording it
took thirty seconds. The audience were a cross section of
cider quaffing Wurzel lovers from every corner of Somerset,
from Weston Zoyland to Monkton Combe. Nailsea's oldest inhabitant,
wearing a top hat for such a special occasion, was flanked
by long haired youths and mini skirted girls.
first the broadcasting men and journalists from rival stations
and newspapers eyed each other somewhat coldly: the locals
wondered if they should be on their Sunday best behaviour
with them thar record men from Lunnon in town. By nine o'clock
the journalists and television men were clinking glasses
like old friends as the TV cameras whirred; by 9:30 the
locals were proving that not all the best voices are t'other
side of the new Severn Bridge. At ten o'clock we sent out
for fresh supplies of cider and beer and the landlord's
wife was dancing a Highland fling with Adge; the cameramen
complained that the room was too smokey for photographs
then lit up fresh cigarettes. At 10:30 the Wurzels did a
third encore of 'Drink Up Thy Zider' and the Nailsea Mixed
Voice Choir raised the rafters on the chorus.
Then, sadly, it was all over ....
The recording team enjoyed their safari deep into Wurzel territory. Adge took us on a tour of the cider factory (where he once worked on the presses) which ended in the tasting room.
the songs are Adge's own work. Who else could have dreamed
up such unforgettable lines as
say they seen a tank...Of Portuguese vin blanc...Jammed
Pensford High Street t'other night"?
of the dialect words are peculiar to Somerset (others are
just peculiar), but the songs are still intelligible to
foreigners. (That is, those living south and east of a line
drawn from Weston-Super-Mare to Limpley Stoke via Shepton
is impossible to define Wurzel music. It's not really pop
- it's not really comedy. It has been disowned by the West
of England Folk Song Society and Adge was blackballed from
the Long Ashton Jazz Appreciation Group on account of it.
So lend an ear to this album and decide for yourself!
There aren't many horses left now, even in the heart of
Wurzel country. The horse in our cover picture is managed
by Mr. Isaac Hardwick and is called Duke. He lives happily
at Happerton Farm, Easton in Gordano (delicious cream teas);
his favourite singer is Adge Cutler and his favourite food
is Wurzels. What an intelligent animal!