to imagine such songs as "I Belong to Glasgow"
and "Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner" being
sung in broad Somerset accents in various West Country pubs.
These numbers are perhaps still providing the basis for
a sing-song in some Somerset hostelries but it's now more
than probable that ditties with a local flavour written
by ADGE CUTLER are providing the musical accompaniment to
the sounds of cider drinking.
Adge (whose first names are really Alan John) was born in the village of Portishead Somerset, but was brought up a few miles away in Nailsea. He left school at 14 and his first job was as a market gardener. Then he went into his father's bicycle shop before starting his National Service.
After coming out of the Forces, Adge had a number of jobs, including civil engineering, working at a cider works and at a North Wales nuclear power station, before joining Acker Bilk in 1960 as his road manager. He had known the bandleader for several years and often used to drive him and the other musicians to clubs in the area.
Spain was the next port of call for Adge after he had been with Acker for some time. He was sent there to investigate property in the country for future use as holiday areas. But because of a credit squeeze the idea was dropped and Adge returned after a year and stayed in London, taking up a fully showbusiness career.
gave his first public performance when he was seven years
old, at the village institute, Nailsea. He sang - "There
will always be a Nailsea". Being a regular Saturday
night drinker he later noticed that it was usually songs
about London or Glasgow that were being sung in the bars
and that there was nothing local to sing. He thought a good
roaring pub song would be in order, so he wrote "Drink
up thy Zider" about 11 years ago and the song just
in the TWW television series "The Cider Apple"
led to Adge's fame spreading and he formed “the Wurzels”
to accompany him to clubs and theatres. They comprise Reg
Quantrill (who plays banjo and guiter), Tommy Banner (accordion
and piano). Tony Baylis (bass and sousaphone).
Adge and The Wurzels now travel to many parts of England playing and singing their West Country songs and have found that most local phrases are easily understood.
his own views on folk music Adge says: "I suppose you
can call the sort of music I write 'good-time' folk. I have
hardly ever written a sad song. I write songs so that people
can sing than. They have got to be simple for me to sing
for Adge: I'd like to have my own home in Somerset and one
in Spain. The Spaniards seem to have the same attitude to
life as West Country people - the easy-goingness and dry
humour. Adge's hobby is collecting old vehicles and his
collection includes; a 1934 Daimler Limousin; a 1936 Packard;
a 1933 Invictor; a 1929 Manchester bus; a 1937 Bedford coach;
a 1939 fire engine and a 1935 Albion lorry. As he lives
in a flat in Bristol, Adge's garage-owner brother takes
care of most of the vehicles.
and The Wurzels play many dates in nightclubs, theatre,
folkclubs, pubs., and Universities all over England, and
their fame is spreading abroad; they have already received
enquiries from Holland and Australia, This, their latest
LP, was recorded at the Webbington Country Club (in the
heart of the Mendips) and the White Buck Inn, Burley, in
the New Forest - another centre of Wurzel-mania. And among
it's unlikely contents you will find the saga of disgraceful
(but imaginary) goings-on in a Chew Valley village; a travelogue
of the exotic reaches of the Severn Estuary; the answer
to Glastonbury's traffic problem; some startling, though
probably mythical, revelations about the Bard of Avon, not
to mention a new country-and- western song from the blue
grass area of Lockleaze
indeed - CARRY ON, ADGE CUTLER!