titter - what are they doing?

What are they doing?

Here it is, the unreliable micro-blog featuring all the things which you really didn't want to know about goings on in the JLBJH camp ...

29th August, 2010

Continuing our thrilling Victorian drama set in a drug den ( over-18s only ) at 221b Gerry Rafferty Street, London.


Famous detective Deadlock Wolsten-Holmes fiddles with his fiddle, whilst his faithful companion, Doctor John Fletcher, proffers a glass of absinthe.

"Rum-do this, Holmes my dear fellow, father and son brutally slain on the bleak moor, and no obvious suspects."

"I concur" replies Holmes, lighting a reefer. "Once the laudanum has worked its magic I will have this solved in a trice!"

"As usual."

"Indeed. But one thing has already struck me- the name 'Alucard'."

Holmes scratches his bratsch.

"It is a cunning reversal of ... DRACULA!
I shall immediately write a song about this case."

"You're nuts!"

"You're bananas!"

"You're crackers!"

"Your ketamine...?"

Next time: Dr. Fletcher shows his gay side, and a table reveals a leg.

13th July, 2010

Ah, Porto!

Our spiritual home perhaps, and thus fortified we headed for Gaia. Earth mother, something to do with Zeus.
Wine, women and song ( 'easy on the wine etc.' { M. Powell }) and a lovely balmy night overlooking the Douro in a marvellous setting with the Portuguese Army looking on. " Please Lay Down Your Piss-tubs And Your Rifles" never rang so true!
A delicious bottle of Prot for the moment.

However, tomorrow may be different.

Meu Deus!

23rd March, 2010

Continuing the exciting period drama set in a Victorian postbox ...


Scene 1. The "Illegal Immigrant" tavern. Easy whores drape themselves over reluctant clergymen, a fire burns and, in a corner, a banjo renders a forlorn 'Stairway to Heaven'.
"I", says Squire John, "feel a song cummin' on."
His drinking partners, Carlos, Jeb, Little Pat and Walter, start!
Mine Host; "Another round Gentlemen?".

Scene 2. Little Pat and Walter Schreckmann ( no relation ) glean a field.
"Have my ears deceived me" asks Pat, "or was it the ten pints of 'Old Fellmongers Vier'?
"We have only to re-configure the desk so that the ADATs act as an A/D converter and vector the information via lightpipe to the Apple and, God willing, a CD will ensue" replied Walter.
"Whatever" said Pat.

Next time - Fat Alice finds a breast in her lump, and Doctor Darwin's egg lays a hen.

17th December, 2009

Christmas Appeal

This time of year is when we normally take stock of the year gone by and turn our thoughts to the less fortunate.

Most of you will be aware of the tragedy of 'unwanted gold'. This previously valued feature of every home is now, apparently, unwanted.

Here at St. Ingot's Gold Sanctuary we pride ourselves in finding a safe and loving home for unwanted gold and, for a donation of only £2 a month, we will send you regular updates on how your gold is doing.

To see those little yellow faces light-up as they gambol freely in the clean air of our paddocks is surely the best Christmas present you could give!

Bung that unwanted gold in a padded bag and send to; St. Ingots Gold Sanctuary, PO Box 419, Nigeria, today!

(P.S. Have you heard of our sister charity, The Diamond Rest Home?)

10th December, 2009

Christmas Pudding

As I sit here, gazing over a world either A, swamped, or B, in flames, I wonder what the future holds.

This Christmas I think we should all get "planet-hugging" and avert the extinction of most of the life on this fragile Earth. Do you really need that fourth chipolata? The Queen will still speak to us even if not heard via a 72" plasmoid TV, and a Russell Brand DVD over some M&S socks? Time to 'get real'.

I still advocate the consumption of strong liquor over the festering period, but perhaps tempered by the sharing of bath water (just one glass) and do turn down the single electric blanket a notch now and then.

Meanwhile, our craven festivities do nothing for the impoverished soul. Did not St. Holder himself say 'Look to the future now, it's only just begununun.'?

Have a pious and thoughtful Christmas.

26th November, 2009


Europe Runs Dry!

As Britain soaks from the tail of 'Hurricane Higgins', continental Europe is suffering the opposite.
Top Swiss scientist Norbert Neutral fills us in...
"Stocks of cuckoo clocks are unaffected, but bottles have been literally flying off the shelves. Recent concerts by 50's legends Jack Lewis and the Gloops have triggered an unprecedented fall in beverage reserves."

The picture is no better in Germany.
"Turkish grape-treaders have been working round the clock to fill our shelves." said Angela Merkel in a distressed mood.
"We don't know what to do!"

Trappist brewers in the low countries are more optimistic. "Thanks to our devotional endeavours and a few human sacrifices we will be well drunk at Christmas" said a monk.
Adding, "I hope Bottoms Ooop, Tossco and Grimroyd 'Eight til Late' are better prepared for these once-in-a-lifetime events."

PS. Jordan has quit the Jungle.

5th November, 2009

Milton Keynes, Perth, Holmfirth, Portsmouth ... Places flashing by as though seen through the steamy windows of a train. [What line is that? Ed]

Poetic imagery! [What? No Adelstrop? Ed]

Go away! [OK. Ed]

Unfortunately, Norwich did not have the planned "shortest act" sketch: Bam bam, Yeah, gong! Big bow. "Good night, you've been you, we've been us, let's keep it like that." But that's showbiz.

Some names from the roll of honour: Coralie - almost selling the shirt off her back; Pete Dutton - bravely manned the telephone exchange; Scampi - flares, searchlights, whizz-bangs; Dave and John - behind the scenes sappers; Gemma - Transport Division (wounded); Pete Woolley - First Colne Truckers; K. Domone - observed the whole thing (masochist). But chiefly - yourselves!

Grandad J. Lees is an Old Contemptible (hurrah!)
TAFKAS has Sarajevo Flu (boo!)
J. Smith single-handedly defended the piano on "River Of Dreams"
You can see rare footage of Privates C. Fletcher and K.Whitehead in training on YouTube, "Wythenshaw Wineman" at The Milan, Lees, near Oldham.

They also do weddings.

11h October, 2009

From a foreign correspondent

It had been a long day, but finally the Fairport Convection Executive Class touched down and taxied to the reception zone. There, assembled on the tarmac, a line of smartly-dressed soldiers awaited inspection. Beyond, the red carpet stretched towards a group of dignitaries stood before a military band playing a spirited rendition of the Peruvian national anthem. It was plain the boys had arrived somewhere. A man in a plumed hat asked, in Spanish, "Where is Senor Antonio Blair?" Lisbon? No, LIMA!! 'An easy mistake' everyone agreed, and after selling 2 box sets and 4 teeshirts, the journey resumed...

13 hours later the E C jet landed in Portugal.

6th October, 2009


( Match abandoned. )

"Ich bin ein Berliner" ( Übersetzung; I am a gramophone. ) said Brian, as we packed our suitcase. I and Brian had been an 'item' for 20 days and so, as a special anniversary treat, we were heading to Berlin!
'One of the most famous countries in the world - and be sure to take plenty of suntan lotion.' he laughed. Then, pulling out a crumpled copy of the 'Berliner Evening Chronicle', he added that our trip coincided with a concert by 1950's legends Jack Lewis and the Gloops.
'I hope they play my favourite' I said.
'What's that?'
' "Angels" by Robbie Williams!'
And we laughed a lot.

After an exciting day looking at old buildings and visiting 'Checkout Charlie', we found ourselves in front of another old building ( with a model of Charlton Heston on top) where, on a hastily-built stage, Jack and the boys came on to a big clap. A dark cloud fell on the crowd and wind and water rained from the sky! Efforts by the ship's crew to put one of the band in a plastic bag were a complete failure before a huge wet gust blew Jack and the Gloops off the back of the stage and into the dressing-room.
'Was that supposed to happen?'
'Special Effects' said Brian knowledgdedley.
Soon it was all over. Short and dramatic.
'A bit like your mother' he observed.
Then he added 'The next time we go abroad we'll take a lifeboat!'

'...they didn't even play " Angels" by Robbie Williams!!!'

And we had a good laugh.

Wendy Wombat, 19, from Grimroyd.

18th August, 2009


Our faith in festivals was restored thanks to the power of Karlsberg! "Drink More Beer" being the order of the day, the dedicated musicians duly obliged (after the concert, naturally) by doing their best to follow a difficult diktat.

A comparison with Cambridge revealed Homburg to be a smoothly-oiled machine with the band taking the stage ON TIME!

Our Führer reprised his historic address on 'Hymn', exhorting the crowd to a barrage of 'Ja's and a fine end to a lovely gig.

Next, Berlin, and a short 65 minute set (not the band's idea) and another chance to 'Drink More Beer'.

It's a hard life...

11th August, 2009

Memories of Cambridge

The surprise ( not really! ) cancellation of the Shrewsbury bash left us all at sea. But, old stagers as we are, our focus ( no pun ) veered to Cambridge and another dangerous mission.

Even before the Chinook rose above the tented grounds our mettle was tested when, as per all festivals, our bootees were mud-encrusted! It was plain that there would be delays.

'Sergeant Fletcher, secure the drinks table and open the nibbles'.

"Sound check not operational sah, and on-stage monitoring goosed", came the chilling news.

There will be those at home snuggling-down with Lady Chatterley, The Man in the Iron Mask and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (not in the same bed, obviously) who will thank God they were not here.

However, Mr Fujita Masakazu, having travelled all the way from Japan, had a marvellous time ...

27th July, 2009

Wheels run dry

TAFKAS made his weekly commute in a record 3 hours 50 minutes! Alas, he was still late.

Nonetheless,a full rehearsal ensued with all tunes dusted down.

A short lunch-break at the legendary 'Edna's Cosy Cafe' gave the Führer an opportunity to slag the ex-Doktor's transport as being "worth more dead than alive". "2k if you crush it" indeed!

'It may be a green turd to you, but it's all mine, I tell you, all mine!'. (Sob.)

He can be most cruel at times...

9th July, 2009

"Fly-on-the-Wall" Report

Whilst The Artist Formerly Known as Schreckmann was away (lurking in the Isle of Wight and Whitstable masquerading as one "H. Shipman"), those crazy guys pulled another golden oldie out of the bag. No names again, but as in the style of the late Jacko, and his penchant for filling the stage with little children, they thought it would be really cool to get a load of "Jenny Agutter-style" schoolgirls on board to handle the percussion. (Mark Powell gives it a resounding NO!, blaming health and safety, the price of Curly Wurlies and the moral backlash).

Meanwhile, TAFKAS has been assisting Anne Collis (give her a Googling) in the matter of the orchestral arrangements. Five tunes this time, but should it repeat there will be more.

10th June, 2009

Exclusive from Rehearsals!

Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, we can now eavesdrop on rehearsals for the forthcoming concerts. Let's go over now and listen in live ...

'We should really do this song'

'Yeah, but which version?'

'How many are there?'

'Two... no. two and a half'

'Two is too long, I feel'

'Which one have you got?'


'-or two'

'What album was that on?'

'Which version?'

'Look, we'll do a bastard 1, and end it like part one of 2'

' Major or minor?'

' This chord plus that note'

'A minor/9?'


' So it's 1 plus 2 middle, yes?'

' One, two, three, fo..'

'What version, again?'

Er, we'll come back later.

7th May, 2009

America, America!

How true those words are - even today.

Over-the-pond world was a rare treat, and meeting those 'colonials' on their home patch was something else. A moment of foolishness, when we dropped into a bar somewhere, plunged us into the zone of cross-dressing. A convention of wives and husbands ( the latter preferring to look more like the former ) opened the window on a brave new world of couture!

Later, in the 'Big Potatoe' (sic) that is New York, Craig bought a handbag and John checked-out a pink jogging suit. A man can be himself over there!

A massive thank you to Frank Stickle who furnished the M400 Mellingtron for Rosfest.

Jet-lag (schret-lag) aside, a welcome return for us.

Lumbutt Stoodley-Pike
( Locum to the Doktor).

13th April, 2009

Post-operative report.

The theatre lies empty save for a few blood-stained swabs.

A success!

So nice to meet patients old and new ( few of which seem 'cured' ) and, apart from the occasional misplaced finger and stuttering speech, the operation went swimmingly.

The hospital shop, minus a chunk of CDs, was well subscribed and thanks to Jake Fletcher for assisting at difficult times. Not forgetting K & M Domone (who supplied all the necessary organs).

Close, please!

Dok S.

28th March, 2009

News of the Schreckmann.

Our leader having gone on-piste, the week was spent in attending to the soft underbelly of the set.

We dispensed with firstly a drummer and then a bass-player for a quiet session and therefore no broken windows.

The relative "down-time" also came in handy for a bit of work on Mandyband 3 and a chat on the merits of 'Ra', 'Titles' and 'Children Of The Disappeared' and others. Don't say we don't think ahead!

Back to the full ensemble next week and ' How long have we got?'...

Bloody hell!!!

22nd March, 2009

The Schreckmann Papers.

Rehearsing is rather like today's television - a load of repeats. But it must be done!

A brief resume is two back in, one out and two new, and that will give us a rather long list so there may be another cut. As I said in another place, this first set is in preparation for the North American assault and more changes should be expected in the autumn.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank, amongst others, Susanna d'Arcey and Geoff and Janet Iles for putting up with me and putting me up.

" He's no trouble really, apart from the howling..."

14th March, 2009

Schreckmann's diary:

The Five Oarsmen of the Acropolis enjoined for the first time on Tuesday. After a session setting-up my extensive medical systems the day before, wherein the Mellotron ( having been in a garage for three winters ) was reluctant to behave itself - the situation being remedied by a good head-scrubbing and a lot of shouting - today the magnificent sound soared over those gathered there as a hesitant "4 0 1" broke the ice. Mr Smith, being well forewarned, took yours truly in his stride and we dashed-off half the set before a friendly owl hooted an end. It would be nice to provide riveting commentary on proceedings but, alas, it will be ( as in the nature of rehearsals ) merely ' more of the same'.

Next patient please!