It’s that time of year again, when Lancashire’s best comedy folk band bring their Christmas spectacular show to town, and thankfully, they’ve not been snowed off like last year.
The gig started off with the brilliant The Re-Entrants, two blokes and two ukuleles, covering the best pop and rock songs. What makes The Re-Entrants brilliant is that they recreate the songs they play note for note, every nuance, and every solo, perfectly played. They opened with Electric Light Orchestra’s classic hit “Mr Blue Sky”. People’s preconceptions about what could be done with the ukulele were blown out of the water, and The Re-Entrants continued this habit throughout, “Gold”, “Poker Face”, “Thriller” and for their encore blasted out AC/DC’s “Highway To Hell” (or as it’s also known, the A666 to Bolton). Ian Emmerson had the crowd in hysterical laughter during their too short set with his dancing, jokes and general on stage presence.
If The Re-Entrants are the barmcake*, then The Lancashire Hotpots are the chips, gravy and ketchup in this chip barm gig.
Their introduction track, in the style of The Price Is Right, set the light hearted tone for the night. “Mek Us A Brew”, an ode to the humble cuppa char kicked off the proceedings, before bringing out songs like “Ebay ‘Eck” and “Chav”, the latter of which was one of the many songs which got the audience involved with dance moves and singing along.
Bernard (vocals/guitar) briefly disappeared off stage, and returned in his pirate garb for the ever popular “Cinema Smugglers” inciting the audience to yell “kyarrr” and to shiver his Pringles. Dickie (percussion/melodica/vocals) took over lead vocals for “Has Anybody Seen My Dongle?” a tongue in cheek nod to music hall entertainers such as George Formby, which was laden with innuendo.
Things slowed down for The Hotpot’s latest single “I’ll ‘Ave One Wi’ Yet”, a more traditional (for The Hotpots) about getting drunk with your friends down the local boozer. Before they broke into “Lancashire DJ” they have a quick costume change which brings about the best joke of the gig, and then end on the classic, “Chippy Tea”.
The crowd yells out for more, and The Hotpots are more than happy to oblige, and break out their quite sentimental “Carry You Home” which brought a touch of melancholy to the gig, before once again getting the audience to join in with “Shopmobility Scooter”. The Lancashire Hotpots finish their gig on “Bang Bang Thumpy Dance Music”, which is some of the classic dance tracks of my youth, but improved tenfold by being played by Lancashire’s finest comedy folk band.
Many drinks were had by the sizeable audience. It may have been freezing cold outside, but the ambiance was a warm and happy one. The Lancashire Hotpots brought joy to many in this bleak midwinter, and filled Preston with Christmas cheer.
*For anyone outside of Lancashire, a barmcake is also known as : a bap, a bread roll, a teacake, a stottie, a bread bun, a breadcake, or a cob… you’re not calling it the right thing though, it is a barmcake, and if you disagree, you’re wrong.