BOUNDER & CAD
For as long as I can remember, composer and performer Kit Hesketh-harvey has ruled when it comes to après-dinner entz: he was the go-to guy for witty musical comedy, although I’d like to give hat-tips to several significant others in this review of revues. Dillie Keane. If you don’t know her
Dogging song, jump onto Youtube for this opening ‘couplet’ (see what I did there?): ‘Well, we drove down the far end of the car park back of Asda / A threesome was hard at it in a sporty little Mazda.’ It all makes me weep with laughter, I’m afraid, but then I am easily pleased, as I am by Oldie resident aesthete Nicky Haslam’s swellegant soirées where he sings Cole Porter and ‘Hart and Cole’, and actor Johnnie Standing’s covers of Noël Coward, too.
But the new big thing for me is Bounder & Cad. B & C are Mr Adam Drew and Dr Guy Hayward. Trust me: they are big stars in the making, and I speak as the woman who directed Johnnie Boden to start a small mail- order business selling chaps moleskin trousers rather than go into financial journalism; and also the woman who gave Hugh Fearnley-whittingstall his first food column.
With this glittering track record, I’d like to think that I am the only one to have talent-spotted this handsome, foppish pair, but their website tells me they have already performed for ‘three princesses, two PMS and one Tim Henman’. Damn! I cannot take credit for them too.
Anyway, I saw them live at the Crazy Coqs boîte (hear that, Harry?) and can report back that it was a five-star, two-thumbs-up evening and I pealed with delighted laughter throughout. Like the aforementioned Kit, both come by way of Cambridge (Footlights, college choirs) and their lyrics are spattered with gleeful allusions to Withnail and I, Brexit and older women – in fact, the material was so tailored to my own predilections that I worried they had written some songs just for me. Their skit of Verdi’s La Donna e mobile was repurposed as a painfully accurate commentary on millennials and dating called A Woman and her Mobile with the lyrics, ‘Tells me ti amo/ On Instagram-o/ Spelling is dodgy/mostly emoji.’
They are clever, funny and versatile, have beautiful voices and have been hailed as the Young Turks of the revue renaissance by everyone from Gyles Brandreth to David Cameron (not kidding: they performed their Coalition Song at the Downing Street Christmas party – oh to have been a fly on the wall in the State Dining Room at No 10).
The night I saw them, their first song was about the Strictly snoggers, called
Just One Drink; and they did a deathless spoof of the Russian poisoners who pretended to be sports nutritionists and spire-fanciers, called Salisbury.
I would go even so far as to say they are the new Flanders and Swann; and when I tell you that Adam’s longsuffering sidekick, Guy, the butt of most of the patter, is also the co-founder and trustee of the British Pilgrimage Trust and choralevensong.org, I know you will be as keen as I am.
They have a monthly residency at Crazy Coqs (the setlist is a solid baker’s dozen songs), they write bespoke songs, and are available for weddings and bar mitzvahs; so just take it from me.
Catch them if you can.
The new Flanders and Swann? Bounder & Cad’s Guy Hayward (left) and Adam Drew
Lotto’s The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine with Saints (1524)