Rachel John­son’s


The Oldie - - CONTENTS - Golden Oldies

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)

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