REVIEW: The Scaffold and The Rutles, O2 Academy

The highlight of the Cavern’s International Beatles Week live performances took place at the O2 Academy with the return of two legendary acts – The Scaffold and The Rutles. The Scaffold are still a highly talented comedy, music group featuring founder members John Gorman and Mike McCartney plus new member Keith Wilson and his band The Spiritualists. Our reviewer Shaun McCoy was there…

The Scaffolds’s whole set was one big highlight as they whip up a wave of fun and top entertainment. John Gorman leads the band in a rendition of The Bucket of Water Song, a tune he popularised in the children’s TV show Tiswas. In between the song’s lyrics, Gorman and McCartney proceed to throw water over the audience.

Keith Wilson and the Spiritualists admirably fill in parts of the set with songs from their current album L6 Boomslang which contains such prime tracks as Non Traditionally Beautiful and a wry tribute to the heavily painted women of Liverpool Fake Bake Shake. I particularly enjoyed their take on working class life in the Cockney tinged 2 Days Monday. Mike McCartney said they done this song as tribute to the Scouse accent being accepted in London after the advent of Merseybeat lead by The Beatles. They also performed their big hits Lily the Pink, Liverpool Lou and the late Queen Mother’s favourite song Thank U Very Much.

How does another band follow such a well received performance like that? There is only one band who could follow that – and that band is The Rutles. What makes the Rutles stand out from other Beatles tribute bands is they are spoof version the Fab Four parodying the band’s most well known songs and making them their own.

The Rutles are led by the multi-talented former Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band singer/songwriter musician, Neil Innes (pictured) aka Ron Nasty (John Lennon’s alter ego). He’s joined by original Rutle drummer John Halsey aka Barry Wom (Ringo Starr’s alter ego) in a virtuoso five-piece band.

Neil says: “We’ll start off with some songs from ‘Rat Killer’ (Kaiserkeller, Hamburg).” With early Rutles material such as Number One and It’s Looking Good, which whip up a good audience reaction. Neil Innes can easily imitate John Lennon’s voice with ease within The Rutles material that has been greatly fashioned from Beatles tunes but with a highly satirical slant on them which fans have enjoyed since The Rules formed back in 1975.

I enjoyed their set immensely – shaking my head from side to side and singing along to other stellar tracks – Ouch!, Rendezvous (A Little Help From My Friends), Love Life (All You Need is Love) and many more. By now the audience was in final fettle as the band built up to their finale of Shangri-la (an amalgamation of A Day In the Life and Hey Jude) and Back in ’64 (When I’m Sixty-Four) were Barry Wom performs a newspaper ripping solo that sounds like a tap dance routine.


WORDS BY: Shaun McCoy


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