Marlborough’s Lamb Landlord Farewell Gig Will Be Pants!

Marlborough News reported “in the Seventies, Marlborough boasted well over twenty pubs. Now there are just six,” in an article about the retirement of longstanding landlords of The Lamb, Vyv and Jackie. Marlborough being Marlborough, most of these remaining pubs are aesthetically pleasing, least that’s my apprehensive hypothesis! But for the 100 billion years, or 43 to be more accurate, their stay at the helm of the Lamb is surely a testament to the notion the landlord maketh the pub….

Being local rock comedy band Pants will be playing their farewell gig at this historic testament on to how run a great pub, on Saturday 4th February, I asked their blickum Dan Tozer, and guitarist and paediatric first aider, Fal Carmichael, who is criticised by the other band members as a “thoughtless bastard,” for never trimming the ends of his strings, and leaving them “dangling about like a bunch of sentients, malicious, jangly antennae ready to take someone’s fucking eye out or stab someone in the neck,” if they agreed; I think you can imagine where this interview is heading!

“I would,” Dan replied, adding, “we have had other good landlords in Marlborough, well, when they let us play there! Trevor Stannard was a hero too in that respect. But for longevity, Vyv tops the lot, and never moaned when we trashed the gaff with confetti cannons and other explosive toys! And he still paid us!”

It takes me back to my days in Marlborough, when the Lamb was the choice of watering holes, and in those hazy recollections, I seemed to remember Pants thrashing out a heavy metal version of the Mr Blobby single. For this is their panache and ethos, if they own them; covering cheesy pop songs in a metal fashion. And the result is, while accomplished, highly amusing. They didn’t seem to recall covering Mr Blobby, “although we did once play Bob The Builder,” and thus my diluted memory stands corrected. “Apparently, our first ‘performance’ was 1996……. but we did drink a bit in those days so it might have been earlier.”

Recently the band have covered Boney M’s Rasputin, Cliff’s Devil Woman, and the BBC Snooker theme, I wondered if anything was off limits. “Nobody will let me play the Jim’ll Fix It Theme,” Fal expressed, “bunch of squares!”

To wonder if Pants are more Spinal Tap than Barron Knights, conversant Dan informed, “we try to be a combination of the two. A few old favourites and some new stuff, all bolted together by TV themes and poor-quality heavy metal, plus the occasional Christmas Carol.”

If Scott Garcia recorded speed garage track, “it’s a London thing,” Pants are the Marlborough equivalent; strictly a Marlborough thing. I asked them if anyone else ever booked them, other than the Lamb and the football club, and if so, did they regret it?!

“We did gig outside Marlborough in our earlier years when we had a mate with a van. We’re lucky if we play twice a year these days and, as we all suffer from acute travel sickness, prefer to stay local. And I think anyone who booked us would have regrets!”

As well as Fal and Dan, the band consists of Sean, “sometimes Steve,” with the bonus of Moose Harris, former bassist with New Model Army and The Damned. When the focus of the article centred on Moose, as “Moose’s band,” the exasperated reaction of the band was priceless, so I figured I’d add salt to the wound, enhancing “according to a recent Marlborough News article, it was all Moose’s doing and you others just came along for the ride!” But they didn’t take the bait!

“That’s a little harsh on Moose!” Dan gasped, “I’m sure he wouldn’t want to take the blame! I seem to remember that Fal, Moose and myself were having a quiet lemonade, and decided it might be a laugh. We stole Sean from some other crummy old band that he was wasting his time in.”

See, Pants come across how I promoted my books, this self-mockery banter. If I remember Mr Blobby so vividly, but it was Bob the Builder, it can mean only one thing; they’re a bunch of liars, and essentially, they rock!  

It’s a fashion questioned by an American book reviewer who commented on a cover sticker saying in small letters “this will never be a” and in much larger letters “major motion picture.” Their argument was I was deliberately selling myself down, suggesting I was actually a pretty good writer and only using this kind of twisted irony as self-promotion, which I think is a similar ethos to Pants. So, I put this in a two-part question, if Dan and Fal think this reflects Pant’s tenet too, and if they, like me, think twats like that should fuck off?!

“We always think we’re crap,” was the revelation, “but people seem to like it! Well, we can play I suppose, and all of us have for years. We do subscribe to the “by the seat of our collective pants” ethos, and so things do go wrong. I suspect that adds to the enjoyment for the audience as much as us. And I speak for all of us when I say ‘Yes! Fuck Off Twats!’ – which at my age pretty much includes everyone.”

It goes without saying, we wish Vyv and Jackie all the best for their retirement, and thank them sincerely for the wonderful times at The Lamb. Though we hope this will not leave Marlborough pantless, and some nutter will book them. This is legacy we’re talking about here, a very serious issue. So, as a final reflection on the future, I ended noting there’s a trend of all-female tribute acts doing the rounds, wondering if they could you foresee “Knickers,” and if so, what colour would they be, but I believe they got the wrong idea; the knobs.

“We rock like navvies in a cradle using pneumatic drills. It’s dangerous but in a slightly unstable comfortable setting. And we’re bound to have an accident,” Dan expressed creatively, with emojis and everything. “By all means, throw your scanties our way. But only if they’re clean! The only skid marks on our Pants will be ours! (Preferably red!) See you all at the Lamb on Feb 4th.”

Safe to bet, taking all this seriousness on board, the farewell gig will be historical and hysterical in equal measure, as the members in Pants signed off with, “when I said red, I meant the pants, not the skid marks!”

Note they’ve even got merchandise, HERE is their online shop with the slogan “either buy something or fuck off.”

Truly was a class and memorable interview!


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