Printer Friendly

Ade so serious when it comes to music project; THe Bad ShePhERdS.


YOU may know him best as the star of TV comedies The Young Ones and Bottom or - if you're a little younger - hospital drama Holby City.

But there's more to Adrian Edmondson than being a star of the screen - he's a musician too and what's more, his new band is heading for Holmfirth.

A brief appearance on Comic Relief Does Celebrity Fame Academy in 2005 may not have convinced viewers of Adrian's musical prowess - his rendition of The Buzzcock's Ever Fallen In Love was more amusing than amazing, though he came third in the contest.

But while his talents may not be vocal, underneath the comedy performance lay true musical skill.

The 51-year-old has been playing instruments since the age of 13, including the guitar, banjo, ukulele, trumpet, banjolele, mandolin, autoharp, charanga, piano and has even dabbled in percussion with the triangle and coconuts (yes, really).

In fact, his passion for music is such that he has quit his job in Holby City to dedicate himself to his new project, The Bad Shepherds.

He has filmed his final scenes as rogue doctor Abra Durant in the BBC1 hospital drama and is all set for a life on the road with his band.

It's not a stunt, a satire or a joke.

The musical project is ambitious, as The Bad Shepherds fuse classic punk tracks with acoustic folk influences.

Not a mixture you see everyday.

He's gathered together some serious talent to pull it off though, joining forces with Maartin Allcock from Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull, uillean pipe player Troy Donockley and Irish violinist Eimear Bradley.

Together, they revisit punk classics including hits by The Jam, The Clash, Kraftwerk and Squeeze and give them a folky, acoustic twist.

To achieve this unusual aim, they use clever arrangements and an arsenal of instruments, including violins, mandolins, bodhran drums, whistles, uillean pipes (Irish bagpipes), bouzouki, banjo and acoustic bass guitar. Not forgetting of course the four-part male and female vocal harmonies.

You can hear this unusual musical fusion at The Picturedrome in Holmfirth on November 12.

The gig is part of a tour which will take The Bad Shepherds out on the road until December 2009.

The heavy schedule is necessary, as Adrian believes their live act will be the key to converting people to 'folk punk'.

"This is about respecting the music and showing that the two seemingly incompatible styles can be brought together to form something really powerful and hopefully quite wonderful.

"It's radically different from anything I've ever done before, but I hope it's something that people will really enjoy."

So where did the inspiration for this inventive idea come from?

"It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, but it's only over the last two or three years that a firm idea of what I wanted to do began to evolve.

"I love the songs of '76 - '82. I was 19 in '76 when punk arrived. Those songs were the soundtrack to my life as I went through university and started pretending to be a comedian. I loved the noise, the faces and the attitude.

"I also love folk music, at its live best it's the most exciting music to be in the same room with. It occurred to me that punk was the folk music of its day. I decided to form a band to reflect that."

Don't expect Adrian to trade on his celebrity status to make this band a success. If anything it's a hindrance - people thought the project was a spoof for some time.

The band do not even intend to put out an album until they have thoroughly tested their material on the public and earned a live reputation.

Adrian said: "I don't envisage going into the recording studio until everything has been thoroughly road tested.

"It's out there in the clubs and bars that we'll get a clear indication as to how far we can go with the project.

"I really am very excited about how things sound so far and I am really relishing the prospect of taking it out to UK audiences."

Having forged a career as a comedian, touring and tough audiences are nothing new for Adrian. It's a challenge he relishes.

"I have always enjoyed touring, getting out on the road and interacting with the audience. The adrenalin rush from a great audience reaction is priceless.

"I may be in a minority, but I also find touring is great fun. It's what's it's all about for me. I don't care if it's 200 people in a club or a huge festival, the buzz is exactly the same."

If you're expecting an injection of stand-up into the gigs though, you'll be disappointed. Not that Adrian has become boring in middle-age - but this is a serious project.

He said: "I hope that people will understand that everything I do can't always be funny and this certainly is not an attempt to make fun of the music, quite the reverse actually.

"Hopefully people will come to the gigs with an enthusiasm for either the traditional music or the punk music.

There won't be any belly laughs but hopefully quite a few smiles."

The first leg of The Bad Shepherds' tour will be supported by York Celtic rock band Mostly Autumn.

For more details, visit

Tickets to the Picturedrome gig, which starts at 7.30pm, cost pounds 15 and are available by logging on to


FLOCKING IN: Ade Edmondson and his punk/folk fusion band The Bad Shepherds are heading to Holmfirth; TV TIMES: From left, Ade Edmondson as Vyvyan the punk in The Young ones, with Rik Mayall in Bottom and as a medic in Holby City
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 27, 2008
Previous Article:Snapper about town; spotted out in association with PAPARAZZI.
Next Article:Stay-away fans miss Blakfish thrash.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |