Trousers

Roger Curtis and Timothy Murton-Laight.

Picture from the Mad Nelly Album Sleeve

 

 

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Invite to Abbey Road, courtesy Bob Hewitt

 

 

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Two more pics courtesy Martin Adams

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Oh we were young and foolish then......

 

For several years around 1976/7/8, Wendy and I (and many others) regularly attended somewhat rude but hugely enjoyable gigs by a band called “Trousers”. Timothy Murton-Laight and Roger Curtis were excellent entertainers. Jon Davie was an occasional bassist with them. Jon was an excellent session musician who we also saw at the National Theatre, providing musical backing to Michael Herr’s “Dispatches”. (Jon later played alongside Ric Sanders, (now of Fairport Convention) in a band called 2nd  Vision and in Gryphon. After touring with Home Service a couple of years ago, he has retired to Thailand.) No-one can forget Warwick  the Roadie I’m sure. The gigs we attended were in the “Feathers” pub in Wraysbury. Others were at the Flint Gate in Weybridge and in a Wine Bar in Esher too, from what I recall. Their music was an enjoyable mix of folk, rugby songs and contemporary songs with a largely acoustic backing of guitar, banjo and piano..

 

The Feathers eventually burned down! No-one was amazed.

 

The dynamic duo famously appeared on “Opportunity Knocks” singing “Bottoms”.

 

We lost touch with them over the years, but still retain an album, made in May 1977 at Abbey Road where a coach load of us went with them to record a live album - “Mad Nelly Rides Again”.  About 50 of us went, got plastered at their expense and sang along. We all had a great time and I retain very fond memories of them through this album, which I transcribed to CD in the 1990’s and still play in the car!

 

Roger died around 1997, sad news indeed.  Tim lives on, but I’ve not been able to contact him about this tribute page. I hope he doesn’t mind and is in some way flattered that, all these years later, people remember him and Rog with great affection.

 

If you want the vinyl record itself, I know the album is still around because I found a copy for a friend in 2001. Google away and you’re bound to find it. Or you can send me an outrageous bid for mine. £50 will do it.

 

If you want to share your “Trousers” memories, then please mail me.  Have you any pictures  if so, please mail them to me, as Bob Hewitt and Martin Adams have (thanks, chaps).

 

By the way, people who attended these shows have contacted me from New Zealand, California and even Esher. These chaps are a worldwide phenomenon!

 

Update: March 2010

 

Incredibly, it turns out that a Bootleg Trousers album exists! Recorded at The Flint Gate in 1977 or thereabouts by Mark Ashford, I can present for the first time, somewhat raucous recordings such as The Bubonic Blues. This is a bit of a rude recording but well worth it. Mark wrote “one dark wet night in 1977 or thereabouts I dragged my old tape recorder down to the Flintgate and recorded them. The tape machine only recorded on one track – so no stereo, and the master tape was soon lost, but I’d made a copy for a friend onto a cassette which as you can imagine was of dire quality. This cassette resurfaced recently, and with the help of another friend we digitised it, cleaned it up a bit and got rid of much of the hiss and now have a quite presentable though by no means hifi cd of their set.

 

If you’d like to listen to either album, click here. I’d like to thank Wendy & Jolyon for their permission to make this available, so many years after they were recorded.

 

Last Updated by Andy Leslie on

 Wednesday, 17 February 2016