At the Dangerous Brothers (first)
farewell gig in 1978 each member of the band formed their own support band for the
evening. Brian Smedleys was a vaudeville-comedy-jazz outfit called Club
Whoopee and featured Kim Newman (Kazoo, vocals) , Eugene Byrne (drums, washboard),
Alex Dunn (Clarinet) and Alan Brown (euphonium, bass).
The band debuted at the Bridgwater Arts Centre doing classic
numbers including Hoagy Carmichaels Hong Kong Blues-it was during a rehearsal
of this number in the dressing room that bluesman Georgie Fame walked in on them and
re-discovered Hoagy-inspiring him to bring out an album and meet the veteran composer.
80s Club Whoopee played informally and infrequently-parties, restaurants, small
theatres, the Brighton all-night horror film festival. However, it was in 1981, with the
demise of the Dangerous Brothers that Smedley decided to devote more time to Club Whoopee
and the band was revamped to include members of the cast of Sheep Worrying theatre group
and to perform songs from the Sheep Worrying shows written by himself and Kim Newman.
the band were gigging and recording. A tape album Sheep Worrying at the Club
Whoopee featured such hits as Brazil , Over the Top and
Throw yourself off a Bridge while that same year they contributed Youre
sort of Okay to the Sheep Worrying EP (which also featured The Headless
Horsemen-fronted by John Parish who now plays with PJ Harvey).
brought in former DBs Neal Heckford (piano) and Kevin Freeman (drums) but the line
up changed constantly and also included Liz Hickling-who later became a film actress and
Rob Hackwill-now a journalist with Euronews..
In 1983 a
short lived rapprochement between Smedlo and former DBs frontman Rod Jones resulted
in an enlarged Club Whoopee but disagreements led to the band fading out in favour of
went on to be a successful film critic and horror writer and along with Byrne & Dunn
collaborated with Smedley again in 1987 to produce the Sheep Worrying musical Rock,Rock,Rock,Rock,Rock,Rock,Rock.
Which include such Newman/Smedley classics as Im too fat to Rock,
I Hope you Die and Hes a bastard but I love him.
In April 2000
the band reformed for a one off recording session at the Bridgwater Arts centre-as a
surprise for Newman on his birthday. Backing recorded by Smedley
(guitar/piano/bass), Dean Skilton (drums) and vocals by guest artistes Elaine Di Campo
(The Funbunnies) Alexia Vernon (Visitors/Thermo Lovelies) were added to by Newman, Byrne
and Dunn karaoke style. The resulting album ROUTE 666 (named after a Newman novel)
is now available (if anyone wants a copy) (only true devotees please) and features such
classics as Byrne singing Blue Moon in the style of Val Doonican, Dunn
fronting Buddy can you spare a dime, Smedley unconvincingly putting across
Im too fat to Rock and Newman taking the lead on Routev66
Love Potion no 9 Rawhide-daringly Aqua Marina plus
some originals Hes a bastard but I love him Ponytail Pervert and
Im bustin out for xmas.
no plans for further recordings.