Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Did They Dig It? Yes They Did; Duo Behind JCB Song Enjoy Their Big Sell-Out Moment

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Did They Dig It? Yes They Did; Duo Behind JCB Song Enjoy Their Big Sell-Out Moment

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD GODWIN

THEY'RE the goofy acoustic duo from Leamington Spa who are hoping to drive off with the Christmas number one on a mechanical digger.

On Sunday, Nizlopi beat Westlife and Girls Aloud to the top of the charts with the JCB Song, a self-financed ditty about a boy escaping from schoolyard bullies and "havin' a top laugh" in his dad's big yellow truck.

Bookies are offering odds of 7/2 for it to repeat Bob The Builder's 2001 construction themed triumph on the 25th.

But last night at a sold-out Borderline was Luke Concannon and John Parker's chance to show the capital that they, like pets, are not just for Christmas.

Over three years on the road Concannon and Parker have built up a small but devoted following, and are confident enough with their usual shtick not to change it now.

That they're not a band to put on airs and graces was clear from the off (though they are apparently pernickety enough to ban smoking in the venue).

They began not on the stage, but in the middle of the audience, who cleared a circle for singer Concannon and his double-bass playing chum, Parker, to perform the opening song.

And there was constant banter with the fans, who were repeatedly exhorted to sing and clap.

The childhood friends have the easy repartee of a comedy double act, a bit like a 21st-century take on Chas and Dave. But like the chipper cockneys, their silliness belies the fact they're actually half-decent musicians.

Multitasking Parker slapped the body of his double-bass, tickled the strings and made whizpopping percussion sounds with his mouth to impressive, if rather repetitive, effect.

The crowd treated them as homecoming heroes. But whether the broader public will take to Concannon's extroverted earnestness is another matter.

He's the sort of chap who'll pop out his guitar and rig up a ballad at any opportunity as he once did for a waitress named Helen in Penrith. The spontaneity is admirable, the lyrics less so: "Helen, your eyes shine and you're beautiful. …

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