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Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!

GUEST,Timbrel 11 May 00 - 07:45 AM
BeauDangles 11 May 00 - 10:19 AM
Callie 11 May 00 - 10:35 AM
Wesley S 11 May 00 - 11:00 AM
InOBU 11 May 00 - 11:36 AM
TerriM 11 May 00 - 02:43 PM
Bert 11 May 00 - 02:53 PM
Chanteyranger 11 May 00 - 03:08 PM
Kim C 11 May 00 - 04:25 PM
Songster Bob 11 May 00 - 04:46 PM
GUEST 11 May 00 - 05:16 PM
Peter T. 11 May 00 - 05:17 PM
Sorcha 12 May 00 - 12:32 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 12 May 00 - 05:35 AM
Scabby Douglas 12 May 00 - 07:07 AM
InOBU 12 May 00 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Zorro 12 May 00 - 07:38 AM
Tony Burns 12 May 00 - 09:42 AM
Whistle Stop 12 May 00 - 01:28 PM
Dharmabum 12 May 00 - 01:38 PM
Fortunato 12 May 00 - 02:11 PM
Wesley S 12 May 00 - 02:41 PM
Liz the Squeak 13 May 00 - 03:32 AM
keltcgrasshoppper 13 May 00 - 05:26 PM
Pablo 13 May 00 - 11:27 PM
Chicky 13 May 00 - 11:40 PM
Sourdough 14 May 00 - 12:39 AM
Chanteyranger 14 May 00 - 04:05 PM
Deni 20 Aug 01 - 04:47 AM
Cappuccino 20 Aug 01 - 07:38 AM
Clinton Hammond 20 Aug 01 - 02:14 PM
Clinton Hammond 20 Aug 01 - 02:16 PM
ChanteyMatt 20 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM
Jeep man 20 Aug 01 - 10:36 PM
GUEST 20 Aug 01 - 11:13 PM
Justa Picker 21 Aug 01 - 12:23 AM
Liz the Squeak 21 Aug 01 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,Den 21 Aug 01 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Celtic Soul 21 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Aug 01 - 10:20 PM
Seamus Kennedy 22 Aug 01 - 02:40 AM
Dunc 22 Aug 01 - 03:50 AM
Roughyed 22 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM
GUEST,emily b 22 Aug 01 - 06:20 PM
Gloredhel 22 Aug 01 - 08:50 PM
Coyote Breath 22 Aug 01 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,chip2447 23 Aug 01 - 01:37 AM
GUEST,chip244y 23 Aug 01 - 01:47 AM
dougboywonder 23 Aug 01 - 05:08 AM
Troll 23 Aug 01 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,Bassman 26 Feb 10 - 09:05 PM
BobKnight 26 Feb 10 - 09:37 PM
Young Buchan 27 Feb 10 - 04:53 AM
Dave Hanson 27 Feb 10 - 08:30 AM
VirginiaTam 27 Feb 10 - 08:36 AM
eddie1 27 Feb 10 - 08:59 AM
PHJim 27 Feb 10 - 11:11 AM
Paul Reade 27 Feb 10 - 11:56 AM
meself 27 Feb 10 - 03:17 PM
alex s 27 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM
GUEST,Captain Swing 27 Feb 10 - 06:48 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Feb 10 - 01:57 AM
Dave Hanson 17 May 10 - 05:02 AM
GUEST,MC Fat (at work) 17 May 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 17 May 10 - 06:47 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 May 10 - 08:16 AM
buddhuu 17 May 10 - 10:40 AM
Clontarf83 17 May 10 - 05:20 PM
GUEST 17 May 10 - 06:29 PM
Scorpio 17 May 10 - 07:38 PM
Ebbie 18 May 10 - 12:32 AM
buddhuu 18 May 10 - 04:12 AM
SPB-Cooperator 18 May 10 - 04:51 AM
Dave the Gnome 18 May 10 - 05:15 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 18 May 10 - 07:42 AM
alanabit 18 May 10 - 10:31 AM
GUEST 18 May 10 - 04:59 PM
stevewise 18 May 10 - 05:27 PM
Herga Kitty 18 May 10 - 06:32 PM
Art Thieme 18 May 10 - 09:51 PM
Bounty Hound 19 May 10 - 05:48 AM
Bert 19 May 10 - 05:57 AM
Bounty Hound 19 May 10 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,TJ in San Diego 19 May 10 - 11:23 AM
Don Firth 19 May 10 - 04:43 PM
Genie 20 May 10 - 01:19 AM
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Bert 20 May 10 - 03:24 AM
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Subject: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Timbrel
Date: 11 May 00 - 07:45 AM

One terrific thing about seeing lots of music done live is enjoying the clever, witty little lines people use in their gigs over and over. Now matter how hackneyed, they magically draw a laugh every time.

So I was just idly wondering: are there any one-liners, or amusing stories, you regularly use in your introductions, song intros, "time-to-take-abreak" announcements, "thanks-for-coming" spiels, and the like? I know there's no shortage of humor around here...!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: BeauDangles
Date: 11 May 00 - 10:19 AM

I played at a contra dance once, when the caller, a friend of mine, said during a break that he wanted to introduce the band. Whereupon he turned around and began introduing us to each other, not to the crowd. That was good for a few laughs.

BeauD


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Callie
Date: 11 May 00 - 10:35 AM

A friend was the MC for a concert. When a heckler called out to him during an introduction, he said "don't you hate it when your mother comes to your gigs?"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Wesley S
Date: 11 May 00 - 11:00 AM

I used to be in a band that had a bass player with a strange sense of humor. When we would take a break he would tell everyone to "Drink up - the third world is starving". That was always good for a blank stare from the crowd.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: InOBU
Date: 11 May 00 - 11:36 AM

We (Sorcha Dorcha) were doing a gig for homelessness. Before we came on, a nice harmless sort of a fellow (not at all the description of our band) sand a sort of Mr. Rodgers song about children, stopping in the middle for a charming if not a bit insipid (no offence if you are reading this mate) talking bit about how Children are Gods Gift to us all... Well, here come Sorcha Dorcha, all dressed in black... our first song, Tom of Bedlam, so, here-s me, with a broken rib from the flu and blood seeping from my nose and mouth, but I am doing this gig anyway... looking grey and deathlike. I say to the worried looking audience... We are going to carry on in that theame of Children... arent they the best? You can hug em, love em teach em stuff... make pies....
My staff has murdered giants
My bag a long knife carries
to cut mince pies from Childrens thighs
with which to feed the faeries
Still I sing bonny boys
Bonny mad boys
Bedlam boys are bonny
for they all go bare and live by the air
and they want no drink nor money

For info on hearing our pater live...
Sorcha Page .
Hope the blue clicky works!
Larry


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: TerriM
Date: 11 May 00 - 02:43 PM

My partner often asks me to introduce a song and I say" Song, this is the audience, audience this is the song" which makes us laugh at least. Also at the end of a gig, in gratitude for our lives, I often say " Thank you for having me,and for those that haven't, I'll be round the back in half an hour!" That probably works best if you're a girl but maybe not :).
Terri


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Bert
Date: 11 May 00 - 02:53 PM

Just do a forum search for everything that Art Theime has posted. You'll find more than you can ever use. And every one's a winner.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 11 May 00 - 03:08 PM

Here's one for busking: "We play for fun and profit, and so far we've been having alot of fun!" Dick Holdstock of Holdstock and MacLeod was heard telling the audience at a concert, "Oh, no, we forgot to bring the song list again. You know, this was mentioned in a review of our last concert. The reviewer wrote "Holdstock and MacLeod gave another listless performance!" Another from Dick Holdstock, this one specific to sea chanteys, while holding a glass of beer onstage - "They say that chanteys we're sung acapella because you needed both hands free to do the work aboard ship, but I don't believe that. How can you work with both hands and not spill your beer?"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Kim C
Date: 11 May 00 - 04:25 PM

well, I said this the other day in another thread, but when we do Soldier's Joy, I say, this song has also been known as the King's Head... whether the king's head was attached to his body at the time, I don't know.

Grand Ole Opry performer Johnny Russell, who is a king-size man, likes to say "Can everybody see me all right?"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Songster Bob
Date: 11 May 00 - 04:46 PM

When tuning, I've been known to say "I've got it surrounded!"

I usually get babble-mouth when introducing songs, or so my wife says -- I personally think I'm just full of information and want to impart it to the audience. The wife agrees with the "full of it" part. I've used the "introduce the band" bit, but talk into the mic while saying, "Pete, this is George. George, this is Pete. And I'm Bob!" It accomplished the introduction to the audience while providing a minor change from the usual introduction. Since Sidekicks gigs so little, none of our stage patter is likely to get old as far as the audience is concerned.

I try not to have too many introductions that I memorize by rote, though, since those who do remember our last gig (or were warned about us by their parents) will also remember the intros and say "They haven't changed a bit!" And I avoid a couple of real cliches: "We've had many requests, but we're going to play anyway," and "Here's one of your favorites; I hope it's one of ours."

That do? If not, try Utah Phillips:

"Getting here was a foot, which is to say a 'singular feat.'"

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST
Date: 11 May 00 - 05:16 PM

"please, buy my CD. They're going to be worth a lot of money when I die, and I haven't been taking very good care of myself lately"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Peter T.
Date: 11 May 00 - 05:17 PM

In case you ever get really famous:

During the last Beatle concert in Toronto (I was there, yeah!), John Lennon introduced the next song in his most sardonic fashion by shouting as loudly as he could over the hysterical screaming:

"You can't have heard this song before, because we just played it."

I thought that was pretty good, and it was never reported among his sayings.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Sorcha
Date: 12 May 00 - 12:32 AM

Loved InOBU's post,,reminds me of the SCA Birthday song:
"We love children, yes we do,
Boiled or baked or in our stew,
Happy Birthday---------(stomp, stomp)

to the tune of Volga Boatman........
BR> Others we use-----
We take requests, but we don't garuntee to fill them
We always get a little applause, and that is little enough
See that girl, there, in the second row, the one with the wig? She is my cousin!! (from the 88 yr old gut bucket player)
Then we get kicking with "Sure, Herb, sure she is your "cousin", where you from, Louisiana or Arkansas?, etc.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 12 May 00 - 05:35 AM

Yes, stick with Art & the professionals! Most of my corn has been aired on this forum already, like "I've emptied bigger rooms than this" (as people leave), sadly all too true. and one I've never needed: "don't clap too loud it's a very old building" (Archie Rice in John Osborne's The Entertainer.
RtS


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 12 May 00 - 07:07 AM

Hmm.. I get tired of people introducing traditional tunes like "The first one is "The Butterfly", and then "The Mason's Apron""....

So I vary it up by giving them new names:

"If Pigs could Fly, you'd Be A Squadron Leader" "The Fast One" "The Slow Tune" "Big Arnie's Blitzed Again" "The Scabby-Heidit Wean" etc....

Cheers M'Dears

Steven C


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: InOBU
Date: 12 May 00 - 07:22 AM

We actually renamed a tune for the sake of luck. It is known as the lilting banshee, or the older name, the miller of glan mire. Every time we would say the Miller of Glan mire, a large group would walk out. It began to happen so often we began to make jokes about it. It was like the Jack Benny movie To Be or Not To Be. We began to make jokes about Glan Mire, so when the party would leave we would appologise and tell the rest of the audience, There goes about seventy per cent of the town of Glan Mire. Then one day, a friend from Wiltshire was sitting in with us and was telling a story about a fellow in his town and he described him as a very Popular Halfwit. It so fit the Miller of Glan mire that we began calling the tune that, and the luck changed. It also provided a great name for a certain mudcatter in Devises - same fellow who was sitting in with us... And Now You Know The Whole Story, as a certain raidio personality used to say...
Larry


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Zorro
Date: 12 May 00 - 07:38 AM

Picking with a friend in an after hours club in Corpus Christi, Texas.. There were two very loud young men right in front of us, not listening to anything but each other and they were both LOUD. I had had a couple of beers (or two) and remembered a line from an old Dave Gardner LP. When I finally got their attention I said: "Hey guys, I don't come out to where your working and hide your shovel!" My partner Jake and I both held our breath, but it worked! I heard Doc Watson on a live album in response to a guy making cat calls from the audience; "Yeah, I remember my first beer too, Buddy." Steven Wright's one liners are not offensive or off color and fit well on stage. He has a web site. Hope this helps.. Zorro/Texas


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Tony Burns
Date: 12 May 00 - 09:42 AM

Jughead (Toronto jugband), when asked for a song they don't know will say that they will play another song that uses a lot of the same notes.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:28 PM

My favorite witty line was completely unrehearsed. I was playing lead guitar in a rock and roll band in a seedy, off-the-beaten-track bar in western Massachusetts. Two fellows who were drinking heavily and sitting close to the stage were apparently fond of a certain late-1960's band from LA, and kept requesting them by shouting "Doors! Doors!" between every song. After a while I finally stepped up to the microphone, pointed to the exit, and said "Door's over there". It got a laugh, and they actually took me up on it, so it worked out very well.

Pretty case-specific, but that's all I've got to offer.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dharmabum
Date: 12 May 00 - 01:38 PM

Used this one when I was playing in a trio in the eighties.

We have tapes for sale, don't forget, Christmas is coming soon and as your sitting around the table sharing Christmas dinner with your family,you'll wish you had something to prop up that wobbly table leg.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Fortunato
Date: 12 May 00 - 02:11 PM

"Here's one of the old familiar tunes... that no one's ever heard before."

"This next song is one of your favorites... we hope soon it'll be one of ours."

First voice: "I want to play my banjo (guitar, etc.) in the worse way."

Second voice: " Well, I'm sure you can."

"We've had a request...but we're gonna do this next song anyway."


I could go on, but I'm not that cruel.
Fortunato


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Wesley S
Date: 12 May 00 - 02:41 PM

I saw John Renbourn a few weeks ago. After a blues and jazz tune he said "OK - I promise after this you'll get my usual Celtic doom and gloom for the rest of the night" l


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 13 May 00 - 03:32 AM

Les Barker says, whilst at a concert in Towersey (August Bank Holiday), "I had a request to do this one, in Sidmouth." (a festival four weeks previous......)or 'last year'......

If you're driving home, can I have a lift?

King of the Heckler Stompers, Joe Stead commented one night that "when God put teeth in your mouth he ruined a bloody good arsehole!"

I have two songs that my father taught me. I introduce them by saying 'here's a song I learnt at my father's knee. We were so poor, we couldn't afford paper, so he wrote it on his knee. It's only a short song, he had very knobbly knees.....'

And yes, TerriM will actually BE round the back in half an hour and if she reads this, it will be with a bottle for me!! (sorry Terri........!)

LTS


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: keltcgrasshoppper
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:26 PM

We usually manage to get a laugh or two by picking on our self appionted LEADER. He does make it easy to do however. Each gig of course presents a new set list.. he will talk a little between songs and without fail introduce something that we aren't set up for.. To which we say.. NOT again.. This guy writes set lists and uses them for wall paper. Then we trash him for a min or two.. Always gets a laugh.. Of course it helps that he is my husband and I make sure to let the audience know it.. They get a kick out of "marital strife."..


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Pablo
Date: 13 May 00 - 11:27 PM

Robin and Linda Williams are outstanding in this regard, 'though no examples come quickly to mind (they don't come to NY often enough).


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Chicky
Date: 13 May 00 - 11:40 PM

We played a gig a couple of months ago at a banquet-type thing - the audience just wasn't interested. So we amused ourselves by doing stupid introductions - "This song is about a man's love for his tractor" etc.

We do some obscure early music in archaic french or spanish, and generally intro at least one each gig with "Sing along if you know the chorus!"

- Chicky


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Sourdough
Date: 14 May 00 - 12:39 AM

Richard Farina was appearing on a television program I was working. He introduced Jelly Roll Blues with a detailed description of a bakers strike in New Orleans in the late 1880s. As the camera dollied in on him, he did this ad lib explanation of how the song is about that strike. As a result of the strike, there were no jelly rolls available in New Orleans for an extended period of time. He did it all deadpan and I don't think that the director or anyone else, except the musicians, knew that he was having them on.

Sourdough


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Chanteyranger
Date: 14 May 00 - 04:05 PM

Whistlestop, that ad-lib about doors was a stroke of pure genius. Until that, the best treatment of hecklers I've heard, was (spoken to a group of college-age men) "Ah, yes, I remember MY first beer!"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Deni
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 04:47 AM

How's this for an off the cuff one. After an almost-perfest start to an unaccompanied song, followed by a damn-near-but-not-quite perfect ending, Ned turned round to pick up his guitar and I said. We had a bit of a struggle there starting and finishing together. A bit like sex. Thanks god they actually laughed.

(I don't know what comes over me sometimes)

Deni Mad Rush


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Cappuccino
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:38 AM

My wife was once singing in a very poorly-attended folk club in Scotland, and between songs, in an aside which carried across the room, she muttered: "I should have stayed in bed - there were more people there!"

- ian B


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:14 PM

"I see you have your patter well rehearsed sir."

"No this is something you wouldn't recognise... It's called whit."

-Blackadder-

;-)


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:16 PM

Foiled by lousy type-ography again... that and the inability to edit my posts...

DAMN!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: ChanteyMatt
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:28 PM

When busking, this has always been a favorite of mine: "Your applause is like butter, but we could really use some bread."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Jeep man
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 10:36 PM

We are going to do our last song first. Usually we don't get that far.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 11:13 PM

Friends of mine have taken to using a clever bit at the end of their performances - "And now, we have one last song for you..." "The one you've all been waiting for!" Guitar is undustriously being tuned..."Are you ready?" "I'm ready - " "I'm collected!" And the trio launches into a wonderful 10-second burst of music, stops abruptly, and say "Thank you for coming!"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Justa Picker
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 12:23 AM

"And now for a little medley of our hit......"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 12:55 AM

Just remember to change it occasionally. I saw a performer twice, with a two year gap and she was doing exactly the same stage patter at both gigs. She'd not changed one word of it in over 2 years. I upset her by telling my mate in the front row the joke that was coming next, before she'd even had time to start it. Hopefully she's changed it a bit. Shame really, because she was actually a bloody good musician, just totally inexperienced at a concert setting.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Den
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 09:18 AM

For the hecklers.
Sorry I didn't recognize you right away but its so nice to see you back in mens clothes.

More raw meat for table 3.

Keep shouting the bouncer's trying to find out where you're sitting. (Billy Connolly if memory serves)

I don't talk while you're performing

Others

I'd like to play some chopin for you now... but I don't know any.

If someone gets up to go to the bathroom during one of your songs stop playing and watch them walk there without saying a word till they go through the door then whisper to the audience lets all go and hide.

That's all for now, Den


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Celtic Soul
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM

When someone leaves during introductions, I have said (tongue in cheek and with a big doofy grin so no one takes it seriously), "Hey! We didn't get up and leave when *you* came in".


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 10:20 PM


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 02:40 AM

Before I came on stage, I got a request, but my guitar won't fit. I know a lot of you have been drinking tonight and many of you will be driving home. If you come to one of those sobriety checkpoint roadblocks, run the damned thing! Make them earn it!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dunc
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:50 AM

I can't remember who said, after a banal comment from a heckler....
Get that man a pair of underpants that fit his mouth!"

Grant Baynham was having problems tuning his guitar. A banjo player in the audience called out "That's what you get for insulting my banjo earlier on!"
Grant stopped what he was doing, and in a condescending voice, pointed out to the heckler...
"No. No. No. You've got it all wrong. The object of a heckle is to make ME look stupid...."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Roughyed
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM

Try "There's a saying in show biz about (insert name of town you're playing. You play ..... twice in your career, once on the way up and once on the way down. It's great to be back." I suspect this probably dates from Shakespeare's day but draws a laugh a lot of the time.

At the end of the night "Well I'm sorry but we have to go before the drugs wear off."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,emily b
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 06:20 PM

This thread came just in time! I had a gig last night and "borrowed" chanteyranger's line about being listless. I received the welcomed groaning and chuckles. Our loquacious guitarist who is our front man was distracted dealing with guitar problems and turned to me and said, "Tell them a story." I was completely unprepared and started out telling a joke with the punchline first. He quickly came to my rescue and we ended up with a whole series of those horrible/punny oneliners. It all turned out well and later someone said they thought the whole thing was planned. Ha! Just goes to show that you should never let on that you made a mistake, etc.

Good luck with all the patter and thanks to all for some very good ideas.

Emily B


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Gloredhel
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:50 PM

If someone comes in after the performance has started, stop what you're doing and say, "You're late! Ok, here's what you've missed" (goes through major points of performance so far, such as song titles, etc.). Or, if they have to step over people to get to their seats, it's funny if you sort of mumble "'scuse me, pardon me, sorry, 'scuse me" until they sit down. (Got that one from watching the great classical pianist and humorist Victor Borge.)


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Coyote Breath
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:03 PM

As a banjo player I must often make many tunings. Until I can afford more than one banjo. Sometimes things just seem to take forever. I usually look up and say; "I hope you're taking notes...There'll be a quiz later."

And when some one asks (as someone always does) for me to play "Duelling Banjos" I always beg off saying, "nah, I can't manage that tonight, unless one of you has a banjo."

Once, playing with another banjoist, someone (probably the same guy) asked if we could play "Duelling Banjos" and we both had the same thought at the same time and jumped up, holding our banjos ala fencing swords and I shouted "en garde" as I lunged at him.

Or I say (to a noisy audience) "Now pay close attention to this next song, there are some really filthy lyrics in it."

CB


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,chip2447
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:37 AM


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,chip244y
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:47 AM

Oops...
"I'm available for adoption, nearly housebroken and I dont eat much."
"Help me prove my parents wrong, they wanted me to get into to computers"

Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: dougboywonder
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:08 AM

Keith Donnely used to have a favorite of encouraging the most surreal heckles possible and then bettering them. If you'd never seen him before, someone shouting "Orange!" and him stopping and shouting "I wouldn't be seen dead watching baywatch", must have been quite disconcerting, but it was very funny if you knew about it.

"Heavy contact lense....."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Troll
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 08:05 AM

Re: Hecklers. My favorites are:
Why don't you save your breath for your inflatable date?
Ah! You were here last night. I never forget a shirt.

troll


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Bassman
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:05 PM

Onstage in Atlanta with my quintet, someone yelled from the back of the club, "Do you know any hymns?" I responded pointing to each member of the group, "Sue, I know him..and him...and him..."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: BobKnight
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:37 PM

Some real oldies:
If you're thinking of drinking and driving, don't forget where you left your car.

Don't drink and drive - you'll just spill it going round the corners.

To Heckler - so glad you could come tonight - it's a pity your father did.
To heckler - you'd be a wanker - if only you could get an erection.

To constant requests for a Daniel O'Donnel song - sure, tell me something he's written and I'll do it. More request for a D. O'D song from the same person. Me: Hey you must be a big D O'D fan, I bet you have ALL his CD's at home. On her replying that she had I replied, well why don't you f**k of home and listen to them. Luckily she took it in good humour and laughed - no more requests for Daniel that evening.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Young Buchan
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 04:53 AM

Friend of mine used to introduce a particular song with 'This song was written in nineteen seventy nine - that's a real bastard of a time signature'


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 08:30 AM

Heard from The Oldham Tinkers " you're the best audience we've ever played against "

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 08:36 AM

In that awkward moment when you are trying to adjust your right breast into the upper curve of your guitar, comment "These things just aren't designed correctly!"

Only did it once, but it elicited remarks from some of the male members of audience and a general laugh all around. Really put me at ease too. I mean I couldn't get any more embarrassed, could I?


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: eddie1
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 08:59 AM

Doesn't always work.
The late Iain McKintosh was an expert at dealing with noisy members of the audience - usually by getting quieter and quieter till other audience members told them to shut up, At one gig, a girl with too much to drink was laying forth and he made some appropriate comment which did shut her up. During the interval he saw her at the bar and apologised for embarrassing her when he was on the stage. "Oh," she said, "were you on the stage?"
Cyril Tawney was doing a gig at Stirling Folk Club when he was disconcerted by the heaving bosom of a young lady in the front row and forgot his words. "Sorry but there's this girl up the front and every time she laughs her tits bounce up and down!" She looked straight at him and said "So do yours!"

Ones that have worked - on return of a toilet visitor, "Could you hear us in there 'cause we could hear you!".
On return of another toilet visitor who made a great point of crouching while getting back to his seat in the front row. "Hey, you're supposed to tuck it in before you zip up!"

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 11:11 AM

Pablo mentioned Robin and Linda Williams. I've heard Linda refer to Robin as,"my current husband."

When there's an awkward pause, or someone has to discuss something with a bandmate, we'll say,"Let us know if we get too slick and professional for you, Folks."

"I tried for years to write a drinking song, but I never made it past the first couple of bars."


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Paul Reade
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 11:56 AM

One of Hamish Imlach's introductions was "I'm a great one for topical songs - this one was topical about a hundred years ago"

I heard that he was once compèring a concert and said "There's absolutely no need to introduce our top of the bill tonight ... because he hasn't turned up!"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: meself
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 03:17 PM

Yesterday, in the course of a minor difference of opinion, a patron called me an "Irish motherf*cker!" I replied that no one calls ME Irish and gets away with it ....





Okay, just kidding, folks; actually, all I said was, "Now, now, now", in a grandfatherly way. I wasn't quite as worked up as he was.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: alex s
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 04:54 PM

I knew you'd be trouble when I saw your... (shirt/suit etc)


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Captain Swing
Date: 27 Feb 10 - 06:48 PM

This thread should be investigated under the Trades Descriptions Act. There is nothing remotely witty in the content - just the usual age old folk club cliches!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 01:57 AM

I once got as round of applause from those who wanted to listen when there was a bar at back of room, by saying, in as pompous tones as possible: "This next song is sung in the key of F#minor: so if those of you at the bar would kindly pitch your conversations in the key of F#minor, it would afford me considerable assistance." Worked that time; but don't think it would work every time, somehow.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 17 May 10 - 05:02 AM

Hamish Imlach also used to say, ' isn't it the truth what they say about whisky, that it improves with age, the older I get the mair I like it ' [ me too ]


Dave H


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,MC Fat (at work)
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:11 AM

The great Pierce Butler was fantastic at intro's. At Towersey one the Dransfield Brothers (think it was Robin) approached him and wagging his finger said 'I've heard about you Butler no funny stuff just introduce me'. Pierce went on stage and said 'Now someone who needs little introduction Barry Dransfield's brother'. Priceless !!!!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:47 AM

Why don't you stand near the wall - that's plastered too

Tell me your address - I want to come round tonight and interrupt while you're performing

I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Well you've made my final appearance a very memorable one


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 May 10 - 08:16 AM

Glad the Oldham Tinkers were mentioned. Their patter often exceeds the ammount of time spent on songs but it is well worth it. Absolute masters of it:-) My favourites - most of 'em but some snippets from much longer tales -

We called our dog Grieg. All he could do were pee agin t'suite.

(Commenting on finding a gravestone by the side of the road) Bloke buried 'ere had a good innings. 195. Feller called Miles from London.

I still laugh...

:D


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: buddhuu
Date: 17 May 10 - 10:40 AM

The Dubliners generally stick to the same patter they've been using for years; and if it works, why mess with it? Still makes me laugh.

A few from Barney:

"This is an Irish solo... There's two of us going to play it."

"This next one's a mandolin duet. It's an Irish duet... There's three of us going to play it."

"For those of you who haven't heard these tunes before... well, this'll be the first time."

"If I speak too fast for you, you'll have to listen to me quicker."


And one I heard John use a few months back:

"We've been going nearly 50 years. As Barney always says, it's too late to stop now."


I recall a couple of gigs when the late Ronnie Drew got a little annoyed when the audience used to murmur along with his well-known anecdotes and gags, kind of like geeky students quoting Monty Python sketches from memory!

Christy Moore and Finbar Furey are also masters of banter and heckler-management.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Clontarf83
Date: 17 May 10 - 05:20 PM

A band In Dublin: "here's a song that Mick Jagger wrote when he was still alive" (Ruby tuesday)


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 10 - 06:29 PM

Was it Hank Williams who would say after his first song "There ya go, you get your money's worth in the first five minutes, so the rest of the show is free"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Scorpio
Date: 17 May 10 - 07:38 PM

This song has a chorus - but that's no excuse for joining in and spoiling it!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 May 10 - 12:32 AM

Speaking as an audience member, I do not like heavy handed or mean-spirited responses. (Can you tell I absolutely hate Don Rickles-type humor?) It may shut the heckler up but in my experience it makes the audience uncomfortable. I have come away from a concert like that with a lesser opinion of the musician. I think partly it is because most of us recognize that the heckler is either drunk way past his capacity or he is trying to impress someone he is with. Why ruin his night?

My suggestion: Be honest.    If you are honest about the situation, the chances are good that you will come up with some good one liners. Don't use canned patter- unless it is genuinely funny.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: buddhuu
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:12 AM

Ebbie's tolerant perspective is admirable. I share it most of the time.

However, also as an audience member, there have been a few times over the years when hecklers have almost ruined a show for me. If the management can't recognise the harm being done and ask the fella to shut it, I'm grateful to a performer with the authority to want to salvage the show for the rest of the audience.

When Finbar Furey's patience runs out I wouldn't want to be the heckler... He'll take a fair bit with good humour, but when things go on to the point of tedium he can shut 'em up with a look.

Some people seem to think the show is a double act between them and the performer to the extent that other audience members are irrelevant.

And rather the artist shut the heckler up with a few choice words than another audience member do it with a belt in the gob. Something else I've seen happen. It never does much for the atmosphere.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:51 AM

I used to got to the late lamented Players Theatre in London at least once a week, and the exchange of banter particularly between the chairman and the audience was part of the show. And when the opportunity arose, some witty heckling added to the show, but only if it fitted in with the setting of the show - i.e. Victorian Music Hall, and it was kept to a reasonable level - i.e the occasion one-liner that enabled the artiste/chairman to come back with an even wittier reply.

However, there were evening when some heckler did not know when to shut up - corporate block booking were the worst.

The best ever witty stage banter was on a night that I missed. An America visitor quite innocently said, with regards to the theatre restaurant menu:

"My wife had spotted dick for the first time in her life, and she thoroughly enjoyed it!"

My friends who were there said that this prompted the chairman t come up with about 20 minutes of patter making the show finish late. But they couldn't remember a single word the chairman said :(


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 18 May 10 - 05:15 AM

And rather the artist shut the heckler up with a few choice words than another audience member do it with a belt in the gob.

Or the artist belt someone in the gob! A good friend of our club many years back was a big bloke - Not fat just tall and well proportioned. He used to sing lovely quiet ballads - James Taylors 'Sweet baby James' was a favourite. One night a drunken bloke was standing in the doorway yelling throughout every song 'Give us such-and-such', 'Do you know blahblah' etc. Our singer finished one of his lovely quiet songs. Laid his guitar down, smiled and walked over to the heckler. Shaking the drunkards hand he very gently said 'Fuck off or I will deck you.'

It worked:-)

Cheers

DeG


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 18 May 10 - 07:42 AM

I remember that "Little Geoff" used to encourage hecklers in the audience by beating them at their own game back in the 80s in Somerset. Competiton ensued for the best line.
It got to the point where one night he even got heckled just for being in the audience!


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: alanabit
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:31 AM

I rarely use really rude replies to hecklers, but thirty years of handling all sorts of folk on the streets has necessitated the acquisition of a large repertory of robust responses. The problem is that very few of them - if any - are funny out of context. I recall waking up one morning with about twenty heckler lines coming out all at once. Dirty Fred, the comedy juggler who was staying with me at the time, promptly took out his notebook and wrote them all down. He uses them far more than I do - but he performs in a very different style - and he has the talent to back it up. One line which frequently occurs in his show, which I have rarely used is, "A big mouth does not compensate for a small penis!"
I need a very good reason before I go in that hard. One which more suits my style is, "Doesn't strong beer make a lot of noise when it's rattling around in an empty head?" Another one is to look at a drunk and then say, "Kids, this is why your Mum gives you lemonade." On occasion the confrontational method is justified, but usually the most important thing is to let the audience know that you are playing for all of them.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST
Date: 18 May 10 - 04:59 PM

When a female heckler shouted out to Pecker Dunne, who was in slight difficulty, "You're drunk" his reply was "Lady, I'll be sober in the morning, but you'll still be ugly"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: stevewise
Date: 18 May 10 - 05:27 PM

neil innes (of bonzo dog doo-dah band fame) used to do a parody of a 60s singer-songwriter, with acoustic guitar and wearing cheap glasses heavily repaired with tape - his standard introduction was 'I've suffered for my music - now it's your turn'


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 18 May 10 - 06:32 PM

Guest's post was a straight steal from Winston Churchill, on the subject of Bessie Braddock MP.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Art Thieme
Date: 18 May 10 - 09:51 PM

Bert is wrong up above!! If you search on my name all that comes up is posts from Martin Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:48 AM

When promoting CD sales: 'Our CD comes with the unique Bounty Hounds guarentee, if you don't like it, send it back to us, and we will replace it with a CD we don't like.

During gig: 'We've had a request, but the instruments wouldn't fit, so we are going to sing this song instead'
'We have suffered for our art, now it's your turn'

End of gig: 'Thank you for coming, and thank you even more for staying!'
'You have been the best Saturday night audience we have had this week'

I do a self penned song about 'Black Shuck' the Hell hound of the fens, but said dog's name does not actually appear anywhere in the song, so I make the rest of the band cringe by explaning that when I wrote the song I couldn't find a rhyme with 'Shuck'

(and before I get any suggestions, when we are doing local gigs in East Anglia, it is often pointed out that 'The Darkness' local heavy metal band, also did a song about Black Shuck, and they found a rhyme!)

John


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Bert
Date: 19 May 10 - 05:57 AM

Hey John! how about posting the lyrics for Black Shuck?


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Subject: RE: Lyric Added- Eyes of Flame
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 19 May 10 - 09:40 AM

Here you are Bert, just for you.

If you want to hear how I do the song with the 'Hounds' you'll find a version we recorded for the BBC in our myspace player.
http://www.myspace.com/thebountyhounds

EYES OF FLAME


F#m                     A                        F#m                      D
Night time falls across the fen, an evil hound creeps from his pen
A                            E                F#m                D          F#m
With blood chilling yelp and bay, out he goes to find his prey


CHORUS
F#m                D                A                         E      
Eyes of flame, eyes of fire, burning out your life's desire
F#m                        D               A                        E                   D   A    E
Don't cross the fen, if you try, see that dog and you will die


F#m             A                        F#m                         D
All alone the poacher goes, to set his snares where no one knows
A                                  E                   F#m                     D       F#m
Stands like stone when eyes of flame leap out from the misty gloom

F#m                              A                     F#m                        D
A howl and shriek ring through the air, throat ripped open, flesh laid bare
          A                           E                               F#m                      D                F#m
With victim's blood dripping from his jaw, this evil hound creeps back to his lair

F#m               A                   F#m                      D
In the cottage on fen bank, across the field so dark and dank
A                                  E                   F#m                         D               F#m
The scream is heard, a woman cries, tonight she knows, alone she'll lie

F#m                                 A                           F#m                      D
As morning sun streaks across the fen, this woman warns her children
A                        E                      F#m                         D         F#m
Early to be, stay tucked in tight, don't go through the fens at night


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 19 May 10 - 11:23 AM

Bud and Travis, in their first live concert album, left a lot of their stage patter in the final cut. Some is now dated. Some of it seems, in retrospect, a bit sophomoric. Some was manic and some was inspired. During a different performance, I recall Bud retorting to one loudmouth, "Thanks for being a part of the inner circle; as opposed to a large, vulgar crowd." There is one bit where Travis begins to speak of improvising. Bud responds, "We never improvise." What ensues is an argument consisting of two parallel conversations with the audience, each attempting to talk over the other - the vocal equivalent of some sort of manic counterpoint.

My son's band recently responded to some hecklers with a spontaneous verse of "Who Let the Dogs Out?"


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 May 10 - 04:43 PM

Happily, I can say that I haven't had to put up with hecklers very often.

On one occasion, in a coffeehouse not far from campus, I was singing a whaling song with a chorus that went "Clear away your running gear and blow ye winds, heigh-ho!" Every time I sang the chorus, a group of frat boys who thought they were very amusing would all blow loudly (spraying a bit of spit when they did so). About the fourth time they did it, Stan James, who owned the place (a heck of a good singer himself) came out, tore up their check, and pointed toward the door. They got up and went, to a splutter of applause from the rest of the folks.

On another occasion, I took the direct approach. There was a guy named Alex who claimed he was an actor, although where he had ever done any acting, nobody knew and he never said. He was full of advice to me about matters of "showmanship," and after I'd finish a set, he'd come up to me and tell me everything I did wrong. One of his bon mots was that sometimes the songs I chose to sing bored him, and it was solely my responsibility to capture his interest.

One evening, apparently, I failed to do that. During my set, he sat at a table with a couple of other people and talked very very loudly. Despite the attentiveness of the rest of the people, I guess I was boring him again, and he was letting me know it. He sounded like he was practicing his stage projection. He as also embarrassing the hell out of the people he was with and on the verge of inciting the rest of the audience to rise up and kill him.

The coffeehouse had a PA system, although it didn't really need one. The aforementioned Stan kept it at a level that gave the performer a slight boost, but it wasn't really intrusive and most of the time not even noticeable.

Alex had blabbed his way through about three of my songs, and I just got fed up. When I reached the end of my next song, I leaned close to the microphone with my mouth about two inches away from it (normally, about two feet in front of me) and said:

"Alex!"

It boomed through the place like the Voice of God. Alex looked up, startled.

"Alex, shut the hell up!!"

The rest of the people burst into applause. Alex looked stunned for moment, then he got up, put on his coat and left, with the rest of the folks still applauding as he went out the door.

Also, I got more than the usual amount of applause at the end of the set.

Never saw Alex again. And somehow I've never missed him.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Genie
Date: 20 May 10 - 01:19 AM

BeauDangles, the way I've heard that band introduction gag is, "I'd like the band to introduce themselves."
Then, of course, the band members all go around shaking hands with each other and introducing themselves to each other.

John Ross used to run the band scramble at the NW Folklife Festival in Seattle, and that was a running gag that some band would use every year.


There's also the standard patter while tuning instruments: "This is a Chinese folk song. It's called "Tu Ning."

And then you tell the audience, "We take requests - as long as you don't request that we sing "Over The Hill And Far Away."

I usually preface that by saying that I'm glad to take requests: You just write them down on a $20 bill and pass them up here ... "


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Genie
Date: 20 May 10 - 01:44 AM

Young Buchan, a variation on your time signature line that I've heard is,

"This next song was written in 1718, but we're gonna do it in 6/8 time instead."'


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Subject: RE: Seeking your Witty Stage Patter!
From: Bert
Date: 20 May 10 - 03:24 AM

Thanks Bounty Hound I'm going to learn that one.

BTW did you know that in some regions he is called "Old Shuck" and is considered a lucky omen.

Sightings in modern times in Essex and Kent have been attributed (by the news media} to seeing a black panther.


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