The Ken Ardley Playboys
Diary of A Band: Part 3 (of490)
Richard Dimbleby was in our band; round, black and with a hole in the middle he had his own stool and microphone at the front of the stage. From his blue box with the Dansette¹ badge he would tell the audience about Churchill¹s funeral while we played Matchstalkmen and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs¹. At this time we played anything vaguely related to art and artists - Vincent¹, Picasso¹ even Boney-M¹s Painterman¹; we thought that¹s what they meant by art-rock.
Other artists had cottoned on to the idea of forming bands (if we could do it anyone could) and with a gaggle of performance artists and revived seventies art-punk bands the soon to be dead Joshua Compton organised his first Fete Worse Than Death¹.
So on a sweltering August afternoon, in our band uniform of heavy brown serge coats with Westminster Council¹ embroidered on the collars, we and Richard took to the stage. This performance was filmed by the BBC and still gets aired in the early weekday hours as part of an Open University course called Discovering Art¹. It¹s not unusual even now for band members to be accosted by grey skinned insomniacs screeching I saw you on the telly last night¹.
I looked down to see four seedy, jeering drunken trainee accountants from the Inland Revenue amongst the assembled neo-bohemians of Hoxton Square; they were¹Armitage Shanks¹ on the last leg of their tour of England¹s minor cities. We swapped fan magazines as they dragged amps from the back of their fetid ambulance to the stage from where Dick Scum was about to launch into a tirade against arty tossers¹ beforeVic Flange, Basil Bile and Rod Vomit joined in with the first bars of You¹re Going Home In A Fucking Ambulance¹.
Somehow it seemed inevitable that our paths would cross again.