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Routemaster serenades

‘I always wondered why people didn’t play gigs on buses…’ announced the band’s lead singer, wedging his head tightly into a hollow in the roof of the top deck and just managing to keep himself upright as the old routemaster bus swept round a corner onto Oxford Street.

The other day I ended up getting somehow invited along to an album launch by a band called Keston Cobblers Club. They’d decided, as far as I could tell from the inter-song chitchat, that since they’d written loads of the songs while they were looking out of windows on buses, a bus journey seemed to be the ideal place to perform them.

In many ways it wasn’t, but somewhere among the frequent near-tumbles, the sweltering heat, the inability of their crowd to dance around to songs written specifically for such a purpose and a busted banjo string (the spare was in the car, which was no use to man nor beast), everyone ended up having a grand time. Such noble experiments are the stuff summer evenings are made of, and if nothing else, it would have been worth going along just to enjoy the mystified faces of the people on the top deck of a normal London bus as we pulled alongside them with the band in full swing.

Anyway, the Cobblers were catchy, sickeningly multi-talented (everyone seemed to be switching between instruments with a facility that might have bordered on showing off if they weren’t such a likeable bunch) and above all just loads of fun. Their music was sort of modern folksy, with a hint of the village fete (maybe on account of an accordion and a tuba) but without being a novelty band.

They have loads of stuff on Sound Cloud, so give it a listen and see what you think. Maybe as you’re listening you could imagine you’re trundling round central London on a big red bus…

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