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The Muffin Men at The St Helens Citadel 

By Big D

My other half came in one night saying The Muffin Men are on in St Helens, do you fancy going? I thought why not. Although I had been to St Helen’s on many occasions for a bevy and shopping I had yet to grace this establishment with my psychotic persona.

The night of the concert arrived and we had had a few doobs . I felt at this stage, more like Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, rather than Frank Zappa’s Dinah-Moe-Hum. We managed to peel ourselves of the salubrious couch and venture to St Helens. Went for a drink at the bar in there and it was cheaper for a bottle of lager than in the couple of the places we had been prior. Outside we went had a pre- concert doob and ambled upstairs to find our seat complete with drink in plastic glass. The place itself was small and compact and reminded me of a smaller Liverpool Playhouse with a few rows upstairs and a larger space downstairs to stand.

The band came on - with Jimmy Carl Black - and started straight into Willie The Wimp. Halfway through this gargantuan tune I had a quick nose round and saw a couple of Scally type lads to the left of us in musical rapture. My other half pointed to a couple of loons downstairs doing the Electric Shock Therapy Jitterbug to the next tune Road Ladies and she said we’ll deffo have to go downstairs for the second half. The next couple of songs were Captain Beefheart numbers. At the end of the second tune J.C.B. ambled off to the back off the stage and slipped out through a side curtain. I reckoned he’d gone to watch Britain’s Got Talent! The band went straight into Pygmy Twylyte, followed by Wonderful Wino and they finished the first set with Zoot Allures.

We zig-zagged back downstairs, ordered another bevy and saw Mr J.C.B. having a beer and quite happy to sign autographs and have his picture taken with various people. The clientele was your usual for The Muffin Men viz a viz old Hippy Types, some students and mashed up scallies. We went outside smoked another Blue Peter and went into the downstairs bit. The band - complete with J.C.B. - kicked off proceedings with Jones Crusher, followed by City of Tiny Lites. By this stage we had got in with three sound lads from Halewood and spent the rest of the concert with them opening the fire door from time to time and having a blast on some Blue Peters’ of theirs. A minute into the next tune - Big Leg Emma - saw all five of us do an unrehearsed synchronised cosmic frug last seen at a 1969 Windsor chapter soiree. Due to time restrictions they finished with an encore of Trouble Every Day.

We went outside, said goodbye to the Halewood contingent and decided we wanted another couple of drinks. On the way to fulfilling the quest for extra quaffing I had a big cheesy grin on my face and thought to myself that’s the reason I don’t rate the vast majority of musical butt-drizzle that exists today.






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