Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Broadcast on 7:15pm on 1st January 1983 on Channel 4, this is the Barron Knights performing a mixture of live numbers and specially-shot videos to many of their well-known, and lesser-known, comedy-songs.

"Weird Al" Yankovic may have since cornered the market in famous song-parodies with new lyrics about food, but the Barron Knights were arguably there first, transforming Queen's famous Bohemian Rhapsody into a number all about overeating.

"I see you scoffing cream cakes and jam.
In your mush! In your mush!
Oh, where did that meringue go?"

Although many of the actual jokes are quite tame, the band's good humour and friendliness elevates almost every number to one that you can't help at least smiling at. For example, I didn't find 'Evolution' particularly gag-packed, but the fact that it's performed by a David Bellamy character, together with such a jazzy underscore, makes the whole thing feel like a sequence from The Goodies.

Some other tracks function perfectly well as serious songs in their own right, were it not for just the occasional bit of silliness creeping-in to scupper everything, often purely in the realisation.

One such song features a man singing of his heartfelt love down a telephone-line, only to keep-on getting cut-off every time his money runs out. It's tracks like this and 'Water' that demonstrate just how straight they'll play it for the sake of a laugh. At one point, there actually is a completely serious song, a revelation that somewhat confuses the context of subsequent numbers.

Having got first together in 1959 under the name "The Knights Of The Round Table", they changed their name to "The Barron Knights" the following year, and are still booked-out with live concerts of their catchy songs well into 2010.

With Peter Langford the only remaining member of the original line-up, at some point, it would be nice if he actually did get knighted.

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