Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Celery of the gods

In the middle of a Billy Bragg interview, an incident that sounds like a fully-formed Half Man Half Biscuit song:

I Keep Faith also boasts backing vocals by fellow Red Wedger Robert Wyatt, whose services he enlisted after running into him while buying rhubarb. Bragg was recording the album in Lincolnshire - "the rhubarb basket of England", he explains - and the women catering at the studio agreed to make rhubarb crumble and custard, which Bragg regards as "the pinnacle of desserts", only if he could find the fresh rhubarb. "Rhubarb," he adds as an aside, "is the celery of the gods." Off Bragg went to Louth market. "And as I was parking in the town square, who should be sitting there with his missus, on a bench smoking a cigar, but the grand old man himself, Robert Wyatt! Who I hadn't really seen since Red Wedge, and who welcomed me like a long-lost son." Bragg handed him a demo and invited him into the studio. "For a Stalinist," he smiles, "he really knows how to sing like an angel."

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