Tuesday, December 06, 2011

George Clooney in Reverse

There is a reasonably well known story regarding Union Station mandoleer Dan Tyminski, who dubbed the vocal parts for George Clooney’s scenes as the singer of The Soggy Bottom Boys in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Upon seeing the film Mrs. Tyminski reportedly remarked “George Clooney’s face and your voice – that’s my fantasy!” I am reminded of this anecdote during a telephone conversation with Our Glorious Leader, who calls to discuss track listing and the resultant potential album length and mentions in passing that due to the combination of a fortuitous set of circumstances and some not inconsiderable personal charm, he has been able to procure the vocal abilities of one Boo Hewerdine to overdub a backing vocal previously performed by me on the new Songs from The Blue House* album. This is exciting news as I am a huge admirer of the 1994 Ivor Novello Award runner-up’s work, and also a fillip for Mrs. K, who will henceforth be able to bask in the knowledge that Mr. Hewerdine is performing a lyric written specifically about her, and in a considerably more mellifluous manner than the previous rough mixes might have suggested would be the case. I’m rather hoping we get to make a video so that I can mime his part in the same way that the former Doctor Ross out of ER so diligently took on Dan Tyminski’s parts (as it were).
 Not that I am in any way suggesting that Boo is not a fine figure of manliness in his own right. Indeed, a less than sympathetic suggestion on Twitter (I was in the pub) that the guitarist of the band I was watching bore more than a passing resemblance to the Honey Be Good hitmaker prompted a rather reproachful response through the social networking site from Boo himself. That’s the trouble with these things – you can’t be rude on the internet about just anyone these days. Only last week, a Tweeted suggestion that children’s television’s monkey costume-based beat combo Zingzillas were possibly not producing their best work recently (“Second album syndrome”, I called it) drew an indignant reply from Banks and Wag, the partnership behind such established Kirk Central toe tappers as “Do You Didgeridoo?”, “Playing a Solo” and “Rocking in a Rock Band”. To be fair, I’d only seen the rock n’ roll-based one, and Tang seemed to be wearing The Edge’s hat, so I may well have been premature in writing off the new series.
 On the other hand, since he was online and self-confessedly at a loose end the other night I was actually able, in a manner not unreminiscent of Flight of the Conchords’ manager Murray, to ask Neil Finn’s advice as to whether he thought thirty six minutes was too short for an album, which is what prompted OGL’s call in the first place. “That’s long these days” he replied.


In case you wanted to keep up with any more pub band-based lookalikes or comments on the quality of children’s television programmes I’m on Twitter as @doyoudoanywings

*It’s not a great name, admittedly. But only fate and fortune’s intervention stopped us going with our first choice, which was The Soggy Front Bottom Boys, for which I think we can all be thankful.

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