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Les Barker - A Cardi And Bloke 1995 (UK)

On: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Les Barker

Birth name
Manchester, England
Jan 30 1947 -

Les Barker is, to be polite, an English poet. In the past, he's written and recorded quaint traditional English songs like "My Snails Have Not Yet Arrived," with famous folk musicians like Martin Carthy and June Tabor. A CARDI AND BLOKE, recorded live in August of 1995 at the Towersey Village Festival, features only Barker's pristine speaking voice. Barker's forte is puns, and "A Cardi and Bloke" (Bacardi and Coke...get it?) contains more of this "lowest form of humor" than any work ever before recorded. (OK, to translate, Barker is a comedian, but he's good at it, plus he doesn't stumble over words when he reads.)
Some of these little poem-stories are best appreciated by smart people acquainted with trivia. "Orifice Was An Italian Composer," is a story about music ("Do you have a phone here?" "Several. I have sacks o' phones.") and another "The Author's Story" jams zillions of author puns into a few meager mm of compact disc. "The Shipping Forecast" is a shipping forecast that makes no sense ("Cardigan, Fair Isle and Pullover..."). "Spot of the Antarctic" ends up the victim of a knife and fork. "Cosmo the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower" 's assistants end up victims of the knife. "The Blood Donor," perhaps the most brilliantly bizarre of Barker's free form works, ends up the victim of an automated teller system.
Happily for this weary writer, Les Barker doesn't fool with a back up band, but The East London Society of People with Funny Laughs (ie the festival audience) provides background reinforcement and camaraderie. With such an accompaniment, the listener always knows when to laugh!
Barker's obviously English humor is warm and gentle though sometimes outrageously obnoxious. It is also inexplicably akin to that of Dr. Science. His voice is so lovely and melodic that the CD can be easily listened to even when the owner tires of the fate of Sooty on the Guillemot. I heartily recommend A CARDI AND BLOKE to Anglophiles and enthusiasts of the goofy alike!
Try to get to see Les Barker live. He is the funniest man you'll ever see, better than many on TV.
Buying this (and any other recording of Les) comes a reasonable second to seeing him person and is worth having to play over and again. You'll have to do this because you'll miss some of his gags as you laugh at the one before.
Les uses plays on words, predictable rhyming puns, corny humour and the slightest touch of filth (but only a little)to show that the Great British wit is the best there is.
Barry Cryer and John Junkin are two of the best comedy writers of our age - Les is that good.
Buy this CD now, and find out about "Cosmo - The Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower" and how he works through a succession of "lovely assistants" and how Cosmo got a girl pregnant (he aimed at her sister and missed!).
Deja Vu - A Rhyme! Try to get to see Les Barker live..... Amazon Customer
Recorded live at Towersey Folk Festival, August 27/28, 1995
01  Déjà Vu 4.33
02  Cosmo, the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower 4.16
03  The One-legged Horse 3.15
04  The Author's Story 6.12
05  The Shipping Forecast 5.06
06  The Guillemot 5.12
07  Heavy Plant Crossing 3.06
08  Irrational Neutscene 6.00
09  Spot of the Antarctic 4.49
10  Orifice Was an Italian Composer 7.18
11  Cosmo, Prince of Denmark 4.50
12  The Blood Donor 4.29

Funny Poems, Parodies

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