Live Preview: Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

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You’ll be on double-duty, playing with the Bonzos and also with an all-star line-up of The Rutles that includes Elliott Randall, once of Steely Dan, on guitar. Some of the Rutles are also going to be a part of the Bonzos, so we’re all like one big family.

There’s no Eric Idle, though.

Eric was never really part of the music, and over the years I’ve become slightly irritated by the way he takes credit for everything.

Paul McCartney has always declined to comment when asked his opinion of Fab Four spoof band The Rutles.

Lennon loved us, and George [Harrison] was up to his neck in the Rutles. But Paul knows that the music was affectionate, and the last time I saw him, at the Magical Mystery Tour reboot [in 2012], he gave me a big hug.

Apart from the late Viv Stanshall, most of the old Bonzos gang are back.

Yeah. Some might say it’s pointless without Viv, but my philosophy these days is as long as we’re having fun then it’s okay.

How does Michael Livesley approach filling Viv’s MC role?

Viv was such a big part of the Bonzos. He was irrepressible; a complete vulgarian. Michael does things his own way, and it seems to work.

The music is enhanced by an electric saw solo, a spoons routine and all manner of comedic lunacy.

It’s a very charming show, with everything that the Bonzos were, from trad-jazz pub days to quasi-psychedelic comedy rock.

Has it been suggested that this extended longevity cheapens the legacy of the original band?

No, not really. Of course [the band] should come to a graceful end in the fullness of time. But while it’s still fun I’m happy to be a team player.

The Bonzos play London IndigO2 on December 3.

Classic Rock 218: News & Regulars