Rutles And Bonzos Men Team Up For Xmas Fun


Michael Livesley, best known for his starring role in recent adaptations of Vivian Stanshall’s comedy outing Sir Henry At Rawlinson End, has teamed up with Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band member Rodney Slater and one time Rutle John Halsey to record a Christmas single.

Parading under the monicker The Ümlouts, the trio have recorded Christmas In Bavaria, the video for which can be seen below. Livesely gave Prog the lowdown on the seasonal offering:

“Hello, Michael Livesley ere. The chap who brought Sir Henry Rawlinson back to life and the voice of the witchetty grub from I’m A Celebrity. You may know me from such dole offices as Garston and Widnes South. So, why am I invading your day? Well, to tell some great news! Yes, it’s that most wonderful time of the year again! The hillsides and the church bells are ringing out with the joyful news right across the land. It’s Christmaaaaaaas! The gorging season is once again upon us, and what better way to celebrate it than a quick trip over to Bavaria with 3 of the stoutest chaps one could ever hope to meet? But, how did we get here…

…the story begins one frosty afternoon in deepest darkest ‘Ampshire when nestled within my shed in the grip of the very throte of winter, I noticed a Robin pecking at my fat balls which, as always at this time of year, are proudly on display outside the shed for all the local birds to enjoy. Their pecking induced a primal rhythm in my head…..thump, thump, thump, thump… Christmas In Bavaria. The melody quickly joined it, skipping and gambolling with the grace of a Bayerisches Staatsballett dancer, and the virtual scent of Pfannkuchen and Waffeln hang heavy in the air. The tune was willing itself into existence, whether I liked it or not, but I couldn’t go there alone. I needed the help of two of the craziest dummkopf’s I know. Lord Rodney Slater of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and John ‘The Admiral’ Halsey aka Barry Wom of The Rutles. I mean, what’s the würst that could happen? Yea verily then, did Lord Rodney take a break from coaxing his beans and said yes and The Admiral agreed – as long as he could wear his Santa suit…

…and lo it was that on my birthday this year The Ümlouts were born. I hung a green curtain in the front room - an ancient birthday tradition in some parts of Hampshire - and filmed the 3 of us arsing about in front of it to the strains of the track which we’d laid down the previous week. In true Dada tradition there was no plan but we got there, just by being stupid. We are very pleased that our own peculiar virulent strain of Christmas insanity is now made flesh and can think of no better accompaniment to figgy pudding and brandy snaps. So join us, The Ümlouts, NOW as we take a windswept snow clad trip to Christmas In Bavaria… Merry Christmas Ev’rybody!!”

Christmas In Bavaria can be purchased here.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.