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DOWN IN NEMPNETT THRUBWELL


The Wurzels were, of course, originally Adge Cutler and The Wurzels, and they had a national hit in 1967 with Drink Up Thy Zider. More locally, it was was adopted as an unofficial anthem by Bristol City football supporters. Sadly, Adge died when he crashed his MGB in 1974, but he left behind a handful of unfinished songs, which local jazzman (and former Wurzel) Henry Davies was asked to write music for. One of these was Down In Nempnett Thrubwell, which appeared on The Wurzelsi 1976 LP The Combine Harvester. Like most of the Wurzels' albums, it was recorded live - this time at the Yew Tree Country Club in Langford. When the Nempnett track was included in a much later CD compilation it was, for no obvious reason, re-titled Down The Nempnett Thrubwell.

The Wurzels' music is mostly in their patented rustic knees-up style, which they branded Scrumpy and Western, but Down In Nempnett Thrubwell is rather more subtle, a sort of barbershop eulogy to rural Somerset life, and in waltz-time too.

The tune was covered by Acker Bilk, another local lad (and who once employed Adge as his roadie) on a long-deleted album which came out the year after the Wurzels' own version. This is nowhere to be found on the internet, but if you've heard any of Acker Bilk's easy listening music (as opposed to his trad jazz) you'll know pretty much what it would sound like.

There aren't any other passable recordings of the Wurzels' song at all, it seems, but Somerset's long-running comedy folk group The Spanners have written their own tribute to the wondrous Nempnett Thrubwell, and you can watch them performing it here.