TIME OUT: All aboard the Shuttleworth...

John Shuttleworth
John Shuttleworth
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We put John on the spot for his views

NORTHERN sage John Shuttleworth has been dispensing domestic wisdom with natty tunes for years.

But how does the leather-coated bard sit with some of today’s important issues, beyond not mixing sweet and savoury courses during dinner.

Ahead of his Sheffield City Hall show on March 9 we put some topical questions to the Yamaha keyboard-tinkering oracle behind such musical gems as 2 Margarines and I Can’t Go Back To Savoury Now via Sheffield comedian/actor Graham Fellows.

YOU seem to be a man who knows his baked goods. What do you make of all these hybrid 50/50 white/brown loaves that have emerged recently?

“Well, I know they’re supposed to be better for you, but in my view they’re just six of one, and half a dozen of the other. Bring back Big T!”

THERE are cutbacks in public services, VAT has gone up and a gallon of fuel costs more than most cars. Are there any austerity measures in the Shuttleworth household?

“Absolutely. I reheat my tea in the microwave (if it’s gone cold - obviously if it’s still piping hot I don’t) I tend to scrape out the very last bit of crab paste from the jar, whereas in the past I used to leave a tiny bit in.

“And of course, we only have one tub of margarine open in the fridge at any one time. ‘Two margarines on the go - it’s a nightmare scenario!’”

IS there no subject that the dulcet Shuttleworth tones wouldn’t sing about? Maybe soaring banker bonuses.

“Well, I wasn’t going to sing about that, but since you mention it, here’s a lyric I’ve just specially penned: ‘Oh those bankers, bankers/They never thank us, thank us/ They think the onus is on us/to provide their bonuses-es-es.’

“That wasn’t terribly good I realise, but I wrote it in 30 seconds, and it does prove that I can turn my pen to any subject, yes.”

THE icebergs are melting, the polar bears are going hungry, the tigers are on the edge because of Chinese demand for their penises. What’s the solution to saving the planet?

“I don’t know but there was no need to be crude. ‘Private parts’ would have sufficed, thank you very much!”

YOUR new song How’s Your Nan sounds a bit tasty as does Get The Volvo, Val. Tell us about how they came about.

“I don’t often perform that one because it’s too harrowing. The title is the final words spoken by Eric Blackburn (no relation to the DJ) before he crashed his hang glider up on Burbage Moor, near Hathersage.

“How’s Yer Nan? is about going for a curry, but also about how we mustn’t forget to look after the elderly members of our community.

“Invite them along to the Indian restaurant - they can always have chicken and chips (which is what I have, incidentally, cos I don’t really like curries, apart from pompodums - they’re really tasty, and make a pleasing sound when being snapped).”

IF hip hop is the ghettos finding a voice how would you describe what you do?

“I’M not sure I understand the question, but I’ll have a go at a reply anyway.

“I’m a versatile singer/organist (with built-in auto accompaniment) and my dream is to be chart-bound.

“I also do quite a lot of DIY, plus general household duties, such as emptying the crumb tray of our new toaster, and washing the wheelie bins (not just the inside - the outside gets soiled too, you know).”

FINALLY, what can we expect from your show A Man With No More Rolls? We understand the title was supposed to read ‘no morals’ but your agent Ken Worthington mistyped it.

“Actually, he was on the phone to the printers and, as it happens, was munching a crusty cob. His speech was muffled, so they thought he said ‘no more rolls’

“Quite ironic that, I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m glad the title’s wrong, as it allows me to discuss the demise of the humble roll in the face of the rise of the Italian flatbreads. Paganinis, Peter’s bread, that sort of thing.

“I don’t like Peter’s bread - it can lead to consumption of that funny dip, humus.

“That’s dirty, in my view. Well, I’ve never tried it, but, you know, I’d much rather have a muffin with a bit of potted meat on. Wouldn’t you?”