The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band have been in the press most recently fighting for the right to use their name after it was registered by a management company who had no right to do so. They won the case but are still battling to clear writs made previously and a crowdfunding campaign is still raising money for this to be finalised, once and for all (see details here). However, we must not let this overshadow the exuberant mixture of music and madness that is this legendary group who have survived since the 1960s. The remaining members of the band, who are upbeat, thankful and humbled by the support they have received so far, will be reunited for one final grand HOORAH as a thank you to fans. ‘Still Barking’ under the name of Bonzo Dog Banned comes to O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on 29 May 2020.
Starting out playing and parodying trad jazz, they then incorporated fashionable psychedelic touches and although they already had a record deal with Parlophone their popularity was given a huge boost when Paul McCartney asked them to appear in The Beatles ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ film at the end of 1967. They were also hired as the resident band for a children’s TV comedy show, Do Not Adjust Your Set playing every week and sometimes participating in sketches alongside future Monty Python members Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Their recording of ‘I’m An Urban Spaceman’ produced by Paul McCartney and Gus Dudgeon (known for his work with Elton John) took them to No. 5 in the UK charts. Another high-profile supporter was John Peel who’s patronage they enjoyed into the 90’s.
The band first disbanded in the 1970’s but have recorded music and appeared live in various incarnations on and off since then, most notably a 40th anniversary show at the London Astoria 2006. The date at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 29 May will feature Neil Innes, Roger Spear, ‘Legs’ Larry Smith, Rodney Slater and Vernon Dudley Bowhay-Nowell and will be a welcome walk down memory lane and celebration for their loyal fans.