Saturday, May 5, 2012

How Sweet To Be An Idiot - Neil Innes

Neil Innes is a prolific songwriter who you've heard before, though you may not have known it. He penned an enormous amount of songs for Monty Python (including all of the songs in Holy Grail) alongside performing in/writing a few of the sketches (ever wondered who the lead head bashing monk was? Now you know). He is one of only two non core Python members to be credited as a writer on Flying Circus (the other being Douglas Adams for the same episode).

Prior to the Pythons he was a member of That Song Blog favourites the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. He co-penned the majority of their material with glorious eccentric Vivian Stanshall, including their biggest hit The Urban Spaceman. He has continued to work with the remaining members of the Bonzos in various guises over the years.

How Sweet to Be an Idiot is a Nilsson-esque piano ballad laced with black humor, gentle satire and a surprisingly warm delivery. You may have heard a bit of its famously pilfered melody in the Oasis single Whatever, which resulted in Innes gaining co-writing and royalty credits on the song.

In recent days Innes has been working in a new group called The Idiot Bastard Band, made up of a number of musicians and comedians including Adrian Edmondson and Phil Jupitus. They have a gig coming up this Monday at the Half Moon in Putney for a tenner, which is one hell of a bargain and worth snatching up if it hasn't sold out.

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