Sunday, August 29, 2021

Principal Edwards Magic Theatre: The Kettering Song

A passing mention in the latest edition of The Word Podcast led me to Principal Edwards Magic Theatre and this song.

The band, a favourite of John Peel's, was formed at the University of Essex in 1968. Its members soon abandoned their studies to form a commune.

That commune was in a farmhouse near Kettering. I'd love to know exactly where the farmhouse was, but its general location explains this song. 

The tone is mocking, or at least ironically celebrating, but I won't hear a word against Sainsbury's in Kettering. Back in the 1980s I used to catch the bus and shop there sometimes. (These days Market Harborough has a Sainsbury's and a Waitrose, so there's no point.)

The Kettering Song comes from the band's second album, The Asmoto Running Band, which was produced by Pink Floyd's Nick Mason,

One of its leading members was Root Cartwright. Could he be the same Root Cartwright who was quoted in the Observer in 2002 as chairman of the British Organisation of Non-Parents?

He would have been about the right age, and living in a commune with other people's children could have that effect on you.

Later. And this is where the commune was...

Much later. The consensus seems to be that the commune was at the still-standing Broughton Grange, and that the band could be found drinking in the Red Lion at Broughton.


stewart rayment said...

University of Exeter Baby, Principal Edwards was the Don at the time. Loved them, thanks for posting.

Jonathan Calder said...

Exeter it is.