Now in their twenty-first year together, Paul Sartin and Paul Hutchinson tell us how they’ll blend traditional English music, classical, jazz, pop and music hall with wry humour for their forthcoming seasonal show. They play Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 15 Dec.
Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences.
PH: Early musical comedy influences for me were Victor Borge and latterly PDQ Bach and for straight music, early days it was Steeleye Span and recently Punch Brothers and anything which Edgar Meyer is involved in.
PS: When it comes to music comedy, I love Dudley Moore, the Marx Brothers, and Les Dawson.
We’ve both been involved in various genres, so it’s inevitable we bring a range of colours to the band. And after 22 years together, it’s probable that we’ve been under the influence with each other on many an occasion.
How have you evolved over the years?
Our repertoire was rather eclectic in the beginning but we have become more focused on traditional material. Paul S’s swanee whistle playing has improved considerably. Unlike PH’s singing.
Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
We think we were considering the name Mummy’s Boys, and Sartin and Hutch.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
We are starting work on a project for the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield, researching traditional songs and dances from the area aided and abetted by the local community. This will culminate in a festival in 2018. And we’re just about to embark on our annual December tour, starting in November.
How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
We are unique because we mix traditional songs and tunes with humour, integrating classical melodies into the set in a rather tongue-in-cheek manner. Rapport with the audience is very important to us and we like to create a relaxed atmosphere.
What’s on your rider?
Sparkling mineral water, red wine and cakes, and veggie chilli.
Tell us about your worst live show.
We’ve never had one.