John Shuttleworth - 500 Bus Stops [DVD]
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John Shuttleworth is a completely different kettle of fish. A fifty something unemployed man living in Sheffield who is fond of DIY and writing songs on his Yamaha keyboard which are inspired by his life.
500 Bus Stops is a DVD that documents John's National Rock Tour taking in significant venues across the UK including the first stop on the tour Bakewell Library.
During the course of this visual document John also has to suffer the rigours of life on the road. Accompanied by his manager he first of all has to use public transport in the form of public buses and coaches as his car breaks down. Hence the title of the film 500 Bus Stops.
During the course of the tour John performs in a freezer centre, to a group of boy scouts in a field and a benefit concert in aid of the environment in a cave in the Peak District. During his time off stage John also has the time to share his unique view on life with the camera.
500 Bus Stops was a series initially broadcast on Television in the UK and as such was well received and its release on DVD will certainly find favour with fans of the series and of course fans of the unique talent of John Shuttleworth.
500 Bus stops is brilliant. Originally shown on BBC2 at a ridiculously late hour, this is the story of what happens when John Shuttleworth sets out to a gig at a library booked for him by his agent Ken. John is a bit like Don Quixote, in that he finds himself believing that he is chartbound and that clarinet-playing, panatella-smoking, malibu-drinking, ex-New Faces runner-up Ken is the man to get him there. Even despite Ken selling off John's broken down car at one point. The extreme bathos that finds him performing on his Yamaha in a freezer shop is exquisite.
An example of John's lyrics would be "Eggs and Gammon/Poor Rhiannon/Ken's bad wind" or "Pigeons in flight/I want to see you tonight/And maybe show you some things you would like"...
The pace is gentle and I think being a northerner may help in your appreciation, although anyone from lower middle class suburbia should get it too. The humour comes from the wonderfully observed characters and the parody of rock star's video diaries. Ken never appears on screen, due to the logistics issue of being played by Graham, just as John is, but this adds to the humour. But best of all it has heart.
I think it fits in a continuum with Peter Kay's stuff, Alan Plater's Beiderbecke trilogy and Roy Clarke's better work on Open All Hours and Last of the Summer Wine. Highly recommended. Especially for the song "Eggs and Gammon".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is very funny at times .i like the part where you get too see johns home and his little white dog sitting on top of the stairs.Published 23 months ago by ruth jones
Comic Genius. Forget the many so called comedians of today. This guy is totally original, and the best. one of the funniest ever and, a fellow sheffield lad like myself. Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2008 by P. M. Dome