“WITH A NEW ENERGY AND EXCITEMENT ALL
THE GRUMBLEWEEDS MAGIC IS STILL THERE.”
The strength of any artist in show business today is to know when to change their style and direction; to progress, develop and to move forward, rather than rest on the laurels of their former glories. The great art, however, is to anticipate future trends and remain one step ahead of the pack, by making exactly the right move at exactly the right time.
For The Grumbleweeds, who continue to enjoy tremendous success in the business, 1998 marked an exciting change in their career. After 25 years in show show show business, as a five-piece musical band, the group decided that the time was right to make a major change in direction. Drawing on all their years of experience and know-how, they developed, updated and introduced a sparkling new, fast moving act, embracing the entire spectrum of entertainment, to take them into the millennium with a vengeance. Yet, despite the change, the emphasis remained firmly on laugh-out-loud comedy and
The Grumbleweeds' success over the past 50 years has been moulded to perfection through cabaret clubs, concerts, pantomimes and summer seasons. It was on radio however, that they made their major breakthrough, with their highly successful BBC
Radio 2 series: 'The Grumbleweeds Radio Show', which ran from 1979 to 1988, 15 series of programs in all, which twice received the prestigious Sony Award for Best Radio Show, at the prestigious Television and Radio Industries Awards.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
The Grumbleweeds story began in Leeds in 1962, when the group was first formed by Robin Colvill. They spent the next few years undertaking the usual round of clubs and pubs in their native Yorkshire and overseas engagements in German, playing alongside bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and many others. They turned fully professional in 1967, following an appearance on BBC TV's 'Opportunity Knocks' – an early version of today's X Factor show.
They went on to appear on the show 'Max Bygraves Meets New Faces', courtesy of Johnny Hamp, who nearly 20 years later masterminded their popular TV series, ambiguously titled 'The Grumbleweeds Radio Show'.
In the years between, the group slimmed down to a duo, enjoyed success in most aspects of entertainment, even down to appearing on such programs as 'Coronation Street', 'Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere', 'Emmerdale' and 'Heartbeat' as serious actors.
They are heralded throughout the business by their peers as 'The Guv'nors', boasting record-breaking success in virtually every major theatre and seaside resort in the UK, as well as enjoying success in Australia, Germany, South America, Spain, the Falklands, the Canaries, New Zealand and cruise ships throughout the world.
They maintain the enviable skill of being able to entertain every conceivable kind of audience.
In 2013, Robin was joined by his close friend and first-class actor, singer and comedian James Brandon, James, himself a stand-up comic, took the role of straight man to Robin's hapless idiot. Interestingly, it is the first-time in the history of comedy that the straight man has switched places to take on the role of the clown in the act. Their first appearance as the new act was in 'Aladdin' at Hull's New Theatre. To say their performance was a success is a vast understatement, heralded by their peers as even funnier than before.
The Grumbleweeds continue in the same bizarre way they always have, making audiences cry with laughter. The act cannot be categorised It is neither old-school or mainstream or alternative. It's just really funny. Wether you are 5 or 105, funny is funny.
There are very few acts in the history of UK comedy that can stand the test of time and who can boast such a proud theatrical history as The Grumbleweeds.