Sixties cult icons reform and prepare to take city by storm

THEY inspired the Beatles and can count a virtual who's who of modern comedy among their devoted fans.

Now the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band are to stage their first Scottish concert for more than 30 years in the Capital - with a little help from their friends.

Comedian Phill Jupitus, pictured below, has signed up to join them on stage at the Usher Hall as part of their 40th anniversary celebration tour.

Stephen Fry, Adrian Edmondson and Bill Bailey are also understood to be keen to play a part.

Described by fans as playing music that is "Dada-inspired lunacy", the band - who hit the pop charts with their 1968 single I'm The Urban Spaceman - have reformed, with all of their surviving original members reuniting for a 12-date UK tour. They are expected to sell out the Usher Hall for their November 13 performance.

Tour promoter Peter Jackson said: "The Bonzo Dog Band is unique because it's one of the only groups that has ever managed to combine music and comedy successfully."

He added: "They are held in high esteem by many modern-day comedians and still have a dedicated and affectionate fan base, which is why they have decided to reform for their landmark anniversary year.

"However, none of the members have really played together since the early 70s. They were all nervous about performing together at first, but now they can't wait to play their first gig in Scotland for more than 30 years."

Earlier this year, the band staged a one-off concert at the London Astoria which sold out in minutes.

It featured guest performances from Jupitus, Fry, Edmondson and Paul Merton, who took turns providing vocals that were originally performed by the band's former lead singer Vivian Stanshall, who died in a house fire in 1995.

Mr Jackson said: "Stephen Fry is desperate to do the whole tour, but there may be some clashes with filming work that he's got lined up. Ade Edmondson is also very keen to join the band for every concert they perform in.

"Unfortunately at the moment, we've only managed to confirm Paul Merton for the London shows, but there are other comedians such as Bill Bailey and The Mighty Boosh who have expressed an interest in joining in. It just shows how highly the band is regarded by those in the comedy business today."

Led by regular Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes, the Bonzos were a favourite of Paul McCartney and George Harrison in the 60s. Harrison once said The Beatles often tried to aspire to the same level of musical creativity as the eccentric comedy band.

Derek Gilchrist, marketing manager for the Usher Hall, said:

"It's a real coup for us to get the Bonzo Dog Band.

"They have a big cult following and are very eccentric, so we're anticipating a lot of interest.

"We're delighted just to have the band, but if some of the big-name guests end up performing as well, it could be one of the year's most anticipated concerts."

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