This may prove too much info. but people who come to our gigs usually ask a lot of questions at the end. We love that.
Our style is personal. We like to exchange memories and thoughts with people and many of the people we have met have become good friends. Just read as much as you need. okay!”
Dandy has been around since 1978 as a comedy act but have been together as a duo since 1964.
Boy meets girl. Girl tries to lose boy. Boy is still hanging in there despite all the temptations of the swinging sixties and Allan not looking remotely like Bryan Ferry ….. or Jeremy Irons!
Glyn was still at Wednesfield Grammar School when they met. She was into the Liverpool Poets, the Pre-Raphaelites, Ray Bradbury and she listened to American blues and Bob Dylan. Incidentally you can still listen to Bob Dylan on your walkman when the battery is flat… it sounds the same! She wore tartan tights. She had a passion for hats…none of which returned her affection! In other words… she was full of it. precocious! qui moi?
Allan worked in a factory and lived for football, fish and chips and The Beatles. Although he was painfully shy, he had a lot of attitude before it had become fashionable. Think of Terry from The Likely Lads and you get the picture. At one of their first encounters Allan said with a bit of a swagger “I’m a bit of a sex object” and Glyn said …”which bit?”
They both loved the 60’s pop culture. The new fashions and new music made it a very exciting time to be young. Al and Glyn were regulars at Wednesbury Y.C. It was a great music venue. Glyn went to the “Milano” coffee bar in Wolverhampton and “Packies” coffee bar in Wednesbury. At Park Hall Wolverhampton they saw the likes of Ike Turner carry Tina in above his head. Wow! Glyn suggested this for a Dandy entrance but Allan declined. The words “jumbo” and weight watchers were mentioned. Their favourite haunt was probably the Handsworth Plaza where they saw some of the biggest stars of the day.
Glyn left school and worked at the Patent Shaft Steel Works. Not in the rolling mills as Allan suggests but in the drawing office as a tracer. Later she worked in various libraries at Darlaston, Wolverhampton, Wednesbury College of Commerce at Wood Green and finally at Wodensborough High School, Wednesbury until the mid eighties. She spent several years working from home on art and craft projects.
Meantime, Allan had left his favourite job at Sanders Switchgear. He left his best mates, and his boyhood behind. No more tricks and pranks with water bombs and footy in the lunch hour. As a married man with a mortgage he would need more money.
Glyn still had a few reservations – she bought a wash and wear bridal gown. Glyn’s first words as they walked back down the aisle as man and wife were “get off the back of my dress or I’ll break both you’re legs”!
observe allan’s hair style. not so much a hair cut…more a cry for help.
His dad got him a job working with him in the tool room at GKN Darlaston as a surface grinder. No inappropriate jokes. Thank you! Like many local factory workers he was made redundant ……. .twice.
Finally with the help of best mate, Steve Ashcroft, Allan found his ideal career…a gas meter reader. “Tek yow’re shuus off, luv. oi’ve just ad me noo shag poile fitted” . Ideal opportunity to meet people and talk and talk…and talk. He always came home with his pockets full of sweeties, or “suck”, as we call them from little old ladies who had taken a fancy to him. He finally quit the gas board when he realised he could no longer outrun dogs.
Al and Glyn have had 2 dogs and several budgies and lots of neighbouring cats, but no “ankle biters”. They have viewed them from afar and panicked. They say insanity is hereditary – you get it from your kids. Now orphans, they throw themselves on the mercy of friends for family get togethers. They have just adopted a wolf, Madadh that they can visit and meet at the Wolf Sanctuary on the Welsh borders.
|Both sets of parents worked in factories and both Allan and Glyn had traditional working class upbringings.Reared, as they say, on council estates in Wednesbury, they are proud of the part their parents and grandparents played with their contribution to the industrial growth and prosperity of the country.Allan and Glyn are sometimes distressed at the lack of respect and admiration these hard working and staunch people are given today. Although they send up the lives of the working classes of The Black Country, Allan and Glyn take great pride and joy in their heritage and the unique humour that it evolved.||
For a time Glyn made soft sculpture dolls depicting characters and trades of The Black Country which she sold at craft fairs and at the Black Country Museum. She has twice taken part in productions of Jon Raven and Michael Totten’s play “The Nail makers”. She has also written several poems about The Black Country, some in dialect.
Al was a good footballer and had trials for West Brom. and Walsall. He played for South Staffs and in the Premier Sunday League for local team Werder Bremen. Training 4 times a week and discussing tactics in the pub after caused many altercations. A hidden rabbit hole and a twisted knee finished his football career but set him on the road to entertainment.
Armed with 3 chords, 3 songs, a guitar and no sense of rhythm they took to the stage. Allan’s fear caused him to witter on (much as he does today but now they call it an act). The ensuing onstage argument proved hilarious for the audience and Glyn didn’t speak to him for a week. A comedy accident was born and Al became a legend in his own mind. The audience had created a monster. He suddenly acquired delusions of adequacy.
Residencies at many folk clubs followed. The longest one was at Jasper Carrott’s club in Solihull called the Boggery. They did this for almost 4 years and worked with many folk greats like, Maddie Prior, Fred Wedlock, Jake Thackeray, Phil Cool, Richard Digance and many more.
They still have strong ties with folk friends but now they work mostly alone or on Black Country Nights concentrating on comedy. They work with Tommy Mundon, Aynuk and Ayli, Harry Harrison, Lizzie Wiggins, Giggetty, Marlene, Bev Pegg and Ken Woods. Through Bev Pegg, Glyn got to meet and work with her hero from Plaza days the legendary Robert Plant. They have also worked with Sonny Curtis and Mike Berry and The Outlaws.
Glyn has undertaken a drama course and written a couple of plays and pantomimes. (no she hasn’t…yes, she has). She has also written sketches, songs, and poems. She is responsible for trying to keep the evening’s performance together despite Allan’s attempts to sabotage it. Many of you regulars will recognise the warning look Glyn shoots at him. Glyn is a planner and a worrier. Allan is a natural. He thinks it and he goes for it.
Allan’s great appeal is his obvious love of what he does and his obvious pleasure in meeting people and making them laugh.
Glyn loves reading, art, dogs and the countryside. Allan loves, people, music, films and the seaside…..
perfect match there, then!