The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post
The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post.
Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.
Feeling low? The state of the world getting you down?
Then let me try and cheer you up . . .
What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
That’s a favourite joke among musicians - though not with those who hit a percussion instrument for a living.
Musicians have a jokey definition of ‘Perfect Pitch’ - which is ‘throwing an accordion into a skip without touching the sides’.
From the laugh-out-loud reaction that joke always receives, I was convinced that there’s little love around for the accordion these days.
So, I was very surprised to read a report in this newspaper about a man with possible links to Port Talbot who the police want to interview about the theft of accordions with a total value of £150,000 from a music shop in Berkshire.
The fact that someone broke into a music shop and (out of all the instruments on display) decided to steal accordions is in itself rather strange.
But it turns out he broke into the same shop twice and stole accordions both times!
Last August, his haul totalled £130,000 and, more recently, he nicked another £20,000 worth of instruments!
Why someone was so fixated on stealing these instruments puzzled me at first.
Then it dawned on me the man isn’t a common or garden burglar – although they are about, so make sure your shed is always locked.
He’s really a philanthropist who intends distributing them to all the buskers in our towns and cities.
Well, be honest, you’ve heard enough street accordionists struggling to get a recognisable melody out of their battered, wheezing ‘squeeze boxes’ and failing.
That’s not just because they failed their music theory exams.
It’s mainly due to the fact their instruments are really very ancient and missing several buttons that are vital to help them play in tune.
But soon they’ll be replaced by shiny new ones with all the buttons intact, thanks to the mysterious man with ‘possible’ links to Port Talbot.
Will they get rid of the old ones by throwing them in a skip, trying not to touch the sides?
What’s special about it?
Saint David was born towards the end of the 5th century.
He founded a Celtic monastic community at Glyn Rhosyn (The Vale of Roses) on the western headland of Pembrokeshire at the spot where St David’s Cathedral stands today.
The date of Saint David's death is recorded as 1st of March.
The year, however, is uncertain, but it’s thought to be around 601.
That’s round about the same time as the news starts at teatime in Wales.
For centuries, March 1st has been a national festival.
Indeed, the 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys noted how Welsh celebrations in London for Saint David's Day would spark wider counter-celebrations among their English neighbours and life-sized effigies of Welshmen were symbolically hung.
By the 18th century, the custom had arisen of confectioners producing "taffies"— gingerbread figures baked in the shape of a Welshman riding a goat on Saint David's Day.
This tradition can often be seen re-enacted in Ammanford on a Saturday night.
Happy St David’s Day.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk