Glover and Sorensen: the (not so) Serious Side of Folk Festivals

Glover and Sorensen
Image Courtesy of Glover and Sorensen

WARNING: The following interview contains multiple gratuitous references to Morris Dancers.

Folk festivals are a serious business. Well, they can be.

Or not, if Alan Glover and S Sorensen are on the program. The comic duo turn up like bad pennies at festivals around the country, and they’re back this weekend at one of their regular haunts, the Illawarra Folk Festival.

Bill Quinn spoke with Alan and S last year about the blend of comedy and folk, after a momentarily passing fascination with the interviewer’s MP3 recorder.

S Sorensen: You’re pointing what looks like… it looks like an electric shaver, doesn’t it? And I’m a bit stubbly, being at the festival for a few days without shaving.

And I believe alcohol makes your beard grow faster.

Bill Quinn: Indeed. Now, we’re at a folk festival. How does it go with comedy at a folk festival?

Alan Glover: It goes pretty well, as long as there are things happening at the festival that are going to make us funny. Now we’ve had a lot of trouble with Morris Dancers this festival. First up, we wondered why they were called ‘daaaaahhncers’. We called them ‘dancers’ and they said, “No, we’re daaaaahhhncers”.

It turns out they’re waaaaahhhnkers.

And they’ve been dancing – or daaaaaahhncing – their way up and down the street. And I think they should be banned and I think something should be sprayed to get rid of them.

SS: Well, they really annoy me. We had a few jokes at their expense, and then we walked out of the show on Friday night and we came down here, and there was a whole bunch of Morris Dancers waiting for us, and they attacked us with their sticks and their hankies.

I got a really bad hanky burn on my neck.

AG: That’s really bad.

SS: I’ve had to rub stuff on it because of this hanky burn from those nasty, aggressive, unattractive jingle-janglers.

BQ: To borrow a phrase from musician John Thompson, is it artistic expression or a cry for help?

AG: I don’t think it’s either. I think these people are deluded. I think they’re pre-Alzheimer’s; I think that’s what’s going on. Someone’s dressed them up and said it will be fun. They don’t know what fun is. They’re just easily pushed-along people.

It’s just typical of the voters in this county. And I don’t want to make a tenuous segue from Morris Dancing to the [then] forthcoming federal election, but I’ve gotta say, if a Morris Daaaaahhncer stood for prime minister of this country, they’d probably get in – that’s how stupid things are at the moment!

SS: That’s right, and the thing about the Morris Dancers is that I, like any sensible person, don’t believe in evolution. I believe that God created the world on six working days and had Sunday off. And I believe that when he was creating stuff, he didn’t create the Morris Dancers. Somehow they were created by accident when he was having Sunday off, going to church. Because on Friday I think it was he created churches as well as planets and all living things.

But then somehow he created Morris Dancers, and they’re a deviant life-form that doesn’t even belong on the planet. So we just avoid them.

BQ: I feel like I’ve learnt so much in two minutes and fifty-six seconds. Getting back to you. I’ve only seen you at festivals from Woodford and south. What’s the life of S and Alan like when you’re not on the circuit?

AG: We basically go into stasis, don’t we?

SS: Yes, we rest a lot and read dictionaries, learn words that we can use to confuse our audience.

AG: And basically do everything we can to undermine ourselves, to white ant ourselves.

SS: Yeah, and when he’s in stasis, I’m usually in the next room reading the books, and I tell him later because he doesn’t like to read. I’m telling him later what Mickey did and what Donald did.

And after a couple of weeks it’s time to do another festival. Stasis isn’t allowed round because she’s a bit ugly.

But that’s generally what we do, and we don’t have any other life. We love coming to festivals because here people are real. They’re turning off the telly, they’re turning off the internet, and that’s what we want. We want people to realise that there’s a real life. There’s a reality. And it needs their help.

AG: It’s not real bad. You know I’ve come to the conclusion that the only people you can really trust to tell you the truth are comedians.

SS: That’s right. People reckon they talk the truth, like politicians, but it’s all bullshit. We talk bullshit but it’s all honest and it’s the truth.

BQ: So while you’re in stasis (or Stasis) and the rest of the world is turning, where can people go to find out more about Glover and Sorensen?

AG: Well, they can Google ‘Glover and Sorensen’ and they’ll get a Youtube clip of us pretending to be at a festival. Well, we are. It looks like we’re in someone’s back room but we’re not; we’re actually at a live festival, aren’t we?

SS: Yes, and you can go to our website which we went to once — it’s lovely — if you ever want to hire us for anything, like you’ve got a big empty space in your life and you want someone to really connect. Because we are against everything, except the stuff we’re not.

AG: And we’re easy to find on the internet. Just type in this: ‘shemuckaruckmuckbeugh dot glergflerk dot comgfhgjkjerr dot au’.

Or www.gloverandsorensen.com.au

BQ: Gentlemen, the last five minutes and twenty eight seconds has been…..something. I thank you.

SS: ‘Have’ been. Because it’s plural. ‘The last five minutes and twenty eight seconds HAVE been…’ But I don’t want to correct your bad English.

But it’s been rather pleasant for us too.

AG: Hey, I told you not to talk to him like that. Now you’re boiling your ‘Billy’! Now leave it alone!

BQ: I’ve just been ‘Quinned’! Thank you, gentlemen.

SS: Thanks, Billy!

Glover and Sorensen’s gigs at the Illawarra Folk Festival:

 Friday 17th January – Miners Camp, 8pm\
Saturday 18th January – La Petite Grande, 9.30pm
Sunday 19th January – Show Pavilion, 10.30am (Funny Concert)
Sunday 19th January – Grandstand Restaurant
Sunday 19th January – Slacky Flat Bar (Finale Concert)

1 Comment

  1. January 17, 2014 at 14:10

    […] “It goes pretty well, as long as there are things happening at the festival that are going to make us funny. Now we’ve had a lot of trouble with Morris Dancers this festival. First up, we wondered why they were called ‘daaaaahhncers’. We called them ‘dancers’ and they said, “No, we’re daaaaahhhncers”. It turns out they’re waaaaahhhnkers. And they’ve been dancing – or daaaaaahhncing – their way up and down the street. And I think they should be banned and I think something should be sprayed to get rid of them.” – Glover and Sorensen chat to Bill Quinn. Interview here […]


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