The History of the Cosmic Sausages
By Simon Palmer
The Cosmic Sausages began life with an epic 5 month tour of Europe in 1991 performing over 250 streetshows in France, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany. It was an epic adventure with nothing organised before they went and on a mission to survive 5 months on nothing but busking earnings with destinations largely chosen from names put in a hat by the members of the band.
What started as a fairly static band evolved into a full blown comic street show with characters, competitions, tricks, mime, insane walkabouts, crazy choreography and peaked with some stunning shows in the Old Town Square in Praque that August in front of monster crowds who came back night after night to the same spot to see the show.
It was an amazing summer and the band returned to England having not actually having performed there before but with a well honed act.
The band returned to Europe for long tours every summer after that for many a year. The next year they flew straight to Praque for some more monster streetshows in their favorite spot but also got offered a chance to perform at The Ferrara buskers Festival in Italy which they did. It was an amazing street music festival lasting a week and the band had the perfect show for it. They went down a storm and offers from all over Italy soon followed, they soon evolved a way of performing in Italian and performed all over Italy..
Back in England they searched long and hard for the perfect place to perform their streetshow and didn’t find it easy, there were no squares like the Old Town Square full of tourists and balmy summer nights during the winter in England.
They did however enjoy busking in Bath and having made a connection with Steve Henwood the promoter of the Bell in Bath and Bath Fringe Festival they found themselves trooping down the M4 for long weekends with regularity. Offers of weddings and parties in that neck of the woods started coming in thick and fast, the Bell was great pub gig on a Sunday lunchtime and Bath was a great place to busk so it was a happy marriage.
After a few long summer tours in Europe they decided to try some winter ones too. The band had been to Chamonix on its first tour and some good connections were made, especially with Simon Norris at the Office bar in Argentiere.
The band went to Chamonix to do the Ski bars and found it an excellent place to mix business and pleasure, skiing in the day and playing the bars at night.
Chamonix was the perfect base but they also went to other resorts in the French Alps and into Switzerland too, a long winter month long tour became a regular event.
Back in England slowly but surely the band was making its mark. The first appearances at The Glastonbury festival started something they did 11 times in all and many other festivals too. They also started performing at numerous weddings and parties.
From the early days of just performing a full blown street show they were starting to adapt to different situations, weddings and parties required a different style of performance so the idea of a menu and circulating groups and tables began as well as walkabout animations.
The band started to interest lots of agencies and party planners and soon started to perform at events of all kinds and in venue’s of all kinds.
They performed all over Europe touring extensively for over 20 years and even too this day regularly visit their favourite festivals in France, Italy and Switzerland. Festivals like The Neuchatel buskers festival and Buskers Bern in Switzerland, Le Fondue du Macadam in Thonon, the Castellaro Legusello Arte di Strada, Tutti Matti di Colorno, the Pennabilli Artisti in Piazza and of course The Ferrara Buskers Festival. All great festivals and places where they could perform their streetshow in all its glory.
Back home in England they have performed at venue’s of all kinds from the Large, Wembley stadium, Earls Ct the O2 and Knebworth to the small, lots of Village halls, village fetes.boats and barges.
They have performed at literally hundreds of weddings and parties in an incredible array of venues on land, sea and sky, well certainly very high up a mountain in the Alps.
They also toured extensively on the RTS (Rural Touring scheme) performing at Village halls throughout the land. In Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire village halls proved the perfect place for the Sausage show.
After performing at Eric Idle’s Aunties birthday party they were invited to perform with him at the finale of ‘we are most amused’ a comedy tribute to Prince Charles to celebrate his 60th birthday filmed for ITV at the Wimbledon theatre. Further performances ensued with Eric on The Graham Norton show, at the Spamalot after party and the band performed 10 nights at The O2 doing the Monty Python VIP after show entertainment and cast party.
The band has animated Grand Prix’s and Moto GP’s, been to Monte Carlo, the Commonwealth games, various events for The Olympics, the long room at Lords, played at all the Park Lane Hotels, performed for the Premier league ref’s and performed at The Lincoln Sausage Festival 12 years in a row.
The band has never had a quiet year. From the early days of mainly long European tours and Sausage streetshows they perform in an array of different ways at events of all kinds, always fun, always acoustic and as offers continue to come in and the band fully intend to carry on for many years to come, well thats the plan.