News: Jonny & The Baptists v UKIP

Jonny & The Baptists

If you want to sell more tickets to your shows, don't hire a hotshot publicist, just wind up UKIP. Musical comedy group Jonny & The Baptists recently ruffled the feathers of the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall, who complained about the satirical duo playing Arts Council-funded venues as part of their self-styled Stop UKIP Tour in the run-up to the Euro elections. Unfortunately his protests have helped rather than hindered the band. Following declarations of support from comedians such as Dara O'Briain and Robin Ince, ticket sales have shot up and tour dates have been added.

Frontman Jonny Donahoe is bemused by the kerfuffle: ‘It’s all been a bit baffling – both the level of attacks from UKIP and the incredibly flattering support we’ve received for what’s essentially two blokes doing jokes with a guitar. At the end of the day, we’re just happy to play more gigs and have new material for the next show.’ Londoners can see what the fuss is about when Jonny & the Baptists bless the Soho Theatre with their presence on May 22. 

The funny thing is that I wonder if maybe Jonny & The Baptists and UKIP have more in common than they realise. One of the band's snappy songs, Not A Pub, bemoans the demise of the traditional English boozer. In the lyrics, the Baptists complain about the rise of gastropubs where you are served foreign food by staff with assymetrical haircuts: "I want pickled eggs and scratchings not hummus and pitta. What do you mean you don't serve bitter?" Nigel Farage might well approve if he heard this one.

Watch Not A Pub here.

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