Song of the Day Revisited: Altan ... song, tunes and memories of Frankie
Song of the Day Revisited: Eliza Carthy ...Cold, Wet and Rainy Night/The Grand Hornpipe

Song of the Day Revisited: Tony Capstick... Capstick Comes Home

I had been wondering when I should add the magical gem of northern comedy that was Tony Capstick's pastiche of the Hovis bread advert, Capstick Comes Home. The time is now. If you do not laugh at this, our senses of humour are miles apart ...

And this, slightly edited, is how I introduced the clip back when Song of the Day was young (the summer of 2011) ...

Tony Capstick was a man with a magical sense of humour, a heart of gold, a great fund of songs and wonderful stagecraft. He was much sought-after in the folk clubs but also made an impact as a local radio broadcaster.

There was a darker side that could surface when Tony was in drink. But on the one occasion I recall meeting him, when he performed at my folk club in Bishop Auckland, Co Durham with Christy Moore, he drank heartily without being other than great company or giving other than tremendous entertainment.

Sadly, Tony died at his cottage in South Yorkshire in 2003, aged only 59. I wrote an obituary for The Daily Telegraph which, I felt then, covered the successes as well as failures of his career; I remember how easy it was to obtain anecdotes from people who had been close to him. Without exception, they were fond of him, but also without exception they told of his alcohol-fuelled excesses.

Tony's daughter, Vicky, thought this most unfair and said so in a comment at Salut! Live some time later.

While my intention had never been to "focus on the negative and not to celebrate what was glorious", as she put it, I understood her feelings. I have written with admiration and affection about Tony at other times, but regret that the newspaper obituary, intended to be honest but certainly not hostile, caused upset.

The clip you see here recaptures what I called, in that obit, a minor comic masterpiece.

Many readers will remember it as a priceless highlight from Tony's life and times: the hilarious Capstick Comes Home, a satire on the nostalgia of the old Hovis break advertisement and set - as was the ad - to The New World Symphony by Dvorak. The music is beautifully played by the Carlton Main/Frickley Colliery Band.

It should need no further introduction. Click on the clip, turn up the volume and enjoy what you hear.

Nowt so funny as folk

Capstick Comes Home appears on a compilation album, Nowt So Funny As Folk, and can be purchased at the Salut! Live Amazon link: Tony Capstick's own album, Punch & Judy Man, shows his versatility and can be found at

* Buy just about anything featured in the Song of the Day series at this Salut! Live Amazon link.


Ian Evans

Brilliant Colin!

I laughed out loud.

It reminded me of the famous Monty Python sketch when they out did each other about privation; the ultimate privation was living in a box on the M1.

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