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Sir John Betjeman's Banana Blush

  • St Martin-in-the-Fields Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ United Kingdom (map)
Zeb Soanes and Carole Boyd

Zeb Soanes and Carole Boyd

Two tracks from Banana Blush:

The Flight from Bootle

Agricultural Caress

Banana Blush at St. Martin in the Fields

Banana Blush at St. Martin in the Fields

In a very special candlelit performance, St Martin in the Fields will present the most complete live performance of Banana Blush for over 30 years.

In 1974 the Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, became an unlikely pop star, recording his verse to music by Jim Parker for the LP Banana Blush.  It became a cult classic, regularly played on radio by John Peel.  Jarvis Cocker is among the modern stars who cherish the album and Suggs from Madness chose it as one of his Desert Island Discs.

It will be paired with another playful interweaving of words and music, William Walton's witty and irreverent Façade.

Performed by Zeb Soanes and Carole Boyd, who have recently released a critically acclaimed new recording of Façade.

Two of the loveliest, most characterful voices on British radio.
— Gramophone Magazine

In addition Jim Parker's original handwritten scores are to be published for the first time, with some missing pieces reconstructed by Jim especially for this performance.



Walton Facade (30 mins)

Parker Sir John Betjeman's Banana Blush (45 mins)

St Martin’s Players conducted by Andrew Earis

Early booking advised

Appreciation for Banana Blush:

I first heard the album in 1979. We’d be listening to The Clash one minute and then Banana Blush would go on. It seemed equally psychedelic in its own way. I fell in love with it straight away.
— Graham McPherson (Suggs from Madness)
A poet of great emotional power and resonance who, while documenting a vanishing England, always had one eye on eternity.
— Jon Wilde, The Guardian