The Skimmity Hitchers

Hold on a minute, and spare a thought for those poor guys from the Skimmity Hitchers as their worst nightmares have come true; all the pubs were closed and all the cider festivals cancelled. Those guys had to take a few days to try and sort out what to do. With direction from their inebriated leader Tatty Smart they found a black market supply of scrumpy and an alternative way of making some new music, while following the social distancing rules. After Magners O’Magnersson tuned in to the West Country news on his 10-inch black and white TV with a coat hanger as an arial, he told his fellow band members what people have been up to and this inspired them to write some new material about this current disastrous situation.

So with refreshing black market pints of cider drank in copious amounts; the band recorded seven tracks featuring some of the most hilarious parodies that they cannot wait to get out once again and play live, once it’s safe again of course. They are not sure yet if badgers can catch the virus, so their badger has also be ordered to stay in his set until Brian May says it’s safe to leave. The Mini LP is entitled “Meanwhile” and kicks off with “Chard Remains” about a post-apocalyptic West Country nightmare, where the guys rumble through this double bass powered number. It is a rare beast of a tune in the Skimmity catalogue, in fact it’s actually an original Skimmity Hitchers composition. It’s true, they didn’t nick any of it of anyone! It’s all about when the world goes mad; the chips are down and a fight for survival is on the cards – where you gonna head? Any true West Country person knows that your best chance of survival is the Somerset market town of Chard – where folk be ‘ard and take no nonsense from no-one.

Track two “Covid Lockdown Sunday” takes on The Monkees’ “Pleasant Valley Sunday”; it’s an uplifting danceable slice of a day in the life of not being able to do nothing much, due to that horrid coronavirus. Track three could quite possibly go down as one of the Skimmity’s greatest triumphs and rumour has it Bob Dylan even raised a slight smile when he first heard it. (If only because of the royalties….Tatty Smarts says what royalties…shhhh!!). “Knobend On Durdle Door” hilariously takes a dig at those idiotic people who crowded on the Durdle Door beaches and jumped off those big cliffs, when they should have been at home. It’s a song that really takes a moment in history and records it for all to see for years to come.

“West Country holiday (it’s not a bloody holiday)” is a rewritten take on 10CC’s “Dreadlock Holiday” and with Tatty’s West Country drawl he tells us about a little trip down to Cornwall to try and avoid the virus. With the familiar drum intro and thoughts of Renton and Spud running down the street being chased by store security guards to Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”……or is it? no of course not, the Skimmity’s have rewritten it and called it “Rustic Life”, Choose Magners, Choose Thatchers…..choose anything that’s made with Apples, Choose Scrumpy and Western!! You thought it would never happen but what have Ricky Martin and The Skimmity Hitchers got in common? “The Girl From East Cocker”, a sorry tale of one of those rough Somerset girls. Finally, no Skimmity collection is complete without it’s an obligatory song about the delicious apple nectar…. cider. They dig out their Kazoo’s from down the back of Drum Cheddar’s sofa and pay homage to the man in black…no, not Rat Black…Johnny Cash, with a typical song about drinking called “Lovely pint ‘a cider”…just for a change!!

The Skimmity Hitchers are without doubt the kings of parodies as well as the writers of some great original songs. Their West Country humour is legendary in errrr the West Country and no festival is complete without a live set from them. Thankfully lockdown has been kind to them and their badger too, they will be back at a festival supping cider and entertaining the masses as soon as they’re able. Until then, click on the link below and buy their new recording; I promise you they will appreciate it and you will enjoy listening and singing along too, while sniggering at their childish cider-fuelled attempts at West Country comedy.

Track Listing
Chard Remains
Covid Lockdown Sunday
Knobend on Durdle Door
West Country Holiday (it’s not a bloody holiday)
Rustic Life
Girl from East Coker
Lovely Pint ‘A Cider

Purchase the EP for just £6 here.

Band Members
Tatty Smart – Vocals
Rat Black – Guitar/Vocals
Drum Cheddar -Drums/Percussion
Magners O’Magnersson – Vocals, Double bass, Kazoo


Words by David Chinery (Chinners).