For those of you who have never consulted the FAQ and who wondered how the Gruts website came to be so called, it was named after a poem by Ivor Cutler. He was a very funny man. Nobody could shout the word Canada! in such a restrained manner.
Fitz and I went to see him perform live in Manchester many years ago. Imagine my delight when, after taking off his rucksack and duffel coat, walking up to the microphone, and throwing the audience into hysterical laughter simply by saying the word "Hello", Ivor chose to begin his concert with the immortal words, "Hello, Billy, teatime! Gruts for tea!"
(The Irish Republican Army was apparently less impressed with the performance: a week later, it blew up the theatre and a large chunk of Manchester City centre. Ivor was unharmed.)
Last month, by way of a (very) late birthday present, the ever-thoughtful Stense presented me with a DVD of Ivor's final concert: Cutler's Last Stand. I'm glad I haven't played it yet. This weekend, I will watch it curled up in front of a roaring fire in my English sitting room, and toast the old genius with a glass or two of finest Scotch whisky. I hope he would have approved.