Colonel Mustard & the Dijon5 – Yelloween
+ Spring Break
+ Dj Butterscotch
So, it was Hallowe’en weekend once again and not a creature was stirring except the sea of costumed fannies disco-sliding their way to the Ironworks to see the yellow machine that is Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 supported by their Dingwallian hip hop pals Springbreak and DJ Butterscotch. As per usual I was one of these fannies and I couldn’t wait to ‘dry hump to the beat’ with my fellow ‘6th Dijoners’.
As I skipped down the road to the Ironworks, filled with jakey oysters and good ol’ Innis & Gunn, I witnessed a troupe of pissed up bananas buying fags from the International stores and a shitfaced unicorn chatting to a giant Lisa Simpson. Normally I would chalk this up to an unwanted Blue WKD flashback from the 90s, but for tonight only this shit was real and my for once my fellow Invernessians had done the Colonel proud and dressed to impress/freak me out.
The late opening of 10pm for the Ironworks had the inevitable effect that by the time the doors had opened, most of the revellers were in high spirits as well as in uncomfortable costumes. Pint was had at the bar and a glance over the dancefloor reveals a ghost town of an Ironworks, but Springbreak weren’t due on stage until after 11pm and The Colonel not til after the witching hour so fingers would have been crossed for a late surge of folk if I wasn’t clinging on to my precious pint so tight.
Dj Butterscotch was on the ones and twos before Spring Break was due on and considering he is the MC from the aforementioned band. He was looking to have a busy night as he appeared between bands and at the start/end of the night too. The hardest working man in Dingwall certainly earned his Benjamins that night as he booted out some of the best dance happy hip hop tunes seen since Kriss Kross made us ‘Jump’ and question their confusing trouser situation. Dj Butterscotch expertly guided the crowd before, after and between bands, through a maze of classics designed to pick up his audience and keep them warm whilst the bands got their shit together. Lad.
Dj Butterscotch morphed fully into the Badger-sized Rat as the rest of Springbreak bounced onto the stage and he slickly eased into MC duties for the Black Isle band, starting with the procrastinator’s anthem ‘The Slouch’ and then quickly followed by a cover of ‘Pumped up Kicks’ by Foster the People (yes I had to Google the fuck out of that for a band name). I needn’t have worried about the size of the crowd either as by the time they had finished their second track, the place was mostly packed.
Spring Break cover many a topic in their set, covering subjects as diverse as farmyard equipment, hangovers and traversing the difficult terrain of anger management and dolphin bothering. There’s tons of humour in their set and Butterscotch has a terrific way of involving the crowd in the band’s banter. Spring Break is the first, last and only word in Dingwall hip hop. One hopes the scene can expand but as we all know; what goes to Dingwall normally stays in Dingwall.
Over the years, Inverness has welcomed The Colonel and his pals a few times, most recently at Belladrum where they ‘knocked it oot the park’ (Mustard dance move number 72) performing to a packed Garden Stage in the middle of the afternoon (over 9000 people I am reliably informed). For those 7 people who didn’t attend that gig I suppose I can describe Colonel John McMustard and his yellow clad Dijoners as three parts disco machine to one part public service announcement, pushing a lifestyle of ‘Peace, Love and Mustard’.
The spectacle that is Colonel Mustard is something to behold. Ten to fifteen members invade the stage all resplendent in yellow and led by the Colonel himself who tonight was dressed as a disco Teen Wolf complete with his usual bejewelled disco Colonel cap. Their opening number was the crowd greasing ‘International Sex Hero’ and the dressed up, pissed up crowd bounced along like the refresher bars had only just hit them there and then. The Colonel employs a ‘Dijancer’ who mainly directs the crowd in the various dance moves required to enjoy the Colonel’s music completely. Decked out in a disco ball, flashing helmet and a cape that looks like it was designed by Elton John for Dracula, the Dijancer bounces along with the crowd, playing the bongos and demonstrates the many, many audience participation elements to the gig. He often crowd surfs in a giant inflatable unicorn across the crowd, but the alleged word on the street (steamin’ Davy from Dalneigh) is that the risk assessment was too hefty for the Ironworks to be arsed with (scoundrels).
The Colonel has a lot of time for patter with the crowd and he managed to coax five wimmen dressed as bananas to climb onto the stage and join the band for the audience participation favourite ‘Dance off’. The Dijancer clears a space in the middle of the dancefloor amongst the crowd and then encourages people to enter and throw, what turns out to be, some particularly inadvisable shapes. Tracey from Boots attempts a health and safety defying version of The Worm whilst Steve the cashier from the Co-Op has a go at shaking his jelly and I for one was not entirely ready. Fortunately, I was one beer shy of my ‘dance like a fucking idiot’ quota so I just quietly egged on these heroes on from a safe distance.
It being Hallowe’en, Colonel Mustard treated us all to a cover of ‘Ghostbusters’ and it was an effing triumph. I had been handed a beer between tracks and I now was knee deep in a shameful display of dancing like Ray Parker Jr wasn’t watching. But hey… if you can’t dance like that with the Colonel, when can you?? (Never. The answer is never.)
Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5 then busted out the track that made them Belladrum sensations – the Raga infused ‘Cross The Road’. This educational song is designed to teach young and old how to safely cross the road and to encourage everyone to make your lollipop man your new ‘pally-wally’. Along with his Dijancer pal, the Colonel proceeds to herd the entire audience onto one side of the Ironworks and then musically instructs the mob on how to cross from one side of the room to the other (repeated multiple times just to make sure of our future safety) whilst busting out rhymes that Shaggy would be proud of. This is a real people pleaser of a tune as everyone is swept along with the patter and the movement of your neighbour. I fucking love the inclusivity of Colonel Mustard and although this was an over 18s only gig, they could easily have entertained kids and adults alike. For those looking to bond with their kids or some shit, Colonel Mustard would be a perfect festival band for you to pretend y’all like each other and no doubt there will be plenty of opportunity to do catch them at festivals in the new year.
The gang spent an hour on stage and in that time, I had high-fived my neighbour to the beat, performed various orchestrated dance moves, proclaimed ‘Peace, Love and Mustard’ exactly 724 times and spilt the total of 4 pints down myself as the crowd danced like we had just found out Stranger Things was back on the Netflix (it fucking is you know!)
The Colonel ended things with a bow to the theme from the Golden Girls and that’s exactly what it feels like to be at a Colonel Mustard gig – to quote the man himself ‘Everyone is happy, everyone is smiling, no one here is sad anymore’. The Colonel came to Inverness and injected some love and happiness into the people’s lives and I’m still trying to shake the disco, glitter and joy from my blackened soul. Well played Colonel, well fucking played.