As regular readers know, the mister and I have an inexplicable fascination with immortal old people singing duo Foster and Allen.
We love them so much we even took the drastic step of Googling them to find out which one was Foster and which one was Allen, as we got tired of referring to them as ‘that one’, ‘no, that one’, no, beardy man’, no, accordion man’.
In case you’re wondering –
Foster and Allen are famous for A) being around for the last 200 years, B) being known by everyone despite no one ever having bought one of their records, and C) having their tapes sold at those weird market stalls that only sell tapes and that blast out that kind of music over rubbish speakers.
Foster and Allen’s hits include –
“I love Ireland, me”
“Ireland is ace”
“You might be 93 but I reckon you could still have a chance with me”
“Me ma’s teapot”
“I wish I could marry Ireland”
“I wish I could marry Daniel O’ Donnell”
They did have a number 1 in New Zealand, although this may just be an urban myth. They are also reputed to have knocked Take That off the top spot in some video chart years ago, but this might be a fib too.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, look what we found the other day in a charity shop!
Yes, we bought it. Yes, we watched it. Yes, you’re going to have to relive the experience with me.
Around The World With Foster And Allen is a wondrous journey to the most far flung and exotic places on Earth, and they stand in the places and sing some songs. Countries visited include –
And finally – Ireland!
Our favourite one out of Foster and Allen is Foster And. This is because of A) his snazzy occasional ponytail, B) his fancy accordion playing, and C) the way he doesn’t always act like he hates being in Foster and Allen.
The mister and I speculate quite a lot on the exact relationship between Foster and Allen. They generally seem to hate each other, sometimes going through entire concerts and/or tv specials without looking at or speaking to each other. Take this concert for example – the backdrop is quite clearly made up of two separate photos, so reluctant are they to stand that close to each other.
We blame And Allen for this, with his cold, unfeeling heart. Occasionally, you can spot Foster And giving him a wistful sideways glance, as if he regrets some trifling argument that happened years ago. He looks like he wishes they still loved each other. Anyway, And Allen is probably just jealous because we like Foster And more.
Right, on with the fun.
We begin, unsurprisingly, in Ireland. In fact, I’d be very surprised if most of this DVD wasn’t really filmed in Ireland, then mixed together with random stock footage of famous foreign landmarks.
The first thing that stands out is the fact that And Allen always has some pretend girlfriend who is about 20, and who is obviously being paid to be anywhere near And Allen.
This is creepy, and it becomes creepier when you realise it’s a different girl in every video. And Allen appears to have a harem, paid for with all the money he gets from flogging his tapes to old ladies.
Foster And feels no need to assert his manhood in such an obvious way, because accordion talent beats raging insecurity. Occasionally, though, he can still be spotted in the background, looking wistfully at And Allen.
The next thing you need to know is that I’m not absolutely sure Foster and Allen have been given permission to film in some of the locations they’re in. For example, here they appear to be standing in some woman’s garden.
She’s not impressed. In fact, I’m not sure she’s even noticed they’re there.
Now Foster And has been in her house, and then the pair of them go and stand in her living room! Still not a single fuck is given by the lady, she just carries on knitting. Oh wait, not knitting. Whatever it is she’s doing with those sticks. Whittling?
Here they are in someone’s flower bed, featuring a nonplussed woman in the background, about to go shopping
Here they are in another flower bed. I think it belongs to this old man, who wanders into the shot before noticing the filming going on. When he does notice, he turns round and casually strolls back the other way, making the shot even better
Over to England now, and there goes the Foster and Allen tour bus. If you see the Foster and Allen bus, you must be extra careful around it, because it has a ‘Foster and Allen on board’ sticker in the back window, meaning you’re not allowed to run it off the road.
Every so often we’re treated to real life Foster and Allen concert footage. The audience can easily be separated into two types of people –
Old people who love Foster And Allen so much they’re about to die with excitement, especially the old ladies who think Foster And is a dish.
Younger people who have brought the old people to the concert, and are about to die with embarrassment upon realising the show is being filmed.
These ladies –
These are my favourite old ladies ever. Seriously, I had to make a clip, they appear about five seconds in. Look at them go!
These women are going to go flying out of their seats at any moment.
Other highlights of the concert bits include the most perfectly matched couple in the world –
A very depressed drummer –
And a confused/disgusted child –
Later on there is a music video that doesn’t feature a lot of Foster And or And Allen. Instead, we are treated to the sight of a sad faced man getting dinner ready for his wife. This looks more like teleshopping than a music video.
While he’s doing this, the wife is busy being in the pub, and the implication is that she’s about to fuck the barman/the taxi driver/David Cameron/anyone who isn’t the sad faced man.
The wife, we can assume, is the titular ‘Carmen’ from the song. She doesn’t really look like a Carmen, she looks like a Joyce. Anyway, she decides to go home and have dinner. Absolutely nothing else happens.
At first you feel vaguely sorry for the sad faced man, but then his wife comes home and they eat fish fingers. The end. I’m almost missing And Allen with his mail order brides by this point.
The absolute best thing about this DVD is that sometimes Foster And gets to do a song on his own! This is brilliant, and is the point where we stop laughing and pointing, and watch it properly. I mean, we’re still laughing and pointing, but it’s the thought that counts.
Foster And sings cool songs about goats and getting pissed, rather than the usual shite about having a fake girlfriend. Foster And should team up with Shane MacGowan, and the two of them could sing songs poking fun at And Allen. Although Shane MacGowan would have to change his name to And MacGowan.
One thing I’m brilliant at is stopping articles. Now I can’t think of anything else to say about Foster and Allen, so here is a picture of Paddy McGinty’s goat, made famous by Foster And singing about it.