Yo ho ho! Hats off to buccaneering brothers

Brothers: Award-winning comedians Tom and Ed Croft
Brothers: Award-winning comedians Tom and Ed Croft
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ONE of the quirkiest (and therefore one of the best) stories in the Courier last week was the tale of the former Calderdale siblings who won the national Musical Comedy Awards in London.

Tom and Ed Croft transform themselves into a pair of singing pirates who put nautical words to other people’s songs.

Under the flag of Jollyboat, the Liverpool-based duo picked up a £500 prize to pop in their treasure chest and will have an iTunes album of their material produced.

Now you might think this is money for old rope, perhaps the kind that might be used to keel-haul a sailor.

But it’s quite difficult to dream up lyrics to songs that aren’t already based around maritime antics because you keep getting distracted by songs that actually have a seafaring flavour - Sailing, by Rod Stewart; Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, by Otis Redding, Seven Seas of Rye by Queen and so on.

Even the Sex Pistols got into the act, so to speak, by singing about what they could do in the rigging of a ship.

Tom and Ed dreamed up some witty lyrics to Katie Perry’s I Kissed a Girl (“I kissed a gull and I liked it.. the taste of digested cat-fish...”) and gave the Ella Fitzgerald hit Fever a new slant “Weevils all through the night...”).

The best I could do was conjure up a few daft song titles that were already linked to a band or singer whose name could be fettled into piratical prose - Mutiny Are Everything, by The Reel Thing; When the Rowing Gets Tough (the Tough Get Rowing) by Billy Ocean; Weigh on Down by Elvis Pressed-men and Take That to the Plank by Shalamar-iner.

So I take off my tri-cornered hat to Tom and Ed, originally from landlocked Todmorden,

The Croft craft is a highly original, clever and fun way to make a living and not only are they having a hugely enjoyable time, they are also cheering up audiences across the country with their rum sense of humour. Last year they appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and at stand-up comedy clubs in London and across the north of England.

There’s an endless list of tunes out there for them to shipshape into songs with a nautical twist.

And that, really, is the key to success - build a solid idea, make it waterproof and set sail. Rather than capturing prisoners, capture an audience’s imagination and give them a barrel of laughs.

Now the world really is Tom and Ed’s oyster.