The Ouse Valley Singles Club
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The Ouse Valley Singles Club

Bedford, England, United Kingdom | SELF

Bedford, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Rock Punk




"Bedford Rascals"

The Clanger loves a laugh, so we jumped at the chance to meet Bedford’s finest ukelele-based comedy act, The Ouse Valley Singles Club (OVSC), To discover what makes Bedford so funny.

With songs entitled Bedford Rascal, Weekend Dad and Facebook Blues, singer and co-songwriter of the OVSC, Tim Barron manages to evoke modern life in all its glory. “We’re like a musical, modern day William Hogarth,” declares Tim. “Our song ‘Kicking Out Time’ is our Bedfordian interpretation of The Rakes Progress. We don’t write about the glamour of Bedford (really? – Ed), but rather the ‘warts and all’ side of life and that’s why people can relate to it and laugh at it. ”While training as an electrician, Tim began his show-business career with local band the 10 Ton Beavers. But when the band split up, he realised that his inner show-off could not be suppressed. Am-Dram followed and Tim was told those immortal Cowell-esque words: you could be a professional. Redundancy from his electricians job followed and Tim realised that this was his opportunity to use the money to follow his dream…to Loughton in Essex. A contemporary theatre course at the East15 drama school was not only where he met his wife (and OVSC bass player Amy Martell), but also where he became inspired to take a show to Edinburgh. In August 2005, Tim and his East15course mates took a show to the renowned Fringe Festival. ‘Terrorist! The Musical’ became the toast of Edinburgh and pro-vided the springboard for his next project – something that he’d been thinking about for a while – a show about a Gary Glitter tribute artist whose career ends when Paul Francis Gadd is arrested on child abuse charges. Tim and his co-writer/director Jessica Beck took ‘Up The Gary’ to Edinburgh in 2006 and then toured nation wide before heading to the New York Fringe Festival in 2008. Stardom beckoned!

By now, Tim was living in London and following his dream of acting. But the lure of Bedford proved too strong and he soon moved back to his roots. “When I was in London I was totally uninspired. I moved back to Bedford and material just started ‘Ousing’ out of me (see what I did there?). I was surrounded by my kind of people and the humour of Bedford pro-vided me with the basis for the OVSC.”“ I write all the songs with my Uncle Sam – a veteran predator on the Bedford singles scene – so we had a wealth of experience to draw on,” explains Tim. “The Bedford Rascal song is based on me, but almost all the others use my various uncles as inspiration. Within English culture there is a strong history of humorous story-telling through music. From the Victorian music halls to the songs from the wars, through to Peter Sellers, Pete & Dud, the Barron Knights (no relation) and Ivor Bigun, we’ve always enjoyed a laugh through music. Shame Richard Digance killed it really. ”This heritage is at the heart of the OVSC and is a vehicle for Tim to spread the joy of Bedfordshire throughout the land. “We’ve been inspired by Shane Meadows ’work and his devotion to Uttoxeter and the Midlands. I wanted to do that for Bedford. Although each of our songs speaks of our town, they are universally understood because we’re singing about all nondescript parts of the country.

”Tim and Amy can be seen at this year’s Bedfringe with a FREE show at The Place Theatre on Sunday 24th July. Performing songs from the OVSC ‘concept’ album ‘Aim Low & Early’, the audience will be invited to become honorary members of the singles club for one night only. “We performed ‘Up The Gary’ at the first Bedfringe in 2005 and I take my hat off to James and the organisers for their dedication in building the festival up over the last five years. No-one expects a town like Bedford to have such a thriving Fringe scene, so we’re proud to be part of it. ”For your chance to win a copy of the album, email by Friday 15 July with ‘10cc’ as the subject.

Editer - Erica Roff
- The Bedford Clanger - July 2011

"Pistol and Jack's Sunday Service"

"entertained with a number of humorous songs in a quirky updated skiffle style, including ‘’Jude Law’s Wingman” and “My Redundant Ovaries.” So many comedy songs depend heavily upon the lyrics with little attention to the music, yet the musical talent of the duo shone through as the melodic brilliance of the songs matched the lyrical." - The Fringe Report


O.V.S.C Theme Song (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Bedford Rascal (Aim Low and Early,2011)
M.I.L.F Hunter (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Jude Law's Wingman (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Binge Drinking (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Weekend Dad (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Facebook Blues (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Meal for One(Aim Low and Early,2011)
Percentage Game (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Funky (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Ode to Billy Jo and Mary Lou(Aim Low and Early,2011)
Bangkok Girl (Aim Low and Early,2011)
Kicking Out Time (Aim Low and Early,2011)



The OVSC are a completely original act that will give you a show unlike anything you will have seen or heard before. They take the traditional basic sound of Skiffle along with Folk, Funk, punk, Soul and Rock n Roll and combines it with with saucy British postcard humour.

Heralding from the historic market town of Bedford, England The Ouse Valley Singles club is a singles club with a difference. The audience are invited for that night only to be honorary members and take advantage of the excellent advice from the host Andy who bares the scars of his many years on the single scene. Aided with his ukulele and supported by Amy on Bass he uses his unique presentation method to arm all members with the necessary arsenal to combat the singles scene. Featuring Andrew Barron and Amy Martell. Written by Andrew Barron and Sam Saunders.

Andrew Barron, is a professional actor, who studied at East 15 Acting School. Although Andrew has worked in TV and theatre his interests lie in creating and developing his own work, having successfully written and performed in his one man show ‘Up the Gary’, (“The production is a gem, from script to performance” Patrick Wilde, Broadway Baby) developed under the auspices of Theatre 503 which he then went on to perform at Edinburgh Festival 2006, New York Fringe Festival 2007, Bolton Octagon 2007, Bath Fringe Festival 2007, Brighton 2008 and Bedford Fringe Festival 2008. Andrew also won the Michael MacLiammoir Award for Best Actor at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2007. His latest project, The Ouse Valley Singles club is the story of two tragic figures who met at a singles scene in Bedford and have gone on to create their own singles club in the guise of a skiffle band.
Amy Martell also studied at East 15 Acting School and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2005