21st October 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Forty-six acts and a night of riotous fun

, by , in Features

1. Othere Fra Hålogaland: The Jarl’s Squad (57)

2. Trucking Great Night (25) This musical squad entered the halls looking like true truckers wearing bibs and braces, checked shirts and Renault baseball caps. Every squad member sang and played an instrument, either a banjo, guitar, drum or mouth or­gan.

There was a lively introduction of Foggy Mountain Breakdown played on the banjos followed by a well-rehearsed version of the Truck Driving Man song. Everyone in the halls participated in this act by singing and clapping along.

This squad energised every hall with their musical talents, enthusiasm and excellent timing, which they are looking forward to continuing in 2010 when they are the Jarl’s Squad.

3. The Navy Lark (15) In an act based on a Two Ronnie’s sketch, the squad marched in dressed as a Royal Marines band. They were joined by two vivacious looking Wrens who performed to a number of nautically-themed tunes. They ended with a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia where the girls showed they are patriotic to the very end with their Union Jack underwear.

4. Shetland Hoodies (18)

5. Going Bananas (23) Musicians and Madonna entered with two large drums to the song Going Bananas followed by 16 bananas swaying in time to the music.

The music then changed to Mr Tally Man and the bananas continued to sway in bunches. Miraculously two clowns’ heads appeared out of the drums to the chorus of “Dayo”. Two gorillas then entered and knocked the heads off the clowns.

The music changed to King of the Swingers and ghostly heads appeared from the drums and chased all from the hall, to stunned silence and amazement from the guests.

6. Running Bear (18) Two tribes of Red Indians acted out the Johnny Preston hit single, showing how the course of true love never runs smoothly and can end in tears.

7. Mexican Folk(ing) Dancers Me Amigos (25) The squad entered the halls to The Honeymoon is Over, performed by our very own “three amigos”. The men were dressed in black mariachi suits with sombreros and the women in bright, colourful, full-length skirts. The well-rehearsed dance routine displayed the women’s skirts to their full extent.

8. The Devil Went Down to Georgia (21) The devil and his raggedy band of ghouls and skeletons came down to Georgia in a search for souls to steal, making the irresistible offer of the golden accordion to anyone who could outplay him.

An overweight Britney Spears, down on her luck and piling on the pounds, took on the devil’s challenge, looking for her way back to the big time and, my goodness, just watch those soul sisters play. Even the devil had to admit he was in the company of real talent.

9. We Have A Dream (18)

10. A Sheik up at Sullom (24) Did Sandy see the Arab cash as a blessing in disguise, a chance to boost the coffers of the council’s special project fund? This squad exposed the truth.

Half the squad, dressed as sailors, entered the hall with a 14-foot super-duper tanker which was expertly manoeuvred alongside by the two Sullom tugs. Next entered the esteemed “clowncillor” Sandy Cluness in his glorious circus clown suit. His funds appear light, so what to do? The sailors sang a clever ditty to the tune of What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? which enticed a hoard of well-dressed Arab gentlemen in on the scene to save the day with copious amounts of Red Sea dollars. Cash which the convener of all he purveys, clowncillor Cluness that is, was more than glad to accept for the assets on show with a chance of gleaning extra money from the nice Arab gentlemen at a later date.

A good locally themed act had tremendous props which were well received in all the halls, particularly the Town Hall.

11. Scouting For Girls (17) The scene opened with a Boy Scout standing playing with his woggle. His meditations were interrupted when in marched a line of hirsute Brownies to the haunting melody of Billy Con­nolly’s In the Brownies. They circled him and he tried to escape but he was no match for the adroit fiddle box carriers. They pinned him to the ground and forced him to watch the act, which is pretty similar to what the squad has to do to the crowd most years.

The Brownies then went into a scintillating display of hand movements, high kicking and finally mesmerising cross-over movement before the trusty young Scout was thrown back into the middle. The Brownies swept around him as planes got closer and closer, looking pretty similar to the one which went down in the Hudson a fortnight ago.

Then … lo! They pulled back and “Transvestite Tuesday” lived up to its name. Somehow the squad had pulled off the trick of turning him from a Scout to a Brownie without anyone in the hall knowing how they did it.

12. P-P-Pick up a Medal (22) This squad chose to depict one of the more bizarre events of the year when the King of Norway bestowed a knighthood on a penguin in Edinburgh Zoo.

To martial music a squad of Norwegian soldiers entered the hall with a display of precision counter-marching. Then in came a cheerful bunch of penguins. One penguin received the accolade from the king, then metamorphosed into local author James Irvine, who was also honoured by Norway last year.

A Kafkaesque act ended as all exited con brio.

13. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (23) A company of American Civil War Union cavalry officers entered the hall riding inflatable horses and performed a clever dressage routine while singing She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, the song made famous by the John Wayne film.

14. Here Come Da Lasses (20) A group of Shetland grannies were led into the halls by the band. The grannies, with all their aches and pains, tried their best to dance around the hall. Just as they reached the band a gaggle of WAGS burst into the hall strutting their stuff to the music of Here Come The Girls.

The grannies were not impressed by their dress sense but with a clap of thunder and the encouragement of the dram, they found their younger selves and joined in with the WAGS and shook their booty around the hall, proving once again that we are all young at heart regardless of age.

15. Battle Of The Bands (22)

16. Men in Tights (18)
Robin Hood and his manly merry men,
Danced and fought, again and again!
In brown tunics and grass green tights,
They stood up for the poor folks’ rights!
Were they pansies?
You’re not sure?
Maybe Butchboy on a “can can” tour!

17. Men in Black II (17) All the squad were dressed in smart black suits, some with aliens’ heads and some with masks and sunshades. They danced a well-rehearsed choreographed dance routine to the Men in Black theme tune made famous by Will Smith. Cooler than a snowman’s cold bits.

18. Strictly Non-Dancing (20) This squad consisted of comperes Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly, 12 dancers, four judges and John Sergeant and partner. They entered the hall to the Strictly Come Dancing theme and, after being introduced by Brucie, started their dancing.

The dancing was very poor and the judges marked low scores accordingly. John Sergeant then entered the hall and “picked” a lady from the audience and showed how to dance properly. The rest of the dancers joined in and were awarded highly by the judges. The squad left the halls dragging their partners behind them.

19. Thriller (23) This year this dancing squad came up with Thriller as it was the 25th anniversary of the great tune.

The act began with 22 ghastly zombies entering the halls to the funeral march music, carrying a big coffin. When the Thriller music started to play Michael Jackson appeared out of the coffin and checked out the zombies to see if they were dead. At which point they came to life and Jacko proceeded to lead them through a set of exquisite dance moves.

At the end of the act Jacko tried to escape but the zombies caught him and put him back into the coffin and took him back to the Knab.

20. Wrath of Paddy D’Wall (20) From the glorious Emerald Isle there entered into the hall “My Lovely Horse” with fetlocks blowing in the wind, closely followed by a gathering of leprechauns dressed in their best attire to await the arrival of some lusty Irish maidens, who have been enchanted by their “gift of the gab”.

In a blink of an eye the hall was awash with colour as the maidens entered, dressed in black leather corsets, pink frilled ra-ra skirts and Ugg boots. A circle was formed as they met their mystical partners and performed a high-pace jig to a recent chart hit, ending on a knee-breaking finale, with great applause, before finally departing the dance floor.

With this squad’s long tradition of well choreographed routines, what more could have been expected but yet another dance number?

21. ABBA Mama Mia (20) Rolling back the years, the squad performed an excellent dance routine to a medley of classic Abba tracks, including Waterloo and Mamma Mia. In groups of four, the well-choreographed act entertained the audiences all night long.

Eye-catching, colourful suits and slinky dresses ensured the squad left each hall to cheers and applause. All in all, this act would surely have been enjoyed by the great Benny himself.

22. The Banana Splits (21) Back for one night only, the Banana Splits danced into the hall to their well-known theme tune. Following them in were four banana-men with a fearsome looking cannon.

With the help of the ringmaster the cannon was positioned. Things became clearer when further banana-men entered the hall with a receptacle, followed by old favourite DangerMouse. He and the ringmaster made sure the cannon and receptacle were accurately lined up then brave old DangerMouse was placed in the cannon and gave a brave wave to the audience. A drum roll heightened the tension as the ringmaster lit the fuse. With a bang DangerMouse was sent flying, but he successfully landed in the receptacle.

Oh dear, though, maybe a bit much gunpowder as a battered and bruised DangerMouse fell out on to the floor and had to be carried from the hall.

23. 250 Years of Pure Genius (20) The theme was a celebration of Arthur Guinness, the man chiefly responsible for two and a half centuries of the creamy black stuff.

A band of talented musicians – fiddler, accordionist, banjo player, drummer and guitarists – took their place in the halls before a box with a birthday cake on top was wheeled in.

As the band struck up a troupe of leprechauns danced in, dressed in colourful green costumes and hats. The leprechauns formed a guard of honour to sing Happy Birthday and the man himself, 250-year-old Arthur, hobbled in to great applause.

A handle was turned on the box to eventually reveal a giant-sized pint of Guinness and the squad gave their own tribute to Ireland’s favourite drink, before exiting the halls as the band played traditional tunes including The Washer Woman and the very fitting The Barmaid.

24. Cuthair’s Kirkwall Carnage (20) The inspiration for this squad came from Shetland’s leading touchline critic extending his disapproving eye to Roy-Rent-A-Jarl, complete with peedie flatpack gellie, torching Kirkwall and generally axing for what he wanted.

This 21st century Orkneyinga Saga featured horny Vikings be-cloaked in Orkney flags, wey-heying around a collapsible galley and chorusing the Orkney anthem to contemporary lyrics. Effigies of Harald Cuthair failed to shield them from the intervention of the “currant” objector, however, who was “spurred” on brandishing a red card and crying “Foul!”

25. Alien Wind Farm (21) Newsflash! The UFO lunatic fringe group boinger is making claims that one of their flying saucers hit a wind turbine due to the fact the blades are not fitted with hi-viz reflectors or lights, and once their craft is repaired they will return for revenge! It is feared that the group being sick in the head want a slow and painful death of planet earth and due to the initial incident have cited windmills as their primary target. Sightings have already been confirmed in the Shetland Islands by local photographer Ivan Hawick and it is feared that the invasion may already be under way.

Police have issued warnings for citizens to be aware and look out for strangely dressed men bouncing around in a strangely hypnotic manner. Any sightings must be photographed and passed on to the authorities immediately.

26. Da Reggae Boyz (22)

27. Jordan’s Olympic Dressage Bid (16)

28. For-Viks Sake (21)

29. Clever Counts (23) Dressed all in black, with white jabbots and cuffs, long black high-collared cloaks lined in maroon, matching cummerbunds and black wigs – this squad had a creepy appearance.

Entering the hall to Thriller, they formed a diagonal cross with the chief count in the centre, armed with a light sabre. He touched the thumbs of the nearest counts, which mystifyingly lit up red. Each count then passed the lights to the others in a sequence until all held their arms high with both thumbs lit up.

Forming a circle there followed an intricate sequence of manoeuvres involving the red thumb lights being passed between the counts to The Final Countdown.

The finale was having each left thumb lit and held high like a mini torch with the squad marching out to The Up-Helly-A’ Song.

30. Black & Gold (23) The squad, dressed in tailed suits and top hats, came into the hall and formed a circle in the middle of the dance floor. The song Black and Gold by Sam Sparro started to play and their waistcoats were lit up with LED lights. The squad performed a dance routine with canes in time to the music.

31. Hells Bells (16) The squad entered the halls to sombre church bells, under cover of black cloaks. They then revealed their main suit as the lively character Angus Young from AC/DC. They performed a lively, well-choreographed dance routine complete with inflatable guitars and mini drum kit, to the cheers of the crowd.

32. Tap Dancers (13)

33. When Harry Met Sally or Archie (21) Filmed on location at the “Theatre of Dreams”, that is the Clickimin football pitch, 16 young aspiring footballers are stunned into silence as ex-jarl Harry “Currants” disputes yet another decision by SFA referee Archie Constable.

Sent from the sidelines, Harry’s return resembles a scene from the Rocky films as he takes the law into his own hands by way of his rippling six-pack and bulging biceps. Despite intensive treatment from the Thomason “sisters” Archie has to be taken to the treatment room for further examination but some faulty equipment leaves him floored.

34. Bwand And Woss For Da Chop! (18) A very lively Georgina Baille, dressed in gothic clothing, entered the hall and danced around wildly to Madonna’s Hanky Panky which attracted the attentions of a particularly lecherous Russell Brand (dressed in unbelievably tight trousers, floppy shirt, Winklepickers and cool shades).

After pacing around the perimeter of the hall, he then entered to join Georgina in the centre of the hall for a bit of hanky panky. Georgina made herself scarce as the Jonathan Ross chatshow theme was heard and the man himself entered wearing a purple suit and wild shirt with a large mobile phone. After greeting Russell, he decided to use the phone and, with Brand, left messages about Brand’s experiences with Georgina on Andrew Sachs’ answering machine.

Andrew Sachs, as “Manuel”, then entered the hall with a sheepish Georgina and, checking his telephone messages, was horrified to hear of his granddaughter’s behaviour. Both Georgina and Manuel decided to call on help to find Ross and Brand and, after two loud whistles, members of Georgina’s dance troupe – scantily clad in PVC, fishnet tights and wigs – entered the hall to Here Come The Girls followed by a group of Manuel’s heavyweight Spanish waiters wearing white shirts, moustaches and white aprons to The Macarena.

Following a frantic, comical chase around the hall both Ross and Brand were captured and a demonstration of their fate was outlined by Manuel and Georgina who chopped up a large smoked sausage to the shock of all in the hall on a small guillotine. To shouts of “Off”, Brand was then manoeuvred by Georgina and her friends into place behind the chopper and his hand was chopped off as punishment by Manuel.

Following a scream, Brand then ran off wrestling Ross free from the Spanish waiters and left the hall with one hand missing along with Ross. Manuel then circled the hall with Georgina and displayed the chopped-off hand to the crowd in the hall before exiting with the remaining squad members .

35. AT (or TA) 100 (23) Once the outrider scouts had ensured the hall was safe for operations to proceed our local artillerists entered, head to toe in camouflage gear, with the com­ponents of a large cannon. Despite the barked orders from their commanding officer Shetland’s first line of defence struggled to erect their magnificent weapon.

All was not lost though as a bevy of camouflage-clad cuties burst forth and made short work of the erection.

Upon completion the elder statesmen of the 100-year-old Territorial Army marched forth to fire the weapon, but not before demanding three cheers for the TA.

36. Big Spender (18) Some extremely classy Dame Shirley Bassey lookalikes entered the hall to her famous hit Big Spender, followed by a free-spending council convener who is clearly enjoying the attention that his muckle wad creates.

It looks like the Shirleys want to headline at Mareel’s opening night. Suddenly, an ower-da-water council­lor appears and tries to stop the big spend being flushed down the toilet.

37. Dukery Quackery (22) Tying in nicely with the National Bird Survey, this flock of un­identifiable ducks have been blown off course and into Lerwick, their intricate flying formations and distinctive mating call causing a stir and pleasuring twitchers.

Last seen they were at the Toft ferry heading for the Mid Yell Duck Race.

38. Guess Who’s 70? (24)

39. FYC (24)

40. Joost a Load of Rubbish (18) Reduce, re-use, recycle! Every­body is going green nowadays as they all strive to reduce waste, re-use rubbish and recycle anything and everything.

Two stalwarts from the SIC waste management department swept into the hall with their wheelie bins full of recycled rubbish and with the help of a couple of colourful ladies commenced to empty the bins in an attempt to find a use for the various bits of discarded material.

Meanwhile the housewives of Lerwick, not to be outdone, are also heavily into recycling and entered the halls dancing passionately to the music of the Can-Can. Their stylish entrance had the audiences clapping and cheering to the fervent music, as their amazing dresses in varying shades of pink, orange, green, blue and white, with matching beehive wigs, white bloomers and neon striped tights flashed before them. While visually their impact was stunning there was a small consensus of opinion that the beauties’ choreography possibly earmarked them as recycled rejects from Strictly Come Dancing.

The “men from the SIC” had managed to locate useful items and were recycling these dartboards, clocks, brooms and mobile tables into a “try-recycle”. While the ladies’ dancing slowed from the frantic Can-Can, two of them were chosen to test drive the recycled tricycles, and once aboard sped around the hall, pedalling furiously. The ladies gathered up their skirts like wings and followed these intrepid flying machines around and out of the hall to that eminently sustainable tune made famous over the years – The Canbusters’ March.

41. Kung Fu Panda-monium (23)

42. U-Ha-Saints (Running Man) (22) This lively squad was based on one of the biggest selling dance acts of 2008 Utah Saints’ visit to Shetland in August. The act centred on the video to the hit single Something Good 08 which featured the high energy Running Man dance step.

The majority of the squad were dressed in bright coloured hoodies, t-shirts, tracksuit bottoms, baseball caps and shades, ably supported by a handful of page three stunners wearing brightly coloured mini-dresses and all the usual accessories.

Nineties rapper MC Hammer entered the hall, resplendent in his bright yellow PVC rapper suit and sporting some serious bling, to his 1990 hit single U Can’t Touch This. He was promptly joined by the hoodies and page three stunners who enjoyed the fun before two large bouncers all the way from Peckham, London, in the form of Del Boy and Rodnaldo escorted MC Hammer out of the hall for getting a little too exuberant.

As he was thrown out the DJs fumbled their record change with a scratch before, for one night only, the U-Ha-Saints started pumping out their hit single Something Good 08.

At this point a stranger, obviously very much in love with himself, entered the hall, stopping the crowd in their tracks as he strutted up to the bar before downing a drink and moving to the middle of the dance floor. Oozing cockiness, the stranger started a running man dance step, the likes of which you’ve never seen in your life.

After a while the on-looking hoodies and page three stunners took to the floor to join in a challenging and well choreographed dance routine involving some intricate moves before collapsing to the floor at the feet of their new hero.

The act ended with MC Hammer presenting the Running Man with a contract to join him on his next US tour before the squad left the hall to rapturous applause to the track U Can’t Touch This, leaving the crowd thinking: “Yon wis a good act … but I have absolutely nae idea what it wis aa aboot.”

43. Vikings a la Mouat (16) This lively young squad’s act was a clever skit on the Guizer Jarl, Stephen Mouat, who is a joiner and galley boy.

Entering the hall dressed as Vikings they proceeded to build a house which the jarl then entered. At the sounding of the torch fanfare the house folded down, a galley head and tail were attached, the Vikings hung their shields along the sides, and hey presto – instant galley. The squad then sang The Galley Song and gave three cheers for the Guizer Jarl.

A simple but effective act again reinforced the squad’s reputation.

44. Fly Be Wis (21) Once again we saw a top-quality production from this squad.

Increasingly frustrated with high charges and weight restrictions at the airport, the passengers decided to fabricate their own aircraft and fly away into the sunset. Their journey was made even more pleasurable with the assistance of two stunningly beautiful stewardesses.

45. Shetland Crowncil Affair (24) The members of the squad were dressed in white shirts, red ties, black wool overcoats, trousers, shoes and bowler hats. Some of the squad carried black briefcases and others placards. The act was portrayed as a skit on the high-spending Shetland Islands Council.

Council officials entered the hall and opened a briefcase which was shown to contain lots of money. Local groups and organisations then entered and their briefcases were displayed as being empty.

A briefcase swapping session then took place as in the film The Thomas Crown Affair. The act concluded when the cases were re-opened and it was shown that the SIC one is empty and the ones belonging to the other groups contained the money.

46. Åland On Hooves (18)