As the seedy north of the Ile gears up for this weekend's Black Smoke Jazz Festival (sponsors Bryant and May), excitement is also mounting in Broadstairs, where Victorian bathing costumes are about to make way for the thrills and spills of hemp smocks and bladders on sticks.
Yes, the Dickensians are eagerly aniticipating their annual Folk Week, which takes place next month. Around 150,000 men and women with beards are expected to descend on the quaint seaside town, turning the camp site at Upton School into a mini version of Glastonbury, with the waft of illicit drugs such as Old Nutty Shag and Nadger's Dorchester Wobbly permeating the air.
The organisers, Norman and Norma Normal, have given me a sneak preview of some of the highlights:
Ralph Barking has been squeezing his box all over the world since 1923. He has some real treats in store for Broadstairs, including his famous rendition of All Around My Hat, performed atop a hairy midget riding a unicycle (midget tbc).
THE MANIC MORRIS MEN OF MELTON MOWBRAY
Gaily adorned in their bowler hats, black breeches and dancing clogs, The Manic Morris Men Of Melton Mowbray will be staging impromptu performances throughout the week, including their world renowned set 'You Ate My Pork Pie You F*cking Bastard' (not suitable for children).
NOSEFLUTES OF NORWAY (SPONSORED BY VICKS SINEX)
You have to admire their phlegm! The Trondheim Noseflute Choir will be flying in especially for Folk Week. Watch out for their piece de resistance, a 14 hour medley of old favourites, including Blow The Man Down, Colonel Bogey, and Greensleeves.