THE DANISH INVASION (1992)

Kaptain Zorch set out on his most dangerous mission to date. Armed with his portable computer, discman and a spare pair of socks, he left for Denmark to sort out the final contracts with The Taggy Tones. He knew that he would have to negotiate the terrors of strange food and drink, awkward sleeping arrangements and the horrors of the agents of Doctor von Matzau who are everywhere in Viking country.
     He was met at the airport by someone who looked like a cross between Chris Isaak and Ersel Hickey, and who introduced himself as Jess, the head Taggy Tone. They left for his abode where they were met by his wife, the local Viking Queen. After a quick examination of their record collection and a listen to a cassette of the new Blue Cats record which was met with great approval, they teamed up with the other Taggy Tones and their road crew. Following a quick visit to their wretched hideout in a back street of Copenhagen, they left for a little village called 'Rorvig', which means 'roaring Viking', where they were due to play.
     Twenty minutes later the good Kaptain's head started to spin and he felt very strange. Could there be an agent of the dreaded Doctor von Matzau in the road crew? Whatever the reason, without so much as a chance to get drunk, the good Kaptain was seen to be performing his usual ritual upon entering a foreign land. A yellow, bubbling, steaming mess of detritus lay on the side of the road as Kaptain Zorch stumbled unsteadily back into the car.
     They arrived at the place where the entertainment was due to take place. It looked like some kind of ancient Viking hall that had been partially converted into a discotheque. Above the door hung a poorly designed logo of a pink fighter aircraft. The band played outside to the obvious approval of the locals, who banged their fists on the tables and chanted 'Ekstra nummer!'. Kaptain Zorch observed that the band was every bit as good as their demo. So far no mention had been made of the contracts, but there was still plenty of time. Suddenly, there was a rustle amongst the crowd and a familiar figure stepped forward to greet the Kaptain. Kim Gaarde of the famous Nekromantix had come to check out the situation for Doctor von Matzau. The Kaptain knew that he was in for a tough evening. As soon as the band had finished, they re-entered the hall, leaving the roadies to set up tents for the night.
     Things started off OK with the Kaptain managing to avoid the temptations of Danish liquor, but eventually he succumbed, fearing the dreaded 'blood-eagle' if The Taggy Tones!he was observed to be weak, and so it came to pass that he was seen to be drinking something like Cherryade while a crowd of leering Vikings stood around howling and waggling their fingers on either side of their heads. The Kaptain was convinced that his end was nigh when they started yelling at him in German about his father in Dusseldorf, when fate lent a hand. One of the local yokels made a pass at the Viking Queen, and in the ensuing chaos, the Kaptain managed to sneak out. As he glanced over his shoulder, he saw a Nekromatik and a huge Taggy Tone descending upon the would-be suitor.
     Just as the Kaptain was about to enter his tent, he saw the Viking Queen in an advanced state of disrobement trying to walk 'tightrope-style' along the roof of her tent. He observed in passing that that the top and bottom of her underwear was not matching, but soon dismissed the thought as having no relevance to his situation. As he lay down, he heard the sounds of merriment emanating from her tent. Obviously the head Taggy Tone had found her. The Kaptain fell asleep musing on the great difference between oral and aural sex.....
     Two hours later, he was rudely awakened by a massive Taggy Tone roadie. It transpired that they were to leave immediately for Jutland. Jutland! The Kaptain remembered the story of Beowulf, and braced himself. At any rate, this would hopefully keep him one step ahead of Doctor von Matzau, so he thought on balance that it was probably a positive move.
     A huge tent stood in a field called Van Nuys, surrounded by a curious mixture of 1950's American cars and Volvos. This was to be the place of the next concert. The Kaptain was given a meal, the main part of which consisted of a huge slab of beef. This was good stuff! Feeling full of confidence after surviving his first twenty-four hours, the Kaptain wandered off to marvel at a beautiful example of British engineering. In the corner of the field was 1950's MG sports car. He was standing looking at it, reminiscing about his collection of Dinky Toys when he was suddenly seized from behind by a man with a false beard and dark glasses. It was one of Doctor von Matzau's agents! Then a band of wandering Swedish gypsies appeared. They immediately decided to make a sacrifice of von Matzau's agent, but decided to keep the Kaptain for later entertainment.
     So it was that the Kaptain found himself sitting in a chair with a hot meal of potatoes, eggs and salmon with a small empty glass and a blue booklet of traditional Swedish drinking songs. By now the Swedish gypsies had dressed up as characters from the 'Blues Brothers' film. As soon as the meal was over, one of the Swedes filled the Kaptain's glass with curious yellow liquid and ordered him to drink it. The Kaptain gulped it down while the assembled Swedes sang something that sounded like 'inka galinka' and his head nearly blew off. This was the infamous home-made Swedish Schnapps, and it was surely powerful stuff! After each song, everyone had to drink another glass of this noxious brew. Eventually, the Kaptain managed to to secure his release by singing a song about an eel and an elk while at the same time drinking this stuff. The Swedes were obviously highly impressed with this feat, and he was invited to join their fertility dance, but he declined and left them to their heathen pleasures. As he made his departure, they started to dance around a curious structure in the shape of a cross with a circle hanging from each arm covered in ivy. The good Kaptain staggered across some fields and lakes leaving the squeals of Swedish delight far behind. Suddenly, he heard the throbbing sound of the slappin' bass and walked towards it. The by now familiar strains of Jess Taggy Tone's voice wrapping itself around Robert Palmer's 'John and Mary' wafted gently on the breeze as the Kaptain, head spinning from the Schnapps, staggered into the tent and fell into the arms of the Viking Queen.
     The chief roadie managed to revive him with a fearsome brown liquid concoction from behind the makeshift bar called 'Old Danish'. The Kaptain glanced towards the stage and his eye caught the sight of glistening gold coming from a battered old guitar case beside the stage. Was this the missing sacred bowl of Tastrup or some of the Danegeld that the Kaptain was trying to retrieve? He staggered over towards the glittering prize. Sadly, it merely turned out to be the imitation gold plating on a spare guitar. Siezed by a sudden impulse, the Kaptain strapped on the guitar and leaped onto the stage. The crowd roared wildly as he tottered drunkenly around in an illusory world where he imagined himself to be a composite of Cliff Gallup and Scotty Moore. The cheers soon turned to howls of derision when a Taggy Tones roadie mischeviously plugged in the instrument and the ensuing horrible cacophony generated by the Kaptain brought the music to an end. Somehow, the Kaptain managed to pacify the crowd with a recitation of Nervous Norvus's 'Wild Dogs Of Kentucky'. Fearing that they might not get paid as a result of Kaptain Zorch's antics, the Taggy Tones hustled him out of the tent and to his bed, and then they continued with the entertainment.
     Three more hours passed and it was morning. Consumed by hunger, the Kaptain re-entered the main tent to see a crowd of Vikings drinking beer and banging their fists on the tables. As he sat down with roll of stale bread and cold coffee, the rest of the Taggy Tones stumbled in looking somewhat the worse for wear. Realising that this was the moment that he had waited for, the Kaptain cast an ancient Celtic spell of enchantment over the weakened Taggy Tones and whisked out the contracts. As soon as they had signed, he released them from the spell. Once they had realised what had happened, they all agreed that the Kaptain was as resourceful and devious as any Viking, so they granted him a wish. The Kaptain wished them to come to Britain to play at the Fifth Big Rumble.
     The Kaptain made it past the massed ranks of Doctor von Matzau's agents at Copenhagen airport disguised as a football hooligan. As his plane took off, he saw them all milling angrily around the airport dressed in black and white suits wearing spectacles with no lenses in them. The Kaptain had survived forty-eight hours of life with the Vikings, and was at last heading home to the Island of the Mighty! Although the sacred bowl of Tastrup and the Danegeld were still in Denmark, he felt that he had accomplished the main part of his mission, because the signed contracts were in his briefcase!


 
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