When Mike Batt asked viewers of his weekly streamed concerts to submit words for him to include in a new song, he probably wasn’t expecting the likes of “epistemological”, “Tony Blackburn’s House”, “wormtown” or “floccinaucinihilipilification”. But the five-time Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter took the challenge in his stride and wrote a whimsical blues/jazz song – Welcome To Wormtown.
“Shortly after I started doing my Wednesday night online shows a friend suggested I ask viewers to send in random words as a songwriting challenge. Using the hashtag #challengebatt people submitted hundreds of words – including trying to trip me up with hard ones like “antidisestablishmentarianism”! It was quite stimulating. I managed to use more than 30 of the words and it inevitably came out rather weird!”
Writing the song that weekend, Mike performed it during the subsequent live streamed performance to a great response and was encouraged to release it to raise money for the NHS Charities.
Mike called upon fellow musicians – Dominic Glover (trumpet), Ben Castle (clarinet), Nichol Thomson (trombone) and Chris Spedding (banjo) – who recorded their parts remotely. “I felt that my piano and vocals needed a New Orleans-style trad jazz band, so I rang some top musos who recorded their parts in lockdown home studios. Then the icing on the cake was Chris Spedding offering to put a banjo on it!”