Tribute out of this world

Warrnambool Ukulele Group’s Annie Carmichael (left), Victor Reid and Kevin O’Toole pay homage to author Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) and mark Towel Day with a zany and fun performance at Gateway Plaza yesterday.

Warrnambool Ukulele Group’s Annie Carmichael (left), Victor Reid and Kevin O’Toole pay homage to author Douglas Adams (Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy) and mark Towel Day with a zany and fun performance at Gateway Plaza yesterday.

USUALLY at home in the bathroom or on a poolside deckchair, towels were celebrated in all their terrycloth glory as part of an unconventional performance yesterday.

Warrnambool Ukulele Group marked Towel Day — a wacky commemoration of the works of science fiction author Douglas Adams — by combining absorbent fabric and the Hawaiian musical instrument.

The group gathered at Warrnambool’s Gateway Plaza during the lunchtime yesterday to present a swag of toe-tapping tunes to passing shoppers, some pleasantly bemused, others warmly appreciative.

Along with ukuleles and towels, the group seemed to be channelling either British comedian Tommy Cooper or American musician Tiny Tim. Many of the group members were wearing either propeller hats, Turkish fezs, evening tailcoats, harem trousers and even Bob Marley-style wigs.

To explain this somewhat odd spectacle, Warrnambool Ukulele Group member Victor Reid said it was his idea to celebrate Towel Day in suitably outlandish fashion.

“I’m a huge Douglas Adams fan and the way you recognise Adams is through Towel Day, which is celebrated on May 25 right around the world,” Mr Reid said.

“Some groups hold parades, some have poetry readings, others do some sort of performance but the whole idea is to be as silly as possible. I managed to convince (the rest of the group) to get involved and here we are, all in the name of fun.”

Towel Day was first recognised weeks after the death of British author Douglas Adams in 2001 and has been marked each May 25 since. 

Adams was most noted for creating the book and television series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which blended science fiction and off-the-wall comedy.

Warrnambool’s ukulelists performed a range of towel-inspired songs including altering Nancy Sinatra’s 1966 hit These Boots Were Made for Walking into These Towels Were Made for Drying.

alex.sinnott@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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