Loyd Grossman plays Glastonbury warm-up gig at Norwich pub
- Credit: Steve Adams
He is well-known as a former Masterchef presenter, for his range of pasta sauces and his inimitable accent.
But fewer people know of Loyd Grossman's passion for music, and his career as an accomplished guitarist.
This month his punk band The New Forbidden will play the Glastonbury festival for a sixth year, and last night they were in Norwich to perfect their live show.
Mr Grossman, joined by vocalist Valentine Guinness, spoke ahead of their warm-up gig at the Murderers pub in Timber Hill, and told how they would play Glastonbury's Avalon Stage on Thursday, June 23.
'We like to think we open the festival,' grinned Mr Grossman. 'It's like a circus big top and it's covered, which is a plus as it attracts rain.
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'It's an amazing experience. The Thursday night is so wonderful as everyone is fresh.
'They haven't got too overexcited and they're ready to begin the weekend.'
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The former presenter of Through The Keyhole has played in bands for years, and said the key musical influences of his latest project included Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and the Ramones.
'The songs are very carefully crafted pop songs but delivered in a rocky idiom, and they're very energetic,' he said. 'We're not that subtle.'
He said he first visited Norwich decades ago to see the cathedral, and in fact he will return on Wednesday in his capacity as chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust – the national charity protecting historic churches at risk.
Mr Guinness said: 'People are always very surprised when I tell them I'm in a band with Loyd Grossman. He's quite unusual as a celebrity as literally everyone from the age of 10 to 100 knows him as his ugly mug is on the pasta sauce jars.'
He revealed that it had become Glastonbury tradition for crowds to chant 'we love Loyd's pasta sauce' at them, to the tune of Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay, and some people come up with jars to be signed.
'It's all good,' said Mr Grossman. 'Anything that gets people to the gig.'
Mr Guinness added: 'Their expectations are usually very low, and they go away genuinely surprised.'