Two coach-loads of fell-walking enthusiasts arrived home in Yorkshire late last night speaking of their anger and disappointment at being ‘ignored and disrespected’ at a concert featuring the singer Rufus Wainwright.
The concert, in London’s Royal Albert Hall, featured every single member of the Wainwright family but made no reference at all to the ‘godfather’ of fell-walking, Alfred Wainwright.
Keen walker Andrew Ward, 57, summed up the feelings of the group. ‘There was no problem when Rufus introduced his sister Martha Wainwright. That’s fair enough – she can carry a tune and looks like she could carry a sizeable rucksack, too. But just when we thought he’d get on to the main event – a shining eulogy in praise of his namesake featuring some of his favourite Yorkshire walks, perhaps set to music – Rufus dragged out his father Loudon Wainwright III.’
The group remained in their seats, reasoning that a video of Alfred Wainwright completing the famous Buttermere to Haystacks via High Stile Ridge walk would surely form the finale to the evening.
‘But there was just more songs about unrequited love, more mournful introspection and yet more bloody folk-singing Wainwrights – cousins, nephews, you name it. At no point was Alfred even name-checked. It was a disgrace.’
Mr Ward says they were sold the tickets under false pretences. ‘I definitely heard the lady in London say ‘yes’ or ‘mmm’ when I asked if there’d be alsooarts o'information abaht t’fell walkin 'n fims o' fred clamberin’ abaht ‘n ‘a’.
A spokesman for Rufus Wainwright said he had never heard of Alfred Wainwright but was willing to write a song about his life, assuming he could portray him as a melancholic, gay ex-crystal meth addict with family issues.