Wigan artist George Formby’s famous song is remastered with a punk rock twist

Rob Hughes, from Golborne, is a support worker with a keen interest in music and recently worked on a reimagined version of a song by the iconic Wiganer.

The 48-year-old hopes to modernize some classic hits by churning out covers with a twist, with his first release coming soon.

While taking elderly customers out for the day, Rob often listens to music of their choice including songs by George Formby.

Rob Hughes

Also from Wigan, Formby was known worldwide for his various performances, appearing in over 20 films, but most importantly for his musical talent, often playing the ukulele or banjolele.

Rob said: “Everyone has heard of George Formby, especially in Wigan. Especially as I got older and was a musician myself, I noticed how talented he was.

Wanting to honor his legacy, Rob researched covers of Formby songs and noticed others playing banjo in their versions of hits such as When I’m Cleaning Windows.

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George Formby

He was surprised to find that no one had attempted to modernize his music and thought there was potentially a gap in the market for a punk rock version of the famous songs.

Working on it in his spare time after work, in his home studio, it took two months to complete his version of When I’m Cleaning Windows and still features the ukulele, which Rob learned specifically for this project.

Rob said: “His work is definitely timeless and I think it would fit into any genre. It’s a modern and unique cover – why not give it a try?

“If there’s enough interest, I’d like to do more and even release an album in the future of just George Formby covers.”

Illustration of Punk Baby with mascot Vernon

The unsigned musician goes by the name Punk Baby and works with friend Nathan Kilburn, who produces the art, including mascot Vernon.

Coverage of When I’m Cleaning Windows will be available to purchase and stream starting Saturday, August 27.

Diana J. Carleton