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The Minstrel Succumbs To 'Blaaack Fever'

"The Minstrel" swears he is not the cause of the frenzied epidemic of "blaaack fever" that's sweeping the country in anticipation of next weekend's Bledisloe Cup rugby test against Australia - he's just the biggest symptom of it.

The Minstrel, Wellington musician and comedian Mark de Lacy, is marking this year's Bledisloe Cup with the release today of another of his patriotic New Zealand sports songs and, given the opposition, it could have no more fitting title than "Advance Australia Unfair". The song from his forthcoming "blaaack fever" album, is being released to the country's 120 leading radio and television stations.

It will be followed by a new song every fortnight until the All Blacks depart for the Rugby World Cup, coinciding with the succession of millennial sporting events involving New Zealand, including the Netball World Cup and the America's Cup.

"Advance Australia Unfair", this weeks release, will serve as a timely reminder of Australia's history of unscrupulous behavior towards New Zealand in sporting contests, such as the under-arm bowling incident, and its pilfering of New Zealand cultural icons like pavlova.

The Minstrel said he had been exposed to "blaaack fever" from birth, and long ago resigned himself to being one of the country's most visible carriers of the highly contagious disorder that sweeps the country in advance of major sporting and cultural events.

"With so much happening involving New Zealand on the eve of the dawn of the new millennium, "blaaack fever" has engulfed the country, and I've contracted one of the most virulent strains of it" he said.

"I've not only got all the worst symptoms - colour blindness, blinkered vision, pounding heart and adrenalin rushes - but every time I sing the songs the entire audience comes down with it too.

"And short of a heart transplant or frontal lobotomy, the only cure I can think of for it would be New Zealand becoming the seventh state of Australia."

The distribution of "Advance Australia Unfair" and other singles off the "blaaack fever" album to radio and television stations is being co-ordinated by Christchurch's Cookie Time company, and part of the profits from the sales will go to the Life Education Trust.


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