Podcasts: Croppie Coffee, Episode Nine

Apr 17, 2023 | Books & Media

Croppie Coffee (Episode Nine)

Hosted by Simon Mumford & Connor Skerman
Available via Spotify

As a podcaster or someone who runs a website, you can find yourself having to make tough choices. The worst is when you’ve recorded an interview with a guest who is clearly self-absorbed and possibly in need of a psychiatric assessment. Should you run with the interview or not? Should you feel an element of sympathy for the guest, pull the interview and probably upset them in the process? Or just go with it and deal with any fallout after?

I get the idea the Croppie Coffee team had possibly ummed and aahed over the matter when it came to their interview with deluded, self-obsessed and probably deranged ‘Facebook personality’ Lawrence ‘Enzo Brabazon’ Gibson. Sat upon 45 minutes of audio issues and a constant stream of lies, hot air and self-hype from their guest, the valiant hosting duo of Connor Skerman and Simon Mumford probably thought sod it, took deep breaths and uploaded the episode to Anchor as their season one finale. It serves as a kind of manic, Max Ernst styled, surrealist book-end to some of the better previous episodes.

From the off it’s clear that Brabazon’s definition of truth isn’t one shared by most other people. He tells us that crop circles aren’t all about him, before spending the rest of the recording explaining how they most definitely are all about him. His name regularly appears in supernaturally made crop circles, you see. Regular readers will already know this and the methods Enzo will use to gain attention; The Croppie was recently provided with documentary evidence that Brabazon had been asking at least one very human circle maker to help with a formation containing the letters E,N,Z and O.

The nonsense and lies stack up thick and fast. Brabazon insists he saw unexplained aerial phenomena from Hackpen Hill in 2001. He references his video Circle Hunters but anyone who has watched it — and isn’t due for committal — will be able to see his ‘orbs’ are nothing but the headlights and tail-lights of vehicles. I recall his ‘line’ of red orbs were the lights from the Membury transmitter mast, filmed on a separate occasion as he wandered around the Wiltshire-West Berkshire borderlands, seeking a motor vehicle he had somehow managed to lose.

Moving on, Brabazon noticeably squirms, laughing uncomfortably when asked, with perfect (though unintentional) comic timing by Mumford, if he has ever made a crop circle. Enzo denies it of course, but we’ve seen that video of him on Silbury Hill talking about the circle in the field behind him which he paradoxically later claimed to have no knowledge of! Interestingly, Brabazon tells Mumford how those helpful orbs took him to Stanton St Bernard in 2021 to show him the crop circle they had made; at the time, he claimed to have been responsible for the formation, working alongside an orb called Marc Richards. The Croppie heard from an agricultural worker living in the area that Brabazon had even boasted to the farmer about his achievement!

One more example of Enzo’s attention-seeking lies concern the knotted ‘cage’ he found in the centre of the crop circle at Chute Causeway in 2022. This is now proof positive of the paranormal, but just a year ago Enzo rudely attributed it to a woman who has never admitted to making a crop circle, insulting her appearance as he did so. What changed? Oh, a microphone was put in front of him.

Given the weight of bullshit that Brabazon struggles to prevent from drowning him, it’s something of a minor miracle that he can come up for air to rant against the minds he believes are conspiring against him. Facebook, Wiltshire farmers and even a well known crop circle photographer become the focus of Enzo’s disjointed, paranoid wrath. Things culminate with Brabazon bizarrely suggesting his supposed enemies accused him of flashing at old ladies. The discomfort and bemusement in Connor Skerman’s voice are very noticeable, but the host professionally moves things along. It’s a moment that more experienced editors would have left well away from the published episode, but I was tickled to hear its inclusion. I wonder if Skerman awoke that same night, asking why such a persecuted guest would have then gone on to shamelessly plug the cropwatch he’s holding at Hackpen Hill, starting 18 May 2023? A disaster of one sort of another is on the cards with that event.

So … Croppie Coffee … series one is in the books. It had an uncomfortable start and ended with this completely barmy episode based around the testimony of an excessively animated fiction author. Between these two shows there has been much more worthy, considered and interesting content, especially the thoughts of croppie Paul Stillwell, the recollections of Alton Barnes resident Polly Carson and the insight provided by land artist Francesco Grassi. These are the episodes people should listen to and the type of guests the show should be doing more to attract. Hopefully Skerman and Mumford will have learnt from the experience of their first adventures in podcasting and will gain more understanding through a season spent in the crop circles of southern England. It will make them or break them.