But there are pockets of resistance. Country is still big in East Anglia. A driving school near the Wash is called El Passo. And on Friday I spoke to the legendary Hank Wangford, fresh from a gig in Preston, under 24 hours from Worksop, en route for Harrogate and the Bottom Line, Shepherd's Bush, this Friday. Hank's day job is gynaecology. His real name is Sam Hutt; he took his name from Wangford in Suffolk because it had a ring to it. His current band is The Lost Cowboys.
Hank, it has to be said, did not seem overconcerned about reports of country music's demise. He was used to them, and, anyway he quite enjoyed flogging a dead horse around the land. He loved country, he said, for the words and the tunes, for 'rhinestones you find among the dross'. No, he said, country did not take itself entirely seriously: 'It's got this lovely irony in it.' Two of his favourite titles were 'Walk Out Backwards So I'll Think You're Coming In' and 'I'll Be Over You When The Grass Grows Over Me'. The Captain says: this is an art form which must not be allowed to die. His favourite title is 'Bury Me In My Shades'.