IT SEEMS as though everything Ade Edmondson turns his hand to becomes a success.

With Rik Mayall he was at the forefront of the ‘alternative’ comedy movement of the 1980s which led to cult comedy series The Young Ones and Bottom. He’s been a successful actor appearing in the likes of Jonathan Creek and Holby City, he’s been a TV presenter and he even won Celebrity Masterchef.

But at the moment you suspect he’s at his happiest playing with his band The Bad Shepherds, who come to Colne Muni on Thursday, May 15.

“I still don’t really know what I am,” said Ade, “but I do know that I’m having fun doing whatever it is I’m doing.

“I really enjoyed my time working with Rik but I didn’t want that to be the only thing I would be remembered for. That was 10 years ago and, looking back on what we did, I’m really proud of it.”

The Bad Shepherds first toured in 2008, playing classic songs from the punk and new wave era on folk instruments.

The current line-up includes Troy Donockley, recoginsied as one of the folk world’s leading instrumentalists, Tim Harries on double bass and Tery Bryant on percussion.

“It just started off with me and Troy messing around with a few songs to see if they would work,” said Ade. “I think it is testament to the quality of many of the songs we do that they work performed on folk instruments. They were, in effect, folk songs in the first place.”

After a few low-key outings, the Bad Shepherds have beome festival favourites and their tour dates invariably sell out.

The Colne date is part of an extension to the 2013 UK tour and the band are currently completing a series of dates in Australia.

“We do it because we love it,” said Ade. “I think know we really see ourselves as a band and I also think that audiences have grown to realise that too.

“I suspect that at first people weren’t sure but, having come to our gigs, they see that we treat the songs with respect.”

The Bad Shepherds were nominated in the best live act category in the 2012 British Folk Awards, which further removes the idea that they are something of a novelty band.

“Having musicians in the band as talented as Troy helps,” said Ade, who plays mandolin as well as being lead singer.

“I think that over time I am definitely better than competent as a musician but not in the other guys’ class. I’d say that being a backer of tunes is my forte.”

As well as covering songs as diverse as the Sex Pistols’ Anarchy in the UK to Elvis Costello’s Shipbuilding, the band also include a couple of original numbers in their set.

The Bad Shepherds will be appearing at festivals across the country this summer but after that Ade is not sure what the year holds.

“I did start to write a novel in the Nineties and I’d like to get round to finishing that off at some point,” he said.

Given his track record, chances are it will be a best-seller.

  • Adrian Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds, Colne Muni, Thursday, May 15. Details from 01282 661234.