Saturday, 26 December 2009


This was the most shambolic Freeze! i've ever witnessed.

The first sketch ends with Tim Key throwing his beer over Tom Basden and a blackout signifies the end. In this instance, the glass shattered and flew in Tom's direction. When the lights came back up Tim explained he was saying *insert last word in sketch here* (I can't remember what it was), but what he was really doing was "checking for blood on a handsome mans face". Tom didn't flinch and just continued like nothing had happened. I don't think I was the only one that winced as Tom wondered around stage in his socks and Tim continued to drink out of the broken glass.

There were was a new Christmassy sketch which I don't think went to plan. From what I can gather, the angel Gabriel (Tim) passed wind which the shepherd (Tom) picked up on (<-- I tried to put this in the nicest way possible), and ran with it. It turned into a blame game; hilarious! I enjoyed watching the new short clip of Santa unwinding after Christmas ('Santa and his elves') as well as the short film that Key and Basden had made many years ago which took place on New Years Eve.

There was a very weird moment just before the interval when an audience member put up their hand and asked Tim if they could go to the toilet and about 7 people followed suite. Tim asked Tom if he needed to go and he replied "I could probably go if I tried". Tim then told the audience they had to stay where they were while he and Tom left to "try and go". As he went to leave the room, those who needed the loo pushed passed Tim as he guarded the doorway.

At the last Freeze! I went to, they tried to show 'The Amazing Hedge Puzzle', but it refused to play halfway through and we ended up watching 'The One And Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island' instead. At this Freeze!, however, we got to to watch the film in it's entirety (good). The other short film we were shown was called 'Piano For Beginners'.

I enjoy when Tim joins in when Tom performs one of his musical numbers. Tonight the song was Champagne (a favourite!). We all had a sing-song with 'Jingle Bells' towards the end of the show. Fun times.

A thought.

Tomorrow I must leave the house and stop being a recluse.

The Fix Presents: An Un-royal Variety Performance.

With London covered in ice and snow, I had a horrible feeling that this gig would be cancelled. It had an incredible line-up (Pappy's, Adam Riches, Cardinal Burns, Boothby Graffoe with Antonio Fariconne, Tim Key, Mark Watson, Angelos Epithemou and MC, Richard Sandling), so I really wished it wasn't. It started half an hour later than scheduled and the audience was very scarse, but it did go ahead. It was an odd gig; good, but odd.

I haven't seen Pappy's since they became a 3 person sketch group and I did feel that something was missing (maybe it was just the big empty venue??). Tom Parry had me and fellow member, Ben Clark, in stitches during one of their sketches. Ben was laughing so much that Matthew Crosby told them off for drinking before the show and ended it prematurely.

I'd seen Cardinal Burns do the same set at Clark's at the 100 Club a few months back and loved it. It really isn't as enjoyable when the audience isn't willing to participate; such a shame. LOVE Dustin's dancing during 'Sex On Fire'.

I'd never heard of Boothby Graffoe before (i'm blaming my Australianism) and I found him utterly charming and a very talented musician. I must admit, I didn't hear a word he was singing because I was so engrosed in the music. Antonio Farricone played on his own during part of the set and recieved the biggest cheer of the night; an amazing giutarist!

After the interval Harry Deansway (the organiser of the gig) gave a small speech about how he was being sued because he couldn't pay back a loan and An Un-royal Variety Performance was to help pay The Fix's legal fees. I don't think it was intentional, but the mood in the room became flat; it was lifted when Tim Key graced the stage.

Tim started in the usual way - tie/beer/poetic stance/poem, but several minutes into his set he asked Harry (who was on the sound desk) how he thought his speech went. Harry told him it went alright and the banter (between Tim and Harry) continued until someone in the audience heckled "5 out of 10". It was very funny.

Key went down a treat. I do love his Christmas poetry, particularly the peom which begins with "Joseph tried to fuck Mary..." and the one about the elf who was making a toy and slipped and cut himself next to his dick (apparently it was with a screwdriver).

I've never seen Mark Watson give a set like he did at this event! It started off like it usually does and then 2 audience members (a man and a woman) walked out. Mark chased them and asked why they were leaving and the man said they "were going to see someone about a joke" and the lady said they "had to take a phonecall". Mark stayed in the audience to deliver the rest of his material, saying that he "liked to see the whites of our eyes". I laughed so hard when he said his tag line should be "Mark Watson: full of babies". I also liked the joke about how happy one gets when they're eating battenburg ("with all those coloured squares") and then you think "i'm going to die soon".

I've seen Angelos a few times before and his gags aren't as funny as the first time I saw it.

A thought.

I don't enjoy my comedy as much at this time of year - the vibe at gigs makes me feel uneasy.

Friday, 25 December 2009

9 Lessons And Carols For Godless People.

One year on (to the day), my friends and I took the same seats (front and centre), in the same theatre (Bloomsbury) for 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People 2009.

Once again, the event was hosted by Robin Ince and featured the likes of Richard Dawkins, Richard Herring, Chris Addison, Joanna Neary, Martin White and the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra, Robyn Hitchcock, Phillip Jeays, Brian Cox, Marcus Chown, Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden, Simon Singh, Josie Long, Big Howard and Little Howard, Jim Bob, John Otway and Baba Brinkman. Phew!

Martin White and the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra were the house band and played intro and exit music for the many performers as well as accompanying the musical acts. We were treated to 'Don't Discuss The Outside World' half way through the show; a very catchy song that was impossible to get out of my head the following day.

Richard Dawkins told a story featuring Jeeves and Wooster in which Jeeves explains his reasons for not believing in God to Wooster, a notion that Wooster warms to in the end. It was very entertaining.

Chris Addison gave a similiar set to last year. Hearing the material several times doesn't stop it from being funny, quite the opposite, I look forward to it. His T-Rex impressions are made of awesome. "Why won't anyone waltz with me? I'm not trying to cop a feel".

Last year it was 'I Can't Live (If Living Is Without You)', this year it was 'I'm Being Followed By A Moon Shadow' and it was just as good. Jo Neary as Pan's Person is wonderful and makes me smile on the inside and out.

When Robyn Hitcock took to the stage I had no idea what to expect (I was a bit like "riiiiiiiiiight". You know what I mean?). His rendition of 'Olé Tarantula' with backing vocals from several of the other acts was one of my highlights of the night (they hadn't practised, so Robyn gave instructions from the stage).

I really like Phillip Jeays' work, and I was a little bit disappointed that he only got to sing one song. 'What Would Singer's Sing' would just have to sufice until the next time I can see him.

I'd never heard Brian Cox live before (I occassionaly listen to The Infinate Monkey Cage on Radio 4, which he presents with Robin Ince) and I was very much looking forward to it. I sat in awe as he explained the underlying structure and building of the universe, the forces of nature, galaxies and particles. Some stunning images of planet Earth were projected onto the screen behind him during his set; if the subject matter wasn't blowing your mind enough, these images would certainly do the trick.

Ben Goldacre talked about the power of placebo. I think he wanted to cram a lot of information into his set and talked incedibly fast. Ben said his friend described it "like being skull-fucked by his data cock". Ha!

The audience were up on their feet by the end of Barrie Cryer and Ronnie Golden's 'Peace and Quiet'. It was definitely the pinnacle of the entire show, and I can't help but feel as though it should have been the closing set. Baba Brinkman's 'Rap Guide To Evolution' was good, but it was missing that "this is completely awesome!" moment.

I think I enjoyed the show a little bit more this year because of all the music. I know for a fact that i'll be back for more in 2010.

A thought.

I was listening to The Infinate Monkey Cage this morning and Chris Addison was talking about losing his faith and said that the most horrendous consequence of not having God in his life was that you lose your loved ones that have passed away all over again.

It really struck a chord with me; as soon as he said that the hairs on my body stood up on end and I burst into tears. I still get upset by the fact that there is no heaven.

Pajama Men.

I killed time on snowy Oxford Street until it was time to see Pajama Men at Soho Theatre. I'd seen the show in Edinburgh and enjoyed it, but I think I appreciated on a different level the second time. Genius!

Basically, Shinoah and Mark are character comedians and they play lots of different people who are on the same train. All of the characters die towards the end and it turns into a confession of why the murderer did what he did. It's actually quite touching as well as painfully funny.

There was part in the show where a ghost (Jennifer) and a 16 year old boy (Dan; he's "invinsible") share secrets by whispering into each others mouths. The secret telling kept going back and fourth and each time the secret receiver was getting more and more reluctant to open their mouth. I laughed so much I had a very sore tummy.

A review that is a lot more eloquent than mine can be found in the Guardian.

A thought.

I'm racking my brain as to the reason why a friend suddenly hates me so much. I can't think of one.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

The 100 Club Presents: Tim Key.

I booked myself a tickets as soon as I saw the line-up for this gig. Jon Richardson, Anna & Katy, Simon Brodkin, headliner Tim Key and MC David O'Doherty. Oh. My. God!

I took my seat just as David was taking to the stage. He did lots of material from O'Doh-Party, but in little slots. The first slot he did stand-up, and the next he sang a few songs, and the one after that he read from 100 Panda Facts. I hadn't heard one of the verses he sung in 'My Beefs 2009', but a friend told me that it was from 'My Beefs 2008'; it was very funny nonetheless. I loved the way he introduced Tim Key: he called him "cunt-flaps" and told the audience that they were going to get "jizzed all over with poetry" (ha!).

Jon Richardson was the first comedian on. He interacted with the audience a bit and got all embarrassed when someone said they were from Bow and then he said "oh Bow, it doesn't even have an 'o' in it. Wait, it does have an 'o' in it. I was thinking of the French spelling". He did about 5 minutes extra material because he "couldn't end with a mistake".

I'd been meaning to see Anna & Katy for ages as I had a feeling i'd like their comedy. I wasn't disappointed; they were ace! They compliment each other brilliantly throughout their slightly shambolic, often riduculous and random sketches.

Simon Brodkin was clearly trying out new material. Humphrey Ker interviewed Simon Brodkin (who played a famous footballer) and they read their lines off a script. His set was fine, but it needed to be edited and tweaked.

Tim gave a very funny set which was full of improvisation (love it!). He gave up on his poem about dew ("like it of loath it, we're all got an opinion") because it went on too long and had "got a bit long in the tooth".

I loved the part in his set when he talks about his Mum being such a great cook that she's able to whip away the crusts from a pizza and make a stock out of it. He then goes on to say his Dad is a terrible cook and once found him cracking a jar of ragú like one would crack an egg, and then calls him a cunt (or a penis or something equally awful depending on the night). On this occasion he called him a cunt and then said that he's never actually called him that before and that he'd give it a go on Christmas. He smiled and then said that he could picture his Dad coming to him on Christmas night with tears in his eyes and asking him "why he'd called him a cunt on Christmas morning".

My favourite poem at the moment is about a girl who has no money and wants to get a joint account with her partner. Her partner then bites her lip and draws blood, and then they're fighting about that and not all the joint account business. It's such a powerful piece.

It was an awesome night of comedy; such a shame that the room was only half full and had an odd vibe.

A thought.

I love it when comedians who i've see lots and lots improvise.

Mark Watson's Earth Summit.

In 2007 Mark Watson was chosen to attend Al Gore's climate project training program and now gives climate change lectures. I missed seeing 'Mark Watson's Earth Summit' in Edinburgh, so was delighted when he did a run at Soho Theatre.

Mark used a slide show and "jokes and facts" to teach us about global warming. We were told of the changes, what had contributed to climate change, what would happen if action wasn't taken, what governments are doing to try and stop climate change and things that we all could do to help ease the problem.

As we entered the room, Mark wrote funny little thoughts on his laptop that were projected onto a screen for the audience to read. It took my back to The 24 Hour show; nice memories.

A thought.

I'd know a lot more if the teachers at school used "jokes and facts".

Swan Lake And La Clique.

I hadn't been to 2 shows in 1 day since Edinburgh, but it was doable, so we did it. First show of the day was the matineé performace of Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and the second, La Clique.

When I was about 5 and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would always say "Margot Fonteyn". I gave up dancing when I was 12, but it still interests me greatly. It's quite odd that i've never been to a live ballet before; Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake lived up to all my expectations and then some.

The lead male dancers were the most equisite dancers i've ever seen in my life; I sat aghast the entire show. The part where all the male swans were dancing around the lake was my favourite. The choreography was just incredible.

The only criticism I had was the female ballerina's were wearing these high-heel type pumps and I wished I could watch them dancing in their points.

From here on in, I want to go to the ballet every Christmas.

I'd seen La Clique when it was at the Hippodrome earlier in the year and loved it. I was very lucky to have been given a free ticket to see it again, this time at the Roundhouse.

All the acts were varied and entertaining, with 4 performers (Mario, Ursula Martinez The Skating Willers and Marawa) coming back for the second run. Mario and The Skating Willers did the same set, but Marawa's and Ursula's were new.

Ursula Martinez's routine blew my mind; it's kind of like a stip tease meets a magic trick. Long story short, she ends up naked centre stage and makes a red hankerchief disappear and then reappear.

Le Gateau Chocolat had me in stitches with his raunchy, drag, operatic routines. He graced the stage 3 times during the show, each time was funnier than the last.

Samalvarez was the other stand-out for me. Think aerial flying with chains; extraordinary.

A thought.

I wonder what ballerina's think about when they're dancing a routine they've danced many, many times before.

Sunday, 13 December 2009


The months seem to be flying by, it felt like only a few weeks since I last attented An Event Of Some Kind. Two months? Seriously?

Don't Tread On Spiders and Witness To The Beard provided music, Tom Basden and Eric Lampaert provided comedy and, as always, H Anthony MC-ed the evening and provided thoughts/musing/poerty/music/comedy.

I arrived halfway through Witness to the Beard's first set as I had to do an odd job in Soho. They were my favourite band of the evening (I thought the drummer was particularly ace!). Don't Tread On Spiders were fine, but there was something about them that I didn't like very much. I think it was the fact that their sound and look was quite emo and young (teenage?) and they weren't all that emo... or young.

I'd seen Eric Lampaert at Fullmooners just before the summer, it was a drunk, late night crowd and Eric did what he had to do to make then laugh. Unfortunatley for my-sober-self I didn't find him very funny. I enjoyed his set at AEOSK, although I wasn't too keen on the fact that he kept asking the audience what they wanted him to talk about.

Tom Basden went down a treat. He played most of my favourite songs (even Champagne, which i've only heard on YouTube). He said he doesn't play songs like Wun Nee, Gang-bang Girl and Torture Chamber because his girlfriend doesn't like them. I do, I like them a lot. Do you know what would have really been great? If he sang some songs from The One And Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island. I know; it was never going to happen.

H Anthony is getting so good at this MC-ing business. One day i'd like to experience life from his perspective, it seems awesome. His beat poem about Christmas was the perfect end to a great night of entertainment.

A thought.

Are two jobs better than one?

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Time Out Presents: One Night Only.

Last night I went to the Bloomsbury Theatre (how middle class) for a Christmas event presented by Time Out. The bill was pretty good; i'd seen only 2 out of the 9 acts, which included Will Andrews, Sarah Pascoe, Rich Fulcher, Beardyman, The Boy With Tape On His Face, Idiots of Ants, Tim Key, Reginald. D. Hunter and MC, Jason Cook (as "An Elf").

I wasn't sure of Will Andrews' set to begin with, but he soon won me over. I'd like to check him out again in the near future, a longer set perhaps.

Growing up in Australia means that i'm not always up to speed with everything English. I really hate it when conversations turn to old English television programs/books/traditions because it usually goes over my head. I guess Sarah Pascoe has been in a lot of other programs besides The Thick Of It, but that is the only show I know her from. I really liked her material/delivery/dark sense of humour.

I'm not sure if I like or don't like Rich Fulcher. Some of his material I like (especially the bit about take-away chains) and other bits I don't really "get". His set was a lot better than the one I saw him give at Los Quattros Cvnts a few weeks back though.

I'd never heard of Beardyman before and he was one of my favourite performers of the night. He's essentually a beatboxer, but a humorous one at that. He really livened up the (quiet) audience.

The boy With Tape On His Face is just brilliant! Performers that rely a lot on audience participation can easily die an awful death, but not TBWTOHF.

Tim Key is always a favourite of mine. He got into the festivity of the evening by reciting some Christmas poetry. I loved the bit when he was talking about Santa and then looked up at the audience and said "you know Santa" (mimed a beard) "I wanted to say paedo then, but he wasn't always a paedo". I also like the bit when he talks about the things people have said/written about him and put certain words in inverted commas (e.g "poet").

I'm glad I got to see Reg. D. Hunter, i've been meaning to for ages. I like the way in which he tells a series of stories and ties them together at the end.

A thought.

All I can think about it sleep.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

O'Doh-Party. Again.

I love this show so much, I would happily go and see it again and again and again. It's full of so many fantastic songs and stories and quotes that I really want to remember, but I think my brain hates me because it's having so much trouble.

'My Beefs 2009' was my favourite song of the evening (however, I am always moved and always love 'Everything Is Not Shit').

There was an extra little story after he told of the dog he almost killed - an intelligent dog that's expression said "if only I wasn't trapped inside this furry kiosk". Apparently an audience member came up to him after a show who had actually killed a dog that she was looking after (I will leave you with these words: dead dog, suitcase, New York, subway, thief).

I enjoyed the slightly over-use of the word "whatevs"; his phrases always make me smile. Oh, and I really like the lyric "happiness is like an urban fox".

I'm not sure if anyone else has actually noticed that O'Doherty uses the same noise ("dooga-dooga-dooga") for sex and driving down a country road (complete with grass "brazilian") - makes me giggle.

I was totally oblivious to the fact that DO'D had an album out, but i'm pleased to say that i'm now the owner and listener of 'Giggle Me Timbers (Jokes Ahoy)'. I really reccommend buying it - it's so joyous. Also, I finally got around to ordering 100 Panda Facts too (hurry up Mr. Postman!).

A thought.

It's time to get healthy, no more "tomorrow".

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Karaoke Circus. Bethnal Green Working Man's Club.

I tend to stay well away from East London as it scares me, but I couldn't not go to Karaoke Circus! A seedy underground room that had a faint smell of wee didn't stop it being a wonderful night out; always such a joy.

There were lots of highlights and my favourites included: Tony Gardner and Ben Miller's impression of Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing 'Little Drummer Boy', Humphrey Ker (phwoar!) and Thom Tuck from The Penny Dreadfuls singing 'Dancing in the Dark', a young (and very charismatic) lad called Jack singing 'Mr Blue Sky', Margaret Cabourn-Smith singing 'All I Want For Christmas (she apologised because "it is impossible to not sound like a cunt while singing this song") and Chris Addison and Jessica Hynes singing 'Fairytale of New York' by The Progues.

My friend, Will, gave another storming performance (singing the male part of Sonny and Cher's 'I Got You Babe') and I found Anna Crilly (who sang 'Last Christmas with Katy Wix) very entertaining. Kevin Eldon used an immense amount of talent to give a flawless rendition of 'Everybody Hurts'; he never fails to blow me away when he performs. I think the image of Tom Parry from Pappy's jumping around in his boxers and a little bit of tin foil very disturbing - he shouldn't have jumped.

To end the night, all those who "karaoke-ed" got up onstage and belted out Bohemian Rhapsody. I think all Karaoke Circus' should end like this in the future.

Once again Martin White, Danielle Ward, David Reed (another phwoar!), Foz and The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra were a brilliant house band. Special mention to Helen Arney on clarinet who made me smile whenever I stole a glance - loved her enthusiasm.

A thought.

I really hate feeling down when there is no real reason for feeling that way. So frustrating.

Stefan Golaszweski Plays.

On Wednesday night I went to Bush Theatre to see two plays back-to-back 'Stefan Golaszewski Speaks About a Girl He Once Loved' and 'Stefan Golaszewski Is A Widower'.

I love the way Golaszewski describes people/events/situations. Somebody on Twitter said that it is "like a series of punches to the soul" and I couldn't have put it better myself; so captivating.

I really enjoyed '... Speaks About A Girl he Once Loved'. As I left the theatre during intermission, I felt all warm and uplifted with a touch of sadness. It's about a young lad who meets Betty (a girl that it "too good" for him) in a pub and have a very brief love encounter.

I saw '... Is A Widower' during the Summer and didn't enjoy it all that much and I still have the same opinion after seeing it a second time. There are some really lovely moments, but I don't feel the play works as a whole (still didn't like that the play is set so far ahead in the future and Stefan isn't very convincing old man). There have been a few changes since I saw it last, and i'm not sure it was for the better.

It was a very last minute decision to go and see 'Stefan Golaszewski Plays' and i'm glad I did.

A thought.

Wednesday is a very funny word.