Saturday, 4 September 2010

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2010. Day One.

Kevin Eldon is Titting About at The Stand.

This show was one hell of a Fringe debut! Eldon combined lots of little bits and pieces that he's good at into the hour - characters, music, stand-up. Intimate and high energy; completely ace.

Simon Munnery: Self Employed at The Stand.

Like Josie, Munnery starts the show off with character comedy before doing about 45 minutes of straight stand-up. He played a french waiter at La Concepta Restaurant - brilliantly absurd and silly stuff.

I'd heard quite a bit of the stand-up before, which didn't diminish it at all. He reminded me so much of John Hegley.

Joe Lycett and Andrew Ryan - An Hour Of Humour at The White Horse.

The room at the back of The White Horse was packed to the rafters for the Free Fringe event, so much so, that I had to perch on a stool at the foot of the stage.

Andrew does pretty standard stand-up, but his charm wins you over. Every time he said "tank" (as in "thank"), I smiled from the inside, out. Gosh, I love accents.

Joe does quite whimsical observational comedy and is incredibly lovely. I was chosen to hand him little bits of paper with subjects written on them from a folder to determine what he would talk about next.

Adam Hills Mess Around.

Basically Adam Hills creates a new show every night based on audience members and only a few rehearsed stories to bulk it out. Very funny and very brave. It was ace to spend time with my friend Sam whom I don't get to see very much.

Tripod Versus The Dragon.

I don't know much about Dungeons and Dragons, but that didn't stop me from enjoying Tripod's show (a musical based on said game). The 3 lads have a wonderful chemistry and Elana Stone has the most wonderful voice (and is very nice to look at). It massively overran which meant I was very late for Gutted.


Simply BRILLIANT. Cast, band, music, lyrics, dialogue... I don't know what else to say. The Penny Dreadfuls have the best musical number. Thom Tuck and Colin Hoult's performances were outstanding.

A thought.

Sam, of 'Or So I Thought...' fame, is an immensely talented writer. His blog 'Why Cowards Is At The Centre Of Comedy' is one of the best blogs I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Summer Blogging Vacation. August.

1st: Josie Long - Be Honourable at Hen and Chickens.

Josie's show will fill you, as it did me, with happiness. It touches on her health kick/personal overhaul (which sparked her love of porridge/breakfast), her idols and issues that she feels passionate about. I absolutely adored the character comedy at the beginning of the show.

5th: Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire at the Roundhouse.

I'd not seem Michael Legge do stand-up before and I quite enjoyed watching him be funny and angry at the same time. Not quite on par with Robin Ince, though.

The show required help from the audience and this particular audience was pretty shit.

A thought.

What a pointless and stupid article from Chortle. Hooray for Katy Brand, William Andrews and Michael Legge (<--- win).

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Summer Blogging Vacation. July.

This is going to be long. Strap in, folks.

5th: John-Luke Roberts and Jonny Sweet previews at The Invisible Dot HQ.

It was the first time i'd seen John-Luke Roberts and thought he was ACE. I was a little bit worried after seeing Jonny's preview. I shouldn't have worried, the finished show was bloody good.

10th: The Penny Dreadfuls at Greenwich Theatre. Fullmooners at Undererbelly on the Southbank.

I spent the day in Hyde Park with some lovely Watsonians before heading to Greenwich.

A very polished preview by The Penny Dreadfuls; I love Mr. Princess. Steve Hughes, Adam Bloom and Abandoman were the guests at Fulllmooners. Sir Tim saved a tree from catching on fire during the last post - HILARIOUS.

14th: Robin Ince's Bad Book Club at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

Neil Edmond did some brilliant miming while Robin read from his killer crab books and 'The Secret World of Men'. Joanna Neary did some wonderful character performances - she's ace. Ronnie Golden and Phill Jupitus also gave good sets.

21st: Carl Donnelly and Jon Richardson previews at Fat Tuesday.

Carl Donnelly made my face ache from laughter. Wasn't that impressed with Jon; he seemed pretty up tight.

23rd: From Russia With Love at St. Anne's Church.

I went to see the Docklands Sinfonia because Nick Mohammed was playing violin. It was so good! Especially the Trumpet Concerto with Philip Cobb.

24th: Mark Watson - Do I Know You? at Riverside Studios.

A few Watsonians and I went to see one of Mark's last previews ahead of the Fringe Festival. The battenburg and sneezing bits still slay me.

25th: Antiquity Recording at BBC Broadcasting House.

Written by John-Luke Roberts and Gareth Gwynn and performed by Nadia Kamil, William Andrews, David Reed, Tim McInnery and Andrew Sachs. LOVED IT! More please, BBC.

27th: Gutted at Riverside Studios.

This was the second and final full run through of Gutted before they took up residence at Assembly Rooms on George Street. The Penny Dreadfuls and Colin Hoult stole the show - such talented chaps. I had the songs going around in my head for at least 2 days after seeing the show... "no one understands you like we do".

29th: Reggie Watts at the Bloomsbury Theatre.

Holy crap this man is INCREDIBLE! Some amazing physical comedy in between the music/beat boxing/singing/stand-up.

31st: Pappy's - All Business at Riverside Studios.

I find Tom Parry absolutely hilarious. He just has to stand on stage and i'd burst out laughing. The show is such a joy to watch; a barrel of fun. If you don't want to get 'Baby' by Justin Bieber stuck in your head, you probably shouldn't see it.

A few sketches in, Matthew Crosby piped up with "oh, we should say, we can't write sketches".

A thought.

Why on earth would Heidi Montag do that to her beautiful face and body? Plastic Surgery is evil.

Summer Blogging Vacation. June.

It wasn't intentional, but it did happen. Sorry.

28th: Tim Key's Work In Progress at The Invisible Dot HQ.

It was so hot. So, so hot. It wasn't helped by the fact that Key wouldn't let anyone open the door. It was also very long. There was an interval and a set by Tim's tech, Fletch. A gentleman from the BBC had got progressively drunk throughout the course of the evening and started to heckle towards the end of the show.

Best ad lib: "it's so hot in here that Simon has just used the tummy bit of his t-shirt as a face mop".

30th: Karaoke Circus at The 100 Club.

With the Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra! I thought the punters out did the guests on this occasion. Kevin Eldon with 'Witchita Lineman' was a favourite. Oh, and there wasn't enough Tony Gardner.

Best heckle: "you've got clown on you!".

A thought.

I saw Toy Story 3 about a month back and felt genuinely nervous when Andy's toys were about to be played with for the first time in years. A bit odd, really.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Four.

Five months in! That went fast. The fourth update is late - no surprise there. My challenges can be found here. Now let's begin.

1) I was half-way through 'Bad Science' by Ben Goldacre and then I bought 'Eleven' by Mark Watson and HAD to read it as soon as possible. My goodness it was good! I devoured it 4 days; taking the bus instead of the tube and even reading before bed.

I thought all the characters were great, especially Xaviour and Pippa. Lots of the characters intertwined without actually meeting which was very clever, I also liked the lovely little descriptions and throw-away facts upon introduction.

A real page turner. I highly recommend it.

2) I'm not doing too well at this. I'm considering dropping it and maybe set a scrapbooking challenge which i've been meaning to do for 3 years. I'm just way too shy around people I don't know and just the thought of talking to strangers makes me panic. I stumbled on my words when asking Reggie Watts for his signature and then beat myself up about it on the way home.

I have kept clippings from newspaper/magazines and concert tickets for aaaaaages and i'd really like to scrapbook them for safe keeping. Organisation will be a self-improvement. Self-confidence will, hopefully, come with time (the weight loss is helping a bit already).

3) Um. This is turning out to be trickier than I thought, there really aren't enough hours in the day. I blogged about Latitude Festival and it received 75 views in 2 days! I was well chuffed.

It's one week until I head up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and i'm determined to catch up on a month's worth of blogging before then. Wish me luck.

4) Need to do better. To be honest, i'm dieting and my thoughts are all about food at the moment...

5) I wrote to my Uncle who I hadn't spoken to in months and months. We're planning to catch up when I go home in March; good stuff. This morning I sent an email to an old friend and got quite a long reply. Not too sure what to say about this, though:

"i joined the liberal party and the young libs so have been pretty busy being involved in all that but i luvvvvv it, its way awes. it is what comedy is to you, to me. i have found somewhere i belong lol".

6) This is going great guns! I have now lost 8 kilos! YESSSSSSS.

A thought.

I'm doing pretty well on my Mark Watson spotting. Bring on Edinburgh, I say. Points, points, points.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Latitude Festival. Day Four.

Rough (looks-wise). Hot (weather-wise).

11.00 Film & Music Arena: Armina Present Animagica. 3 talented musicians provided the arrangements for 3 short films; pretty incredible.
12.15 BAFTA: Q&A with the cast of The Inbetweeners. It was hosted by Rick Edwards. I enjoyed seeing the cast's favourite scenes and hearing about some on set stories. Blake Harrison robot danced!
13.30 Adam Buxton: BUG. Buxton did a condensed version of the set he did at the 100 Club. While a few tech problems were fixed he sang the Festival Song.
14.30 Comedy Arena: Marlon Davis. Not my cup of tea.
15.00 Mark Watson. He had lots of fun with the kids in the front row and swore loads. A 9 year old mouthed the word "cunt" at Mark after he'd asked the young boy if he knew the "4 letter 'C' word".
15.35 Oblisk Arena: Mumford and Sons. Soooo good, but their set was way too short.
16.00 Abandoman.
16.30 Rufus Hound. He had his face painted like a hound; ha!
17.00 Richard Herring. Accompanied by a signer.
17.50 Simon Evans. A little bit old fashioned for my liking.
18.20 Emo Philips. As good as i'd hoped.
19.30 Literary Arena: Q&A with Emily Woolf. I didn't know who she was, but I managed to get a cushion and wasn't moving.
20.20 Robyn Hitchcock. The talky-bits in between the songs were hilarious.
20.30 Joel Dommett. I like Joel Dommett.
20.50 Mark Watson - Eleven. The funniest and most entertaining book reading i've ever been to. Mark only managed to read the first page after he'd engaged in some audience banter, told some anecdotes about the book, talked about his day, answered some questions and announced that he was drunk. I managed to buy the last copy of the book and get it signed - yay!
22.05 Jim Bob - Storage Stories.
00.00 The Waterfront Stage: Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn's Stories for the Starlit Sky. I fell asleep. Sadface.

A thought.

I love Latitude. Lots and lots and lots.

All the photos used in my Latitude blogs are courtesy of Maddie. Maddie has cool hair and glasses.

Latitude Festival. Day Three.

Slept like a log. In hindsight, we shouldn't have camped so close to the toilets...

11.00 Poetry Arena: Luke Wright. We watched Luke while waiting for the rain to clear and sadly, it was the only time I saw him during the festival.
11.20 Joe Dunthorne. He taught the audience how to write poems. The first step is "notice birds". Hee!
12.10 Literary Arena: Robin Ince's Book Club; Pointless Anger & Righteous Ire with Kevin Eldon, Josie Long and Dr. Ben Goldacre. Goldacre talked about the twitter incident with Gillian McKeith - BRILLIANT.
13.15 Cabaret Arena: The Al Pitcher Picture Show. Really enjoyable; Al Pitcher is good at audience banter.
14.15 Dusty Limits. Good voice.
14.30 Cardinal Burns. I don't think their Turkish taxi driver sketch will ever stop being funny.
15.30 Fancy Chance and Des O'Conner.
15.45 Frisky & Mannish. They packed the tent out. A good follow-up show, but not as good as their first in my opinion.
16.25 Comedy Arena: Mickey Flanagan.
17.40 Literary Tent: Jeremy Hardy - My Family and Other Strangers.
18.00 Caberet Arena: Fergus Craig. I like him. I like him a lot.
18.15 Idiots of Ants.
19.15 The Midnight Beast. Teenage YouTube sensation; there was almost a stampede (/exaggeration).
19.40 Ward and White's Karaoke Circus with Ben Miller, David Cross, Josie Long, Kevin Eldon, Robin Ince, Phill Jupitus and a very brief appearance by Rufus Hound. My friend Maddie sang 'Life on Mars' - awesome.
21.00 Oblisk Arena: Belle & Sebastian. A very long set. Good stuff.
00.00 The Waterfront Stage: Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn's Stories for the Starlit Sky. More of the lovely.
01.00 Literary Arena: Robin Ince's Book Club; The Terrifying Killer Horror Musical. Neil Edmond did some great miming while Robin Ince read from his killer crab books. The usual suspects helped with the addition of Amy Butterworth.

A thought.

The image of Jim Bob watching The Midnight Beast while eating a Flake 99 will never cease to make me smile.

Latitude Festival. Day Two.

Felt a bit cold in the night and woke up very hot. Washed, changed, queued for ages to get through the entrance gates and headed towards the Comedy Arena.

11.00 Phill Jupitus & Friends Improv Show. The tent was packed, so I had to use my ears and not my eyes. A bit shit when it's improv.
12.15 Craig Campbell. I can't even remember what he looked like. Oops.
12.45 Doc Brown. I really, really, really like Doc Brown; very original.
13.15 Stephen K. Amos. He used material from years ago... so did most of the comics, actually (except Mark Watson and David O'Doherty).
14.15 Seann Walsh. Finished his set by saying "can I go now?" to the compere backstage. I don't think he enjoyed it very much.
14.45 Miles Jupp. He appealed to the very middle class audience and reminded me of Humphrey Ker.
15.45 Caberet Arena: Tom Basden. One of my highlights of the festival. He performed off the stage, just in front of the audience, and did quite a bit of interacting. He took a few requests (Mamma Mia was one of them) and played his Neighbours song (love it!).
16.45 Chris Ramsey. LIKE.
17.15 Comedy Arena: David O'Doherty. So good! A mix of old and new stuff. The panda facts went down a treat. Yay!
18.40 Oblisk Arena: Laura Marling. She was my favourite musical act of the festival - AMAZING.
20.00 Empire of the Sun. Pretty good and very, very quirky. Dancers with swordfish heads anybody?
21.00 Florence and the Machine. I was a a long way back so didn't enjoy it as much as I should have done. 'Drumming Song' was EPIC.
22.00 Literary Salon: Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra. A tiny, quaint tent which added to the performance. I loved 'The Taste of Hair' and Jim Bob's 'Angelstrike'.
00.00 The Waterfront Stage: Daniel Kitson and Gavin Osborn's Stories for the Starlit Sky. Lovely, lovely, lovely. The first story is my favourite.
01.00 Literary Arena: Robin Ince's Book Club; Cockney Singalong. The same line-up as the night before with the addition of Helen Arney and Gavin Osborn. SO MUCH FUN.
01.30 Pappy's. Face-achingly funny. I laughed so hard at Tom Parry trying to pogostick across a very tiny stage; he broke two mic stands.

A thought.

I wanted to dance so bad at the cockney singalong, but my self-consciousness got the better of me. Damn it.

Latitude Festival. Day One.

We arrived at around 4pm, set up camp and headed into the site. Putting up the tent was made extremely hard to put up thanks to strong winds...

19.00 Literary Arena: Josh Widdicombe.
19.30 Wondered about, ate and chatted. The food at the festival was good.
23.00 Robin Ince's Book Club with Kevin Eldon, Jo Neary, George Egg, Neil Edmond, Martin White, Steve Pretty, Nathan Hamer, John-Luke Roberts, Nadia Kamil, Richard Sandling, James Dowdeswell, Phill Jupitus and Catharine Rogers.

Best bits: Martin and Steve going head-to-head to see who could make the best music accompaniment for photos in a book entitled 'The Secret World of Men'. At one point Robin held up a picture of a naked man sitting on a wicker chair to Martin and said "with this picture you have to convey a man getting his penis stuck in a wicker chair". I also loved Nadia and John-Luke's "Alistair McGowan" sketch.

A thought.

Every day should finish with Robin Ince's Book Club.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Comedy Nights: Stewart Lee. Lyric Hammersmith.

My friends and I watched England bow out of the World Cup to Germany before making our way West to the Lyric for Comedy Nights featuring Stewart Lee, Bridget Christie, Freeze!, Peter Serafinowicz and Richard Herring. Such a good gig!

Freeze! were by far my favourite act. Tim and Tom did a this choreographed dance to Los Campasinos' 'You! Me! Dancing!' and it was truly wonderful. I'm 100% sure they made many a new fan.

Serofinowicz had good material, but the delivery was extremely clunky. Not much else to say, really.

Lee and Christie did material i'd previously heard - both solid performances. I'd like to be as trendy as Bridget Christie please. Okay? Thanks.

I'm not a big fan of Richard Herring's audience chat... I thought his routine from his new show, 'Christ on a Bike' was genius, though. I'll have to try and catch a preview.

A thought.

I've watched about 4 football matches in my lifetime. The game between Ghana and Uraguay has been the best so far; I got very excited.

Feature Spot Presents Stewart Lee.

The wonderful Stewart Lee was joined by Joe Wilkinson, Mike Wozniak, Andrew Lawrence and MC, Henry Paker at Feature Spot's residence, the 100 Club. It was a warm evening and England had won their world cup match earlier in the day which meant the audience were a little bit drunk and irritable.

I like Paker's sense of humour and audience banter, but he fell a bit flat at times. "Erection by placebo" and his story about un-reading books rocked! He has quite a similar style to Mike Wozniak and I think their Edinburgh show, 'The Golden Lizard' , is going to be A-MA-ZING.

I've gushed about how bloody good Joe Wilkinson is in past blogs and i'm going to gush again. So there. I particularly liked his stories about why his Mother believes in ghosts and how all babies stare at him. Go and see this man do stand-up! You won't be sorry.

Mike Wozniak's material was based on trying to have a baby. He was a little bit shouty and erratic, but thoroughly enjoyable. The audience seemed a little confused... Wazniak has the most incredible moustache!

Andrew Lawrence, in my humble opinion, got the best reception of the evening - he totally killed it! It was the first time i'd seen him and certainly not the last. It's almost as if he uses stand-up to let of steam at all the things that get his goat and the audience (including myself), were lapping it up.

Stewart Lee started with tried and tested material about emigrants and quality of life before moving onto new stuff that he'd written the day before. It was based around celebrities and charity and boy was it funny.

Feature Spot returns in September at the Tabernacle with Adam Buxton, Tim Key, Rufus Hound and Carl Donnelly!

A thought.

It would be impossible to be any good at sport (e.g fencing) when suffering from hay fever.

Red In The Face At Vibe.

I like free gigs. I like free gigs with Tom Bell, Tasha Dhanraj and James Acaster even more. A little bit hit and miss at times, but all in all, a good evening was had. I hadn't been to a straight stand-up gig in an age!

There was an Australian bloke in the audience that was the cheeky-loud-chappy-type and received quite a bit of attention. He got up with Tom Bell after the intermission and acted out the story of two sperms swimming towards an egg and halfway there, realised they were gay. Really enjoyed Bell's "Animal Pub" tales, too.

Tasha is a very, very talented and confident young comic. I expect wondrous things from her in the not so distant future. The jokes about her heritage were hilarious.

James Acaster is a total legend! There were 3 big, burly men standing at the bar who'd had far too much to drink and started heckling through James' set. You could see he was trying to ignore it but after one of them told James he "needed them", a battle of words began. Tom Bell cheered James on (as did the audience) from the side of the stage and told him to "tag if you need [me]".

The night finished on a bit of a downer when my friend got her iPhone stolen.

A thought.

One side of my brain is quite bright and the other side is painfully thick. They fight constantly.

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Three.

Update two was 1 day late and update three is 3 days late. It's sunny and warm and I really have to make the most of it. I think what i'm trying to say is, i'm not sorry.

My initial challenges can be found here. This is how i'm progressing:

1) I've just finished Alex Horne's 'Wordwatching' and i've started Ben Goldacre's 'Bad Science'.

Alex still needs our help to get one of his words in the dictionary. The most promising words can be found here. However, my favourite words are:

paddles n. (plural): Hands

honest adj. (euphemistic): Fat

If you want to find out more visit Oh, and I really recommend reading the book! Pages 138/139 and 284/285 were the best.

2) There was one major missed opportunity this month. The opportunity arose before the show which isn't an ideal time to be introducing myself to the MC, to be honest (honest/honest not fat/honest!).

Also, I waved across the room at someone I wanted to talk to, but didn't get around to a chat. I wrote them a facebook message the next day apologising which is something I wanted to avoid. Ho hum.

I have been saying hello/chatting with a lot of acquaintances lately. I am improving, little bit by little bit.

3) So, onto the thorny issue of keeping an updated blog...

To catch up this month I have written weekly, condensed blogs. At the time of writing this TYSIC update, I have a week and a half of shows to review. These, I hope, will be 1 blog per gig.

4) I'm doing pretty well at writing down all my thoughts. I lost quite a few the other day when I put an apron full of Post-it notes through the wash. I need to buy and notepad to keep them all together.

5) I wrote to my Mum's cousin's wife (mouthful) with my news and asked if I could come and visit. They're going abroad for the summer, so i'll have to go and visit in September.

I also wrote a friend in Melbourne, but I haven't heard back yet.

6) I have been kicking arse on my diet! So far I have lost 5 kilos. It's mainly been through eating; I need to work on increasing my exercise.

A thought.

When i'm tired I have the most irrational thoughts.

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Again. Week Five.

Freeze!. Invisible Dot HQ.

I think this has been my favourite Freeze! i've ever seen; it even trumped their Christmas show! Tom Basden was on fine form and treating us to his owl song and 'Mamma Mia' (with backing vocals from Tim Key).

Before 'The One and Only Herb McGwyer Plays Wallis Island' was shown, Tom showcased his nature mockumentary; ACE. Best line: "the giraffe has the longest neck in the animal family... except for the snake which is pretty much all neck".
Once again, cracking banter between the two.

The Horne Section. Invisible Dot HQ.

The best preview/show in London at the moment; such a wonderful, wonderful, joyous thing. I was lucky enough to be chosen to play 'Battleships' (which has a very catchy theme tune) and won! I was also featured in the closing song "when all is said and done, i'll be your friend forever...". The 3 Jo/Joe's in the room were strategically placed at one point to make a Joparallelogram - fun.

Tim Key and Steve Hall each did a short set in between the songs and silliness. Steve Hall was a little bit vulgar for my liking.

Dressing, Gown And Slippers.

Jenni Armstrong and Freya Slipper are comedy duo 'Dressing, Gown and Slippers'. Their show tells the story of how Duncan Bannatyne's daughter and an Indonesian tribesman (tribeswoman?) became the greatest comedy act of all time (and their less than glamorous fall from grace).

I did lots of smiling and even more laughing. Armstrong and Slipper are a talented pair.

Up The Creek.

I've heard only good things about this comedy club and their line-ups are amazing, but the fact that it is on a Sunday night and all the way in Greenwich has always put me off. This one was different. This one had David O'Doherty, Russell Howard and Al Pitcher. I had the best time and am very eager to go back - I adore that club!

Al Pitcher deserves kudos for his wonderful audience banter; total ledge! Russell Howard was full of funny anecdotes, actions and voices. There wasn't anything in his material that really stood out, but I had a severe jaw ache from laughing after his set.

A bearded David O'Doherty was on fine form as he tested out new material for is up and coming Edinburgh show, 'Somewhere Over the David O'Doherty'. There were quite a few stories and songs about relationships and a bloody brillaint song about bike repair advice (do not use WD40 on your bike!). My favourite part of his set was his story about travelling on a train with his keyboards.

A thought.

Is it still socially acceptable to wear your jumper around your waist?

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Again. Week Four.

Reprieve 'Laughter/Pain' Benefit Gig.

This gig was organised to raise money for Reprieve and featured the likes of Isy Suttie, Robin Ince, Ed Byrne, Andy Zaltzman, Phill Jupitus (with the La De Dahs), Kevin Eldon, Shappi Khorsandi, Stewart Lee, Tim Minchin and MC, Alistair Barrie.

Nothing negative to say about this line-up. Really enjoyed Ed Byrne (his new material is really coming along) and Phill Jupitus.

Minchin got the biggest cheer of the night and sang 'Prejudice', 'If I Didn't Have You', 'Confessions'. 'The Pope Song' and 'Canvas Bags'. He got a series of heckles from a female audience member during the feminist movement in 'Confessions' which were dismissed with "SUCK MY BALLS, BITCH".

66A Church Road. Daniel Kitson.

Daniel Kitson's 66A Church Road is about a house that he loved with all his heart, but could never actually have as his own. I came out of New Players Theatre feeling light and fluffy and thoughtful; Kitson is such a wonderful storyteller. He referred to himself as "adorably petty" at one point - love.

The set was very impressive; a series of scattered suitcases that would light up during relevant parts of the play to reveal a room from Kitson's old flat.

Cardinal Burns And Friends.

I was really looking forward to seeing Cardinal Burns again, it had been aaaaaages! I'd hoped for some new material, although in all fairness, they wouldn't have had time. It was a complete shambles of a gig - the audience was drunk and rowdy (and horny according to my friend Jo) and the work of the MC, Trevor Lock, was ruined every time there was a technical glitch (there were quite a few).

Still, I got to see Late Night Gimp Fight who are pretty bloody good and the banter between Key and Harry Deansway was hilarious.

An Event Of Some Kind VIII.

I've been to all but one of Junior Ministers' An Event Of Some Kind. Medal? I was incredibly tired, but manged to stay until the very end (midnight-ish).

Spak Whitman, Jukebox Collective and Abandoman were my faves. I was chosen to be in one of Abandoman's songs which made my night! Woo!!

Itch: A Scratch Event.

Going to the theatre on a Sunday Afternoon? How middle class. Some really great plays in progress at this event; particularly liked 'A Bird In The Hand' by Aisling Bea (which featured Jarred Christmas), 'The Vaguely Unsettling World Of Clovis Van Darkhelm' by Mike Hayley, 'Baydoll' by Steve Keyworth (Brendan Burns can be rather scary) and 'Marcel Lucont' by Alexis Dubus (he's such a brilliant writer!).

A thought.

If I was a boy, i'd probably be balding. I suspect i'd keep my hair very short.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Return Of The Tardy Bogger. Again. Week Three.

Freeze!. Invisible Dot HQ.

Freeze! is so freakin' wonderful. I think i've seen Tim Key and Tom Basden's "ice cold comedy" far too many times than is necessary since they took up residence at the Invisible Dot HQ.

Best bits: Tom putting on Tim's tie, the "Dan or cunt" sketch and, as always, the banter between Key and Basden.

Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra.

I can't for the life of me remember what this gig was called; apologies. I knew MFMO were headlining and didn't know anyone else on the bill, so rocked up rather late. Nobody mentioned a dress code and I felt a little bit embarrassed in my jeans and t-shirt - it was very "underworld" (in the nicest sense of the word).

The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra gave a truly rocking set! I think my favourite song was 'Trans-Carpathian Express'.

A thought.

I'm trying really hard to be less fat and ugly. EFFORT.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Again. Week Two.

Broadcast 2ooo At Wilton's Music Hall.

I adore this venue - old, beautiful and full of charm. Most music gigs I go to have a maximum of 2 support band who are extremely mediocre compared to the headliner, but this gig was different. Hyperpotomus, Matthew & the Atlas and Matt Corby were all stunning in their own right. The audience were extremely polite throughout all the acts and completely absorbed themselves in the music. Completely ACE.

Broadcast 2000
played unplugged for 'That Sinking Feeling' (snippet at 3.30) and it was the most beautiful thing my ears have ever heard. They also did an amazing cover of Regina Spektor's 'Us'.

There's a great review here.

Alex Horne. Odds Preview.

This preview at the Canal Café Theatre was the first for Alex Horne's new show, 'Odds'. It's about Alex's love of gambling and discusses numbers, the universe and quantum physics. It's got some kick ass power point! Also, I gained some knowledge.

TV Recording: Fast And Loose.

This was a rather exciting recording (long, but exciting) because it was by the same guy that brought us Who's Line Is It Anyway? The guests, Humphrey Kerr, Greg Davies, Justin Edwards, Laura Solon, Marek Larwood and Pippa Evans played a variety of improvisation games. It was hosted by Hugh Dennis.

The Popsocks. Dublin Castle.

My friends and I went to see The Popsocks after going out to dinner to celebrate a birthday - it was a very pleasant evening. This band rocks, end of. Oh and, I totally heart the bass player. End, end of.

Nick Mohammed. Mr. Swallow Preview.

A real corker of a show! Long story short, Nick Mohammed plays Mr. Swallow, a teacher who goes about educating his audience in the mysteries and methodology of the human memory. You'll never think of tea bags in the same way again. I really hope this show gets a nomination.

A thought.

I love daylight savings so much. Why is my home town of Perth in Western Australia so against the idea? No clue...

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Again. Week One.

I'm only letting myself down by not blogging for five weeks. My excuse: I was sick for a week and then got distracted by shopping/fashion/reading/dieting.


I enjoyed this preview more so than the last. Again, Dan hosted and Jon and Lloyd were contestants. I think it would be a whole lot funnier if the contestants said aloud everything they thought. Loyd is my favourite Git (controversial!) and "Duck or Cannibal" was my favourite round.

I spent the remainder of the evening chatting to friends in the bar and met an Irish guy that reminded me of David O'Doherty. Fun.

Horne Section.

Without a doubt, the best preview i've seen and best comedy show in London at the moment. Think comedy, jazz, games, singing, power point and audience participation. The 2 comediens joining Alex Horne and band were Tim Key (who used the band to their full potential) and Lloyd Woolf.

Again, I spent the remainder of the evening chatting to friends in the pub including 2 people whom I only get to speak to on the internet. Best night out in a very long time.

Knock2Bag Presents Tom Basden.

I was so tired but the line-up was awesome: Thomas Craine, Joel Dommett, Lloyd Woolf, Tom Basden and MC, Holly Walsh.

This was the first time i'd seen Joel Dommett and I thought he was very, very good. I've now booked to see him in Edinburgh and i'm really looking forward to it.

Tom Basden did a "Mark Watson at The Fix Bloomsbury gig" - out of character, but extremely hilarious. He took requests from his fans in the audience and got a random guy to go home for his "swapsies" who later joined him on stage to act out a chapter of his book, 'New Moon'. You couldn't make it up...

Museum Of Curiosity.

I was very lucky to get tickets to the greatest Museum of Curiosity line-up ever: Sarah Millican, Neil Gaiman and David Eagleman. See?!

I knew of David Eagleman the least, but found him the most facinating. I really must get his book, 'Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives'. Neil Gaiman confessed to killing Batman; brilliant.

The Roman Bath.

I'm not going to lie, I went and saw this becuase Lloyd Woolf was in it. He played a lifeguard and gave the best performance in my opinion (very Cowards), but i'm biased.

This was British premiere of the 'The Roman Bath' by Bulgarian playwrite, Stanislav Stratiev - a comedy set in 1974. The Guardian gives a highly professional and concise review here.

Mark Watson's Football Shambles.

This gig was organised to raise money for the Pohnpei football team (Mark's brother, Paul, is the manager). I'm not really a football fan, but when it was described as "in the spirit of the 24 Hour Show", I just had to go.

It was completely shambolic, something that Mark Watson does very well, but fun. I would have liked a little bit more banter between Paul and Mark/Tiernan and Mark. Also a set from Joel Dommett or Simon Bird would have been ace - I didn't think their presence was used to the full potential.

Seann Walsh, Matt Forde, and John Robins (incredibly drunk) all did a set and Tom Rosenthal got his mate, Frances Vu to show off some very impressive football skills.

A thought.

The biggest fashion faux pas? Open-toed shoes and stockings.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Fringe-ing It Up.

The Edinburgh Fringe is almost here. My programmes has been circled, my schedule has been made and half my tickets have been purchased.

I am excited about seeing the following shows:

Sex And Hugs And Forward Rolls - James Acaster, Andrew Doyle and Ben Van der Velde. Downstairs at the Tron, 14.20.

An Hour of Humour - Joe Lycett and Andrew Ryan. The White Horse, 17.15.

Dommett and Lampaert - Joel Dommett and Eric Lampaert. Underbelly, 19.50.

Let's Just have Some Fun (And Learn Something, For Once) - Jonny Sweet. Pleasance Courtyard, 19.30.

Toby - Sarah and Lizzy. Cabaret Voltaire, 15.45.

Monster Of The Deep 3D - Claudia O'Doherty. Gilded Balloon Teviot, 18.30.

Secret Door - Asher Treleavan. Pleasance Courtyard, 19.40.

Nick Mohammed is Mr Swallow - Nick Mohammed. Pleasance Courtyard, 18.00.

Enemy Of The World - Colin Hoult. Pleasance Courtyard, 16.45.

The Chill Factory - Ginger & Black. Pleasance Courtyard, 17.45.

Tripod Versus The Dragon - Tripod. Assembly Hall, 21.45.

It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later - Daniel Kitson. Traverse Theatre, 10.00.

6 And A Half Loves - Terry Saunders. Pleasance Courtyard, 15.15.

The Dave Hill Exposion - Dave Hill (and guest). Pleasance Courtyard, 23.00.

The Invisible Dot By The Sea - Unknown. Assembly At George Street, 20/08/10, 20.00.

Two Episodes Of Mash: A Sketch By These Two People. Pleasance Courtyard, 20.30.

Previews I have seen that deserve a nomination:

Enemy Of The World - Colin Hoult.

Nick Mohammed Is Mr Swallow - Nick Mohammed.

Best previews I have seen:

The Horne Section - Alex Horne and jazz band (with special guests).

Gutted - Martin White, Daniel Ward and assorted cast.

A thought.

Hurry up and get here, August the 14th!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Duke Special. Shaw Theatre.

The last time I watched Duke perform while sitting down, I was in the foyer of the National Theatre. I like sitting down while watching music mainly because i'm extremely lazy, but especially tonight as I was still recovering from a god awful cold. Patti Plinko and her Boy were the support band; beyond amazing.

The first half of the show featured the songs from Duke's 'The Silent World of Hector Mann' album and the second from 'Mother Courage and Her Children'. For encore he sang a few songs from his EP, 'Huckleberry Finn' as well as a cover of Elton John's 'I'm Still Standing'.

Duke spent most of the gig standing in front of a microphone stand and only sang a few songs while playing piano. My attention was focused on Ben Castle (such good value!) throughout the night and I missed a lot of the power point.

A thought.

What do moths eat? We've had one in our bathroom for almost a week now and I think it might die. Unless of course, it eats towels.

Live At The Chapel. Mark Watson.

I was feeling rather rough at this gig, little did I know that my sore throat and achy limbs would turn into a nasty cold that would see me bedridden for 3 days. Tom Basden, Angelos Epithemiou, Sean Hughes and MC, Arthur Smith and headliner Mark Watson was not a line-up to be missed; i'm so glad I got sick the day after and not before.

Tom Basden went down an absolute treat and rightly so. He read from his novel, 'New Moon' in between songs. I find the line "... cut him out of his wooly prison" from the novel, which refers to a sex scene where the main character is cut out of a cardigan, hilarious.

I love Mark Watson's series of funny stories that constantly seem to change direction; one never quite knows where you are going to end up. He finished his set with the tale of his Uncle in law (?) that sounds like he is saying "Hiroshima" when he sneezes. Mark went on to say he doesn't know how to respond when this happens, but perhaps he should say "Nagasaki". It makes me giggle just thinking about it.

A thought.

I miss my Mummy more than ever when I am sick. Fending for myself when I feel like death warmed up is horrible.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update Two.

I should have updated in May. It is now June. June the 1st. One day late. Bugger.

My initial challenges can be found here. This is how I am progressing:

1) I am halfway through Alex Horne's 'Wordwatching'. I guess halfway through a book is better than not reading anything. I hope to review it in my next TYSIC blog. So far, I have learned loads (did you know Dr. Suess made up the word nerd?) and I just adore Alex's passion for words.

2) A couple of people from Twitter were going to be at the same show as I was (Alex Horne's 'Horne Section' - i'm sounding like quite the fangirl, huh?). I introduced myself before the show and afterwards invited them to join my friends and I for a drink. We ended up drinking and chatting ntil the pub closed. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

3) I've fallen a little bit behind with my blog. I know i'm making excuses, but i've been soooooooo busy. It should be completed by the weekend. It's becoming less of a chore, I just need to find the time to write.

4) I've been very good at writing down all my thoughts (I keep finding Post-it notes everywhere). Some have been quite amusing... maybe I could start writing little stand-up routines. Maybe.

5) I wrote to my Uncle and Aunty in Australia after they sent me some photos of my cousin at the ANZAC Day service in East Timor. I haven't heard back. I think my Aunty might be a little annoyed at me for forgetting birthdays. Understandable.

I want to start a new challenge; a number 6. I have been fighting an ongoing battle with my weight since I was 13. During my teens I was either too fat, or too skinny. During my 20's I have mostly been fat. I really need to get my weight down to a healthy range. I'm 5"4, but wear a size 16. AWFUL. I need to be a size 10-12 (and maintain it!).

I need to cut all the snacks from my diet, have a proper dinner each night, get plenty of sleep and EXERCISE. Hopefully this time I can do it (with a little help and encouragement from fellow TYSICers). I. Can. Do. This.

A thought.

I miss listening to Jon Richardson on the radio. Sadface.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

School For Gifted Children. May Ball. Bloomsbury.

All gigs at the Bloomsbury and/or hosted by Robin Ince are always bloody good. This one was no exception and featured the likes of Martin White, Susan Vale, Andrew Collins, Brian Cox, Simon Singh, Ben Goldacre, Adam Rutherford, Gavin Osborn, Marcus Brigstoke and Tim Minchin. Wowwowwow. Given the recent election events, I thought it was going to be a pretty angry gig. It was quite the opposite in fact; chilled and smiley.

Gavin Osborn and Tim Minchin were my absolute favs. Gavin's poem (which eventually will be a song) about Professor Brian Cox was simply brilliant (especially to a fan of Wonders of the Solar System). Minchin sang 'Some People Have It Worse Than Me' (finishing with the line "I could be Dr Evan Harris"), 'Mitsubishi Colt', part of 'Crocodile Rock', 'The Pope Song' and 'Drowned'. It was ace to hear The Pope Song stipped back to just vocals and piano. I turned into a bit of a fangirl (inner squees) when he hit all the high notes during the last verse of Drowned.

I thought Simon Singh and Ben Goldacre's tribute to Dr Evan Harris (who had lost his seat in parliament the previous night) was lovely and once again Brian Cox made me feel rather insignificant (in a mind blowing way).

A thought.

I wish I could take my Dad to School for Gifted Children. He'd love it sooooooo much.

Working Men's Club Election Night Special.

The upcoming election had sparked an interest in politics that i've never had before so when I heard about an all night election gig that was combining comedy (Saunders, Tuck, Ince, Long, Pascoe et al) and politics, I really wanted to go. Completely last minute, I got Friday off work and was able to attend... all night. Woop.

BBC coverage was shown on a big screen to the left of the stage and tweets with the hashtag "electiongiggle" were shown on the screen behind the stage. It was clear early on that nobody really knew what was going on and it took a while for Thom Tuck and Terry Saunders, who hosted the evening, to get into their stride and take control. In saying that, I do love a shambolic gig.

I think most people had shown up to watch the coverage, chat and get pissed. Most of the comedians (apart from Sara Pascoe - kudos) had trouble getting people to listen and those trying to listen were unable due to the level of noise.

Highlight of the night was Terry and Thom's topless wrestling at 2am. HILARIOUS.

My friends and I left the venue at 7am and headed to a cute little café near Bethnal Green Working Men's Club for a fry-up. At this point in time, there was no clear winner, although it looked like it was going to be a hung parliament.

A thought.

I don't think i'm the only one who cringed during the coalition's first press conference.

Knock2Bag. Tabernacle.

Awesome venue. Brilliant line-up: Colin Hoult, Alex Horne, Tim Key, Arthur Smith and MC, Fergus Craig. So why was it was it so empty? No idea. FRICKIN' CRAZY.

Gosh, I just love Alex Horne; wish he'd do more in London... I think what I like most about him is that he just does and says whatever he is thinking. He fell off stage at one point and repeated "i'm steeping down, i'm stepping down, i'm stepping down" whilst doing so. Hilarious. A member of the audience walked out during Alex's set in an overly-confident manner, so Alex introduced himself and asked him where he was from... the usual banter. This gentleman was from Europe so Alex shook both hands. HA!

Colin Hoult performed as Len Parker and seemed to have a lot of fun with it; I think he was really pleased with the answers to his Transformers question. He came down and interacted with the audience quite a bit.

Tim Key did the same set as the previous night, but this time I could see a lot better. There was a lot of banter between Key and the sound guy (always fun) and I really liked his closing line: "I seem to be spending a lot of time in charity shops" (which in context, is very funny).

I've said it before and i'll say it again, I can't get enough of Fergus' Lil Wayne impression. Completely awesome.

I was really flagging towards the end of the night and didn't stay to see Arthur Smith headlining. He was on the bill for Live At The Chapel at the end of the week, so it wasn't like I was missing out... still, a little bit impolite.

A thought.

Hilarity on the underground: an old lady with a trolley walked past a busker playing a flute. She got the busker's money hat caught under her trolley and dragged it along. She was completley oblivious to what had happened. Busker had to stop playing flute and retrive his hat. Old woman remained oblivious. Class.

Fat Tuesday - Tim Key.

Fat Tuesday line-ups are getting good. Really good. James Acaster, Nat Luurtsema, Alex Zane, Matt Green, Pete Firman and headliner, Tim Key. Oh. My. Goodness.

It was my first time seeing James, Nat, Alex and Matt and I thought they were all rather ace. Especially James Acaster. I laughed all the way through his set and I wished he would stop being funny for a minute so I could catch my breathe. Nat is incredibly endearing and extremely pretty. Alex bombed a bit until he warmed up...

I hadn't see Tim Key in aaaaaages; his set proved why he is my favourite comedian. Lot's of new poems among the tried and tested. Also, new finish which Key describes as "vaudville" (love, love, love awkward-funny!). Notebooks have been replaced with played cards. Pure comic genius.

There are some great Edinburgh previews coming up at Fat Tuesday Comedy Club. Oh, how I wish it wasn't so far away. WEEP.

A thought.

What do moths eat?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

May Day Long Weekend.

The weather was AWFUL.

Nick Mohammed in Bits. Recording.

The theatre where the recording took place was a little bit bizarre. Big, but bizarre. Lots of people came despite the weather and it was chock-a-block. Nice one, Mr. Mohammed!

The recording was spilt in to two halves; the first half was a skit about a Bear Grylls type character and the second was a dippy university student. He's dead good at characters, he is.

Anna Crilly and Colin Hoult helped him out when other characters were needed. It should be broadcast on Radio 4 in the autumn (aaaaaages!).

6 Day Riot. Borderline.

This gig had been postponed due to the Icelandic volcan causing havock. My friend and I arrived halfway through the first bands set. Their sound was like sad country and western. We stuck around until the end of 6 Day Riot's set and then due to tiredness, called it a night.

6 Day Riot played a lot of new songs from thier new album. I really, really like it; something a little different from thier last album, '6 day Riot Have A Plan'. They finished with 'Ya Da Da'. Love it!

A thought.

I think the 7 Dwarfs would be absolutely rubbish in a fight. So many weakness' among them.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Fun Mission.

Fun Mission is a relatively new comedy night at The Book Club in Shoreditch (hideously trendy!) hosted by Sam Fletcher (aka Fletch from 'The Slutcracker') and Holly Burn. Joining Holly and Sam were The Sunday Defensive and Nick Mohammed.

A really lovely little gig, spoiled a little by 2 drunk audience members (1 of them was proper mental). The roof of the venue was covered in light bulbs! Also, I matress was unsuccessfully passed through a giant hole in the wall.

Holly and Sam did sketches as well as solo sets. I loved Holly as 'Jason the Very Rich Tiger' and Sam's drawings (he's also a pretty funny magician dude, who knew?).

Damn that Mr. Nick Mohammed is a talented chap! He played a variety of characters which were all equally good and very, very funny. I've watched his musical conductor sketch on YouTube, but seeing it live made me incredibly happy. SO GOOD.

A thought.

I've added Sam Fletcher and Nick Mohammed to my all time favourite comedians list. It's getting rather long.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The 100 Club Presents: Adam Buxton.

Jonny Sweet, Tom Basden, Ed Byrne, Adam Buxton and compére, Fergus Craig were brought together at another stellar night of comedy by Feature Spot. Unfortunately, due to the ash cloud, Tim Key was unable to be there as planned.

I love Fergus as a compére, he's wonderfully likeable and really rather funny. His material about making German sound happy and his Lil Wayne cover will never tire; brilliant. He had a very lovely audience to work with.

Jonny Sweet did a condensed version of his Edinburgh show, 'Mostly About Arthur', which I always enjoy seeing. Tom Basden mixed songs with reading aloud from his unfinished novel, 'New Moon'. He created a lot of awkwardness when he tried (unsuccessfully) to get the audience to sing Happy Birthday to his Dad (who wasn't actually there); soooooo funny. Ed Byrne used his set to try out new material. Good.

I have lots of friends who worship the floor that Adam Buxton walks on, but I wasn't very familiar with his work. He got his laughs by showing YouTube clips (some that he'd made and others that he just thought were funny), singing and reading amusing YouTube comments. I really enjoyed his set and now tune in to his radio show, Adam Buxton's Big Mixtape, every week.

A thought.

I hate web nastiness. Forums, Twitter, Facebook... it makes me angry/sad.

Karaoke Circus.

I spent a few minutes at this Karaoke Circus trying to secure tickets for the next one in June. You see, Karaoke Circus is now a cult hit and sells out in 24 hours; madness. There had been a few problems at Bethnal Green Working Man's Club, so this one was downsized to Ginglik in Shepherd's Bush Green. Danielle Ward, Martin White, Foz Foster, David Reed and Steve Pretty provided the musical backing for celebrity guests and audience members. Dan Tetsell (stepping in for Dan Maier) and The Baron judged.

Laurence and Gus singing '7 Seconds', Robin Ince and Daniel Maier singing 'It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)', Victoria and Andy Riley singing 'Stan' and Tim Minchin singing 'The You And Me Song' were highlights. Danielle Ward's bass solo during Humphrey Ker's rendition of 'My Generation' also needs a mention; immense.

The next KC will take place at the 100 Club with The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra; EXCITING.

As always, the talented Paul Bailey took some awesome photos of the evening's proceedings.

A thought.

I cringe when people start sentences with "as a nerd" or "because i'm a geek".

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Wordwatching. Alex Horne.

Is Alex Horne the most charming and endearing comedian I have ever seen? Probably. 'Wordwatching' at Soho Theatre was the last show on his tour; a sell-out.

A show essentially about Alex's love of words and wordplay. He has set himself a challenge - to get a word, a word that he has created, and its meaning in the dictionary. It's not as easy as it sounds, but with the help of his friends ("verbal gardeners"), it could become a reality.

The 5 most promising words are as follows:

bollo (adj) 1. Unsatisfying and disappointing. 2. A cry of disgust.

games (adj) Really rubbish and a little bit pretentious.

honk (or hoot) (noun) Money, especially cash.

mental safari
(noun) When someone goes mad for a few moments or does a series of rash acts.

pratdigger (noun) 1. Pickpocket. 2. That friend who always has a rubbish girlfriend that everyone has to put up with, or a crap best mate from school they always ask out with you, of the person who finds the most obnoxious person at a party and exposes them to everyone.

Alex's tech heavy show also touches on his new challenge - to become the worlds oldest person. You can read about his endeavours here and by a copy of his book here. Recommended.

A thought.

I love the way Dave Gorman and Daniel Taylor talk. Not their accent, the way they talk. Oh, and Alex Horne.

Museum Of Curiosity Recording. The Popsocks.

I enjoy going to the Museum of Curiosity recordings; not only are they really interesting, but they're also really long (at least 2 hours as opposed to the half an hour broadcast). The guests on this episode were Suggs from Madness, Lee Francis and a writer/poet/researcher who's name escapes me. The curator, Jon Richardson, had been stranded by the ash cloud, so Dave Gorman stepped up to take his place.

Lee Francis is the biggest show-off, but boy is he funny. He sat next to Suggs and together they shared many a laugh. I thought Dave Gorman was awesome; very quick wise cracks and quips. The next recording I am going to has rumoured Neil Gaiman and Sarah Millican as guests. EXCITING.

My friend and I had a quick bite to eat before heading to Water Rats in Kings Cross to catch The Popsocks who were doing a short set. I just think they're fan-fucking-tastic. It's hard not to smile at their music; very happy, high-energy (well, the band are high energy) pop tunes. If you've never heard of them before you can listen here. I'm looking forward to their Dublin Castle gig at the end of the month.

A thought.

This made me smile... not really sure why:

Waiting for a lift at Mornington Cresent tube station; sign reads "the first lift is on the right". Tramp looks down at his wrists, turns to me, points to the right and says "it's this one". I nod. he then goes on to say "I always get my left and right muddled up, so I scarred my right wrist".

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Amanda Palmer. Koko.

The ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull grounded all flights across the UK which meant that Jason Webley couldn't make it to the Evelyn Evelyn gig at Koko. Instead of cancelling all together, Amanda Palmer performed solo. Her support for the evening included the likes of Bitter Ruin, Robots in Dusguise and Melissa Auf der Maur. WOW.

We arrived at Koko about halfway through Bitter Ruin's set and found a space on the balcony. Ben Richards (guitar and vocals) and Georgia Train (vocals) describe their music as "haunting and dramatic noir indie folk". An extremely captivation acoustic duo that I hope to catch again soon.

An old friend introduced me to the catchy tunes of Robots in Disguise a while ago so I was quite familiar with their older hits. I enjoyed their set, but I did feel that Koko was a little bit too big for them... They played their new single 'Wake Up' twice and were really vocal about getting the audience to download it from iTunes. Funky tune.

I'd not heard of Melissa Auf der Maur before and thought she was pretty fantastic. She was stuck in the UK for the same reason Jason was stuck in the states so was invited by Amanda to come and do a set. She commandeered instruments from the other performers and rocked out with her fellow (starnded) band members.

All the support acts were wonderful in themselves, but they had nothing on Amanda Palmer. She is absolutely mesmorising/captivating/talented/beautiful.

She sang a few Evelyn Evelyn songs with Jason Webley (who made out that he was on a plane to the UK, but it was just a video. Amanda sang over the recording). From there on in, it was a typical Amanda Fucking Palmer gig. My favourite was 'Delilah'; Georgia from Bitter Ruin joined Amanda to provide backing vocals. She also indulged us with a brand new song that she's co-written with Neil Gaiman, 'Fuck the Ash Cloud'.

Previously that day Malcom McLaren's funeral procession had travelled through Camden and to pay tribute, Amanda lead us all in singing 'Anarchy in the UK' by the Sex Pistols. She used this opportunity to crowd-surf. Brilliant.

There are some wonderful on Flickr here.

A thought.

I was blind and now I can see. It's a metaphor.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Falling Down With Laughter.

The line-ups at Falling Down with laughter are always great, but I really dislike the venue. Brown walls, fold up chairs and the wiff of raw sewerage. Not nice. I went mainly to see WitTank, 2 Episodes of Mash and Anna & Katy. Unfortunately Anna & Katy had been replaced with sketch due, Jollie.

WitTank did a variety of sketches that i'd seen at their show at Etcetera Theatre, which are just as funny as the first viewing. Their sketches about inventions, such as baked beans and Ikea, are favourites.

2 Episodes of Mash did a few new sketches in which Joe played a set of talking scales and Repunzel (Diane) being asked to let down her hair via intercom. Love, love, love.

A thought.

I saw a young German boy on the tube that had the smallest nostrils. Too small to breath out of. He'd have to breath out of his mouth.

We Are Klang. Work In Progress.

I've never seen a We Are Klang show before, only a recording of their last BBC show. This work in progress was to develop ides for their new TV show, 'The Klang Show'. They have completely stepped away from their last show, which was a rather funny sitcom, and are working towards a sketch-based show. I'm not sure how many of their sketches will actually get past the BBC.

My goodness they are rude and incredibly juvenile. Lots of laugh out loud moments... mainly at them. I can't quite believe the lengths they go to for a laugh from giving a blow-job to a cucumber to singing a song involving a menstruating camel.

The image of Greg Davies in speedos and an Elvis wig stuffing food down Marek Larwood's speedos will stay with me for a very long time.

A thought.

If you like my blog, you'll love this one.

Popcorn Comedy.

This was my second Popcorn Comedy at the Tabernacle and I enjoyed it just as much as the first one I went to. It attracts some pretty famous faces in the crowd; I SAW CHARLIE BROOKER WITH MY VERY OWN EYES. Anna & Katy, Tom Basden and David Cross performed live as well as showcasing a few videos.

I think Anna & Katy are just ace. Enough said, really. They've fimed a few clips for Funny or Die which are a must see: 'Fruit Eyes' and 'Phone Pen'.

Tom Basden did a very condensed version of his Edinburgh show, 'Now That is What I Call Music-based Comedy', as well as showing a few clips from Freeze!. When introducing the shampoo advert that he'd filmed with Tim Key he said "I asked Key if I could show this at one of theses nights and he said no, but he's in Australia, so...". There is an awful lot of nakedness in that clip.

I didn't know who David Cross was until I saw him at Popcorn Comedy, but i'm pretty sure most of the audience were there to see him. I had been drinking during the show and had failed to go to the loo during the interval which meant I was absolutely busting during David Cross' set. I sat tight though; I think I would have been very unpopular if i'd got up and walked in front of people while his video was shown.

A thought.

I'm not a big fan of bacon or coleslaw.

Meow Meow. Soho Theatre.

I really didn't know what to expect when I booked tickets to see Meow Meow, but she was on at Soho Theatre in the Lorenz Auditorium so was reassured that it would be good.

Meow Meow is a cabaret/character act (a slightly down and out singer/performer). She has a wonderful husky voice, but felt she did the same thing over and over during the hour and a half long show. Her accompanying pianist was rather wonderful; he looked like a middle aged university lecturer from the 70s.

There were a group of people sitting up on the balcony that didn't stop talking. The audience applauded when they walked out about 3/4 of the way through. Meow Meow did a lot of singing in the audience and at one point she was felt up by a group of 3 friends. Oh my!

A thought.

I've never seen Tim Key take the microphone out of the stand and use it. He always, always, always uses the stand. This is in no way a criticism, just a thought.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Will & Greg Radio 4 Pilot. Comedy Piano Bar.

So many people came to the recording of Will & Greg's Radio 4 Pilot that my friend (who was running a little bit late) was turned away! A super-fun recording with only two pick-ups; amazing.

A new sketch was added since Joke Party in which Will & Greg were talent scouts for extremely unattractive twin children. The line "where is your twin...? OH! I thought it was some kind of meaty rucksack", will never fail to amuse me.

From the recording of Will & Greg, we made our way to Comedy Piano Bar which is a new comedy night hosted by James Sherwood. Basically, a group of comedians are invited along to do a set, BUT they have to finish on a song. The first ever Comedy Piano Bar had a wicked line-up: Tom Allen, Helen Arney, Thom Tuck and Henning Wenn. ACE.

Tom Allen finished his set with a cover of Kellis' 'Milkshake' and Helen Arney finished hers with a brilliant arrangement of OutKast's 'Hey Ya!'. Soooo good. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

A thought.

I just love it when grown men gets haircuts and then suddenly look childlike. Awww, too cute.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Ten-Year Self-Improvement Challenge. Update One.

I have 5 pledges that I think will make me a better person in 1o years time. If you don't know what they are, you can read them here. I will now update you on my monthly progress:

1) I haven't read a book. I haven't even started a book. I have read the paper daily and various articles that people have linked to on Twitter, but that is all. I can't seen to motivate myself to read. I have replaced my iPod in my bag with a book, but instead of reading I stare at people/out the window/at the advertisements on the tube. Any tips?

2) I introduced myself to a comedian the other day. We'd tweeted each other and I had something to give him, so it made things a little bit easier. He was so nice. I had an extra spring in my step the following day.

3) My blog is /almost/ up-to-date. I've been to an awful lot of shows lately and just haven't been able to find the time. Maybe I should look into getting an iPhone, that way I could blog while i'm out.

4) I started really strongly with this challenge and i've forgotten about it a little bit lately. I need to remember put my notebook and pen in my apron before I start work. I'll step up my efforts this month.

5) I wrote a very long email to my Grandparents at Easter and got a lovely reply. Excerpt: "I have just attended a Senior First Aid Course at Vinnies Head Office, and I was so-o-o nervous. Was studying the First Aid Disc for days, and thankfully I passed with a mark of 18 out of 20. Gosh, I was relieved. We were given a dummy called “Mini Anne” to practice on – I have been threatening all the volunteers with CPR lessons!!".

A pretty poor effort for my first month. This month, my efforts will be doubled!

A thought.

I have opinions about varied things, but I don't have the confidence to back them and chose to say nothing. I discovered a lack of confidence in my opinions while reading Mark Watson's blog entry called "The Very Late Review"; i'm extremely apprehensive to comment.


Turns out, there are an awful lot of Tom's in comedy. Every month Thom Tuck from The Penny Dreadfuls organises and MC's Tom:foolery at the Escape Bar in Soho. This months line-up featured the likes of Adams, Cottle, Price, Deacon, Goodliffe and Wrigglesworth.

The Escape Bar is a very odd venue for comedy. I'm pretty sure drag queens kept trying to come in for a drink and were being turned away (by an enormous bouncer). I kept getting distracted by the TV behind the stage that was showing 'The Hills' with sublitles, oh, and the mirror ball.

Adams (gotta love 'The Meat Theif') and Goodliffe (maths jokes! WIN) were my favourite Tom's of the night. Poor Mr. Wrigglesworth wasn't very well, but i'm very glad he came down to headline.

A thought.

I had no idea that 'The Little Mermaid III' existed until Thom mentioned it. Even my 6 year old sister, Samantha, didn't know and she's a huge Little Mermaid fan.

Me: Did you know there was a 3rd Little Mermaid DVD?
Samantha: NO! How do you know that?
Me: A comedian called Thom Tuck told me so.
Samantha: I'll have to ask Mum to buy it for me.

Joke Party.

No more Joke Party at the Wilmington Arms until September; boo! This one was a lot of fun and my friends and I spotted some industry-type people in the audience. William Andrews was the compere and was joined by Colin Hoult, Fergus Craig, Anna & Katy, Matthew Baynton, Tommy and the Weeks, Sophie Black and Andrea Donovan.

All the comedians were on fine form and there was a great turn out. Really hard to pick favoutites, but Fergus Craig's character comedy was AWESOME (more please, Fergus!). Tommy and the Weeks' new material was great; I do like Tom Bells low energy/depressive humour. I'd not seen or heard of Matthew Baynton before and I really enjoyed his sets. His story about Jamie Oliver and why he thought "he was soooooo down to earth" was hilarious.

The last half of the show saw the return of Will & Greg as they tested out their radio pilot which was being recorded later in the week. The sketch about the "cat shouterer" was my favourite: "Whiskers! You're getting on my wick, yeah!". Will has a killer voice. Karaoke Circus? I HOPE SO.

A thought.

I didn't think i'd ever like Doctor Who, but I do. I like it a lot. Matt Smith is so, so good. He reminds me a lot of Jonny Sweet.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

An Event Of Some Kind VII.

Instead of accompanying my family to mass, I spent Good Friday at the Cavendish Arms in Stockwell. It was AEOSK's 1st birthday and they had a cracking bill to celebrate: Junior Ministers, Emi Green & Noisy Fred, Pippa Evans, Tim Minchin and 6 Day Riot.

Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine was just wonderful; her voice well and truly blew me away. She sang 'I'm Fine' (a favourite), a new song (from her new show, I pressume) and led an audience member (my friend) in a Cosmo Quiz. I'm sure she gained a lot of new fans.

Emi Green is a singer/songwriter from my hometown of Perth, Western Australia. Her songs were sweet and her voice, lovely; she was accompanied by Noisy Fred on acoustic guitar. She reminded me so, so much of my singer/songwriter friend, Jennifer Reed. Uncanny almost.

It was great to see Junior Ministers again, it's been quite a while due to a band member being overseas. H Anothony and Jim played songs from their album 'Adventure Playground'; a definite crowd-pleaser.

I LOVE 6 DAY RIOT. Bass, violin, drums, guitar, uke, awesome lead singer, catchy tunes... what more could you want? One of the most memorable moments was when Tim Minchin provided percussion (and dancing) during 'Ya Da da'.

By the time Minchin graced the stage for his set i'd had a bit too much wine and my memory became fuzzy. He sang an Easter song (which he wrote when he "didn't think anyone would listen" to him), 'The Good Book' and commandeered the bassist and drummer from 6 Day Riot for 'Mitsubishi Cult'. He previewed a song from his new radio series, played from his iPhone, while the lead singer of 6 Day Riot, Tamara, joined Tim (with acoustic guitar) for a cover of Crowded House's '4 Season in One Day'. MAGICAL.

AEOSK VII came to an end with all the performers coming back on stage to help Junior Ministers sing 'Bounce'. My night didn't end there, I stayed well in to the night drinking, talking and just having the most wonderful time.


A thought.

Some people create so much drama. It's best if I keep my distance with these people.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Week Four.

School for Gifted Children.

A top notch gig from Robin Ince and guests: Stewart Lee, Jim Bob, Bridget Christie, Robyn Hitchcock, Joanna Neary, Alan Moore, Darren Hayman and Kevin Eldon. It was such an awesome gig that I went straight home and booked for the next one in May.

So many brilliant moments, but I think Robin Ince sulkily standing behind Jim Bob with a bubble machine while he rocked out was a favourite. I thought Kevin Eldon and Stewart Lee were great and I just adore Bridget Christie as 'A Ant'. The evening ended by all the performers coming back onstage to join Robyn Hitcock for 'Olé! Tarantula'.

The Art of Storytelling.

Another wonderful gig as part of the London Word Festival, this one featured the likes of Daniel Kitson, Ian McMillan, Matthew Robins and Terry Saunders debuting 'Six and a Half Loves'. It took place in St Leonard's Church which looked majestic covered in candles, string and baggage labels of lost things. Photos here.

Matthew Robins' set was absolutely incredible. His whimsical songs where enhanced by paper puppets that were cast onto a screen by an overhead projector.

Terry Saunders series of video blogs where played on the screen behind him as he told the hour-long story that is 'Six and a Half Loves'. It's lovely/sad/funny/beautiful/crass and so much more. 4 chapters can be found on YouTube. About half way through, the audience awwed simultaneously. Saunders stopped, looked up, and exclaimed "oh yes, but this is fucking grim". Ha!

Ariadne the WAG's Charity Bag.

The line-up was pretty good and it was for a good cause (to raise money for Haiti victims) so I decided to go at the last minute. Nick Mohammed, The Penny Dreadfuls, Jonny Sweet and Abandoman where hits while the rest of the performers, were misses.

I hadn't seen Nick Mohammed's stand-up live before and his set was a real treat. Characters, magic, songs, power point; who knew?

The front row where very drunk and roudy which most of the acts took in their stride, but Jonny Sweet seemed to get a little bit frustrated. He's still ace, though. He did the part from 'Mostly About Arthur' in which he attempts to read the blurb from "My Irish Life" in an Irish accent. HILARIOUS.

A thought.

Since reading my friends blog, 'Quite a lot of thoughts on vegetarianism', I have stopped eating read meat and chicken. I'll still continue to eat seafood as I don't think I could ever give it up. Well, I probably could, but I don't want to. I enjoy seafood too much.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Return Of The Tardy Blogger. Week Three.

Fat Tuesday.

The Salmon and Compass is quite a trek from West London, but Joe Wilkinson was on the bill and I just had to go. Other comics included Jarred Christmas, Gerry Howell, Keith Farnan and compere, Tiernan Douieb.

Best bits:

1) Tiernan getting the audience pumped up and then Joe walked on looking a little bit glum, scratched his head, sighed and then exclaimed "I can't help but feel that i've bought bought the mood down".

2) Gerry Howell's surreal material/set. He's really, really good.

3) Jarred Christmas telling me how to get home "take the Northo to Kingo Crosso, jump on the Pico and then, bam, you're home. Don't take the Hammo and Cito, that'll take ages".

Keith asked the audience what they thought the best attribute of an Irish man was and the overwhelming response was "their accent". My initial thought was "their eyes". I'm so glad I didn't say that out loud!

The Australian Film Festival. Two Fists, One Heart. Bran Nue Dae.

Both these films were introduced by Tim Minchin who talked about his role in 'Two Fist, One Heart' as well as discussing some of the themes and cultural aspects of the film. His introduction to 'Bran Nue Dae' was a little bit more playful; he left the stage singing "there's nothing I would rather be, then to be an Aborigine".

'Two Fists, One Heart'
was a little bit predictable in plot, but the acting was top notch (especially from the writer, Rai Fazio). My favourite quotes came from Tim Minchin's character, Tom (who provided comic relief): "there's a man in my house" and "he hit me" "what did you do?" "I fell over".

I absolutely adored 'Bran Nue Dae'. It's the kind of film that makes you happy and had an amazing cast (including Geoffrey Rush, Magda Szubanski, Ernie Dingo, Missy Higgins and Jessica Mauboy). Highly recommended.

Musical Comedy Awards.

I must admit that I only booked tickets to see those performing alongside the finalists (Pippa Evans, Ginger & Black and Tom Basden), but was pleasantly surprised by all those who graced the stage. Abandoman ended up taking the top accolade (i've seen them give the same set a few times and it never fails to bring the house down), but not without some tough competion from Amatuer Transplants, Horse & Lewis and Jay Foreman (who was may favourite).

Pippa Evans as Loretta Maine is always a treat; she seems to be doing a lot more stand-up in between songs which is nice to see. Ginger & Black's set secured them a place among my favourite comedians; their material about a date that Dan had gone on is brilliant (I do love dark humour). Tom Basden sung some firm favourites as well as previewing a new song about Nazi memorabilia. Ace.

A thought.

If a stranger has a nice accent, I like them instantly (even if the only reason i've heard their accent was because I was eavesdropping).