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.