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 www.verbalgardening.com. 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?