Ah Hereford, land of orchards and and….eeer.
anyway it was good to be doing a gig, the venue was a trendy bar which made really nice local lager – and gave some for free to the acts. Eleri came along – the down side was i lost my mobile phone. This happened in a garage somewhere east of Brecon; her car flashed up a light saying the tyres needed air! so i must have left it on top of the air machine. Oh well that’s inflation!
Due to Covid the gig itself actually happened outdoors in the courtyard – i’m not saying the audience were spaced out (but thinking about it maybe they were as i’d spiked their drinks with acid).
As i walked on stage i looked down and realised ll my written notes had been erased from the palm of my hand…damn those hand sanitizers! (that’s a joke – if i write notes on my hand they’ll always be on the back not the palm, due to sweaty pores – the sweat pores out).
When i went on stage the compere kneed me in the balls…not really.
this is real though: i got an excellent set up for my prescription glasses gag – which is a visual joke : sunglasses covered in prescription pills. The lone welsh man in the audience happened to be wearing sunglasses. A witty dual ensued, with him offering me glasses, then me declining, saying no thanks, i got my own!
– got a good clap for that one….
…which made up for the shakiness of the rest of the set! Yes i was a bit all over the place. But still getting back into the swing of things
last thursday i did my first live gig in an actual venue since march 2020..
it was in a kids play venue (by day) called Little Giggles…which is what i got. No, it was good to be back, but at the same time not really that big a deal. IT was in Yate near Bristol, and i managed to get a train all the way and back.,
wasn’t really nervous, but i couldn’t recall much of my material. still, stand up comedy is like riding a bike. But , as Kevin McCarthy (who was also on the bill) said to me, ‘Last time i rode a bike i fell off’. but hey that’s funny.
Nick Page gave me a lift back to Yate train station, which was nice of him even though it meant i had an hour to wait on a cold platform. got some reading done. Talked to him more tonight than i ever have done before.
It was not an ideal gig in terms of space, sound and lighting, but overall it was a good gig to have after such a long gap away . the audience – about 35 – were nice enough .were they spaced out? yes, but that was something they’d been drinking.
The stage was the most weird thing: a series of cubes with multi coloured lights within each one, a bit like the stage under Travolta when he does his famous dance in Saturday Night Fever…i wasn’t so much stayin alive as tryin not to die !
or recycling centre. it’s a groovy place to go…
so we’re down there about a week ago. and i’m sitting in the passenger seat of the car, literally minding my own business. indeed, i am metaphorically minding my own business as well, which is saying something. my g’friend is driving – this is her gig, after all she’s the one who booked the tip, and has the email on her smart phone to prove it. (yes you got to book the fuckin thing these days – what a drag).
anyway, as we approach the entrance i see the man, with a high viz jacket. it’s normal for them to have someone there on the cornerm checking the number plates as the cars enter.
but i notice this bloke is a bit more forward than usual – he’s making a point of talking to the car dwellers, gets them to open their window so he can lean in and chat. i think ‘ this guy is going slightly overboard ‘ but it’s really just a subtle difference with what i’ve seen there in the past.
But then bear in mind there is a contagious virus going around or, as the patronising woman in the Royal Mail counter said to me the other week: ‘we’re in the middle of a pandemic…?!’
Anyway, we get to the head of the queue. my passenger side window is wound all the way down, but i make a point of putting my head down and remain quiet. I let eleri do all the talking…
As this high viz vest man lurches forward and sticks his head into our car – as i sensed he would – it immediately, or as soon as he opens his mouth, becomes apparent ”e’s not from around ‘ere’..he’s a bleedin cockney ain ‘e”…well, i say cockney, perhaps his accent is from a hundred miles away from London, but his accent in Llansamlet cuts like Dick Van Dyke’s chimney sweep – which i know is a sweeping statement.
So he blabs to eleri about some admin crap – which he could easily have done from outside the vehicle – like has happened every time in the past….but THEN!!!!
I hear the words “cheer up mate, things can’t be that bad” ..or was it “it might never happen”…either way i fucking knew it ! Something told me he was one of them, one of those strange types who can’t leave someone else who is doing absolutely nothing wrong…alone. My gut told me this was going to happen; It went through my mind as i’d observed him from the queue a few moments before, greedily stuffing his mug into other unsuspecting saloons. -indeed none of that posturing was necessary as all he has to do was glance at his portable computer and tick the box with registration of the car going past and into the tip – easy!
But maybe it was the odd fact that he wasn’t sticking to the simple method that made my wary. I thought ‘ i know i’ll deliberately clam up, like a cocoon, and just sit here with my head down and say nothing. Just to see what happens.
And he went for it….but i didn’t give him any satisfaction. after his callous words i remained stoic, still with my head down, still glancing away, and to the right. So i caught eleri’s eye as she smiled at his vociferous critique of my dead pan persona.
I’ve encountered this before, where someone basically tells me to cheer up. i hate it. what right have they to tell anybody that ?? how do they know what i feel? what do they know about my day, where i’ve just come from, what’s just happened to me, whether i’m a depressed, bi-polar skitzophrenic AIDS sufferer or not? But more importantly, what have i done to them to deserve a comment like that? nothing that’s what…still, it makes you think.
I mean, i’m guessing there’s people out there who can’t stand quiet in a group, or silence in an individual. Maybe it reminds them of something painful. or maybe it a challenge to something inside them. But imagine that quality multiplied, imagine the mob taking that on ….fuckin hell it’d be like the Nazis, where all non happy looking individuals, all people with sad countenances, all of the quiet ones, get rounded up and used as the scape goats – and skateboards – of society, the doormats of the power in charge. Let the de-humanisation begin.
of course, from his POV it’s quite possible he wasn’t posturing, and that it wasn’t a conscious act. But social behaviour is a mixed up bag at the best of times, it’s a mixed up shook up Lola kaleidoscope. But let’s put it in a more realistic perspective: he’s doing his job; i didn’t do anything to obstruct him in his job. so why does he see the need to get some reaction from me? did he stick his head in my girlfriend’s car expecting a chat? did it give him a tremendous rush? Did he really need some feedback from the passenger as well as the driver ? Why though? it was nothing to do with anything.
Yet i knew he was going to do it – sometimes i can read people. But only people i don’t know it seems.
I like going to the tip.
check this out:
It’s a list of 100 best comedy films of all time as voted for by readers of Newsweek, some american rag.
who am i to complain? i am nothing but a child dripping in the residue of naivety, But just glance at the list and see if you think what i think….that the list is strange, weird; messed up@~”$%&£
It’s got film that aren’t comedy film on it, films that a million miles away from being comedies e.g. Three Billboards.
It’s got a few Woody Allen films, ok, a few Chaplin films, a Marx Bros film…but there’s not one Laurel and Hardy. Not one! i mean that team worked their bollocks off to make the world laugh in the thirties…even if you don’t think they’re nuanced or sophisticated or a satire on social morays come on ! They made people laugh FFS.
There’s not one Zuker bros film, or Farelly bros film present. But Knocked Up is on the list, a piece of shit.
Yes i know a comedy film doesn’t have to consist of belly laughs, and yes i know it can be clever and subtle. but it seems to me that’ funny’ is an essential ingredient.
To be honest i need to check the list again, but it made me so sad last time i looked. The contributors have twisted the meaning of the word comedy, or just forgotten it, and it reeks of middle class bourgeoisie pretentiousness. The saddest thing is that the magazine by publishing such a list mocks the idea of filmic comedy. By not acknowledging proper comedy films they have failed to take the art form seriously.