Monday, 22 November 2010

All Day Edinburgh - a benefit for Shelter

All Day Edinburgh is the brainchild of Michael Legge, who announced on Twitter a few weeks ago that there was an amazing gig coming up. We were all on the edge of our seats for days until "All Day Edinburgh" was revealed to the world. This was to be a benefit in aid of Shelter, the homeless charity and the aim was to recreate the Edinburgh Fringe in a single day. Some great acts were announced with a couple unable to be revealed as they were THAT GOOD ! Michael had already told me after the Los Quattros Cvnts gig that there was to be a big opener and a big closer, and he wouldn't say any more. However, later in the evening I did hear the name Stewart Lee and got quite excited. I then found out that there was no Stewart Lee, but I was still excited!

The day was to begin in a rather traditional (for me and Neal) Phoenix way with Sunday lunch at The Explorer. This was probably the best idea we had bearing in mind the endrance test of booze we were about to undertake. We were joined by Graham, Hitch, and Sir Bob, as well as Woolhouse, Sedgebeer and Vicky H. Vicky seemed to take great delight in giving me one of her now infamous (to me anyway) "boob hugs". I won't say any more about that.

Before we go any further, all the crappy out of focus pictures were taken by me on my crappy out of focus phone. All the good ones were taken by Neal Peters and the entire set can be seen here.

Acts that had been revealed for ADE included Tony Law, Penny Dreadfuls, Pappys, Dan Antopolski, Paul Sinha, Sara Pascoe, Nick Helm, Hour Of Telly Live, Tara Flynn, Mat Ricardo, Jim Bob, Alex Horne, Colin Hoult,  Storytellers, Caroline Mabey, Robin Ince & Michael Legge, and The Trap.

Vicky Hook
For me this was great news as all the comedians from that list that I have seen I have enjoyed greatly, and there are a few on the list that I have never seen such as Helm, Pascoe, Penny Dreadfuls, and Pappys that I have never seen but only ever heard good things about. And for a man of my age, the chance to see Jim Bob is not one to pass up. We ALL loved Carter USM in the 90s you know.

Michael Legge

Michael warmed us up with a nice anti-Edinburgh, anti-homeless and anti-comedian rant before the first act Nick Helm came on. I had missed Nick at the opening night of Sunday Comedy at the New Red Lion Theatre At first I was a little unsure about him as he opened with a lot of shouting. but once he moved into his first song about a girl he likes having a hot boyfriend who made her look fat, his vulnerability started to come through. Watching Nick made me glad for once that I didn't have a front row seat as his intensity was pretty intimidating, dragging one lad on to stage to sing a sing as well as bringing a girl on stage where he spoke to her through a tin can telephone. When she was asked about her favourite canned food, she told him it was mushy peas to which he responded that they were much better than having whole peas in a can due to all the draining involved. In fact all the draining was draining. Excellent stuff.

Next up, was An Hour Of Telly Live who are a duo comprised of Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Zoe Gardner who perform some telly for us. Live. Michael was less of a compere, and more of a fan when he introduced them and Robin Ince had tweeted when he was on his way that he hoped he hadn't missed them. A great fun show, well worth seeing, even if only for the line "Your teeth are cunts".

Caroline Mabey  was up next with a routine all about breakfast with an accompanying slide show whch discussed "Breakfacts" and "Breakfantasties". The self-importance of breakfast describing itself as the most important meal of the day was discusssed as well as it inpinging into the other meals due to the rise of the all-day breakfast. Caroline is quite unique in her delivery, giving us a mixture of straight forward jokes along with her surreal narrative.

Next up was Interval #1. I've had intervals before and this was a fairly standard one. I bought a beer, had a cigarette and kind of hung around. Not bad. But I wasn't ready for an interval at this stage and could have done without it.

Robin Ince
After the rather adequate interval came Robin Ince & Michael Legge with their "Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire" show. Robin started by reading one of his clever books before being interrupted from the off-stage Michael, asking what the fuck he was doing? I've seen these guys perform both seperately and together many times and would recommend you to see them if you can. It's nice to see Robin abandon his usual book / science / philosophy based shows and concentrate on screaming "cunt" at the top of his voice. Definite shades of Mayall/Edmonson here (which is a tribute - not a criticism!) This set had an surprisingly touching end to it where Robin explained that All Day Edinburgh was actually his idea, however Michael had actually gone ahead and organised it, and sincerely asked us to give him a round of applause. Michael didn't like this one bit !

Sara Pascoe was up next who explained that due to her poor reviews at Edinburgh her confidence had been knocked and was not going to do material from that show, but she gave us some new material, a particular highlight being her graphic novel based around a "pornography" she has written. I can't remember all the details, but there was a lollipop lady, and ambulance driver, a dead child and a minotaur...

You have probably read about The Trap before on this blog, as they are 75% of Los Quattros Cvnts. I have always liked these guys, and I'm not a huge fan of sketch comedy, but their podcasts are always rambling, surreal and hilarious. The first sketch was an attempt to do hard hitting satire that was always interrupted by some rather cheesy show music. They went on to do a sketch involving Jeremy and Paul wearing fez's (always funny!). The Two Nevilles. This was a long routine that parodied old music hall duos and I wasn't really sure where it was going until Dan asked them how long they had been working together and they said it was so long they could do the routine backwards. Dan insisted they did. This was where the real comedy happened as this was a palindromic sketch which turned the charming if not especially hilarious sketch into quite an offensive routine that The Two Nevilles looked more and more shocked as the routine evolved in reverse. This was the best sketch The Two Ronnies never had (the clue was probably in the characters' names!) Brilliant stuff, backed up with the next sketch which comprised solely of the alphabet and nothing else. Very very funny guys.

Juggler, Mat Ricardo was up next.. I've seen clips on Youtube where rather than pulling a tablecloth off, leaving the crockery in place, Mat does the trick in reverse. However, this has to be my first apology of the blog as sometimes when you haven't made the most of the first interval, you have to make an interval of your own (I was dying for a wee, a fag and a drink) and I'm afraid on a long day when you have to pick an act to sacrifice, then I'm afraid it's often the juggler. Sorry Mat !

Interval #2 was good. Much better than the first one. It was so good I was late back and missed the start of Alex Horne and his Horne Section. This was yet another great act involving some audience interaction from Alex whilist his band played in the background. An improvised version of "One Wild Night" by Bon Jovi went down well even though I'm not sure if anyone has heard the song, or indeed if it exists. Great joke about 'Chat' magazine, with one audience member sayig her friend wrote a household tips column for it. Alex was confused why a French magazine about cats would have this! The set ended with a rather unexpected morris dance with a near disastrous end when all balance was lost.

I've never seen Pappy's before, but always heard good things. I was a little unsure whether the gloriously shambolic set they performed was scripted or whether that's how they always are, but got a lot of laughs and the build up to the three musketeers reading the football results was fantastic!

Chris Addison
What needs to be said about Chris Addison ? I've seen him a couple of times before, and he is ALWAYS on top form. He started with a bit of a microphone problem, and it seems that along the way he destroyed one. So a stuttering start, but he went on to be the funniest act of the day! Rants about the Daily Mail and a great line about being so non-sexist that he "actually married a woman. And in many ways, so did she"! Rants about Ugg boots, The Pope and The Daily Mail followed, as well as a true story about a woman being offended by the swearing in a golf club. She complaned to the committee and the rules were changed - so that women weren't allowed on the balcony! FIVE STARS !

I was so overcome by Chris that I needed more booze etc so apologies to Storytellers for missing almost their entire set. I'm sorry, although I got back in time to hear a story about joke theft committed by Stephen K Amos !

Dan Antolpolski was as awesome as you'd expect updating his classic "Hedgehog" joke to ask "Warthogs. Why can't they share the warts?" No narrative, just joke joke joke. He went on to explain the racial heritage of his children with pie charts, and confused the audience by questioning if you should use the word "hair" or "hairs". this went on for so long it definitely out "Mars Bar"ed Richard Herring! He talked about his friendship at school with George Osborne (a Stewart Lee style exaggeration?) and his suspicion that he likes retarded porn. His set included another of the best lines of the day: "I can't help myself. Like Stephen Hawking at a buffet" He ended the set with a rap about his laser. That isn't as scary as it sounds!

Star of "Gutted", Colin Hoult was next. He played an army veteran (Andy Parker) who promised us he would not be doing any of that "poofy stuff". He told us about his money making schemes including drawing TMNTs*. He has also written a screenplay based around Hostel where he has a "poofy bloke" and a "fit bird" being killed horrifically by Mr Giggles, finally being defeated by an "army bloke" This is the second time I've seen him play this guy, and would love to see more of his work. Great stuff.

*TMNTs - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Paul Sinha sets out his stall from the beginning explaining he is gay, Indian, and ex-doctor and a quizzer. very funny guy who talked about his appearance on radio (never telly, always radio) to debate with the deputy leader of the BNP. He then went on to speculate which member of Pappy's he would do first !

Tony Law
Tony Law came on after the interval and bamboozled everyone with his unusual thoughts. I've seen Tony a few times and always throws in plenty new material and he seems to freeflow ideas as they occur to him like a mroe surreal Eddie Izzard in cowboy boots. After a couple of minutes everyone was going with him! His discussion on panda prostitution and his workshop on comedy instructing people to use animal sounds and revolutions to make comedy gold,

More music next from Tara Flynn who performed 3 songs from her Big Noise show that I already blogged about here. I was very happy to hear "The Fog From The Film The Fog" as well as her song about Irish sexuality containing my favourite lyric of the evening "You custard bastard. I'm your custard whore"

Have you noticed that each act is getting less and less written about them as this blog goes on? Sorry but my fingers are tired, the blog is too long and my memory is fading...

Sean Goldsworthy (aka Paul Litchfield)
The legendary Sean Goldsworthy (Paul Litchfield from The Trap) delivered some extremely arousing erotic poetry. With lines such as "Her breasts looked right back at him" and "Her ass was toned like paperweights filled with pictures of other women's asses" I would imagine everyone, even all the women, in the audience sported stiffies.

Jim Bob
Carter USM's Jim Bob, (yet another star of Gutted) came on to perform a few songs for us including the Carter classic "The Only Living Boy In New Cross". It was hard to concentrate with Michael Legge dancing out of the corner of my eye! This is yet another performer I will definitely be seeing again.

Hitch and Legge have a lovely snog
The Penny Dreadfuls were soon on to complete the show and again, like the poor Mat Ricardo I had to sacrifice them for more booze, fags and weeing. Sorry about that again... Michael brought the gig to a close thanking all the acts for performing only to be trumped by his lovely wife Muki shouting Michael's name which resulted in a standing ovation which, again, Michael didn't like at all, prompting him to bolt from the stage straight to the bar.

Sincerely though, a great job by Michael for organising this, and looking forward to next year's already. After the gig, Hitch and I went to The Rocket on Euston Road and were soon joined by Woolhouse. A more perfect ending to the night I couldn't imagine.

Then Hitch threw up in a bin.

Monday, 15 November 2010

New Red Lion Theatre

Catie Wilkins
 This is a fairly new comedy venue (2 weeks old) that happens to be only 5 minutes walk from my house. This alone makes it my favourite comedy venue. However when I got inside I liked it even more. The bar used to be a rather grotty sports venue that I visited once in order to go for an emergency wee (and I bought a half to get rid of the guilt.) Now though it looks like a lovely friend's lovely living room and has a really nice vibe about it. I had made a joke on Twitter beforehand that if the night was no good I could always pop to the porno cinema next door for a wank, but thankfully this option was not needed (but will bear it in mind for future visits!) I went there with my lovely friend Richard who has seen AIOTM (aiotm) twice but has never seen Richard Herring do his regular bread & butter stand up.

The night was compered by the ever-lovely (I've used the word 'lovely' too much, haven't I?) Catie Wilkins.The club runs every fortnight and this was only the second time it was on. Some good acts coming up so keep an eye on their Facebook page !.

Me and Richard (@Chardhollis)
Catie chatted to the audience as comperes generally do (if they didn't they would be a bit rubbish) and eventually came to chat to Richard and myself and asked how we knew each other. Richard told her we used to work together and obviously we were asked what we did. He replied that we worked on a sex line, which is only partly true (I do a lot more other important stuff other than filth!) but decided to run with it. Naturally she wanted more information about what we say, but I told her she would have to pay me (I don't ask her to tell me jokes for free, do I !?)

Anyway, Imran Yusuf was on first. He was pretty good - did I see him on Stand Up Hero?  actually I didn't see him on there. It was Michael MacIntyre's Comedy Roadshow ! Thanks to Mary Bourke for letting me know, and if anyone else has any corrections for anything in any of my blogs please tell me - however, my asterisk still stands - but trying a lot of new material which spoiled the flow of his set. However we still laughed a lot and he was enjoyable.

The next act, Suzi Ruffell was absolutely fantastic! I had never seen her before, but I certainly will again. Her routine near the end about Lady Gaga's song where no matter how drunk she is, she sorts it all out with a little dance was hilarious, as was her secret lesbian salute! We had a nice interval and spent most of our time gushing over Suzi outside. (not like that!). We told her how great she was, and is definitely a name to look out for in the future.

A stage on a stage?
After the break, Catie asked us how the interval was and what was the best thing that happened during it. The audience was very quiet, so thought I would help out and blurted out "I went to the toilet". This unfortunately led to a barrage of complaints about them, so Catie took it upon herself to put the acts' payment on hold in order to fix them. (I recognise this was a joke, but I like to report this as if it is a fact.)  I wish I'd never brought it up.

Actually the toilets aren't bad (though there is only a tiny tiny gap between the tap and the sink so very hard to get your hands wet although I'm sure Richard H had no problem with his 7 year old girl hands (more of that later)

Next up, was a chap I rather shamefully can't remember his name. Let's call him Dylan Thing. (Please if you know his surname please let me know and I'll fix this!) Dylan Bray (Thanks Richard!) Anyway this was his first gig for a year and seemed a little nervous. However, he was very good and I quite enjoyed his conversation with the rather nihilisic woman who wasn't that bothered about climate change. He did a routine about eating prisoners to help (though I'm sure I've seen Billy Connolly do a very similar routine before!)

Herring & me. I don't know why my face is doing that.
Next up, and closing the night was Richard Herring. Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a big fan, and have seen him on quite a number of times. However, it was nice to have my mate Richard with me because it was interesting to see his reactions for the first time to jokes I've heard on quite a few occasions. He seemed to particularly enjoy the "sky potato" routine. In fact the best part of the night was his reaction to Rich's joke about his dark masturbatory fantasies about having the hands resembling a 7 year old girl! He made quite a shocked noise, so I turned round and his face was a picture! Nice to see Rich including some Hitler Moustache material in his regular comedy set, and the "racists might have a point" routine went down a storm.

So in closing, this is a great comedy venue, and I will definitely be back.

Anyway, I have two things I want to do with this blog:
  1. Stop using so many exclamation marks.
  2. Write about things other than comedy gigs.
However, that may or may not happen. It's not happened yet. I may write about an exciting event happening a week today and who could blame me?

Next Sunday, the 24th November at The Phoenix, there is a benefit gig for Shelter as Michael Legge recreates Edinburgh Fringe in one day. it's going to be awesome, so make sure you come! Follow AllDayEdinburgh on Twitter for more details! Many acts to be confirmed, but so far they have Tony Law, The Penny Dreadfuls, Jim Bob (from Carter USM !!!!) , Pappys, Robin Ince & Michael Legge, Sara Pascoe, Paul Sinha, The Trap, Storytellers, Nick Helm, Tara Flynn, An Hour of Telly Live, Mat Ricardo, Caroline Mabey and Dan Antopolski to look forward to with bigger names yet to be announced.

Get tickets to All Day Edinburgh here. But be fast as I imagine they will go very quickly.

(I may write about it.)

* by the way Stand Up Hero is a great show. Like the X Factor of comedy except most of the acts are actually good. Look out for Mary Bourke on an upcoming episode.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

It Looks Like Something Harold Wilson Would Shit In

I was going to do a blog about the October LQC show, but I just didn't get around to it. It's now fading fast from my memory, so roughly it was grub at Old Explorer, the vegan fisherman with no food for his starving Paul Lichfield toddler, We Need Attention,  Collins and Herring in attendance,  Caroline Mabey, pork eye / poor guy (shades of Jimi Hendrix there), Ladies and gentlemen... please welcome... Miss Barbara Toronto, Colin Hoult's ex army character Andy " don't worry I'm not gonna do any of that poofy stuff" Parker, portraits of TMNTs, Jeremy Limb's new radio sitcom "Down The Pole", drinking upstairs, perhaps slightly offending Muki by telling her that although I enjoyed the night as always, I had seen the Cvnts do better shows, and going home.

Anyway November has arrived and so did a tube strike. This would not deter the Cvnts. Nor me. I got on a trusty number 73 bus and ended up snarled up in traffic in Pentonville Road. I got off the bus and walked to Kings Cross and found the entrance to the tube was shut. Seems that even KX had been affected by the strike. The bus caught up with me after 10 minutes and I got back on, only to get off again in Gower Street when I got off again. I walked to the Olde Explorer..

I know it's a boring start to this blog, but it was also a boring start to the evening, so tough. I was also going to write a "then I got off the bus" joke but couldn't really be bothered.

Met up for grub with Neal, Graham, Roop, and we were finally joined by Hitch. Turns out Hitch managed to tube it from Kings Cross to Oxford Circus and it was fine all along. They had just shut my entrance, so that slightly irked me. Last time I saw Hitch he was smashing my ukulele to bits (I was informed last month by Graham that actually missed the ground with one of his Paul Simenon strikes. Now that I would have liked to have seen !)

Anyway, on we went to the Phoenix and outside bumped into the ever lovely cvnt Paul Litchfield. He seemed visibly excited when I told him of Hitch's "Belm" T-shirt. I had already had to get Hitch to explain what it meant as I haven't listened to as much of The Trap as I should.

The Cvnts came on and we were soon straight into hardcore political satire involving spending cuts (they had to drop Dan from their workforce.). This was followed by a sketch involving Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta being told by her agent to choose a new name for her career (luckily Michael explained this was Lady Gaga's real name.) This had shades of Eddie Izzard's Englebert Humperdink routine, with Michael suggesting many and varied ideas to Stefani (Paul) most of which he hadn't heard, which led to much corpsing to our delight. Amongst many suggestions were:
  • Patrick Troughton
  • Jug Norris
  • Arthur Vagina
  • Michael J Badger
  • Professor Dress
  • That Little Arab Boy
  • Bank Piss
  • Titty
  • Little Chip
which ended with an amazing "poltical twist" involving the punchline "Tony Blairs"

Mr Nougat (real name Arnold Bawden) went down a storm. Arnold is an extremely bitter old children's entertainer from the music hall era tormented by the lovely, silly, dotty Mr Nougat "I am in a muddle". If the Cvnts read this, make sure you bring him back for another show.

We were teated to a new TV panel show "Mock The Antiques" where Dan Mersh's temporary replacement Aisling Bea played a rather posh lady trying to get her antiques valued while Paul's Russell "That would be weird, wouldn't it" Howard and Michael's Andy "It looks like something Gordon Brown would shit in" Parsons. This Andy Parsons got one of the biggest laughs of the night and I would definitely lie to see him again! Michael's costume was very well put together comprising of a post it note with the word "bald" written on it, and Andy's topical references moving further back in time was a great touch.

I think I speak for everyone to say how glad I was to see the return of Sean Goldsworthy, Cornwall's 4th most erotic purveyor of online "eroticker". Listening to his story of Jack Shield provided many laughs and slight arousal. 

"Some say his mother had been struck by lightning. Other people didn't say that"

Robin Ince came on after the break to a now traditional dance from the Cvnts. Robin quite surprisingly managed to remain quite non-plussed by this lunacy and launched into his fantastically shambolic rambling routine. As usual, he only got through about 3 of his cards out of an entire handful.

Now - a note for your diary. 21st November sees "Edinburgh In A Day" at The Phoenix - a benefit for Shelter - running from 2pm onwards which promises a fantastic line up including Robin Ince and Michael Legge's "Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire", as well as 2 BIG name comedians to open and close the show. Follow Michael on Twitter to get updates about this as they happen.

See you there! 

Oh - Los Quattros Cvnts have a Facebook group. Don't be a cunt, be a cvnt and join it now.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

What have these all got in common? Yes they can make long complicated URLs shorter, making them easier to remember and especially to post on Twitter. Yes, they all quick to type too. But the main things they have in common are that they are CHARACTERLESS AND BORING.

I implore you, from now on when you need to shorten a URL, please use the magnificent - As well as being able to choose your own personal ending, how can it possibly not raise a smile?

Here are some of my favourite blogs in an easy to remember stylee !! - Nicola Woolhouse - Vicky Hook (nee "Harsehole) - Sarah Williamson

While I'm on an roll, if any of you guys are around on Sunday the 14th, come to a new comedy night in Angel at The New Red Lion Theatre to see Richard Herring, Imran Yusuf and others, all held together by Catie Wilkins, MC - Tickets at

Yes I know - crappy blog, but let's crush tinyurl, dwarfweb, nanoaddress and all the dreary but practical shorteners, and lets all get now!

(Oh, quick note to self - try and do more blogs that aren't just about going to comedy gigs)