Friday, 10 February 2012

Gary Numan - Live in Sydney 2011

So, Gary performed his Pleasure Principle shows and this one from Australia has just been released for free on Moshcam. Enjoy! This is a site I haven't heard of before but I think I'm going to spend quite some time exploring it. Lots of well filmed free gigs.



Watch Gary Numan and other great gigs on Moshcam.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Death Of A Comedian

I first heard about Andy Zaltzman (aka Zaltar The Magnificent, amongst many other aliases) through The Bugle podcast. If you don't know what that is, then first of all, shame on you, and second of all, its a weekly podcast (or audio newspaper for a visual world) brought to us every week by Andy Zaltzman and John Oliver (you know, the English guy from The Daily Show. No, not Louis Theroux. He's not even on The Daily Show. Yes, I know they're both English. Yes they are both quite polite but cheeky middle class boys. Yes they both have similar hair cuts. Yes, I know they both have glasses. But really, there is nothing remotely similar about them. They are totally different. Totally. Now shut up.)

I came late to Bugling, but am currently working my way through the back issues of what I would describe as a perfect combination of biting satire, 80s power ballads, bad puns, forced similes (no, not forced smiles: they come fairly natuarally!) and bullshit. The Bugle still runs as an independent podcast after times online cruelly sacked both our heroes a few weeks ago.

Armchair Revolutionary
If you take away the power ballads, then that is pretty much what you get when you see Zaltzman live. I met up with Sarah and Jack in the Soho Theatre bar and we were the first through the door. It was rather strange though as when the doors were opened, every one just stood around looking embarrassed. So, we got to the front row, where we settled down. We looked behind us and there didn't seem to be many people here. We did the same 10 minutes later and it was packed.

Andy gave a few fantastic lines pre-show back stage: "Ladies and gentlemen, the show will begin in approximately  6 minutes and 48 seconds, that's 6 minutes and 45 seconds", before we heard him give a theatre manager hell for not getting all his diva demands. He argued that he couldn't balance the fruit on his head before finding that the apple he was given was perfect for this role before the soon to be fatal accident occurred.
The end of Andy Zaltzman

Andy took to the stage with an arrow through his head, in a possible tribute to Steve Martin. He does have a unique look: Those of you who caught the BBC programme about the Late And Live comedy night in Edinburgh would have heard him abused as looking like Sideshow Bob, Mick Hucknall and many many others. But for me, I think of him as Charlie Chuck's son (If you don't know who he is then look him up).

He called NHS Direct and was eventually told that the arrow through his head would give him 66 minutes to live, so he decided it was best to crack on with the show. He had road tested some of the jokes in the most recent Bugle, so it looks like this show is constantly developing. He has an old fashioned looking radio which, he claims, will provide him with stories to satirise (he is fully qualified he tells us).

He hits the targets a Bugler would expect, but from an unusually silly angle. He even manages to speak on the current events in Syria and make us laugh, where an unqualified satirist may make us uncomfortable about such a terrible topic.

Finally 66 minutes is up, and Andy slumps back into his chair before the lights go out and the theatre assistant covers his lifeless body (perhaps another reference back to his infamous Manchester gig) with a shroud. We all awkwardly file out, nodding our heads in respect to this great man who gave his life for bullshit. Well except for me. I took a picture.

Armchair Revolutionary: You have until Saturday to see this show and you had better do.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My Ideal Woman Is A Black Man

Bridget Christie as Louise Mensch (feminist)
So said Zeus, as played by Tom Golding, along with his unlikely named co-god, Nathan (William Andrews). I shamefully couldn't remember their names, I mean, I could picture them, but after 16 amazing acts, it's difficult to remember names. Thanks to Tom for reminding me!

Rob & Alex Edelman
The Alternative Comedy Memorial Society had its final show night at The New Red Lion last night. The venue has been sold, which is a shame. It's had so many great acts and club nights on. Good news though. ACMS will be on next month in a big top in Dalston. Thanks so much to Thom Tuck and John Luke Roberts for putting this night on.

This night was utterly mad and brilliant. We didn't get any acts talking about their toasters only warming the bread or burning it black. We got, what I can only imagine is something as exciting as alternative comedy was like in the early 80s. I was to young and living too far away to experience it live, but I can imagine The Dangerous Brothers would not look out of place on this stage.

We had a man playing Guess Who with hammers and eggs, a woman trying to eat 4 eclairs in a minute, the country and western awards, an actor with his Northern unreconstructed wannabe-comedian father "Cock is for jokes, Penis is for examinations", Sara Pascoe, and a new nervous female comedian who just wanted to make friends, and an amazing trio of acts to end the show.

Isy Sutie
Alex Edelman from Wisconsin came on during the country and western awards and he dragged Rob on stage to suggest which jokes he did from a larger folder that he gave him. Of course, Rob enjoyed giving him the most awkward jokes possible.

I had seen Isy Sutie just a few nights previously at the Frank Skinner & Friends show (but due to toilet issues hadn't seen much of her act!). She came on and did a couple of songs including about her driving instructor, Sue. Isy is always adorable and I can't imagine anyone not falling in love with her. I had met her in the interval outside but assumed she was here as a punter rather than an act so it was a nice surprise.

Lou Sanders
Bridget Christie was on next as "Tory MP, Louise Wensch - I AM A FEMINIST!" with a hideous mask and Nazi helmet. Wow. She was astonishingly good as usual though I'm sure a few people didn't know how to take her. Why is she not more famous? I have been asking this for so long, as she is easily one of the top 5 standups in the country. I imagine it may be to do with the way she dresses?

Thom and John Luke cut through the backdrop for the next part with their Stanley knives before being reminded that Bridget was still changing behind it. As she heard it she bellowed through "I AM A FEMINIST!" one more time, before Lou Sanders was introduced.

I'm a big fan of Lou's and have seen her on a number of occasions. Tonight she had possibly had a few beers and slightly forgot what was going on. But again, like Isy, she is strangely adorable and she managed to get through her set in the end without too many casualties, even though she had attacked two of the tables with a big knife before throwing it into the stage.

ACMS is an astonishingly good night and I hope it thrives, and like alternative comedy in the 80s, I hope it can soon become the mainstream and displace the John Bishops and McIntyres and become the mainstream of tomorrow.

See you in Dalston!