A top comedy night out.

Having missed their show in Edinburgh, TSP and I were most pleased to discover that Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden were playing at our local arts centre, The Arts Depot in Finchley. It’s a new place that we’ve tried to get to a few times before, but each time the show has been sold out.

This time we were on the guest-list, so no selling out woes for us.

However, when we got there, and went upstairs to get to our seats, there was what looked like a civic reception in full swing – various people dressed like local dignitaries (no idea who the local dignitaries are, so not sure if they were just imposters), many peoples with ‘arts depot’ badges on, and a handful of local celebs (Robert Powell, the lovely Linda Bellingham etc.) Our first thought was that we were in completely the wrong place and something very odd had happened. Then the woman giving the speech (speech!?!?) mentioned tonght’s gig that everyone was about to go into, and we realised it was just a do that happened to coincide with the gig.

The gig was, as expected, marvellous – very funny indeed (I think TSP was laughing louder than anyone else there, but largely because we knew what the songs were going to be from their intros, as many of them were also in the ‘Men In Beige’ show we saw at Edinburgh last year). The larger venue didn’t really work in Barry and Ronnie’s favour – the intimacy of an Edinburgh-style venue was perfect for their style of musical comedy, and the bigger stage meant that those of us in the balcony didn’t get such a great line of sight for some of the facial expressions, but it was still a marvellous night’s comedy.

The party afterwards was lots of fun, given that we now knew what was going on, and would actually know two people at this bit of the party (they’d obviously been getting ready to go on stage when we got there at the start). Surreal moment of the day goes to Jeremy Beadle, who wandered up while I was chatting with Ronnie, and started to compliment him on his marvellous country singing (Ronnie is indeed a fantastic singer in just about any style he turns his hand – or larynx – to) – Beadle was as pissed as anyone I’ve seen for quite a while, and told us of his extensive country music collection. I’m sure if I’d had the forsight to video it on my phone it would’ve earned me £250 on ‘You’ve Been Framed’.

Also met the director of the arts centre who is, by the look of their programme, doing a marvellous job. Must follow up the contact – the main hall there is a beautiful performance space, and one I’d love to play in.

Today was a housework day, interrupted by coffee with the v. talented Photographer Steve, who has one of his shoots in the current issue of RockSound magazine, and is clearly going to be the most in-demand photographer in the country within the year. His latest shots are astounding. It’s always nice to sit and chat with other freelancers about the world of work and the state of the world. Also very nice to talk to one who’s doing so well, and deservedly so. Not only that, but his equally talented wife Lorna gave me her old minidisc player to record gigs with, as mine is broken. Talented lovely peoples. gives you faith in the world.

soundtrack – still the Rise Kagona tracks for the gig in October.

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