Top comedy gig…

TSP and I are determined to make up for the fact that we missed all the great comedy stuff at the Edinburgh Festival that we really wanted to see.

So last night we went to The Banana Cabaret at The Bedford in Balham. We knew it was a nice venue from going to the new Kashmir Klub there fairly regularly.

The headliners last night were Milton Jones and Gina Yashere – obviously a v. popular choice judging by the ‘standing room only’ situation by the time we arrived. It was also extremely smokey and we were reconsidering our decision… until the first act came on, John Fothergill – a regular on the London comedy club scene (apparently – I’ve never been to a comedy club before, only comedy gigs in theatres), and a very funny man.

Then came some poor bloke who pretty much died on his arse – given that I’ve only gone to Comedy in theatres before now, the standard of live comedy I’ve seen has been very high – people like Eddie Izzard, Lee Evans, Ross Noble, Rhona Cameron, Barry Cryer etc… hang on, I have been to a comedy club before – Club Senseless in Crouch End, but their booking policy is so choosy there’s never going to be any rubbish there either (I’ve seen Rich Hall and Rob Deering there – both top pros).. so, that doesn’t really count. Where was I? Ah yes, poor bloke dying on stage – it’s not that he was dreadful, he just wasn’t very funny. Which just goes to confirm my response to anyone who ever says ‘you should do stand-up’ after one of my gigs. No I shouldn’t. If I’m not funny, but vaguely friendly and endearing on my gigs, I can still win. People will like me, enjoy the music, and smile a bit, and that’s a success. If you’re not very funny but just come across as a nice bloke at a comedy gig, YOU’RE RUBBISH! there’s no halfway measure. No-one can say ‘shut up and player yer guitar’. They just get impatient for the next act.

So I’ll stick with making people laugh between songs – that way I still have my proper skill to fall back on, something I’ve spent decades honing, rather than a half-arsed haphazard approach to comedy, which just sort of happened and is really helpful for getting reviews on the Edinburgh Fringe, but isn’t really what I do for a living…

Anyway, the headliners were, as expected, fantastic. Very very funny. I’ve seen Milton Jones live loads of times – at Greenbelt, and a few other comedy gigs around, but he never fails to make me fall about laughing. An exceedingly skillful comedian. Gina is someone that TSP and I have enjoyed on TV for years, and is equally if not more funny on stage. Great observational stuff, very endearing personality and some top absurd stories.

All in all a great night out, despite having spent £12 to stand up. Next Time we’ll get there earlier.

Soundtrack – Erin McKeown, ‘Grand’.

My Izzard knowledge knows no bounds…

Thanks to Deb’s Blog, I found this Eddie Izzard knowledge test, and I scored –

Definite Article!
Your Izzard-ness is at 89!

Your Izzard-ness is off the charts! You must be a bit of a bastard, cuz you’re getting shagging a-plenty! Your knowledge of the Action Transvestite is unrivaled, and you KNOW you wanna be a beekeeper! You wanna KEEP BEES! But you’re COVERED IN BEES! Quite sexy, actually. Well-done. You beat out Sexie Eddie, Kilted Eddie, and the lowly Plain-clothes Eddie. If I asked you, “Do you have a flag?” you’d say “Yes, five of ’em!” You’re like Achilles without the Achilles Heel… Immortal!

Test statistics:

* Compared to users who took the test and are and in your age group:
o 100% had lower Izzard-ness scores.


So my Eddie-obsession is now official, and I’m supremo ‘in my age group’. Deb scored 91, but she’ll be in the ’25-29′ bracket whereas I’m in the ’30, going on 70′ bracket.

Soundtrack – JBK, ‘Ism’; Talking Heads, ‘Fear Of Music’; The Cure, ‘Greatest Hits’.

Christmas time, no mistletoe, no wine

…just a very relaxed day, watching TV and videos, cooking and eating nice food and not doing very much at all!!

Went to church in the morning, which was fun and chaotic in the usual style of Christmas day services, came home and started our now traditional pattern of eating one course every three hours throughout the day. Started off with soup and garlic bread. That was after opening the pressies – I got a couple of books (Rich Hall’s autobiography, and Vanishing Footprints, subtitled ‘native voices speak’ it’s a book of gorgeous photos of indigenous people from around the world, telling their own story. Beautiful), the new Eddie Izzard video , Circle, which is very good, especially the hour and half of his Paris show, in French. The set from New York is very funny, but he comes across as slightly out of practice with standup, having spent so long in hollywood… and some other bits ‘n’ bobs.

Dinner was nut roast with a homemade spicey tomato, red pepper, mushroom and onion sauce, steamed veg and jacket potato (mmmm, delish!!), followed by watching the Izzard vid…

Oh, we watched Christmas top of the pops – was it worse than usual or am I just nearly 30??? 80% of the stuff on there seemed to be teenage girls dressed as hollywood hookers, singing out of tune. What on earth has happened to the record buying public??? On ‘I love 1984’ last night, there was a bit about the soul/jazz revival of ’84, with some talking head or other mentioning that it was a backlash to the rubbishness of pop at the time. Here’s hoping that something similar happens to end the reality TV horse-shit that seems to be taking over the charts. for the two biggest selling singles of the year to be Will Young and Gareth Gates is just nonsense. It’s not even like they sold because they were lowest-common-denominator catchy pop tunes – I’d rather see some PWL pre-fab crap there – they are there purely because of the exposure and media manipulation of the Pop Idol TV show. The songs themselves are sub-Barry Manilow bland MOR holiday camp bollocks. Grrrrrr.

Here I am listening to Theo Travis – outstanding saxophonist, playing original, moving, music, beautifully written and played and selling a few thousand copies, as opposed to the millions shifted by the losers. No, I’m not expecting Theo to start selling millions (he’d have to bland-out for that to happen), but it’d be nice if radio in particular, and TV programmers started to give some air time to quality music regardless of formatting and dull stylistic constraints…

Right, rant over.

I’m knackered at the moment, thanks to having taken the small persons car out of the drive with the intention of getting it valeted as an extra christmas pressie, only to have it stall on the road, and then have to try and push it back onto the drive, failing miserably but pulling lots of muscles in the process, then having to tow it back up with my car (which didn’t like that at all – I’m lucky I didn’t wreck the chassis!!). My muscles are aching like anything, and my shoulder is bruised from trying to push it.

Now it sounds like I’ve had a pain-filled misery-christmas, complaining about pop-nonsense. Not true. I’ve had a marvellous time, very relaxing. The Office is being repeated nightly at the moment, and is outstanding – Ricky Gervais is one of the most talented comics to emmerge in this country for quite a while…

Soundtrack – currently Theo’s album (see above), I’ve also been playing the MINIDISC of Theo and I playing together from Monday a lotl; I bought ‘Acoustic Soul’ by India.Arie for the Small Person for Christmas, and that’s excellent, really enjoying that, and I finally bought ‘Steve McQueen’ by Prefab Sprout on CD (very cheap from ) – one of my all time faves…

BTW, Evil Harv can now be reached at should you have any questions about all things eville… his evil blog will no doubt emmerge soon… :o)

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