Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's just have some fun, etc

Hmm. Bit of a gap there. After a fun-packed opening six weeks to the year, things slowed down last week.

The last evening out I had was a couple of weeks back, when I went to see Nick Mohammed, Jonny Sweet and Adam Buxton do a show at the Tabernacle in London's trustafarian epicentre, Notting Hill. I'd never been to the Tabernacle before, and I must say...I liked it. It's like a really upmarket arts centre with an efficient restaurant attached (well, I say efficient: it took longer to order the food than it did to receive it, which was a bit strange).

The gig itself was pretty good: Nick Mohammed performed a feat of memory as his character Mr Swallow, which raised a couple of smiles. Jonny Sweet slayed me with a shortened version of his show Let's just have some fun (and learn something for once), which is about the HMS Nottingham. Sounds like an unlikely topic for a routine, but it was just brilliant.

I've been a fan of Adam Buxton for a long old time now, since his appearances on Takeover TV in the early 90s, through to The Adam and Joe Show and then the brilliant Saturday morning radio show on 6music. Buckles is a lovely chap, slightly shorter in real life than you might think, and very hirsute. He was genuinely funny. To my mind, one of the best bits of his set was a set of Frankie Boyle cracker jokes he'd written (you can imagine the content).

He had what are known in the business as some enormous technical fuck ups, which ate into about 15-20 minutes of his time. (That's Macs for ya.) This was a shame - the Tabernacle has a strict curfew so there was no way of just adding the time on at the end of the set. He was properly embarrassed and even offered to do an extra (free) show for anyone who felt short-changed. To be honest, the crowd were all behind him, so I'd be surprised if anyone was genuinely disgruntled about the problems.

Since then, life has been quiet. It has been nice to have a bit of time off from the relentless parade of FUN! But there will be more jollity very soon.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Brand new Key

A fair amount to report. Working backwards:

PL and his young lady were in London for the weekend, down from Manchester. A few of the old guard were out to greet them, in a pub called The Easton, which couldn't decide if it was a gastropub or not. I caught up with TS and PM about their work and the conversation turned to friendship. We chatted about friends falling away (a matter I know I've discussed here before but can't be arsed to find a permalink to). I agreed with PM that our ever-decreasing circle of pals is simply a matter of the cream rising to the top.

Devon, to Nephew #2's wedding to the lovely R. What a lovely day we had. It was a pity that the weather wasn't a bit more cheerful, but at least there was no rain. We also saw most of the rest of the family over the course of a couple of days, and of course, the Greatest Dog in the World was delighted to see us and even sat on my lap, which is quite a rare event.

The end of January I saw The Horne Section at the Lyric, which was a delightful evening out. The Horne Section are basically a jazz comedy performance party, which makes them sound abysmal, but bear with me. They are a group of talented musicians fronted by tall, gap-toothed comedian Alex Horne. Some highlights of the evening: the band doing a morris dance version of Single Ladies, Tim Vine firing out hundreds of puns and playing drums on The Girl from Ipenema, Mark Watson doing a cheeky song about being on a bouncy castle, a brass band doing Bohemian Rhapsody in an oompah style, and a bald man climbing inside a balloon.

And of course, there was Tim Key. Where to start? He is a shambolic weirdo genius, and simply has funny bones. Many of his poems are too filthy to repeat. He did an appalling one about two characters from Wind in the Willows becoming involved in a sordid affair (final line: "Rat kept winking at Toad across the courtroom"). He balanced a bottle of beer on a cymbal (and made it look easy), gave the band impossible directions ("could you make what you're playing sound more...mathematical?") and ended his set by performing a song by Russian punk band Leningrad. Wonderful.

To Clapham, nightlife hellhole of SW London, to TL's surprise 30th birthday party. Some good company, even though the evening was short.

2011's social whirl continues.

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