Friday, December 31, 2010

Raymond The 2010 Review

Well that's 2010 all done and dusted, and its been...well...long. About a year long actually. Its felt about a year long too, so er, well done the concept of time for sticking to appropriate conditions. Its been a weird year really. Personally its had more ups and downs than a Pixar salesperson in a specific area of Epsom. While there are elements of it I'd happily never relive again, other bits were brilliant and its ending on a rather high note of the sort a Eunuch might warble. Well except for my last gig last night which was more the sort of noise a tenor might make if he had a bit of a cough while eating some toast. Locating itself in a Norwich, home of, er, Norwich residents, the audience were in as much of a mid-Xmas limbo fug as I was and I ambled onstage with a burbled mess of words. The majority of them went along with me, but one man, when I started doing material on our oh so oppressive governance, told me I was rubbish and to get off. Despite my usual sharp wit, my ability to slam someone down with verbal poison darts, my rapier diction bullets etc etc, I was so tired and stupid, it just threw me off and I merely said like a pathetic feeble loser 'Please don't do that. Please don't heckle.' The man seemed thrown by this and said he just wanted to heckle. I again said 'please don't', the audience told him to shut up, one man told me to carry on and we all resumed, with me slightly more off kilter than I was before. I did 10 more minutes of a set that was reminiscent of Lucky in Waiting Fo Godot's brain dump and shuffled off. I felt a bit like I'd let everyone down until two attractive girls came and spoke to me at the bar. They told me they thought I was great and I felt quite pleased at first. Then as they downed their vodka redbulls, said I nearly made one of them wet themselves and that I reminded them of Lee Evans. I didn't know how to respond to this. No offence to Lee, but I am nothing like him and it struck me that these two were not the comedy savvy fans I needed to assure me of my gigging ability. I asked if I was like Lee because I 'told jokes', they said yes, and giggled. They said they could relate to all of it - really? - told me I was the best which I retorted by saying 'but I'm the first act on' making their point invalid, they hugged me and left. I know as a comic all we ever seem to seek is gratification for our art, but whilst beggars can't be choosers, I sometimes would prefer a proper comment or nothing at all.

An interesting last gig of the year and I won't reflect on it too much as any sort of indicator as to how the whole year has been. 'But how has the whole year been Tiernan? Will you give us a review of 2010?' Yes, ok. Well 2010 was not as good as 2001, but I think this is mostly due to the distinctive absence of Kubrick's direction amongst other factors such as an over explanatory script and part destruction of the mystique and enigma of the first film. Oh sorry, you mean the year? HAH!

Well its been, in many ways, a shitfest for the UK. Cameron's New Year's speech has once again parped up the lie that the 'Cuts were tough but necessary', which translated into a language other than 'Eton prick' means 'Haha the rich once again shall happily enjoy diving into pools of money while you poor lot can really really suffer by paying off all the crap our bankers ruined.' Up until this year I really haven't been as politically active or aware as I've wanted to be. The late '90's and the Labour government that were in power as I was beginning to be aware of life outside of my favourite red cap and my Super Nintendo, were confusing in as much as they seemed like the right people in power despite pulling the wool over our eyes, blasting the crap out of the Middle East and paving the way for vast amounts of debt. Luckily, thanks to the Coalition, especially the Tories and Liemaster Clegg (which would be his name were he a rapstar) they are making no qualms about being as obviously elitist and evil as possible and I can use this to finally understand it all a bit. I'm very much making a silver lining of a cloud of despair right now and I'm praying that 2011 sees the British people stand up against the immense poverty that will hit everyone but the Upper Classes. I had a brilliant chat last night with Christian Reilly, who knows far more about all this sort of stuff than my false political pretense, and he was pointing out just how people are ignoring the ever growing divide of the rich and the poor when it seems so obvious. Christian's point was at what point do people Paul McCartney think he deserves to have £900m? Yes, he's been part of arguably the greatest band of the 20th century, but really does that mean you should have more money than a person could spend in a lifetime? He and all those other multi-millionaires, especially those who keep all their money offshore to avoid taxes, to avoid contributing to the country they live in and resources they use, could fix this so called deficit problem in days without it bearing a single smear on their lifestyle. Yet instead those in need of money for survival are having their standard of living lowered and lowered as these ridiculous cuts are being made. What I've learnt this year is that it doesn't matter what well argued point you can make for all the policies that have been going through, none of them will reasonably benefit the UK and the economists who would tell you the same don't get their opinions on the news.

OK, so less of a review, more a further rant along the levels at which I can understand happenings. Thoughts on other aspects? Entertainmentwise I loved Scott Pilgrim, Despicable Me and Toy Story 3, hated nearly all telly, enjoyed the new Alan Partridge web stuff, saw hundreds of comedians I know and love who won't get an ounce of air time anytime soon because they are too interesting, and loved Stewart Lee's and Simon Pegg's autobiographies and got into Kurt Vonnegurt way after everyone else thanks to Paul Byrne. I did music the other day so read that lazy faces. Sports wise I couldn't give a fuck. Morecambe and Wise? Er....and personally, I've gone from being a nearly married man with a mortgage to being single, living in a comedy funhouse enjoying life a whole heap more than I have done over the last few year, and hugely thankful to all the awesome friends I have. Regrets? I've had a few. Well, not really, it just doesn't go with the song does it? No, I just can't complain. Finished retching yet? Good.

Tomorrow I shall harp on about what the next year might hold or let go of, but till then may you all have a very very Happy New Year. Ta loads for reading what, as of yesterday, has now been a two year long daily blog, and please keep continuing to leave me comments about things whether it be spelling mistakes I've made, factual errors, genuine lies or just that you like how much I write like Lee Evans. Here's too another year of me wasting words.....

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Today's blog is all a bit late. I am sorry about this but for most of today the internet didn't work and I was trapped in the past. They didn't do blogging very well in the past. In fact, they didn't do much well in the past except for diseases and horses. They did horses even better than we do them now. Saying that, I reckon horses probably prefer nowadays far more, as they get to lounge around instead of carry some oaf somewhere as he tries to lead them to water despite them not being remotely thirsty and having more of a liking for fizzy pop. I'm glad I don't live in the past. I didn't enjoy the 'net being down. I tried to cheer it up, saying things like 'you're the best web, better than Charlotte's' but it didn't seem to work. In the end I remembered how often it tempts me to google myself in order to make me sad and stopped caring about the 'you have no connection' screen of misery that seems to convey both my lack of wi-fi and also my social inadequacies with everyone else all at once. Instead my real life friend in the flesh and the reality, Jacqui came round and revolutionised my knowledge of toasted cheese sandwich making by putting cheddar, marmite and cream cheese in it. I know. Yes I felt my arteries clog up there and then as I chomped down on the feast of fat, occasionally burning my tongue on tomatoes that had become as hot as the sun its self, but goddamn it was tastylicious. I like to think Beyonce says words like that all the time. Just adds 'licious' on the end of everything. That was 'shitlicious'. That would mean something was bad, but would still sound good because of the 'licious' and everyone would think she was an idiot.

Jacqui also taught me the street slang of 'murk' which means 'kill' and 'jingbang' which means good in a tacky way. I feel like today she arrived in the nick of time to takeover the internet's role of providing me with the sort of information that is entertaining but will either not do anything for my life, or damage me. That's why she's my chum. I'm bloody glad as otherwise my day would have been shouting through the walls at Chilli Bernstein who's internet we are still stealing at the behest of a gangsta style killing for doing so. Luckily we have been promised the future in 2011 when the homehub should finally arrive. Most people are praying 2011 will finally bring jetpacks, a cure for cancer and Robocop, but all the Casa TierNaTom wants is to be able to send a few tweets without causing our laptops to weep battery fluid.

I've gotta cut this blog short here as due to lack of time, its now the moment I have to head to Norwich. No I'm not happy about it either. Saying that I've been stuck in the past all day anyway so heading to East Anglia almost feels appropriate. Arf! Regional humour. Ha? Geddit? Sigh. No, I like Norwich, I just can't be arsed to drive there, do a gig and drive back. I mean, I'd prefer to do all that than drive there, do a gig and then stay there, but I just mean that any effort today whilst filled up on cheese toasties, is more than is wanted. Its bad enough tomorrow has to be spent wondering just how to make my NYE choice of evening the least miserable way to ring in the new year as possible, let alone to decide after having done four hours of driving to do 20 minutes of entertaining. Moan, moan, moan, moan. If I was a painting I'd be the Moaner Lisa. I'm sure it'll be fun really.

Last thingy: Last night's London Improv was excellent. You really should've been there. If you were, well done. If you weren't, you missed, among many other things, goat opera and Joseph's head being interrupted by the voice of Obi Wan. Much much fun. Do come along to one in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have to do things today. Fun things. Improv things. But that doesn't change the fact that my brain is still in holiday mode and has very much switched it's Out Of Office Autoreply response on, meaning that instead of being the supremo sharp wit machine I usually am, I fear every improv scene tonight will revolve around me playing a character who grunts and sits down a fair bit. I'm trying to boost mental ability today by doing things, getting some fresh air and generally not welding myself arse first into the sofa. Sadly, this has made little difference, and what you're reading now, this text that is doing everything but titillate the cerebral cortex in anyway, is attempt number 4. Unlike my warning in yesterday's blog, I have done stuff and there are things to report to the blogpost, but last night's activities involved a fair amount of drinking, some serious revelations of Wii talent (Nat is a demon bowler but can't golf for shit. Josh was very good at golf, and bowling, but doesn't have tennis elbows. I can still do boxing but nothing else. Craine average's on everything like a good all rounder. Except Mario Kart where he's proper rubbish and I am king), and this happening to Tom:

Yes, I'm aware he looks like something from a bad horror film. Texas Chainsaw Moussaka or something. This appears to be the birthday tradition at La Porchetta in Muswell Hill. To celebrate someone's aging process, a small ice cream with a candle in it is handed to the birthdee, overly loud happy birthday music is played while an Italian waiter beats a drum. Then as the recipient of such celebration tries to blow out the candle, a large amount of pizza dough is then thrown on their head. No, I don't know why either, but the enjoyment of watching it happen to other people around the restaurant - there were a lot of birthdays. I mean who else goes out on Dec 28th? - while Craine squirmed in his chair knowing the inevitable would happen, was a joy to witness. Not as much of a joy, I should add, as leaving the dough flattened on his chair while he went to the loo, and seeing him completely fail to take notice as he sat firmly in his seat wriggling himself comfortable, oblivious to the arse baguette he'd just made. Amazing times. And then I made a salamandough:

So yeah. Not a lot to report, really. Which only leaves me to complain about the government's initiatives to get people to give more money to charity by allowing donations from cash points. I can only presume this is because more and more of the public will be seeking charity once they've been made unemployed, homeless and/or lost all their benefits. Its the coalition's clever way of getting people to provide their own pension scheme and income. If I give 50p to Shelter everytime I draw out £10, then chances are I'm investing in soup for myself next Christmas when I can't afford to eat. This isn't how they're putting it of course. Instead they want us to feel the 'warm glow' you receive when helping others. If Clegg and Cameron were animals, they'd be hippo-crits. I've been slow on the political scene for the last few weeks, but despite Xmas frenzy I've kept my eye out for all the policies being pushed through while the Queen tells us its all about playing sports. I suppose this is because if we're all fit and healthy we'll be able to hunt our own food easier when we have to. Anyway, this charity shit is second only to the reports that it is planned that the government are to sell off most, if not all of Britain's forests to private developers. I'm expecting for Sauron's eye to appear instead of Big Ben's clock face as Westminster slowly becomes reminiscent of Isengard.

You just can't sell forests. We have so little left in this country to be of interest to anyone, with our complete lack of exports, that we have to at least keep our history and heritage. How sad would it be for the tale of Robin Hood only to be immortalised on a blue plaque on the side of a Lidl? The entire ideology of stealing from the rich to help the poor dead and gone? Something needs to happen in 2011. I have no idea what, but if the Wood Elves or Ewoks don't step in, then we all have to start thinking for ourselves.

Tonight its London Improv, at the Phoenix, Cavendish Square near Oxford Circus. Its only a fiver with the password 'It's not cricket'. As well as myself, Tara Flynn, Brendan Dempsey, Michael Legge and Rufus Hound shall all be providing the funnies. You should totally get off your big Christmas arse and watch me struggle to move around with any speed whatsoever. Here's the FB link:


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ha-ssassin/ Listy Blue Eyes

The one thing I had to do today has now been cancelled. I was to be heading to Bath for Tom's birthday but he's decided to spend it in London instead, and won't be back till this evening. While part of me is joyous that once again, much like yesterday, I can stay in a fug of undress and slobbery, the more intelligent bit of me that resides in the back of my head and often loses arguments, needed a reason to go outside. The longer I stay in the flat doing nothing of any use to anyone, the more I'm concerned that I enjoy it and will become a modern day hermit. This is of course impossible as I would need food. Yes I could order it all in, but I'd need money to do that, and thus we enter into a sad tale of a man who, far from being agoraphobic, dies in front of his telly through starvation out of laziness. That is where I'll go as well. Right in front of the box. For the first time in ages I abstained from Twitter, Facebook or any of the real means of actually communicating with other humans as I delved for most of the day into Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood for the Xbox. I'm fully aware that even mentioning the name of a game has caused several of you computer games haters (yes there are still some in the world, even though we're now in the future and there's clearly only a few years before we all live on The Grid), but I'm a huge fan of such escapism. The big irony of the Assassin's Creed storylines are that you play a character who plugs into a machine and plays out the life of a medieval Italian assassin. I am fully aware that this means that I am a man, plugging into a machine to play a man who plugs into a machine to be a medieval Italian assassin. If the final bit of that wasn't so fun I'd fear that the the next range of games would merely feature you watching an image of a tiny you and you tell it which computer games buttons to press on its console, which in turn it tells a mini computer games version of itself to do the same and so on and so forth, creating an infinite cycle wherein nothing ever actually happens. Sometimes I'm amazed that I don't invent computer games for a living. Most of the time I'm not remotely amazed.

Thing is, ultimately, I'm very happy being stuck in the world of someone being stuck in the world of a medieval assassin. Its a beautiful game, mostly set in Rome, where I've been. This means that as well as enjoying the graphics I can say things out aloud to myself like 'I've been there!'. Sure, I've never leaped off the top of the Colosseum to assassinate a Papal guard in the name of the Guild, but let me tell you, as I got an ice cream after having a picture taking with a large man dressed as a gladiator, I definitely thought about it. And you learn things about each place when you visit them in the game. Or at least I would have done if I hadn't skipped past all the info in order to slice up someone dressed as a wolf and then steal his treasure. In theory though, its not that bad to have spent nearly an entire day playing on the Xbox. Apart from my eyes hurting, my weird dreams about walking down Oxford Street on a busy day and becoming invisible due to my closeness to the crowds before scaling up the outside of the big HMV, or that right now I've concealed a butter knife in my sleeves as my 'hidden blade'. Apart from all of that, I'm sure its not done me any damage. Much.

I'm fully aware that over the next few days, being that we are in the calendric limbo that is between Xmas and New Year, that I will have little of interest to tell you all about. So to bulk these last few entries of 2010 up, I thought I'd do some lists. Who doesn't love a list eh? The listless. That's who. Or maybe they do love a list, but don't have any, so get upset. Anyway, today's list will be my fave albums of the year. That's right. Now imagine some shit talking head that went out in round 32 of X-Talent telling you why they like it because they were once at a party with them or some tedious crap and it'll be like you're watching telly at any point over the holidays ever:


Gorillaz - Plastic Beach

I have listened to this album so many times its amazing the CD hasn't ignited itself in a self sacrifice to get some time off. A truly amazing mix of genres by the man Albarn all blended together to make what is, and so rarely found nowadays, a proper album end-to-end. Fave track is probably Empire Ants, which starts as a chilled slow melody of few instruments and Damon's voice and bursts midway into an entirely different track of electro beats, accompanied by the incredible voice of Little Dragon. If you haven't got this album, you're an idiot. FACT.

Jonsi - GO

If you don't like Sigur Ros and, as Nat calls it, whiny Icelandic bullshit, then you won't like this. But you should like all those things. What's wrong with you? Like a more upbeat version of his band's albums, this is a mesmerizing hour of music. Jonsi is still one of the few people I've ever seen silence an entire tent full of thousands of people at a festival as they stared in awe. Beautiful stuff.

Daft Punk - Tron Legacy OST

Why haven't you got this yet? Hurry up.

I'm running out of adjectives now so just trust me on these others:

Aloe Blacc - Good Things

Joanna Newsom - Have One On Me

LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

John Legend & The Roots - Wake Up!

Dam-Funk - Toeachhisown

Marina & The Diamonds - The Family Jewels

Cinematic Orchestra - LateNightTales

The XX - The XX

The National - High Violet

FourTet - There Is Love In You

Bit of a mix there and I'm sure I've left out loads that I've loved this year. Oddly there's a large lack of hip-hop and I think that's because I've been listening to mostly old school stuff, enjoying my Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Pharcyde and Tribe CDs more than normal. Similarly I've spent a good portion of this year harking back to stuff like the Bluetones, Ash, Sleeper and Garbage. It's also a given that my Radiohead albums get played at least twice a week. As does Tom Waits. And whenever I feel hyped up Onyx, DMX and the Wu-Tang happen. Maybe this is what happens as your near 30? Unable to understand what the kids like, I just pretend that music was better in my day and grumble when a car drives past playing loud music.

I've also not listed single tracks I like which leaves out people like The Correspondents and more. I've done this because I may run out of ideas for lists after tomorrow.

Lastly, one set of mixes I've liked more than most are the LateNightTales albums. I've been getting them for a few years now, but they are up there with the best compilations of chilled out tracks you'll find. True story.

If you've got any albums you think I'd like, stick them in the comments and I'll waste my money. Also, an lists you'd like to see me do. Tomorrow will probably be films and/or books. Then 'funniest things I've seen' followed by 'weirdest locations for spots' and 'best names for cats'. I doubt the last two will actually happen.

I'm off to go make a small computer man make a small computer man climb an aqueduct. That's how I roll.

Monday, December 27, 2010


This blog is titled after the noise I have made several times today which follows the reoccurring thought of 'I should probably do something today.' The only time it didn't happen was when I somehow convinced myself to go outside and buy vegetables which was bad for all sorts of reasons not least the cold, the ice, the having to communicate with other people and the having to get out of my pajamas. The latter didn't necessarily need to happen, but the cold combined with the distance to nearest grocery receptacle meant that it was the only way forward. I did everything as quickly as possible whilst still not being very quick at all and all conversations had were done at whispering level to avoid using any excess energy or giving off any sort of impression that I might be enjoying myself having contact with other humans. God forbid had any of them asked me how I was or attempted small talk about the weather or I'd have been seconds away from either keeling over or scowling at them like an angry cat before hiding in the corner. I needed vegetables though. I saw on the news this morning that the average UK man has put on 16 pounds in the last 15 years (for people who use the metric system, that's er, some fat. Some fat more than they had before. Oh wait, you actually use pounds don't you? Except when buying things. God its confusing), but I'm fairly sure I've done that in the last 48 hours. I like to think this makes me better than average. I don't think it does though. I think it makes me a fat man. The final straw was last night when my friend Sam came round and despite both periodically taking it in turns to grip our own stomachs and try and aid digestion from the last day or so, it still seemed to be a good idea to order pizza, drink beer and watch the film and all of the extras on the Scott Pilgrim Blu-Ray firstly without, then with commentary. There is an odd feeling of success that comes from knowing you've made someone bring you food on a small bike on a freezing cold bank holiday, just so you can stream deleted scenes - that are very clear as to why they weren't included in the film - into your noggin with no intellectual gain whatsoever.

The final straw came when we'd both finished our glass of whisky with the sort of face you only get from forcing yourself to drink a glass of whisky. Its as though all your features are trying to make themselves as small as possible by crawling towards your mouth for self consumption. Anything to get that burning taste out, including eating your own nose. That was gulped down, it was about 1am and myself and Sam had successfully watched Michael Cera ruin enough shots by laughing a bit in oh so hilarious outtakes for too long. I'm a huge fan of that film, some of the extras are brilliant - the Adult Swim cartoon and the documentary in particular - but please can we all stop finding someone mess up a scene by getting the giggles a suitable 'outtake'? What I want from my outtakes is a series of actually funny misshaps, people ruining shots on purpose, improvised funny lines and someone getting hurt or naked or both and then falling over. Spaced has the best outtakes ever. FACT. If you can't live up to the excellence that was the 'Pump Up The Jam' outtake (fans, you should know what I mean) then back away and leave them the fuck out. Manners. Sam and I had lost the ability to say much, due to overload of cholesterol and alcohol, and with even my ability to gawp at Mary Elizabeth Winstead somewhat waning, it was best to leave it there.

So today, I plan to eat vegetables. That's the extent of it. I've tried to do other things to. There was a very feeble attempt to put a poster up in my room, but the pin wouldn't go in the wall on the first attempt and with all strength lacking from arm, it hurt my finger too much to try again, I made my deflated noise and sat down. I've thought about doing the washing up twice, but left that deciding its definitely the thought that counts. Its the bank holiday after Christmas. No one is meant to do anything. I'm sure its in some book somewhere. International Do Fuck All Day. If not I'll write to the UN and get it registered. Not today of course. Definitely not today. Pfffff.......

Sunday, December 26, 2010

So That Was Christmas

Well that's it. All done and only 364 days to go till the next one. How was yours? Really? Oh sorry about that. Yeah you are only meant to set the pudding on fire. Sad times. I'm sure your brother will recover. And get his face back. Yes. Well, sorry to rub it in, but mine was lovely. Were there some sort of clever ratings system my Christmas would get quite a lot of points. Sure all the regulars were there - good amounts of lovely grub and booze, large amounts of sitting - but it was eked into top Christmas level I think by our very selective Christmas viewing this year. As it was only myself, my mum and my dad - my brother currently traipsing the beaches of Thailand while we all receive each of his texts with a blend of enjoyment that's he having fun, sadness he's missing Christmas with us and extreme jealousy that he's not freezing his arse off and slipping on ice like the rest of us - we were very selective in festive viewing this year. Here's a run down, although after current food consumption, the thought of running makes me ill:

- Whistle and I'll Come

Despite its possibly pornographic title which may make you assume its about a lady with a penchant for referees, it was actually a really dark spooky ghost story starring John Hurt. John Hurt has the face of a man who's seen and done lots of things. I'm fairly sure a psychic could read the lines on his face and predict the future. The program was genuinely terrifying at points and worked wonderfully on the much forgotten art of less is more. This is only relevant, I should add, to cinema and TV. There are other areas that motto may well lead to disappointment. Anyway, brilliant work on my 'rents for having recorded it and I'm now scared of being on a English beach by myself forever more.

- Some Like It Hot

When is there not a good time to watch this film? I'm not going to harp on about it, but anyone that doesn't enjoy this film is wrong. Simple as. Along with Singin' In The Rain it should be used as some sort of universal test to see whether or not someone should be sent into space or not. Not to work on a satellite or discover something, i just mean into space. To float around aimlessly and not be wrong on Earth. If anyone ever tries to make this film I will single handedly start a war against them. I'll get a hat and a stick and there will be trouble.

- Doctor Who

Aside from the fact that flying sharks are possibly the most scary notion of all time - I mean just think about. Sharks. But flying. Its up there with spider-tigers and zombies in tanks - I bloody loved Doctor Who. Moffat is a script writing genius and while my dad made several complaints of it being bonkers at times, I feel that if we are investing time and attention to a program about a 900 year old time travelling Doctor, they have the licence to do whatever else with it they will really.

- Themroc

The last block of attempting to make our eyes into perfect squares was handed over to the most bizarre film I've possibly ever seen. It was a toss up between this and classic Dave Allen, but curiosity and the vague memories my parents had of seeing this in the '70's meant this was a winner. My mum has spent ages trying to track it down and the only available format was on VHS so there was a small amount of excitement as the trailers for long forgotten films were fast forwarded through. Then there was also the argument when my dad tried to find how to select 'English' subtitles and I had to explain that's only arrived with the advent of the DVD and you can't really select anything on a video. Rather than not move with the future, my dad has strolled comfortably forward with all technological advancements but now can't work out how people were so basic beforehand and refuses to believe it was ever otherwise.

Themroc is very strange. A French anarchistic film, it involves a man who decides he can't handle his 9 to 5 anymore and so becomes a neanderthal, smashing his flat into a rudimentary cave, and igniting a spark in his small estate that people don't have to conform to society anymore. This is portrayed in a number of ways I understood and a whole heap of others than were I to sum this film up in one word it wouldn't be 'festive', but rather 'bonkers'. Sheer bonkers. The constant shots of an old woman who never stops having the hiccups, the characters barking instead of using language, the eating of a dead policeman and the random inclusion of incest, it all became fairly clear why Themroc is so hard to find. Also just how little my parents actually remembered of it. I feel I'm past the area in my life where seeing a sex scene in a film with family is disturbing, but there was more than a little tension as the man eyes up his sister and we all very quickly disregarded eating anymore cherry liquors. Odd, yet an interesting view and despite its weirdness, I still reckon probably better than the Xmas special of Corrie.

So a win overall. Add to that my Dad seeing two birds in the garden eating the food they had left for them and exclaiming, without thinking 'Those are Great Tits', it was much fun. We all braved the sales today and I left with a combination of Scott Pilgrim on Blu Ray and a wok, cheese grater and sieve. I can't help but feel this is an odd combination of goods and both marks the demise of my childhood, whilst at the same time fully confirming its still very evident. I feel like Peter Pan if he had a beard, drank beer, and had an odd compulsion to ensure his collection of green boots was in order and aligned in the shoe rack.

I will leave you with something fun I discovered today. With the arrival of 3D TV, its very easy to upset a staff worker at an electrical shop by refusing to believe that 3D TV isn't just the really old bulky sets we used to have and that you like your 2D flatscreen much better as it takes up less space. That's how you make pimply Dave, aged about 18 in PC World, cry over Xmas. Win.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

As if I'm going to blog on Christmas Day. Have a lovely one all of youse. Except you. No, only joking. You as well.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Tron and On and On

Well it's only bloody Christmas eve! Its come around quickly hasn't it? Etc etc cliched comment etc. I'm currently enjoying the Christmas quiet in a flat that's sadly empty of Nat's and Tom's various noises. I've never lived by myself before and while I'm very much enjoying certain aspects of it - last night was spent romping around in my onesi and playing a new Xbox game I bought. Admittedly I do both of those things with Nat and Tom here so its not that different - it makes me realise why I couldn't do it for too long. A lifetime of zombie films and a vivid imagine have meant that every small noise I hear gets me to run through what to do if zombies did attack and the fact our doorbell keeps ringing itself has me trying to remember exactly how they got rid of the Poltergeist. Sadly I don't remember so I've resorted to staying tucked up in bed dressed as a wolf and hoping that'll be enough to either ward said paranormal attacker away or at the least, make them laugh so hard I'll have enough time to escape. So less Christmas, more terrified of the Holy Ghost. I think it also hasn't helped that our family aren't doing pressies this year. It makes perfect sense and was partly my suggestion, as my brother's away and it seems silly when there's only three of us (my mum, dad and moi) to go through all the present buying hassle. At the same time, it means there is little to differentiate between it being the big C-Day and just a day where I go to my parents and eat a lot. Which is essentially what I did from May through to November of this year anyway. I do however have a massive red spot on my nose and if that isn't the best effort at being Rudolph and embodying the Christmas spirit then call me a heathen and paint my body like a drunk buzzing insect. (Bah humbug. Geddit? Sigh)

On the plus side, I am so enjoying doing nothing. I have really done very little. I'm sure that if I did any less it would cause an effect of anti-matter whereby a small black hole opened up in our kitchen. At least I wouldn't have to do the washing up again which would be nice. The most I have done was go and see Tron Legacy last night with my friend Stefan. I've been looking forward to seeing this film ever since listening to the soundtrack, which sadly after seeing the film, is the best thing about it. Its never a good thing to be able to say that had I closed my eyes and just listened for the far too long two hours that I would have enjoyed it more, but its the truth. Its not terrible, its just a very long music video with a script written by a child. A damaged child. I could list for many moons all the plot problems and all the lines that made me physically almost cringe to the point of damage but I won't. Its not meant to be groundbreaking, its not meant to be life changing and all in all, the racing and fighting scenes were amazing, so I should just be fine with it. I just felt sad that it didn't inspire me to wear lycra and a cycle hat today, line my room with graph paper and run around to the soundtrack all day. This means it failed. Its not hard to get me to do that. Spiderman 2 made me try and climb things, Scott Pilgrim means anyone I know go out with will have all their ex's hunted down and turned into coins. I'm not sure how I'll do this and chances are I'll lose, but goddamn it I'll try.

Not a lot else for you today and tomorrow there won't really be a blog, so I'll leave you, as I do most years, with a quick selection of alternative Xmas music for your festive activities, should you already be wanting to punch Mariah Carey in her wailing throat for pretending all she wants for Christmas is you, when you know for a fact that if you turned up on her doorstep tomorrow wearing only a bow, she'd be sad:

Last of the Melting Snow - The Leisure Society
White Wine In The Sun - Tim Minchin
Frosty The Snowman - Fiona Apple
The whole album of James Brown's Funky Christmas
Aimee Mann - One More Drifter In The Snow (whole album)
Sufjan Stevens - Songs For Christmas
Silent Night - Simon and Garfunkel
Christmas In Hollis - Run DMC
Merry Muthafuckin' Christmas - Easy E

Have a bloody lovely one. May your sack be filled with joy. Yes that is a euphemism.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finger Feuds

Whilst I would happily boast about my culinary abilities to whoever would care to listen - often happily referring to myself as The Little Chef. A moniker that only does my cooking an injustice as I can make more than beans and sausages - I have never ever attempted in my life to make canapes. There is something about the fiddly nature of such tiny morsels and the patience and presence needed that have never lured me into wanting to spend hours making something that will ultimately leave me hungry. Oh, I'll happily eat canapes made by other people, but I prefer to make a big bowl of food that when finished leaves the recipient with drowsy food drunkness. So when I was informed that the party we were going to last night required guests to bring such things, I felt a level of trepidation. Well actually I say that, but up until yesterday afternoon, despite having weeks of notice, neither myself or Nat had even spared a single thought as to what we should make and so a rushed trip to the supermarket later, the trepidation crept in like a creepy man or a ninja that isn't very good, as it dawned on us we probably should have prepared a bit more.

I opted to make these ace courgette rolls that a friend had made some time ago. It seemed simple. You slice the courgettes thinly and then fill them with ricotta and pine nuts, et voila , a tasty and seemingly healthy - bar the cheese - snack. Except when the courgettes you have are too soft, the vegetable peeler isn't sharp enough and your own cutting skills with a knife mean that all the slices are too think to make into rolls without snapping them. Within minutes I was left with a big pile mauled vegetable, as though I had taken a vendetta out on zucchini. In a panicked rage I threw them all in a frying pan, with some ricotta then left it too long, burnt the lot and made my transformation into the Incredible Sulk. Various untrue comments about how I didn't want to go to the party anyway and how I thought all courgettes were idiots. Meanwhile Nat was tackling a pan of bubbling caramalised red onion that was oddly smelling like medicine. It was to go into tiny pastries which, upon getting home, she discovered were not savoury but in fact sweet ones. The fear of creating a mess of goats cheese, medicinal onion and sweet pastries was causing distress.

However, Nat having skills that she doesn't use to pay the bills, pulled it off and made 40 very tasty little canapes whilst all I had were excuses and an aroma of burnt courgette. Carefully placing all 40 on a pretty red Xmas tray, we left for the party. Within minutes of the car pulling away it became obvious that whilst the Xmas tray was nice, a plate with a rim would have saved me from being doused in tiny pastry and onion. Opting to hand the tray to Tom sitting in the front seat, he then balanced them for a whole 3 minutes before sending at least 10 more onto the food graveyard of the car floor. We arrived at the party with a half empty tray of what could be salvaged, a horde of stories about our canape hell, and a bottle of rum. I never want to pretend to be an adult again.

The party was excellent by the way, as a sort of happy ending to this tale of middle class woe. Tom Searle proved that a drink isn't a drink without wine in it, by pouring red wine into my rum and juice and making me drink it. I also had an interesting chat about the future of the NHS which made me feel all clever and sophisticated and then ruined that by trying to persuade someone who's job is predicting trends for interior design that she should predict the next big thing will be to have massive pictures of monkeys on all walls. The hope would be in three or four years time all the trendy types would have monkey filled houses and be the subject of mockery. She left soon after and I carried on drinking my glass of red misery. Winner. Tom and Nat ended up learning for the first time that if I do drink a lot, that they have to look after me like I'm a grumpy child and that hours of fun can be had by letting me try and open the front door when I haven't been informed that its double locked. Again, winner.

Today is a whole world of pain, but my stomach needs to understand that this is going to happen a lot for the next few weeks and needs to man up and stop grumbling.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I'm now officially on holidays. That's it. No more work until the 29th December and goddamn am I bored already. Lying in bed this morning I stared at the ceiling trying to figure out how to occupy my days now that I don't have to travel to a gig, and have nothing immediate to write for. I mean, I could relax, but I am the proud owner of itchy feet, and not because I have Athlete's Foot or anything. I'm just not going to be comfortable trying to be comfortable. I will have to set myself some sort of task or plan to get me through till work starts up again. I might build a den. We haven't tested if our living room has all the items needed for den building so that could be a good task. Only problem might be if some over adventurous foxes move in. Or it becomes a permanent fixture and gets dirty. Dirty den. Boom. Sigh. Maybe I do need to just sit down and do nothing for a bit.

I feel its deserved as my final gig of the season was a tough one. Not for usual Christmas gig reasons but more because it was a specific gig that I hadn't worked hard enough towards. It was an evening of comics giving their interpretation of the 'Aristocrats' joke, a gag that for years, mostly on the US circuit, was a backstage joke amongst acts where through a simple premise would vent all the filth they wouldn't say on stage during their act. There was a whole film about it and stuff and I'm going to be ignorant and assume you all know exactly what I'm talking about, because everyone does, right? Right? No. It appears by 75% of the audience leaving over the first half of the night that they really don't. Even if they did, certain changes have to be made to the structure of that gag for it to be audience friendly. Backstage it doesn't need punchlines or wordplay to keep other comedians interested, but onstage hearing acts reel out gross happenings after gross happenings, there's only so many incest based pornographic self indulgence an audience member can take. There were some stand-out performances including a reverse Aristocrats gag by Sean Brightman which was ace. The family all do lovely things such as have a picnic, but the title of the act is the most base sweary name you could have. My joke in comparison was poor, not least because I hadn't really worked on it but also because I was more drunk than I should have been and had mostly given up knowing that there were only seven real people left in the audience.

It wasn't the gig's fault I'd decided to drink my way through the evening. Yes the fact that there was less than 10 people to disappoint did help, but it was also my last gig before Xmas so some celebration felt necessary. None of this was helped by having a sad chat with a homeless man on the way to the gig. I bought a Big Issue off him and spent some time asking him where he was staying in this weather. He said he'd managed to find someone's floor to sleep on but the last few nights he'd been sleeping by a gate. I'm finding it hard just walking anywhere in this snow let alone trying to gain enough warmth to slumber in it. I told him to take care and he wished me a Merry Christmas and told me to go and get a pint. I watched everyone else just ignore him (it was Islington. They are good at that) and felt all a bit miserable for him. So I did go and get a pint. Blame the homeless man for my shoddy set. Above all else my rather ill thought out gag involved questioning how they got an audition at a talent agent's so easily. Then it was followed by them all doing a musical version of the Aristocats whereby the dog pet was confused by being made to partake and thorough opposed having to bark along to 'Everybody Wants To Be Cat'. He noted that the pet cat hadn't been forced to come along and was jealous of this, ironically wanting to be a cat. It all culminated rather boringly with the family getting on a shitty Saturday night TV talent show as we now live in a society that is apathetic towards the problems going on with our government yet will willingly mock the mentally ill on national television. I feel I lost the audience at the first bit. I really must stop gigging drunk. Sigh.

Either way, that's it for several days. I might make a list of things I should and want to do. This list will include: making a list (always a good first one to have, therefore you can tick it off straight away), do some sleeping (I've done some. I'd like to do more), kill some zombies (this is a necessity. I mean mostly on Red Dead Undead Nightmare, but if any real ones show up I'll be ready), eat all of Tom's nice biscuits (he doesn't know this yet but I can't be bothered to go and buy food and that's all we have in). Winner. And by winner, I mean loser. Roll on the 29th.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Spirit

Nothing should happen this week. The fact that by this point already today I've two auditions and now tonight have to do a gig feels a bit like the world is taking the entire ethos of Christ's birthday and ignored it. That is the reason Jesus was born wasn't it? So we could all spend about two weeks eating till we're sick, drinking and generally sleeping a lot? That is why the Three Wise Men sought him out wasn't it? Because they hated having to work through the cold winter without any kind of break whilst all the other animals in the kingdom hibernated? Wasn't Christianity based upon the need for everyone to be a bit lazy and self indulgent? I was fairly sure that's what the Spirit of Xmas said and he's Jesus' brother. Or something. Its all very confusing. All I know is come Easter I'll be eating Chocolate eggs to ward off Zombies in the name of God.

Sorry, temporary gap in blog as I've managed to pour an entire box of washing powder all over the kitchen floor. I can't understand the concept of having to clean stuff up that is used to clean stuff, but it needed to be done. I was tempted to just pour water on it and let Tom and Nat find me having a foam party by myself in the kitchen, but I decided against it. Instead it was all swept and put in the bin, with the hope that some lucky binman in days to come will unexpectedly come home from work smelling of lavender instead of waste. Maybe that will respark the long dead relationship he has with his wife and as she believes he's made an effort once again. They will then rejuvenate their love over Christmas as they are snowed in, until January when he smells of bins again and she leaves him for someone who shampoos. I should point out before I quickly close this chapter of today's blog and return to my previous slant, that yes, we did have lavender washing powder. I could entirely blame this on living with a girl, but in truth I was told to buy it by a man working in Tesco's. He saw me looking at the aisle of bio, non-bio and bionic (I wish) boxes of smelling cleanliness and told me in a thick West Indian accent 'yeah boy you want that one. Make ya smell real nice.' This may sound sterotyped or racist to you, but I would argue that as you are the ones reading it, you've probably given him a more over the top accent than he had, making you the racist. Anyhoo, he then argued about value for money and I stood there concerned as to why he wanted me to smell nice before grabbing it and heading for the dairy produce. Interlude over.

What I was saying is that I'm ready to retire for Xmas now. I have one more gig tonight and then I can officially spend the next few days pretending to be a bear by hiding indoors, pummeling my face with the sort of food that's banned in parts of Europe for health issues and making a pained 'ugh' noise every time I get up as I have to deal with all my newly gained weight. I wish the world would properly embrace Christmas too and similarly all stop and just chill a bit. Admittedly, with the snow mess it all sort of has. I meant in a nicer way though. If everyone, on mutual agreement, just said 'yep, we'll all have a snooze thanks' and I reckon we'd all wake up fresh faced on New Year's Day a much happier bunch. World peace? Getting there just requires a bit of an extended nap in a onesi by the fire. Who's with me? Well not too many of you hopefully as our flat will get cramped and no doubt at least one of you will talk through the Christmas Doctor Who episode ruining everything.

In other news, I'm a bit sick of the snow now. Its not the transport screwing up bit that bothers me, its not the way that everytime I walk up the hill where we live my foot slides a few centimetres backwards on the ice meaning I constantly walk up it one and a half times, nor is it the icy cold that hits me in the face and have ensured that I've kept my thermals on like a second skin as though I'm an arctic Mrs Haversham. No, its the boring boring news headlines. 'Weather continues to cause chaos', 'Britain's caught in the snow's icy grip', 'Snow causes woe'. Its so dull. I'm hoping they'll soon run out and either report real news again or at least start to get inventive. I want to see headlines like 'Its a real icy dickfest!' Or 'Its a proper snowy shitstorm!' Perhaps more daring weathermen will start to give analogies they've thought up. 'Its like someone's throwing stones at your head. Only the stones are snow, the person is a giant and you have the head of an ant.' Something like that. Maybe real news is better....

Monday, December 20, 2010

Washing Machine Of Death

Our washing machine has a tendency to walk towards you during its spin cycle. The kitchen floor isn't particularly slippy, yet within minutes of the roaring sound of vigorous washing kicking in, the machine will have edged its way several feet as though its hungry to chomp through human flesh with its circular plastic mouth. The first time I noticed this I was standing making some food when I noticed a nudging by my side. I thought nothing of it, until further more angry nudging and I found myself being pushed towards our oven. I turned around to discover the washing machine had escaped from its cubby hole under the sink, rocking back and forth like an aggressive drunk. I pushed it back with more effort than I wanted to use, only for minutes later it was humping my leg again, determined to clean or soften me. I'm sure its all to do with a combination of a slippy tiled kitchen floor and a machine that is probably on its way out, but I can't help but worry that its possessed. It doesn't appear to have a make or a name and I can only assume it was discovered in an Incan burial ground in South America. Warning signs around it confused for signs not to 'tumble dry at 60 degrees' or something.

Last night Tom put a wash on really late, with the theory that he would empty his clothes this morning. As I write, I presume they are still sitting in their own private damp pool within the beast, slowly rummaging in that smell you can only get from the innards of a wet metal tunnel. As I went to bed, the machine went into its mental stage, the very floor seemingly shaking with fear at the possibility of being drowned. I tried to drift off into sleep but started to have weird dreams about waking up with the machine having edged all the way towards my bed, eyes opening to witness its draw opening and closing inches from my face. The dial somehow being set to 'DIE' and blood spilling out of the edges of the door. This would bother me for two reasons: 1) Because of fear that it would need my blood to live and would try and attempt to eat me, and 2) because it would turn all my whites pink.

I'm not sure the best way to combat it. I'm tempted to get some sort of holy cable or blessed chains to secure it to the wall. Perhaps pour holy water in with garlic powder for every wash, although this will just mean clothes would smell worse than they did on the way in. Maybe I just shouldn't wash clothes and it will eventually wither away through lack of feeding? This of course would mean only wearing dirty clothes or becoming a nudist and current weather and self respect stop either of these (you decided which one is for which outcome). Or I might just paint a big scary face on the front and tell people its our pet. My only worry then is if we all go away and put a wash on when we come home to find all our clothes covered in rabbit food. Still, that's better than blood.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Snow Helpful

For the third time in 24 hours I've just helped push a car up the incredibly treacherous icy hill that I live on. No, no I don't want a medal or anything. Ok, well maybe a medal. Just a small one that says 'Snow Champion' or something like that, but I won't show it to every person I meet. Just every other person. Anyway, what I'm saying is that this tiny act of helpfulness is just one of many that has been occurring all over since the snow started. I've witnessed kids, who on other days of the week people would cross the road to avoid, helping push cars and sweep doorsteps. People helping those that have fallen on the ice to get back up again. Everyone has suddenly reverted to the moralities of a yester year just because its all frosty. I'm not complaining at all. Despite the horrible black sludge and slippery streets everyone seems to have a smile on their face today as they watch their step while also trying to get as much of an eyeful of the snow topped houses and shops while it lasts. Despite its danger, everything seems pretty and festive. Whilst the London hubbub usually allows for the general ignoring of any and everyone around you we now all have something in common to talk about and so conversations are being struck up at bus stops, shop queues and all sorts of other places where I would normally just stick in my headphones and hope everyone sod's off. I've heard such brilliant chats between people where the typical starter of 'its cold innit?' manages to travel all the way to how we didn't have a summer last year and then segue-way without warning into holidays, the government and telly highlights. My favourite last night was watching an old couple walking tiredly up Crouch Hill. The woman asked her husband if she could throw a snowball. He grumbled a bit, but she said she hadn't done it in years. He then conceded with a smile and was abruptly hit square on in the face with a snowball thrown by his giggling wife. He immediately shouted 'What? You trying to give me pneumonia or something?' and they both giggled together as they trudged slowly up the hill. Brilliant.

It didn't matter that everywhere looked like a snowy version of Helm's Deep - abandoned buses everywhere, car skids and trapped vehicles, the remnants of snowball battles - the fact that no one could really get anywhere had meant most weren't bothering and felt fairly content about it. I'm hoping this weather goes on for ages. That'll mean that while I won't ever buy a proper amount of shopping in and will keep as far away from trains as possible - readers of yesterday's blog will be pleased to know it took me a whole 9 hours to get home in the end, culminating in walking the last 4 miles in the snow with a heavy bag while listening to the Tron Soundtrack. I swear that music would get me through anything - people will be bloody lovely to each other. Then I guess it will go on too long and then people would go back to being rude again. At which point we could suffer a sudden heat wave and then because we'd be so used to snow everyone would be all lovely to each other again out of joy for the sunshine. And so on and so on. What I'm saying is let's scrap Spring and Autumn as I think they just breed aggravation.

I still haven't done anything fun snow-wise. I know in 2011 I have two snow bound holiday trips so I figure the amount of effort travelling in this has taken me already, I'm quite content with looking at it through the window while staying warm and cooking a fat chilli. Should any of you fancy some, just pop over. Its the season of goodwill and all that innit? Hurry or the snow will thaw and I'll change my mind.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fuck You Snow

Fuck this snow. 'But where's usual chirpy happy Tiernan?' He died in a snow drift somewhere between wherever the hell I am now and the torrid pile of boredom and misery that is Worcester. A city whose Christmas lights this year appear to be on the theme of 'pound shop'. Yes, I'm angry and I'm taking it out on places I don't really know or haven't bothered to see, but all because of overly persuasive agents and promoters, I am enduring a day of traveling shitfest trying to get home because the snow has cocked everything up like a big frosty ice dick from Hades. Train number 1 was cancelled, train number 2, which I am on now, was 45 minutes late and is now running well over an hour and half late as we sit here in a 'train queue'. Train queues are pretty orderly things mainly because when you're stuck on tracks behind 6 other vehicles all stuck on tracks you can't go anywhere ever. Seemingly for the rest of all time. The loos are frozen, and the heating's not great so everyone is sitting here crossed legged and cold, with faces that would convey only misery if they were able to defrost enough to pull expressions. I am angry with my self for not having the sense to say no to last night's gig on the basis that it has now cost me most of my fee in getting here and even more of my time in trying to return.

There should be some consensus in this weather that everyone just doesn't need to go anywhere or do anything. A small man in a plough, who wouldn't work the rest of the year, should get paid to drive around his local area delivering groceries and letting everyone else stay in with hot tea or play outside making snowmen. That's all I want. I've had a tea. There is more tea here. And I'd like more tea. But more tea would increase the need for more wee and wee can't happen. So no tea for T. It is, essentially, the worst thing in the world ever. Its odd how Dante's ideology was all fire and burning and yet in reality the true existence of Inferno is a frosty snow covered train in the Midlands where a small child keeps playing the same level over and over again on his DS ensuring the same plinky noise keeps happening followed by his repetitive cries of despair. All of this combined make me wonder if I buried him in the snow just how long it would take before his body is discovered.

I am wearing my thermals which I bought from UniGlo the other day. I was ashamed to own thermals but in anticipation of my Norway venture and gigs in the Alps in Feb, I purchased a 'Heatech' tshirt and long johns and gave in to the concept of being an old man from a Western who fires shotguns from his porch. Actually, they are amazing. Firstly, my long johns are silver, which I think automatically qualifies me as a pirate. Secondly, my lower region is proper toasty right now. Sure I need the loo which renders most comfort possibilities invalid, but at least my crossed legs are happier than other peoples. Winner. In the biggest losery way ever.

Of course I wondering if I'll ever get to Norway or the Alps. Sure its not for a few weeks but the way this journey is going I'm just expecting never to get home again. Or to have to walk it. It's clearly the second ice age. I'll give it another hour or so before I make a makeshift sledge out of the irritating child and find four small dogs to lead it forth through the Cotswalds and back to London. Fuck you snow. Fuck you in your stupid cold face.

Friday, December 17, 2010

When Is A Gig Not A Gig?

If you're comedy type person then you've probably read the very good article by Bobby Carrol on Chortle this week. If not, here it is:


I highly applaud Bobby's sentiment and I think he makes several very valid and important points. Not least because last night I did a gig that is exactly the sort he's talking about. Now I'm not sure what the minimum requirements of a gig are, but this wasn't really, in many senses of the word, a gig. Held in a pub with no discerning barricade or wall between the gig area and the rest of the venue, this meant anyone who hadn't paid a ticket could just stand nearby and listen. Or, more likely, they would just talk loudly, play music and not give two shakes of a monkey's face about whether or not they were disrupting things for the 30-40 people who had paid. This combined with the fact that the area with the gig in was also the place where the only toilets were and a the door to the outside area for smokers, so people that didn't want to see the comedy would just stroll straight through anyway regardless. The mic kept cutting out and halfway through my set stopped working entirely, meaning that against all odds I projected my way through it. At the beginning of Tiffany's set someone was brought a birthday cake and their table all sang 'Happy Birthday' stopping her from even starting, and we received a text from Al Stick after we left saying that during his set an elderly man in a top hat wandered on stage and just started shouting jokes at the crowd. Brilliant. It was a farce. The compere/organiser did such classics as asking people what they did and then telling them there was no comedy in that and giving up, and the whole thing felt like a pointless endeavor.

Despite doing it as a favour for a friend, it felt like we should probably just walk. But most of us decided against it. The reason was not the pittance of pay, but more that the few people that had paid were very nice and they deserved to see some semblance of a proper gig or else they'd be put off going to comedy again. I ploughed through my short set and the crowd that were listening were great and despite the celebratory singing at the start, Tiff got the audience quickly on her side and did very well. Without meaning to float our own boats, less professional acts would have suffered a lot. It took some effort to seem that reasonable in that crowd. Then after all that, the promoter had the gall to pay us the lower end of the specified amount and complain that 'comedians are a miserable bunch', before giving all the excuses that it was the first night and they were just learning. No. There was no learning. Its a room that should never ever have comedy in it. It doesn't take long as an act to walk into a room and know when comedy shouldn't happen there. Such simple things make it work and yet it seems to be so hard for people to realise sometimes that you can't let noise come in from other areas, the sound needs to work, the lighting needs to be decent. All these basics would have to be covered before I'd even consider a room for a gig before embarking on all the other bits and pieces it needs.

I haven't done a gig like that in years and as Pete Cain said to me before he left, and rightly so, that if he was an open spot he'd have happily done that gig, but not if he was getting paid. Its a perfectly valid argument. There are times when as a professional act you look at a night like that and think 'I shouldn't have to do this anymore'. And I won't. That's the last shoddy run gig I do for anyone. Apart from my own of course, but that doesn't count. All I ask is that if you're thinking of running a gig, then really think about it. Go watch established nights, see why it works. Make notes and when you go to run something do it with care for the acts and the audience not just for your pocket.

Preaching over. Tonight I attempt to drive to Tenbury Wells again. It's apparently going to be a big snowy shitstorm. Its as though the Gods don't want to me to go there. I'm terrified I'll anger them and be trapped with my son Telemikus searching for the way home. Of course, somehow I'll have to get a son Telemikus, so I'm hoping rather than have to sit out 9 months while and unwilling mother caters for such things, hopefully my little car will just get there. Frostbitten fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shouting Java Java Java


Today I believe I have exceeded the recommended caffeine intake for any normal boy. I'd assume that the recommended caffeine intake, were there such a thing, would be zero, as its not great for you. But let's pretend, whilst the government are letting representatives from MacDonalds help draft the health legislation, that someone out there has said you can have say 1-2 cups of tea or coffee a day, I have taken that pretend hypothetical figure and drop kicked it in its non-existent face. Starting with a simple cup of breakfast tea first thing this morning, a usual beginning to my day, it rapidly descended into javageddon by being followed by a regular cappuccino at Costa Coffee for my first meeting of the day. I'm not sure who these regular people are that they meet in the land of Costa, but I assume I would appear like a Lilliputian to one of them. The cup required both hands for me to drink it with creating a lovely 'foam 'tache' effect with every slurp. Despite the gargantuan amount of caffeine, I drank it all as it was bought for me and I'm not one to waste. I can't foresee anyway I could send such a thing to children starving in poverty stricken countries and frankly, if they haven't eaten properly they shouldn't have stimulants anyway. Meeting two was cancelled so without thinking I drank a can of diet coke at home before heading out again. Halfway through the can I started to feel a tad like I was walking on a travelator everywhere. This happened to me the other day, but then I realised I was indeed on a travelator and so it was fine. That is, it turns out, the only time when feeling like you are on a travelator is ok.

Despite all odds, I bumped into my friend Jacqui on the busy streets of a Christmas time Oxford Street and amazed by coincidence levels and the fact we both had an hour to kill, we went for...a coffee. My coffee at Starbucks was topped up by two free tasters of Toffee Nut latte and by the time I left to go to meeting 2 my heart was sound liking it was trying to replicate the very best of Fela Kuti's music career. I felt slightly shaky and at the same time completely spaced out. If caffeine was reasonable it would either go for one or the other or let the two cancel each other out. Sadly not. It took me longer to get to meeting 2 as despite it only being 5 mins away, I managed to get a bit lost on Regent St. Its an area I have known for many years and a road where its rather hard to get lost on, yet with the Christmas lights seeming all a bit dizzy I walked in a circle three times before minimal exercise had burnt off enough coffee for me to get on my way again. I then thought it was a good idea to buy a new hat, before heading to meeting 2 and without thinking, ordering a diet coke again. I'm fairly sure that my wee could fuel a car.

I'm not sure how to conduct the rest of my day now. Should I continue to have caffeine and avoid 'The Crash' or try and wean myself off for fear of my heart turning to Drum 'n Bass and deciding to run to my gig in West London buying several hats on the way? Time can only tell, but for now, let me inform you this blog has so far only taken 2 minutes and 47 seconds to write. I have become the Flash. Where are my red pants?.....


Last night, having a drink with two of Nat's lovely friends I had never met before, I discovered one of them worked for a top art auction house. It was revealed that some time ago an angry employee took it upon themselves to sneak into the art storage rooms at night, find a small painting by an unnamed Dutch artist and list it in the book as by Hertz Van Rental. The piece was then sold under that name, which is just remarkable. Several pieces have since been auctioned under such a name to incompetent bidders and it has generally brightened my life knowing that smug arsehole yacht owners like those we performed to in Cannes last week, are somewhere out there telling people a small vehicle hire firm painted their newly purchased masterpiece without ever knowing. Brilliant.


There are various debates about what the most difficult perplexing thing in the universe is, ranging from the meaning of life to just why traffic lights turn red just as you get to them. I would argue that above everything else, the most impossible task in the world is getting wi-fi for your new home. Despite the internets being everywhere, much like any God, unless you already subscribe to this idol, its unlikely it'll ever answer your queries and prayers. After days of stealing from Chilli Bernstein's seemingly endless wi-fi resource, the well of digital knowledge appeared to dry up yesterday. Sadly yesterday was also the day it was discovered that the provider we were going for will no longer give us free wi-fi as the deal had run out. This was ok as I had a deal with my mobile provider for pretty cheap wi-fi, which had I known about the other one weeks ago, would've set up asap because I kept the hub aka the thingy that gives you the universe at your keyboard aka the portal into Facebook. The man on the phone informed me that despite me already having a hub, they would have to send us a new one. I'm not sure why. He wasn't sure why either. Apparently despite us constantly draining the Earth's resources there is enough plastic and metal to make enough wi-fi hubs so that everyone can collect them on their mantle piece like a tribute of historic and shit R2D2's. I accepted this irritating time wasting fact and continued.

15 minutes later, with the deal nearly all in place and wikipedia at our fingertips, the man on the phone told me our address could not be found. Well, not entirely. The building could, but not the flat. As the flat couldn't be found he couldn't guarantee the security of the delivery and the deal couldn't happen. It would require me telling Royal Mail to update their database which will take 6 weeks, then I can ring for a new hub which can take 7 days. Essentially all the world's communication resources have decided that myself, Nat and Tom are not allowed to make contact with anyone ever again. I'd be unsurprised if we just stop getting post altogether and any nearby flying pigeons are killed by a sniper incase they carry messages from the revolution. So I will now be destined to sit in Starbucks every time I want to send an email. Still it means I can keep getting my coffee fix. Not that I need it. Of course I don't need that sweet sweet java. That sweet sweet coffee coffee coffee. Must get more coffeee. Coffeeeeeeeee.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Show By Any Other Name....

Its funny how sometimes with certain elements of comedy, you can become slightly too accustomed to tradition. It took a long time for me to realise that you can't treat every gig as the same and I have horrific memories of returning to do a ten minute set at the Banana Caberet several years ago, after having stormed a five minute one a few months before. The previous set I had gone in full steam ahead, every ounce of energy like a tiny bearded Tazmanian Devil. I'm fairly sure the Tazmanian Devil has a sort of beard. Does it count as a beard if you already have hair all over your face? If not, that is a sad time. I guess bears and wolves have to make a special effort to get extra chin hair to look like druids or rock stars. Or maybe in mammal terms you have to shave around the chin? Anyway, I digress, and now gress is a different colour. Arf. Sorry. Right back on track, although I am in Starbucks in Muswell Hill and in the middle of typing this three Muswell Hill type teenagers have sat opposite me and insist on over elongating the ends of their sentences and saying 'like' a lot. I'm not sure how this will affect the blog but I expect through irritation you may notice anger and discontent appearing in the midst of its content.

So noticing the energy trick worked on the first attempt I burst onto the stage with similar energy to a thunderbolt with a hyperactive thyroid gland, only to find the audience all relaxed chilled and not impressed that I was more in their face than a deep set blackhead. This then lead to 10 very awkward minutes of silence until a man noticed I was wearing a Spiderman tshirt and asked why I dressed like a child and I stumbled off miserably. Anyway to cut that story that's ended even shorter, I learnt that night not to treat any gig the same. Over the years I've learnt how to make it seem like a gig hasn't thrown me in any way or figured out how to adapt to the crowd (not always but mostly), but I still get thrown completely by certain things.

Last night's Fat Tuesday was one of those ones. I know our Fat Tuesday crowd. I know several of them by first name, I recognise more as they pass through the doors of the Compass, and I know not to have to patronise them by telling them to turn phones off or stop talking through acts. They are lovely comedy savvy people and know how to behave at a gig. In the history of our 5 and half year run, there have only ever been two shit gigs and they were both just before Christmas. One featured an arsey loudmouth heckler, and one involved a Christmas party of human rights lawyers who stood up to pour each other wine despite being in the second row and talked all the way through. Since then, I refuse to hold an FT too soon to Xmas and nor do we allow groups. Last night's show didn't suffer any of these problems. Instead due to the excellent combination of Steve Hughes and Glenn Wool, we had a crowd with only 3 regulars in and all the rest of the 100 people were metallers. I like metallers. They are often awesome relaxed people, except when moshing. But what I didn't know is that they would be hugely impatient, fidegty and in need of drinks every two seconds. This meant after one act, instead of waiting for the next two to pass so they could get more drinks in the interval, they were up and racing around for cigarettes and lager within seconds.


Sorry. So I was suddenly in a difficult position. Due to various reasons we were away from our usual home of The Compass, and instead in the lovely New Red Lion Theatre, with a whole new audience that I didn't know how to control. I was stuck as the MC not being able to do too much between acts or the night would run on forever...


...but at the same time it was mean to the acts to throw them straight on to what appeared to be a busy airport lounge for private flights to a Metallica concert. In the end we ploughed on and all the acts rocked it, with the audience calming down as the evening went on. Many thanks to Julian Deane, David Schneider, James Dowdeswell, Glenn and Steve who were all ace. It just wasn't a Fat Tuesday. In name yes, but in nothing else. I know my gig and that wasn't it. No one's fault but you can't change too many component parts of a working night. If we'd been in a different venue with the same crowd, it'd have been fine. If we'd been in the same room with a different crowd, also good. But the two variables? I would make for a poor mark on a science GCSE hypothesis that's all I'm saying. We're not sure where FT will continue to be next year but I'm going to try my best to make it the gig it's always been again or I'll have to call it quits. Sad times.

And I lost my new hat. That's the second peaked beanie hat I've lost in 2 months. I think I am destined to have a cold head. Still, better than to be hot headed. That causes arguments.

This blog needs to end now before the schoolgirls discussions about how much they hated their year 7 history teacher are going to get interrupted by an old man telling them how little he cares and can they be inane more quietly. This is definitely a sign of age. I remember a time when three school girls sitting next to me would have been a highlight. That was about 15 years ago, admittedly. Now I'm honestly wishing all schools round here were boarding ones that denied their students any possible glimpse of freedom purely for my own sanity. Sigh. I'm such a horrible middle aged miser.

On a final note, Nat Luurtsema was on The One Show last night with her very funny musings on having to go and live with your parents again later in life. There was a tiny unnamed appearance by me too, where Nat kindly calls me a 'failure' which is why she's my friend. If you didn't get a chance to see it, have a look here:


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Strings and Wrongs


Tim Minchin's show last night was nothing less than superb. I love the Minch anyway, but there is something about being backed by an orchestra that makes everything a bit more epic than it already is. Well I say orchestra, but actually, just a string section makes anything seem better. When I saw the Gorillaz a few weeks back, they had a string section. I remember seeing Kanye West with a string section and that worked too. I daresay there is little that can't be improved with a horde of violins and cellos. Even a string section can be made even better with the addition of another string section. Actually a forest fire wouldn't be better with a string section. It'd just burn more easily. Unless they were outside the forest fire playing dramatic music and then I would happily witness small mammals burn. String sections work everywhere. I want one so they can play melodic sweeping pieces as I drive long distances or play creepy music if something creepy is about to happen to me so I know and can avoid it. To be fair Minchin used a string section much better than I ever could and I'm fairly sure I'd run for a bus and get on it completely forgetting to take them and get told off for being careless with my string section.

It was a truly excellent show. If you get a chance to see it, you really should. It also made it better going with my friend Laura who seemed like she might actually explode every time Minch came onstage. Its much like spending Christmas with children makes it a more rewarding experience. I'd have loved Tim's show anyway, but having to almost physically restrain someone from leaping on stage and pouncing on him made it even more exciting. The whole thing made me realise comedy can happen in arenas, but only if, like Tim, you make a proper show out of it. I've never been a fan of just plain stand-up to fill massive venues, feeling like some of the atmosphere has been lost replaced by ticket sales. One person talking while you spend the whole time watching the big screens to catch their facial expressions is only ever as pleasurable as watching a DVD as far as I'm concerned. Minch however, with his full scale orchestral songs and ability to rock the shit out a gig, very much is the exception to the rule. Hope he enjoys tonight's gig at the O2 as much as he seemed to enjoy last night's.


I can't fathom how anyone, especially Ben Brown from News 24, Bill Turnbull, Richard Littlejohn and the Met police can possibly think that any argument they have can justify throwing a man with cerebral palsy out of his wheelchair. Jody is a man who is constantly fighting for disabled, but more importantly and on a larger scale, human rights. Watching Bill Brown ridiculously accuse him of 'wheeling towards the police' as though those in wheelchairs are now not allowed to be directed towards members of the law enforcement without threat of injury is just upsetting. What Richard Littlejohn wrote in today's mail is even worse, but in some way I expect that from a man who essentially a Nazi with a laptop. I also expect it from the Mail which is a lot of Nazi's with laptops print outs. What I don't expect it from is BBC News and BBC Breakfast who are normally so afraid to do anything un-PC in anyway and yet here they are suddenly trying to justify how a man who was unable to pose any threat to the police deserved the violence he received from men in riot gear. If no one is willing to just own up and say that along with the brutal battering of Alfie Meadows, that what the police are doing is just ethically and morally wrong then I really worry about where it will end.


Nat wasn't on it last night. Neither was I. Sorry to all who watched thinking we were. Instead The Luurtsema's are almost definitely definitely on it tonight. Which means they might have included a snippet of my face too. Either way, it'll be ace and well worth watching. Promise. And if it's not on this time then I apologise for any inconvenience caused and will pay for any damages the sight of Chris Evans' face has done. (I fully think this is the reason I don't mind the man on radio but on telly he makes me cry).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Doctor Mum

I normally call my parents by their first names because that's the sort of radical ace relationship hierarchy smashing family the Douieb's are. But in the interest's of safety, incase any of you loony fans turn up at their home demanding samples of my childhood clothes in order to clone my dna, I will call them Mum and Dad in this blog. Also because that means you know who they are. Whereas if I called them Liz and Brian it might confuse you. Er....oops. Doh. Anyway, on we go:

I spent this morning at the Barbican watching my mum become a Doctor. Not in the regeneration way. Whilst my mum is awesome, I can’t help but feel fans would become slightly confused if at the end of the next series Matt Smith is attacked by the Daleks at a graduation ceremony and comes back as my mum. So no, not The Doctor, just a doctor. Which is also brilliant. I had every intention of attending every since my mum asked me if I wanted to go several months ago, but as I woke up this morning in the early hours and foresaw having to watch 200 students walk on and off a stage while their names were read out for an hour and half, I was slightly concerned. Ultimately, until the person you want to see arrives, Graduation Ceremonies are hugely dull. Any and everyone that buys the DVD of the experience clearly has a lot of stamina or very low excitement threshold. I imagine that when it was all on video most people’s copies would be worn away over all the bits they’d fast forward every time until their turn on the platform. At which point they would gloat about just how well they walked and that they shake hands like Shakin’ Stevens. Or something. My dad and I sat and waited for it to begin, my eyes drooping, only to occasionally be snapped to attention every time someone tried to walk past to their seat. It wasn’t the walking past that would wake me up but more the grumbling by my dad that they hadn’t said ‘excuse me’. I tried to reason that several of them said ‘sorry’ but he said that he didn’t know what they were sorry about and so he wouldn’t move until they said the correct term. Cue discomfort and therefore no dozing. Oddly when he gave up on this and let a rather large woman pass without judgement, she snapped at him that he was rude, which greatly confused us both. As Jim Morrison once said ‘light my fire.’ Er…..

When it all kicked off though, I forgot what a nice event it actually is. Friends and family have gathered to celebrate someone’s academic achievements. Some of whom may have been the first in their family to go to university, and rather than take the stance of the Coalition government and assume higher education is unnecessary, they were there to applaud it. As people walked on stage to their names, sometimes pronounced correctly, various bits of the crowd would whoop and cheer them on and I quite enjoyed playing a game of seeing who was with which student. Then my mum went up. Since I graduated in 2003, my brother has done it and my dad got his masters on 7/7 of all days, so this was the third occasion in recent times where I’ve realised how long its been since I had to do it. It was great to feel glowing pride as she walked onto the stage looking great in her purple hat and gown, not at all dissimilar to a character from Harry Potter, and shook hands with the Dean of the University as her achievement was announced. My and my dad tried to awkwardly take photos - my dad doing a damn sight better with his real camera as opposed to my iPhone – and just gave up to clap and cheer instead. We were drowned out though by the sound of all the students she lectures giving her a standing ovation and I felt truly pleased that that was my mum up there.

I’ve always been proud of my parents. I’ve harped on about this before, but both work in Child Protection – my mum now a lecturer in the subject – and have spent their lives changing and helping other peoples. It always feels a far distance away from my career of shouting at drunken idiots or my brother’s work in the field of music making. Music is beneficial in many ways and I don’t doubt laughing is the best medicine, but I always feel that there’s quite a difference to someone going home saying ‘what a nice night, apart from that short bearded unfunny one’ to actually helping a child to have a better life overall so that one day in the future they can go to a comedy club and say ‘what a nice night, apart from that short bearded unfunny one’. Walking round after the ceremony various students came up to my mum and said how much they’d appreciated her help and how amazed they were that she was doing a PhD at the same time as everything else. It was brilliant to see and I was happy to be professional bag holder while my dad took the role of official cameraman of which he was very pleased. It was better that way. I have the camera skills of a genetic mutation with only thumbs. Admittedly, that genetic mutation might still have an eye for a good pic, which would put him several places above my all thumbs no eyes position. I would have brilliant at some sort of button pushing job.
Anyway congrats to my mum. My only worry now is that my dad is a master, and she is a doctor so they may now have to be mortal enemies for the rest of time. This could make Christmas Day pretty awkward.
I’m now off to see Tim Minchin in Brighton. He has very kindly given me some tickets in return for me saying he no longer owes me a crepe in return for the one he mercilessly stole off me in Edinburgh 2008. I think this is just payment.

Oh and as a last note, watch the One Show this evening. No, I haven’ t lost all taste nor is it some evil trap to bore you all into apathy in the way I suspected the writer’s of Matt Cardle’s first single are. I’m almost 100% sure as I watched that that its all to quell protestor’s rage. If that was played above any demonstration I’d pay anyone good money that wouldn’t instantly be bored into a coma. I have, incidentally, decided to create a new term based on last night’s X-Factor final – I was so sad when I realised I’d misheard and it wasn’t the Final X-Factor – which is this: If your milk isn’t quite gone off but is instead bland as hell and wearing stupid trousers, then it has ‘cardled.’ Please use appropriately.
Anyway, One Show, tonight, should have the excellent Nat Luurtsema talking about living at home with her parents on it. I pop up to let the whole piece down for 30 seconds somewhere in the middle but the rest should be actually good. Watch away. Or at home.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Tom has spent 30 minutes just now trying to explain to a man at BT exactly how they can make our lives easier. Its a simple problem. BT haven't registered our line as active, which it clearly is, but until someone ticks a box on a tiny computer, our broadband provider can't see it and therefore can't give us the wonders of the web. However, despite how easy it might seem to tell someone to get that box ticked, I have listened to Tom repeatedly say 'No, WE don't have BT Broadband, we just need you to render our landline active so that we can get broadband.' He would then say that again and again with further and further stress on 'NO' until the irritation couldn't have been clearer in his voice unless he was to precede the sentence with 'LISTEN YOU FUCKING IDIOT.' Then he got cut off and there was some swearing. Then I called them back and handed the phone to him once the patronisingly jingly hold music had passed trying to convince you through its upbeat plinky plonky nature that all is well in the world until the harsh reality hits you that people hired to work at help desks are the least helpful people in the universe. Its some sort of international cruel joke. I'm sure the staff in India are told they work for a phone line that people call when feeling suicidal. Or perhaps more likely someone has hired them under the pretense that they get so many prank calls they need an office of staff to try and deter them from calling anymore. Either way it would be less infuriating to know that when you call BT the line goes through to a phone that rings and rings in a room in an empty warehouse with nothing but an angry dog that's chained to the wall barking at it, than knowing that you actually have to speak to a grade A moron.

They had initially, when Tom had called them yesterday, told us they would call back today. They didn't and we sat around waiting for the phone to ring like an optimistically expectant teenager after a date. It got to 4.30pm and we realised we'd been stood up holding popcorn for two knowing full well we'd never get to see the film and would have to head home and cry. I suspect that whoever made that promise on Saturday to Tom, hung up the phone after, told everyone they'd dropped the 'I'll call you back tomorrow line' and then high fived his way to the pub. Another idiot stalled as far as they're concerned. After three phonecalls and being put on hold seven times, it was decided that it was unfair to keep us on hold anymore. The horse had long bolted by this point, and was probably being humanely put down by a race track somewhere. Instead of any further piano drabness that would have caused Mozart to forcibly remove his own fingers were he the culprit, we were told they would 'call back.' We'd heard that one before. As the phone hung up, myself and Tom resigned ourselves to knowing this was never meant to work and that there were plenty more phone operatives in the sea. Which is possibly why the phonelines were so bad.

They did call back, but in our flat of no connectivity, phone reception, along with wifi, is as scarce as actual talent is on the X-Factor. So a chirpy little message was left containing no answers as to whether or not the problem had been solved, or even whether or not they'd finally understood why and how they were severing our links to the outside world. Instead it merely told us that 'we were unable to get through to you, so have a lovely day.' Its 5.55pm, our day has already gone. Most of it was wasted talking to complete fucking morons at BT. If this isn't fixed by Tuesday we have decided we are going to start to ring up just to have conversations about anything. Absolutely anything, except issues to do with phones. If they even begin to complain, we'll tell them that we are lonely without the internet and that as they say 'It's Good To Talk'.

I firmly believe sorting out broadband is up there with the most stressful experiences in life, alongside moving home and escaping the scene of a crime. Until then we will steal Chilli Bernstein's internet on the sly. That's the name that pops up on his shared account and I am terrified that he is a member of the mafia in some way. If I die due to BT's incompetence I want you all to spread my ashes in the words 'Fuck You' over the windows of BT tower.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Spudative Action

I have nothing of interest for you people today. A lunchtime baked potato has rendered me completely useless. It has the ability to do that. Today was originally filled with plans of grandeur and adventure, and in the matter of a few forkfuls it all evaporated into me sitting on the sofa watching Dave Chappelle's Block Party with Tom while we commented on what we would have as 'grills' were we to get them. Greetings seemed to be the best idea. Something like 'Good Morning' across your molars or 'Nice Tits' in gold canine caps. Its amazing how baked potatoes can do that to me. I will now be sleepy on the way to taking my brother to the airport and I will struggle at my gig tonight with this spud sedative or spudative as I like to call it, sitting in my gut. If someone wanted to take advantage of me - and I mean in a robbery or criminal way as in a sexual manner I'd be pretty useless after a tattie - they could just feed me a potato, wait an hour and then take all my belongings in front of my face while I was physically unable to do anything about it. Admittedly, they could just break in and use a knife or even just their fists and in comparison cooking me a baked potato is a several hour process that would require a severely bored thief desperate for innovation.

I had set myself today to organise my CD collection. That there is the sort of phrase that singles out the men from the boys. And by men I mean 'total OCD loser fests' and by boys I mean 'younger total OCD loser fests'. It sounds horribly dull to most people but with my - and I don't mean to boast, but boast I will - 2000+ CD collection, they need to be in order otherwise I simply can't find what I'm looking for. Today, post 'Block Party' viewing, it was pretty hard to find all the relevant artist's CDs that feature in it so that me and Tom could shout appropriate rap lyrics in our tiny urban ghetto pad. Instead the nearest grab from CD chaos is an All Saints CD (I will explain this in a minute) which when played loud, combined with the rather kitsch Christmas tree Nat bought the day adorned with all manner of camp festiveness, anyone looking in through the window will assume me and Tom are a couple. This is some way different to being hella cool Northside Gangstas which is the impression I want to give out in the Muswell Hill area. I want to be bowling down the Broadway with trousers hanging low, crips bandana wrapped round my face and hand contorted into an 'N' for Northside in a way that could only have happened if I'd had my fingers broken especially. Or not.

Back to the important matter, yes I have an All Saints CD. In fact I have two. I'm not ashamed by this. I think they were ace. 'Were' is the important word and amongst my music library, alongside the chic wonders of Madlib to Nick Drake to Four Tet etc etc, there lies a few bad moments, or guilty pleasures that will never leave. Early RnB from my school days will forever have a place in my heart no matter how wrong it feels to be a near 30 year old straight single man with a Toni Braxton album. For the first time ever I did get rid of a few real bad ones. A Rick Astley album that I was bought as a joke, along with a similarly bought Westlife and Boyzone single as a callback to a hilarious injoke that I don't remember from 6th form. There were two Billie Piper cds that I bought for 50p each specifically to play loud in a our 2nd year of university when my room was next door to my friend Mat's room. I would nearly always get up earlier than him and the sound of me playing 'Because We Want To' loudly and singing along with all the wrong words would make him angry very quickly to comical effect. I kept all of those for far too long assuming that one day, in my life of comedy, I may need them for some reason, but with the inevitable growth of iTunes I should never hold the shame of them sitting on my shelf when should I ever lower my standards to playing something like that during a show, I could just download it.

Don't get me wrong, I've kept a few. Bob Nudd's 'Maggots In Your Catapult' is never leaving my possession. A rap song by a Notts Champion Fisherman which to my mind is one of the worst tunes ever made and is therefore brilliant. It was the inspiration for my music video project in 6th Form where fishermen in yellow macs took on rappers who were happy angling. It received a very high mark and I've never felt so proud trying to body pop in a red old man's beanie hat. Its a top track and in order for you to realise why it will sit on my shelf - admittedly somewhere no one can see it till I get drunk enough to play it for them - here it is. Enjoy:


But as I'm now in a coma-toes (hmm that one doesn't really work) I'll just have to leave Bob where he is at the moment. Sandwiched between DJ Shadow and a Ed Harcourt like he's a real magician. Well I hope he enjoys that and feels proud.