Parklife – Blur
“Want some skunk geezer?”
Do I want a skunk?
“Yeah. Want to buy?”
Why would I buy a skunk?
“You being funny?”
Am I being funny?
“You is being funny, pretty boy.”
So I get out of the tube. East London. Not sure what part. But already it looks dodge. Balls. Never considered this when booking stand-up gigs. Presumed central-ish would be grand. Anywhere close enough to Picadilly. This seemed close. And it was. Just also dodge. Hmm. Not sure which way to go either. East? Which way did I come out? I’ll head to that Starbucks, do some sussing. Oh right, just up the road a bit? Cheers boss, and an espresso to go. So I’m back strolling up the street. Convinced Starbucks guy pointed me in the right direction. Looking for a venue whose name is now eluding me. King’s Arms? King’s Cross? Queen Bishop? No clue. Oh yeah, the Goat’s Head? I think that’s it. Hang on, what does this dodgy looking hooded dude want… Pardon? Oh right, I think he’s trying to sell me some skunk. No clue what the funk that is but- He’s getting angry. Time to walk faster. Hey hup. Quicken the pace, hang 0n, giddy up, the Shepherd’s Cross, found the place, in I go, skunk, back up away to funk!
Look around. One roomed bar. Sparse. Dark. High ceilings. Wooden chairs. Two speakers. One mic. Little to no people. Mighty. I chose well. Quick think. Contemplate. Should I pull a Michael Bolton? Get out of here and just go to my next gig early? Ehh, I think I shal- Spot my buddy Bob. Bob Hoff. Buddy from Cork, living in London, tour guide while I’m here. Also acting manager. Currently sporting a Patrick Bateman look. Patience consulate too, forever waiting for me to find the places we have arranged to meet. Greets me- “Hiya boyo!” Bob, this is looking dodge, should we bounce or which? “No man, I already told the organiser you’re here, he’s pumped, do the show.” Well done Bob, show it is. Empty room all the way. I had been booked to go up early, give me time to get to my second gig. Now seeing that this kind of has backfired on me, shows don’t seem to start on time/people just don’t come to this show. Seemed good on the internet, Google said it was a hot spot! (I’m guessing you should never order a bride online either, for similar reasons.)
Meet the organiser, Garth. Frantic bald guy with a guitar around his shoulder. “Delighted! Hello! How are you? Where the f**k are all the people?! At least you’re here. Where the f**k are all the people?! Hahaha, f**k sake, this is a load of bollocks, there should be people! When do you want to go on, later? What, early? Are you not staying? Oh for f**k’s sake, that’s right, you told me that, hang on…” Strums his guitar a few times while staring at me and smiling lucidly… “I’ll put you on second, right, after me and another girl can warm you up, right?” Sounds good boss, just no more guitar and staring.
So Garth goes up. Does a sing song to about five of us. Room looks bigger and bigger now that he’s on the mic. Feels like we’re in play school with the songs that are being sung and being asked to sing along. The wheels on the bus, kind of thing. He’s sweating up there too, speckling the songs with random bursts of swearing as he sees people look in the window and then decide to go elsewhere. It’s funny and it’s not, kind of thing. Like most things really. Not funny but it’ll make you laugh. Anyway, he introduces the girl. She does well. Then spirals off. Sucks the life out of the place by the very end with a sad story that you were hoping and praying had a humorous twist at the end, but it didn’t. So she said it was something she’s working on, and then I was up. By now there were about ten to twelve extra punters in the room. The big wooden tables made the room look bare as funk. But what can you do. Except try the set. See how it goes. Tailor it around. And then I was done. Went well. Got some chuckles. Few hearty laughs. Couple of gasps. All in the right spots, which was good. Just not the mighty unreal champion first show in London I dumbly thought was going to transpire.
Anyway, Bob clapped me off. Did some pre set gibber. Hung around for a booze. Headed off to show two. This one in Soho. Praying there would be people. C’mon the bodies! Find the club. Soho Comedy. Myself and Bob stroll in through the doors. And I then I knee a guy in the face. Tiny little guy. Not a even a dwarf I think. Smaller. Literally his face was up to the top of my knee. Copped on to what happened. Apologised. All good. Did one of those things where you see him and then try to subtly double take to make sure your eyes are seeing what you think but also not to be a prick and make him self conscious you quickly over compensate with politeness and being normal just to let him know you don’t think anything is different about the whole situation. Smooth. No one or knee got hurt. Anyway. Good venue. Smaller room. But. Packed. Mighty! Barely even standing room. Organiser sees me. Quick. Curt. Greet. On at the start of the second half. Second guy up. Dancing. Halftime. Myself and Bob make small talk about anything but the small guy. Show back on. Organiser introduces the next act. And… It’s the small guy. Can’t remember his name, but he was hilarious. Seriously. Really funny. Looked a bit like Johnny Depp as Captain Sparrow. Just a tiny version. Anyway, he kills. Crowd loving him. Although he did get a bit tragic. Telling of womanly woes. Not the usual. How he ends up kissing a girl in the hip if he’s lucky, that kind of thing. Crowd roared when he wrapped up. Felt like a cauldron in there. No real stage. You’re on the floor. Crowd cramped in on top of you. Right in your face. Make them laugh. Or feel their silence blowing out their nose. That tight. And packed. It was good. And now I’m up.
Realised something a bit odd when I get introduced and brought on… There’s no mic. Oh right, didn’t really notice that. Take a few sentences to find the optimum voice levels needed. Squeak. Bellow. Whisper. Cough. There we go! And we’re off. More or less the same set as first time around. Tales of my adventures and gibber. This time though, a full crowd ready to laugh. Laugh they did. Mighty buzz. Ten, fifteen, twenty minutes. Who knows? In the moment. Few gasps. Got a bit odd at times. But it was good. And we were dancing. Some difference a crowd makes. This time when Bob told me “Mate, that was good, dancing!” I actually believed him. As opposed to round one. Although it is a bit darker than my blogaruu and books. Weird how that happens. Not fully sure why. Anyway. Everyone happy. Although not fully sure about the organiser (there’s always one!). Not sure if he liked me from the word go. Seemed to have an odd chip. My set did nothing to remove it. This is my show, don’t upstage, perhaps. Maybe he was expecting cleaner. More Disney like. So, apologies to him if he’s reading. But. Laugh on! And. Apologies to the dwarf.
Golden Skans – The Klaxons
RanDumb! -> WEE HUU!
RanDumber! -> SNAP HER UP!
RanDumber Kindle -> SNAP ON!
RanDumber UK -> GIDDY UP!