Sunday, 10 November 2019

London: Gig and a Festival Meet and Greet at The Bill Murray

Last Thursday night I departed a rapidly submerging Glossop to London for a weekend of comedy antics.

On Friday night I joined Sonia Aste for Comedy at the Castle in Aldgate East. The original home to Clash of the Tight Tens, I handed the reigns over to everyone's favourite exuberant Spaniard in the run up to departing the capital. Now a buzzing new act night, I put in a quick ten at the start of the show with my guitar and a couple of Parodies from the Peak District songs. As a tester for what a Southern crowd would make of a song full of northern references I was pleasantly surprised with the reception for "I Will Eat", but the big laughs came with "My Ex". A while later I was down in the main bar with the ever brilliant Andy Onions having a drink and a pint.

Saturday was a day of friends and family but on Sunday it was comedy time again with a festival meet and greet at The Bill Murray organised by Simon Caine. Attending both as an act and as founder of The Glossop Comedy Festival (formerly The Oakwood Fringe) I was shown to my group of chairs with my logo on a little sign for what turned out to be a session of comedy speed dating with acts moving around the room. I met plenty of interesting people with a range of different shows to offer and ended the afternoon with a pile of flyers and postcards (pictured.) I also got chatting to other promoters in the room and now have a shortlist of festivals to which "Andy Quirk and Anna J Have Issues" may be visiting. Largely guided by locations where we know people who live there!

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If you're wondering why the Parodies From The Peak District Youtube channel hasn't updated for a while it's because I've been away a lot. More will be coming soon. For the while, check out the channel here.

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Blackpool and the final Newsjack jokes no-one wanted

I have never been to Blackpool.

There's a first time for everything though so, following the postponement of a gig in North Wales, I buzzed the Micra north to the home of lights, a tower and - as it turned out - a pier that came out quite epic on my camera during my wander around the town before the gig.

The Comedy Station is a proper comedy club sitting pretty much opposite Blackpool Tower's entrance and attracted a neat little group of 30 or so adventurous individuals looking to sample the new act night. Host and club owner, Ryan eased them in after ejecting a man who was on the wrong side of eight pints and a seasoned pro called Chris stepped up to try out some new material, notepad in hand. The response was good and I hopped up next.

Things started well with the intro track booming out but as it dropped into the verse something was missing. The something turned out to be all the instruments except the drums and I realised we had a stereo-input-going-into-a-mono-jack situation on our hands. Something that through exceptional bad luck hadn't been picked up in soundcheck on account of the first eight bars of said track somehow all miraculously being audible.

Somewhat thrown, I had a chat with the audience and hoped the next track would somehow be okay. The intro to Shake It sounding like interference on an AM radio suggested otherwise. However, a quick change of scenery for the FWP iPad from the stage to an input at the mixing desk meant the show could go on and both Shake It and Meal Deal got their North-West seaside debut.

The acts that followed were all strong, including Keith Wild who yet again crossed paths with me and brought the house down with some familiar and not-so-familiar guitar-based mirth making. I headed off in the final break unsure of how well my set had gone down after my tech-related false start but received a much appreciated ego boost by a group of audience members at the entrance stopping me to say how much they enjoyed it.

And now for those Newsjack jokes I submitted this week that didn't make the show. Thumbs up to Tom Little though, who I heard credited at the end of this week's episode.

BREAKING NEWS: 

1. Extinction Rebellion protestors learned on Monday that their demonstrations in London had been officially banned. Thanks to their tactic of gluing themselves to objects, police predict a sticky end. 

2. This week it was reported that churches are using social media to improve links with their congregations. The next step is a brand new platform that will also host Christian music, called Hymn Book. 

3. Due to what they refer to as a “technical error,” Vodaphone customers in Europe this week were shocked to receive texts informing them that they had racked up roaming charges close to five thousand pounds. Needless to say, it wasn’t the 4G they’d been expecting.



Saturday, 19 October 2019

The Something New Show - Wigan

On a wet and windy Thursday Anna and I headed off around the Manchester ring road to Wigan for Something New - a mixed genre night with featured acts (us and a rather good "rave poet") plus an improv troupe on hosting duties and an open mic section.

Taking place at The Old Courts, this multi-room arts hub is pretty slick and doing well. Whilst we were performing in a little "black box" type theatre room neighbouring the bar, upstairs in a much larger space Sean Ryder was chatting about his life in music and, no doubt, chemical experimentation to a sold out crowd (also the setting for many of the scenes in World On Fire I learned.)

The night was busy, mainly due to the large number of first year drama students who were all looking for 3 minutes to deliver their poetry, someone else's poetry or - strangely - to sing Creep acapella slightly off key. As an ardent fan of open mic I was happy to spend the first section watching this and the improvisers.

Come the second section and our rave poet delivered 20 minutes of engaging spoken word. Sometimes funny, sometimes earnest, an interesting act to come on after and one I'd recommend. His reflections on still going to raves in his forties certainly struck a chord.

Our set was twenty minutes long and typically anarchic. With one mic between us it was a miracle I only came close to injuring Anna once during a mic exchange worthy of constant replay and scrutiny had it been a baton pass in an Olympic relay. The crowd were more than up for it and joined in with total abandon - also happily chatting to Anna between tracks in the setups. We look forward to returning.

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My Sunday night was supposed to be spent near Rhyl but the gig's been postponed. Instead I'm now off to Blackpool to perform at the Comedy Station. A night I have heard many great things about and would hope to be pretty warm to some interactive rap action.

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Have you seen the latest parody video? Thought not. It's here

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Newsjack Jokes that didn't make it

Another week sails by as my Newsjack submission ignores the lighthouse and crashes onto the rocks of the BBC. The search for a punchline that works continues...

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BREAKING NEWS:


In the U.S. this week it’s been reported that American Cheese is in decline as millennials refuse to eat the pre-sliced foodstuff in favour of less processed alternatives, such as Cheddar. It’s the only time you’ll hear this woke generation support Donald Trump’s call to “Make America grate again.”

It has been recently reported that twenty-two student housing projects in the UK are currently unfinished, leaving students in temporary accommodation. The developers have been awarded a degree of incompetence.

GOOD WEEK / BAD WEEK:

It’s been a bad week for a quarter of the world’s mammals as a report from the State of Nature has revealed that they are facing imminent extinction due to climate change. It’s been a good week for the other three quarters as one of those predicted to die out is Donald Trump.

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In other news, we're off to Wigan on Thursday for rapping at "Something New" at The Old Courts and then on Sunday I'm back in North Wales, this time with my guitar, at Ty Fry, Bodelwyddan.

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The latest Youtube video parody has less than 30 views. Which isn't a lot. If you'd like to join this exclusive clique click here.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Clash of the Tight Tens at The Oakwood

The cliche, "a game of two halves," is usually reserved for football matches but this evening's comedy kick-about at The Oakwood could certainly have been described as such.

In the first half the audience were subdued, the acts got laughs where they could but the atmosphere never really electrified. My songs got some approving smiles and a nice round of applause but something didn't quite click. Come the break a few bodies shuffled off into the night and I braced for more of the same.

That was until a group of lads rocked up, beers in hands, looking for something to round off their weekend. Without even planning to, I opened with what some might actually call, "banter," ribbing one guy for being a potential shoplifter and another for presenting ever so slightly as a Made In Chelsea extra. Later I called another guy's choice of lager a "bit basic", eliciting a lot more laughter than it probably deserved. This good humour encompassed the whole second half - with all three acts getting well deserved appreciation from the whole audience.

Come the conclusion it was smiles all round and a decent start to Clash of the Tight Tens in its new home.

Meanwhile, in the world of Youtube this has gained 23 views, 3 thumbs up and 1 thumbs down following a fistful of retweets. If this incredible success continues I'll sure find myself on Strictly as a "celeb vlogger" next season... 

Friday, 11 October 2019

Accrington and Song 4

Accrington is a place only known to me from an advert in the eighties which you'll either remember fondly or wonder what on earth I'm talking about. Since my visit last night, however, it's now more than a crap football team.

Battling the elements, I parked up near The Arden Inn and said hi to various familiar faces at the door. Inside a group of older locals huddled around the bar and yet more comics I knew had positioned themselves at tables around the corner of this traditional boozer. 

The show got underway with some tentative MCing which, considering the minimal engagement from the "real" audience, held up pretty well. Keith Wild then opened with a triple bill of hummable, and occasionally filthy, songs. Sarah Lloyd then brought her middle class Welsh ways to the stage and was taught how to swear authentically Accrington by a local. The Mighty Swob then brought us some old-school vibes with his 1970's dinner-shirt and left field take on reality. 

It then fell to me to close the first half with a couple of songs and an open discussion on what makes a local. The audience laughed in all the right places, which is about all any comic can ever ask for, and I improvised a line in "My Ex" for a job suggested by an audience member (or, if we're being honest, another act. But it still counts!)

Come the break I managed a quick chat with most of the assembled before bundling everything back in the car and powering through the torrential rain back to Glossop. Would I do it again, certainly. Props to Adam Anwar for organising a great, if unusual, night!

New song time. My Friday nights aren't what they used to be. Find out how here.

Monday, 7 October 2019

The Newsjack Rejects + Accrington this Thursday


This Thursday I'm performing in Accrington (see poster.) It's free and a rather wonderful lineup so if you're in the area please do come!

If you can't then you could do worse than look at my most recent parody video upload here. Another one will be online this Friday, all about how my Friday nights have changed in recent years.

And finally, it's what you've no doubt been waiting for. 3 more liners that BBC Newsjack didn't want last week.

Lucky you:

1. The Chairwoman of the Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference, Fiona Boulton, has said Labour’s proposal to close private schools was based on ‘ignorance and the desire to damage’ – part of the core curriculum at Eton.


2. Forever 21 has revealed it is close to bankruptcy this week, a perfect reflection of the financial position of its graduating millennial customers.


3. Google turned 21 this week, making it officially old enough to view the majority of the content its users search for.