Monday, 30 September 2019

News Jack - The Rejects

For the uninitiated, News Jack is a current affairs comedy show on BBC Radio 4 Extra which broadcasts one liners and sketches emailed in by its listeners. It's a good show and one I'd been meaning to start contributing to last season before I realised it had already ended its run before I got a single joke in.

This time around I'm more on it. But still unpublished. Except here.

So here's the three from last week the BBC didn't want:

Breaking News:

Gatwick Airport has confirmed it is installing user- operated facial recognition cameras for ID checks before passengers board planes. Similar devices used when disembarking will be called Selfie-Service Checkouts.

Attacks from unmanned aircraft and missiles in Saudi Arabia have been traced to Iran. Meanwhile, in the UK, Boris Johnson has continued to defend his own drone strike. Or, as it’s more widely known, the proroguing of parliament.

Greta Thunberg has told US politicians they are not working hard enough to tackle climate change. Republican representatives misunderstood her speech though, thinking she’d graded their efforts “C+” when she highlighted their, "rising sea levels."


In other news, I brought 'I Will Eat' and 'My Ex' to Giggle Gang Comedy last night in Manchester. A solidly brilliant lineup and a good time had by all. The latest parody is sitting on twenty-something views here.

Saturday, 28 September 2019

Morecambe and have a go if you think you're funny enough...

Morecambe is turning out to be quite a hotbed of comedy happenings. Yesterday, Anna and I took our raps back to Alt Space for Intergalactic Comedy Stylings alongside a host of other adventurous acts. Having known one of the hosts (Randy Be) from my time in London, when he ran nights in nearby Rochester, I knew it would be suitably anarchic.

Whilst the acts were bold the audience were bolder. An extended family occupied the centre rows armed with all forms of bring-you-own-booze and a need to contribute to every act's performance in their own 'unique' way. Attempts to finish punchlines, random words and, at one point, one of the group briefly pulling his shorts (yes, shorts on a dark cold rainy night) down - we got through more of our set than most thanks to our ability to turn the volume up on the backing tracks and blow their minds by not standing up and telling jokes.

The chaos crescendoed with an unannounced improv game involving Tony Slattery (of Whose Line Is It Anyway and many other TV shows fame) closing the night. Quite a thing to see.

Show complete we made our ninety minute way back to the Peak and left the hardcore to drink it up some in this bewilderingly brilliant town.

Tomorrow I'm at The Binary Bar (Manchester) for Giggle Gang Comedy with my guitar. The third instalment of Parodies from the Peak District is online now. 

For a tribute to bad hotels set to the tune of Erasure's greatest hit click here.

Monday, 23 September 2019

Oh Beehive!

This weekend I hosted my second comedy night at The Beehive in New Mills as part of the town's festival running throughout September. The first show a few months back had been half full but tonight our grand capacity of 25ish was reached and the atmosphere was therefore warm, friendly and up for a good time.

Billed as "The Best of the Peak" there was a degree of poetic license with acts coming in from Manchester as well as areas with substantially more hills and less chicken shops. Keith Wild's headline set topped off what was an all-round quality night and I kicked off each half with a tune on my guitar and a chat with the assembled. More dates will certainly follow, more news on that as it arrives.

Otherwise, my comedy endeavours this week included uploading the second acoustic parody video in my ongoing vlog series here and crafting three one-liners for BBC 4 Extra's Newsjack show. With submissions no doubt running into the hundreds the chance of being broadcast is undoubtably slim but should my jokes not be performed to the literally hundreds of people who listen to this fantastically niche station then I'll post them here a whole week after they're relevant.

This week I take my guitar (or rap iPad, depending on Anna J's availability) to Morecambe on Friday for Intergalactic at Alt-Space and then on Sunday I'm in Manchester at The Binary Bar with Giggle Gang Comedy.

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Performing to Parents

Yesterday I headed out of Glossop to Liverpool for 'Early Risers', a comedy night with an earlier-than-most finish time specifically aimed at those who would otherwise be clock watching for the baby sitter.

A night that really knew what it was and who it was for, MC Hannah linked between acts with a "Back to School" theme, supported by an on-stage nursery blackboard and an actual 'nature table' as found in most KS1 classrooms. The night concluded with cards completed by the audience in response to the question, "what was the naughtiest thing you did at school?" and a goodbye song that the crowd seemed to know well.

Before this point two comedy course graduate mothers had fired off their first five minutes on parenting themes, a thirteen year old stepped up to tell three minutes of jokes and Jinder Singh opened with an extended set. The penultimate act and first on after the break, I opened with the Edinburgh intro track and then went into Shake It followed by Meal Deal.

The response was warm and was certainly enough to erase memories of my first appearance in Liverpool three years ago at Hot Water when I baffled a huge crowd on a Sunday night repeatedly shouting about an erroneous coffee order over sub-karaoke machine beats. Win.

Sam Avery closed the night's proceedings. He was very good. If you get the chance to see him then do.

In other events this week, Anna and I successfully ran our first improvised drama session for home ed kids. The worlds of education and comedy finally colliding neatly.

Have you sung along to my ode to moving to the north yet? Some people have. Quite a lot of them clicked thumbs up, which is very nice of them. CLICK HERE AND SHARE!

Friday, 6 September 2019

Parodies from the Peak District

Since returning from Edinburgh we've been recharging our comedy rap batteries and slowly but surely we're developing ideas and concepts for future tracks to take to Edinburgh 2020.

In the meantime, however, I've got back on my guitar with a new parody project inspired by our move to the north. I've written a few over the years but now seemed like the right time to put together a proper set and take them to the clubs around here - possibly also leading to a second festival show next year to accompany whatever we call the follow-up to '99 (First World) Problems)'.

I'll be uploading a different song to Youtube every fortnight for the foreseeable future as a lo-fi vlog-style video complete with sing-a-long captions for the karaoke minded.

The link to the first one is below. Keep following the blog for updates or subscribe to my channel. Comments welcome. Bookings too.

I Will Eat...