Friday, August 31, 2007

Nice and Easy

After the madness of last week, running around Edinburgh and doing four gigs in Brighton, this week has been really chilled, with the exception of one thing.

"What has been disturbing your sense of calm JoJo?" I hear you ask. Well I'll tell ya, it's my bank! I've been with the Abbey for almost 20 years, and on the whole, they've been as cool as any other bank might be, but this year there's been all kinds of crap with them.

First they let someone help themself to my bank account while I was abroad - luckily I had my flight tickets etc to prove I was out of the country and the money was refunded sharpish, then one buffoon paid one of my cheques into somebody else's bank account. Again I had the receipt to prove it and as the same buffoon refunded the money he told me I was lucky (!) that that other person hadn't spent it. As if that was my problem!!!!!

The worst crime of all tho has been taking place over the last month. My debit card expired at the end of July, and in the past the new one would arrive long before the expiration date. As this didn't happen this time I called em on 30 July and was told that due to flooding (!) the card was late going out and I'd have it by 2nd August. Weeks of having to take my passport everywhere I go and endless queuing in various branches around the UK have followed, along with hours of wasted time on the premium rate phone lines trying to find out where the damn card was!

So far, two have been stopped and cancelled, and I am now waiting for a third one. Apparently it will arrive no later than next Wednesday, the day I go on my holiday... I aint holding my breath, but if it aint here by then I shall be shopping for a new bank when I get back. Are Abbey the worst bank in the world ever????????????

Other than that I've had a good week, went out for dinner and to see some band last night with my pal Paul. The meal was lovely, the band... well I couldn't tell ya cos due to unforseen circumstances Paul had to leave so I buggered off too. Still caught a couple of songs by the support who were some kinda modern rockabilly outfit.

I'm off to Watford to do a set tonight at Jongleurs, which should be cool, and tomorrow I'll be MC'ing at Battersea which I haven't played in years! How exciting!

Have a good un folks xx

Monday, August 27, 2007

A Lovely Weekend

I had such a brilliant, chilled time in Brighton!

The gigs were challenging, I was headlining which is always pressure to me - I have my comfort zone and being taken out of it always causes some apprehension. However, being taken out of your comfort zone is a brilliant thing, cos you learn about yourself.

I learned that I can close any show and do a cracking job. I also learned that too much coffee will keep you awake far later than you need to be!

The weather was stunning and I spent Saturday daytime catching a few rays in between trawling the shops for bargains. And what bargains I got, some fabulous frocks from Primark (of course), New Look and Peacocks! I also had a good old browse around the Laines and picked up one or two little things that I hadn't expected.

Sunday was a different day altogether. Having got my shopping fix, I spent the day sitting in the sunshine, drinking coffee and reading the Sunday papers, before walking back to the hotel in Hove along the seafront. It was so relaxing and so blissful, not to mention great exercise!

The bill this weekend was packed with lovely people Steve Jameson, Steve Day and Rob Heeny, the four of us shared some laughs and banter, and there were no massive egos in sight.

Up in Edinburgh they gave out the big prize for the best show of the Festival - the new Perrier - and it was won by my old mate Brendan Burns with his 10th (!) Edinburgh show. He must be feeling like it was all worthwhile now. A great lesson in tenacity!


Friday, August 24, 2007

Bank Holidays Beside The Sea...

Are the best ones ever!

I'm off to Brighton this afternoon for a whole weekend at The Krater @ Komedia and I am soooooooo looking forward to it!

Apparently even the weather is gonna behave and be sunny, maybe I'll get a chance to soak up some sun on the beach, in between wandering round the Laines and just chilling. This will be the first time I've been to Brighton skinny, so I'm very excited about being able to get some groovy gear in all the fabby boutiques.

I'm the luckiest girl ever!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Brilliant Time

Got back from my blitz on Edinburgh late last night, and I can honestly say its the best time I've ever had up there!

Ok so the weather was a bit manky - mainly cold - but at least it was dry. Everything else about it was fantastic!

My bestest comedy chum Stephen K Amos had a room in his lovely flat all for me, and the flat was pretty close to the action so no queuing at 3am for a cab home. His show 'More of Me' was just amazing, the best I've ever seen from him. He's so comfortable onstage and just a joy to watch. There's lots of laughs, some serious bits, just brilliant!

I also saw this year's 'comedians can act too' play, Breaker Morant with a cast that includes Nick Wilty, Rhys Darby, Alastair Barrie, Adam Hills, Brendon Burns, Mike Hayley and the fantastic Alan Francis, plus some comics I don't know including Sammy J who's creating a bit of a buzz for his solo show and who was fab as the nervy lawyer.

I also saw the divine Jason Wood in a play called Unnatural Acts with Jessica Martin. It's his first acting role and he was wonderful.

I saw a show by a new (to me anyway) comic called Tom Allen who was very funny and entertaining. I also got to see one of my all-time fave comics Mickey Flannagan doing his first solo show. Having worked loads with Mickey I knew a lot of the material but believe me that didn't detract at all from my enjoyment! It was sheer bliss being able to spend an hour being entertained by him. He's f**king brilliant!

When the nominations were announced for the new Perrier awards yesterday, I was thrilled to see Mickey in the running for Best Newcomer...he deffo should win it!

I even got a bit of culture in the form of the National Gallery of Scotland's big show, the Andy Warhol retrospective. There were some amazing pieces, the skull paintings in particular, and stuff I'd not seen before including the room full of paintings for children, hung at child height. Brilliant.

I partied a bit and managed to see just about every comedian I've worked with ever, Phil Jupitus, Johnny Vegas, Alan Carr, Jimmy Carr, Sean Hughes, the Puppetry of the Penis guys, Marcus Brigstocke, everyone! By the time I got on the train back to Kings X yesterday evening I was exhausted! I was also extremely stoked full of compliments. Everyone I saw didn't recognise me, and everyone told me how fabulous I'm looking!

Best of all I came away with a desire to do a show of my own. This is the first time I've ever felt like that. I've even got an idea that just could's hoping!


Monday, August 20, 2007

Oooooooh Edinboro!!!!!!!!!!

To quote the blinding Sean Cullen song.

I'm off! Wardrobe sorted - going for cold weather option with removable layers -bag packed and 48 hours of fun and socialising all sorted.

I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Best Audiences In The World...

... are to be found at Up The Creek.

I've said it tons of times before, but they so just 'get it' down there. It's awesome. Two fantastic gigs, two fantastic line-ups - Addy Van Der Borg, Wayne Deakin and new daddy Alan Cochrane - and two amazing crowds. Goddamn I love this gig!

Am now in the process of digging out my pacamac, wellies and mittens for my trip to Edinburgh...I am so excited about my trip, shame the weather is so f**ked up!

Oh yeah and I've lost seven stones in six and a half months so feeling pretty chipper


Friday, August 17, 2007

Gearing Up

For this weekend's gigs at Up The Creek. Love playing there and really looking forward to seeing the other acts on the bill - whomever they might be!

Its been a pretty good week in all kinds of ways. I'm 2lbs away from losing 100lbs which is just phenomenal to me, seen some great art, hung with some good old friends, and even got my roots done!

Best of all, I'm just three days away from my annual 48 hour blitz on the Edinburgh Festival. I love going up there, but since I became a clean-living gal, two days is plenty! Got my cheap first class train tickets, got a bed at lovely Steve Amos's gaff, and got a mental list of shows I wanna see.

Now all I need is for Mother Nature to do the impossible and stop it raining up there!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Watch These!

My mate Ray's Roughler TV reports from the Portobello Film Festival. Copy and paste the link below or click on the blog title.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Warhol vs Banksy

Is the title of a show at The Hospital in Endell St, WC2. It's a compare and contrast kinda thing showing how both artists reflect their times and how Warhol has influenced Banksy. You're meant to make a decision on who's best after seeing the pieces shown here.

Not sure if they're being serious or not, but there's a cracking selection of Banksy's pieces, the best of which is his take on Edward Hopper's Nighthawks right there in the reception. There's another blinder called Morons. I do love his stuff.

There's a couple of Marilyns, a series of sketches of The Beatles and The Queen in the Warhol corner, but it's not the most comprehensive collection I've ever seen. I guess they had a problem getting hold of stuff seeing as how there's a massive Warhol show up in Edinburgh - which I'm going to see next week...yayyyy!

At the end of it, I didn't pick one over the other, I love em both, and if you're shopping in Covent Garden, its worth popping in for a look.


I'm So Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just got a ticket to see the Dalai Lama in Nottingham next May!!!!!!!

How amazing is that???????


Lovely Leeds

What a fab weekend I had!

The gigs were fantastic, especially Friday night's, when myself and the entire audience just had one of those brilliant 'moments' that just comes outta nowhere but lifts the whole night to a different level entirely.

The guys I was working with were fabulous, Stu Who, Brendan Dempsey and Ian Moore, the staff at the club are just so chilled which always makes for a great atmosphere, and the hotel was just so luxurious - I felt like J-Lo!

As always, I hit the shops, but didn't go too crazy. I didn't buy a single thing in Harvey Nicks despite trying desperately to do so. Of course Primark delivered and I experienced another first for me. I bought a dress there on Friday and when I got back to the hotel and tried it on it was miles too big!!!!!!! I took it back on Saturday and exchanged it for one two whole sizes smaller which fits beautifully. I've never had to take something back anywhere cos it was too big before!!!!!!!

Everything from the train journey onwards just went really smoothly, the sun even shone...what a weekend!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Tony Wilson

Two earth shattering things happened in Manchester last Friday.

One was an earthquake, which apparently was 2.5 on the Richter Scale. I spoke to my mate Mickey Hutton who was gigging there and he knew nowt about it, so I guess it wasn't 'that' earth shattering.

The second was the death of Tony Wilson. Loads has been written about how he 'made' the Manchester music scene etc etc, and most of its true. Factory Records, the Hacienda, Joy Division, the Happy Mondays all of that stuff made an impact on music afficionados everywhere.

I only found out he was sick when I was last at my Dad's and he was on the local news explaining how his local health authority wouldn't fund the treatment needed for his cancer. He'd launched a campaign to help fellow sufferers who didn't have popstar mates to chip in the £3,500 needed per month. I was shocked at the sight of him, he seemed so old! Much older than his 57 years but then I guess cancer'll do that to you.

When I heard that he'd died of a heart attack on Friday I thought back to the only time I met him. It was backstage at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1978, when he was simply 'the cool guy off of Granada Reports'. It was on his other show So It Goes that I first saw and heard the Sex Pistols, and for that alone I was pretty thrilled to meet him. Me and my mate had gone to see Devo, and somehow blagged our way into the backstage bar, he walked in with his then wife/partner, and with all the fearlessness of youth I walked up to him and said thank you for opening my eyes to punk rock (or something equally pretentious, we all wanted to be Paul Morley in those days!). He smiled, asked my name and bought me and my mate a drink. We talked about our favourite bands and I told him about the fanzine I was doing. He wanted to see a copy of it and gave me his address at Granada to send it to him. Needless to say I never did send him a copy, but I reckon he coped.

Over the years I went to the Hacienda a few times, it was a cracking club. Hell I even bought the t-shirts! Two in fact a Factory one and a Hacienda one, I still have them in the drawer. Shame they out-lived him.

Wherever you are now Tony, I hope there's a good playlist.


Thursday, August 09, 2007


Sooooo it's been a week of catching up with boring domestic stuff, enlivened by a couple of shopping trips and the sun which seems to have stuck around for five whole days!

An afternoon spent reading in Hyde Park was sheer bliss, I really do believe I was meant to live in a hot country cos the simplest of things pleases me when the sun's out. The only downside was the bizarre sight of a man laying on the grass, in full view of everyone, masturbating! He didn't have his cock out but he had his hand down his pants and was going at it like the clappers. He looked completely normal - well as normal as a man in the throes of ecstacy in a public place can look! - so I am at a loss as to why he thought it was ok to be jerking himself off in front of a park full of people.

I really am not one of those comediennes who does the whole 'men are freaks' schtick, but f**k me! I truly cannot imagine a woman doing that! I have to say thankfully, most of the men I know wouldn't dream of it either, but you guys are strange creatures sometimes.

The weight loss has picked up again after a brief hiatus, and I found myself doing something I never in my wildest dreams imagined I'd be doing - no, not wanking in Hyde Park - something even more incredible. I bought two pairs of size 10, yes size 10, jeans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now when I say I bought em, I know that isn't the most amazing thing in the world ever, I could be a size 30 and still "buy' them. But these jeans actually fit!!!!!!!! I can do em up and sit down in em and everything!!!!!!

I have never been a size 10 - well perhaps when I was 7 or something - and when I began this journey back in February, it wasn't something that I even considered. I cannot tell you the thrill I got from this experience.

When I first sat down with Mr Fiennes, the surgeon, in January of 2006, he asked me what I expected from the gastric bypass. I said 'smaller clothes'. By that I meant that I didn't expect any other aspect of my life to change by being smaller, whatever rubbish was in my life would still be there no matter what size I was, it was up to me to change that stuff.

Well I was wrong. Not because I am so shallow that I now believe that being thin=being happy, but because of the added benefits that come with not having to carry that extra 6stones and 11lbs around. I feel so fit and healthy, I'm exercising like never before, I walk loads more than I ever did - I walk so much it's like I don't even possess an Oyster card!

There's also the much dimished sense of failure that has hung on me like a cloak. In the past, even when I've lost weight, there's always been that voice in the back of my head saying 'enjoy it while it lasts mate, cos you know it'll all be back on within a year'. That voice has gone.

The op isn't foolproof, I've found stories on the net of people who've had it, lost weight and somehow managed to regain it all, but I cannot for the life of me imagine how they did it! I don't have that feeling of diet 'martyrdom', 'ooh look at me I'm so virtuous I don't eat cake' or whatever. I just don't wanna put that kinda rubbish in my body anymore. That's something I've never experienced before. Perhaps it's the fear of f**king up my new stomach and having to go back into hospital, I'm not sure, but whatever it is, its new to me and I love having this new-found respect for my body.

And on that positive note, I'm extra happy today cos I'm off to do one of my favourite clubs this weekend, Leeds Jongleurs.

Most acts on the circuit agree its a joy to play, the city is amazing, the shopping brilliant, and the hotel luxurious. If the sun manages to stay out, it will practically be a mini-break rather than work!


Monday, August 06, 2007

Double Bubble

Phew! The dust has settled on my weekend of double-ups and I'm feeling amazing now.

Yesterday was a different story tho'. I was exhausted! The stress of the weekend combined with the soaring 30+ temperature in London meant that apart from a quick trip out to get some food for dinner and the Sunday papers, I did nowt but sleep!

Friday was hectic - train to Nottingham, check in hotel, unpack, change and then train to Leicester for gig one. The bill there was great, the gorgeous Kevin McCarthy as MC (always a joy to do a gig with him at the helm), Jefferson & Whitfield who are two of the nicest guys around, and the fabulous Tony Hendricks.

The show manager there has really gone to town in the dressing room too, a huge bowl of fresh fruit, packets of sweets, all kinds of nice little treats for us. It might sound daft but those little touches make a difference.

I had a great time onstage too, even got some new material out which really pleased me, then it was a dash across the East Midlands for gig two.

I even had time for a smoke before I went in, which was a bonus.

Another cracking line-up here, with Keith Fields as MC (another safe pair of hands), Dom Carroll and my old pal Steve Jameson doing his Sol Bernstien character. Nottingham is one of the toughest gigs on the Jongleurs circuit, but I went on and had a good time. There were a few drunken women trying desperately to pull this poor guy, but even they settled after a bit of 'attention' from me.

Steve, Keith and I walked back up the hill to the gig and it was the first time I've done that walk and been able to hold a conversation all the way up! The exercise regime is paying off!

Saturday afternoon was spent catching up with Steve over a long lunch...things are going great for him which was fantastic to hear, he's such great company.

Saturday night of course was a repeat of Friday with the travelling and stuff, but the gigs were a whole lot more fun. I think I sometimes 'overthink' gigs and put needless pressure on myself, by Saturday I was a bit more relaxed cos I'd done the business on Friday.

Best treat of all, Steve was driving back after the show and stuck around to give me a lift home. Bless him!

By 2.30am I was in my own home and feeling proud of myself for not f**king up!

Those hill walks obviously paid off big time too, in the six months since I had my gastric bypass I've now lost 6 stones and 10lbs! How amazing is that??????

Yep life is good today.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Sun Is Out


I'm off to do the manic Leicester/Nottingham Jongleurs double up tonight and tomorrow. It's a bit stressful with timings and stuff, but very rewarding in every sense.

Plus there's a great bunch of guys on at both venues, so I get to hang out with twice as many people I like!

On the weight loss front I am inching towards the big 100 - that's 100 pound of fat lost - and boy does that feel good!

Have a great weekend everybody!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

3000 Hangovers Later

Is the title of a fantastic photo exhibition I went to last night. It features pics taken over the years by my mate Ray 'Roughler' Jones.

Some of the subjects turned up for the private view last night - myself included - and it was amazing to see the difference in people. There's a trio of photos featuring Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and Mick Jones that are just fantastic and if I had £3000 to spare I'd have bought em all.

Most of the pics were taken in what used to be our local The Warwick Castle on Portobello Road. It's the only time in my life I ever had a 'local' and to be honest, the only time I've ever felt confident as a woman going into a pub on my own. These days it's a fancy gastro pub, but back in the 80's and early 90's it was a proper spit and sawdust place, with a difference. You had models, actors, rock stars, all kinds of future media superstars mingling with the builders and people who appeared to have no profession other than drinking in the Warwick.

Ray was kinda the lynchpin of it all, he started a magazine called The Roughler, which was like a Tatler for trustafarians, with features written by people who drank in the pub and subsequently went on to 'greater' things. It was called The Roughler cos of it's association with Rough Trade which was around the corner, I think Pete from the shop used to let Ray photocopy it there!

Anyway the show is only on this weekend at The Craze Gallery, 253 Portobello Road, London W11 as part of the Portobello Film Festival until August 5. If you wanna see pics of Keith Allen when he had a full head ofhair or Paul Simonon looking like the most gorgeous man on the planet, head down there. You won't see the one of me looking like a reject from Bananarama tho, cos Ray gave it to me...phew!