Saturday, June 28, 2008

So Much Things To Say...

... but I had my carpal tunnel operation on Monday and typing is a total nightmare!!!!

Will try and update as soon as the pain subsides.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Just The Kick Up The Ass I Needed!

Soooo last night for the first time in a year I made my way back to BarCode in Soho to do a gig at Comedy Camp. The last time I did it I'd just got back from Hong Kong, and I had a really bad dose of Hong Kong pooey. The last thing I felt like doing was a gig but I didn't wanna let Simon, whose club it is, down at very short notice.

I was jet lagged and not in a great headspace when he dropped the news that a "critic" was gonna be coming along to review me. I knew that there was no way in a billion years he was gonna write anything good, so I was pissed off long before the gig even began.

Needless to say, I was right. He slagged me off like I've never been slagged off in my life! Oh well, chalk it up to Karmic payback. I once slagged off Kajagoogoo in Smash Hits, so we're all fair and square.

At that point I'd lost a fair amount of weight and some of my old material was in no way relevant, but I was suffering from some kinda writer's block and a bit pre-occupied with events offstage in my life, so I wasn't confident in what I was delivering either. And to put it frankly, I was bored with the gags!

Anyway I sulked and avoided doing the gig for a full 12 months, until last night, when I returned armed with a brand new 20 minute set to go with my brand new titties and face! Guess what folks? It killed!!!!!! I had a fantastic gig and was dead proud of myself for doing the new stuff, some of which had only surfaced as one liners at the Comedy Cafe last weekend!

To add the icing on an already fabulous comedy cake, before the show started I was sitting backstage with Chris Neill, who was excellent by the way, when the guy off the door came and said there was someone asking for me at the door. I was expecting my pal Steve but it wasn't him, it was my old mate Ross Noble!!!! I cannot even remember the last time I saw Ross, but I have a horrible feeling it was like six years ago in Melbourne! He'd just flown in from Oz and was out and about to stave off the inevitable jet lag, and he chose my gig to keep him awake! No pressure then eh?

I've known Ross for billions of years and even with his huge success he's still the same cool, kind guy he always was. Sometimes the right people get success!

Today I had a little dose of culture - after having a spray tan for a special outing this weekend - I had an invite to a private view of Cy Twombly's retrospective at the Tate Modern. What a treat it was too!!!! I have to be honest, some of the early stuff didn't really 'do it' for me, but the later works like the four part Quattro Stagioni and the sheer beauty of Hero and Leander just blew me away. Check it out people!

Across the way was the Street and Studio: Urban History of Photography show, which if you like yer photographs, is pretty essential viewing. There's some fascinating photos from the late 19th century, stuff by Weegee and Mapplethorpe, Cecil Beaton, all of the greats and some great unknowns. This pair of shows will enliven the dullest of British 'summer' afternoons, trust me.

Tomorrow I am off up to Leeds for a one off gig at Jongleurs and as usual with that club I am very excited to be doing it. See you there!


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

One Step Beyond...

Shoreditch was my destination gig-wise last weekend, and what a cracking weekend it was!

Following my all too brief sojourn in the theatre, it's back to the circuit with a vengeance! MC'ing the Comedy Cafe, with one of the strongest bills I've ever introduced there - Steve Williams (who I saw perform for the first time and who I totally loved watching!), the gorgeous Nick Revell and the fabulous Ricky Grover. Thursday we had the addition of a new - to me - act called Steve Whiner who was just amazing too, bonus!

The Cafe used to be a bit of a comedy battleground back in the day. The crowds were lairy and it was always an "us and them" situation. Not any more, and certainly not this weekend! It was just incredibly laid back, and the kinda gig where you could try out a half formed idea and turn it into a routine over the course of three gigs. Which is exactly what happened to me and I was only the MC! I've come away with a blinding new gag and a whole new routine! How fantastic.

I was talking on Saturday night to Nick about the vibe in the room, and he said a lot of it was down to the tone I set as MC - which was very kind of him. I said it reminded me of a gig that used to run in Islington called the Meccano Club. You could go there with an idea and try it out and the audience would give you the space to do that. It makes for a special evening for both act and audience alike.

So that was all marvellous. The daytimes were pretty good too, bit of shopping, some beauty treatments, and a meeting on Saturday in Wimbledon with a representative of the company who are organising my 'surgery holiday' to Malaysia in October.

As the NHS cannot even sit down to discuss whether or not to pay for most of the surgery I need to rid myself of the rest of the loose skin, I've turned to a company called Gorgeous Getaways. The prices are incredible, a fraction of UK charges, but that's not the reason I am using them particularly. In addition to a far longer stay in hospital than you get here, you also get recovery in a 5 star hotel, with a nurse coming to see you every day to help you wash and change your dressings and anything else you might need. As a single woman, this is the kind of aftercare I need.

The package I've chosen is wonderful, two weeks recovery in Kuala Lumpur - which I am so excited about visiting - and then seven nights in am spa resort in Malaysia where they have an orangutang sanctuary!!!!! Plus, the nurse etc! How cool is that???? Massages and monkeys!!!!!!!!!

Sunday evening saw me getting all dressed up and heading off to the Colony Room in Soho. My pal Stephen K Amos was filming a tv show called 'Suggs in the City' there. Incidentally a huge congratulations to Steve who won a Royal Television Society award last night for his documentary Batty Boy! Well done babe!

Anyway, I'd heard of this club, but never been inside which is odd considering my Soho drinking career had led me to some very, very salubrious joints over the last 30 years. I knew that my art idol Francis Bacon drank there back in the day, Jeffrey Bernard was a regular, along with just about every other London character ever. I was dying to see what it looked like!

It was so small that they have to have the green room upstairs in a Japanese restaurant across the road and that was where I met Steve. The other guests were Jools Holland, Lisa Stansfield and The Dirty Pretty Things. We met Suggs who I feel like I know, but don't. I guess its cos I've watched him grow up really. I remember getting into see one of Madness's early gigs at the Nashville in West Kensington when John Lydon couldn't!

Jools I haven't seen to talk to since Malcolm Hardee's 50th birthday which has gotta be about eight or nine years ago now. I knew there was no chance he'd remember or even recognise me - I don't look much like I did back then! So I introduced myself and reminded him. It was great to catch up and reminisce about a great mate.

The show was filmed with an audience and gawd knows how we all managed to get into this teeeeeny tiny room!!!!! It might be a member's club, but the Colony sure aint no Soho House!!! I loved it tho. All bright green gloss paint on the walls and paintings, cuttings, sketches etc from the illustrious members over the years. It was sooo grungy and seedy. One other thing it was, was HOT!!!! It was hot before they put they lights on and almost unbearable when they did! Thank god I am half the woman I was. I had a slight glow and no more, not like some of the people around me who were sweating buckets!

The recording went fairly smoothly, Steve was hilarious, as was Jools. Suggs is an excellent host who made it all look very easy. Dirty Pretty Things were fantastic, I really wanna go see them do a full gig now. Lisa - I suspect - had been making good use of the'll be interesting to see how much makes it on screen when the show goes out! She and Jools did a version of My Baby Just Cares For Me which was fabulous tho.

The night was rounded off with drinks in the All Bar One with Johnny Vegas who was down to do show two, and a bit of showbiz am I???????


Thursday, June 12, 2008


So that's it, the tour is over and I'm back to the comedy circuit this weekend with gigs at The Comedy Cafe in Rivington Street, incidentally its a cracking bill with the likes of Ricky Grover and Nick Revell on, so I am really looking forward to it.

Anyway the rest of the tour went off without any hitches and climaxed at the weekend with two sold out shows at the Hackney Empire. This is something of a regular event for Gina, who's sold the place out many times before, but for me it was a real big deal.

I've been on that stage twice before. The first was 15 years ago when I took part in the Hackney New Act of the Year final - along with Ricky funnily enough - I was 'unplaced'. The second time was a couple of years later, it was still the biggest theatre I'd ever played and nerves got the better of me again.

I was determined that wasn't gonna be the case this time! Saturday night was a bit scary, and actually I got maybe half a gag out due to people coming in late, late, late! Also my time had been cut to 15 mins cos Gina had lined up another act to open part 2. They were vocal group Ebony Brown who were bloody amazing! Check em out on MySpace.

So its fair to say that on Saturday night I kinda MC'd and did the job. Sunday was a different matter altogether. It was the final night and I was determined to go for it. I got dolled up to the nines in my Primark version of the Chanel star print jumpsuit that Kate Moss wore to her birthday party earlier this year. Mine was worn with cowboyboots, a huge patent belt clinching in my waist and a fab little black jacket, plus my usual 'fell into a jewellery box' collection of bangles and baubles.

Gina very generously gave me extra time, so I went out and did the routine that I'd perfected over the previous seven shows...and it killed!!!!!! I was on such a high! Before I knew it tho, my time was to leave em wanting more eh?

So, once again, thanks to Gina for the chance to perform before such fabulous audiences, and for her generosity of spirit. You're a star girlfriend!

The week since has been spent catching up on the real world really, and visiting various hospitals around London - Chelsea and Westminster is still my favourite one - Monday saw me at the Royal Free. I was supposed to be getting an answer about whether or not I was gonna get my tummy tuck etc on the NHS. When I got there, they'd lost my file - it didn't bode well! After four hours of fuckery, the answer came back that I can have the stomach done for nowt, but they won't do my butt lift or the inner thighs... soooo this October I shall be boarding a plane for Kuala Lumpur to get it all done there.

Tuesday saw me at Chelsea where I was informed that my RSI of 20 years' standing is going to be cured with a simple op to release the carpal tunnel...hurrah! Jeez if it wasn't for hospital appointments I'd have no bleeding social life! I've started getting dressed up for them now!

I did treat myself with a visit to Knightsbridge afterwards and the sunshine inspired me to get those gorgeous Prada 'butterfly' sunglasses, some marvellous floral frocks from Zara and finally a Juicy Couture tracksuit! I am such a f**king cliche!!!!!! Its red with a huge glittery peace symbol on the back of the jacket and on the left hip of the bottoms and I love it to bits!!!!!!!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

On The Road... Fi Real!!!!!!

So, I am about halfway into my part of the Skinny B*tch tour with Gina Yashere, and I'm loving every single minute of it!

After the false start on Friday night, Saturday's show at The Bloomsbury Theatre was my first date. I met Gina at the hotel she was staying in which was just around the corner from the gig. Sadly neither of us knew just how 'around the corner it was' and so got a cab. Even more tragically, the black cab driver didn't know either and dropped us at the other end of Bloomsbury! £8 in cabs later we we at the theatre which was in fact less than 2 minutes' walk from the hotel! We were also pretty late, as in I had 15 minutes to get me lippy on and my head right for the show!

That was probably not a bad thing as I was pretty nervous. The last time I set foot in this theatre was to see Bill Bailey film what was I think, his first DVD (tho it was probably video back in those days!). I remember looking around me, thinking how massive the place was and how on earth do you play a room that big! Now here I was, the unannounced guest at Gina's first London gig on the tour!

She did the offstage intro which was very funny, and bang! I was out there! Almost 25 minutes later, it was all over and I was bringing Gina on for the first half of her show. It kinda passed in a blur really. I went out into the auditorium to watch Gina. It was the first time I'd seen her do more than a 20 minute spot in a circuit comedy club, she was awesome! It was a real inspiration, seeing how relaxed she is onstage, taking her time, holding the audience in the palm of her hand, amazing!

Sunday saw us off to Manchester, we chilled on the train with the papers and took the tram to the hotel at Salford Quays. The gig was at the Lowry Theatre which is a fantastic place, even if they seem to have a problem displaying flyers and posters! We had some time to kill and found ourselves shopping in the big Lowry Outlet mall. Gina got a great top to wear onstage and I got a denim trenchcoat from Karen Millen.

The gig was fantastic and I was a lot more relaxed myself this time. The new ideas that I'd been unable to work in in the clubs were flowing and forming into proper "bits".

Monday night at the City Varieties in Leeds saw my 'sweatshop' bit really begin to take shape, and by last night at the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon it had become a routine! This is how you get good! I thanked Gina for the opportunity to work night after night and hone the new stuff that's been floating round my head for a while.

Since I lost the weight I've lost a ton of material too, and getting the chance to try new stuff in a supportive environment like this is just what I needed! I should be paying Gina!

Tonight we are off to the Beck Theatre in Hayes, then tomorrow its the Theatre Royal Northampton, before two sold out nights on Saturday and Sunday at The Hackney Empire....I can't wait!!!!!!!!!