Monday, July 28, 2008


*aka Pre-Festival Tension

So this weekend I was up in Edinburgh for gigs at Jongleurs and had a cracking time.

It was a fantastic bill, Dave Johns, Dougie Dunlop and newish Aussie boy Daniel Townes, and all of us did the business both nights, especially on Friday night when there was something like 250 guys on stag nights and only 30 women. It was a challenging night to say the least! Typical of my luck, even with all those men in one place, I still came out sucking my thumb!

I spent Saturday in the company of Mssrs Johns and Dunlop and we even met up with an old mate in the shape of Tony Burgess who I've not seen in years! It was great to spend some time with him.

All over Edinburgh you could see people getting ready for the Festival which starts this week - it seems to get earlier every year! - jugglers practicing in the parks, leafletters practicing annoying people on the Royal Mile, and posters everywhere advertising those members of the comedy fraternity who will very shortly be funding the early retirement of various publicans and landlords in the city.

I prefer to line the pockets of Mr Harvey Nichols personally, and this weekend was no exception. The end of the sale produced some genuine bargains and I found myself with bags full of dresses by Ghost (£600 worth of frocks for £150) and Donna Karan, a gorgeous Alexander McQueen at about a third of the original price, and my piece de resistance a Bottega Veneta woven leather bag that was waaaaaaaaaay outta my price range originally and only just in it at half price but worth every penny!

Ooooh I do love a bargain!


Monkey Olympics

Click on my title or c&p the link above to see the faaaaaaaaabulous BBC Olympic idents done by Jamie Hewlett and Damon Albarn. I'm not a huge fan of watching sport on telly but these will keep me glued all summer!


Friday, July 25, 2008



I'm still blown away by what I saw yesterday. I paid seventy-five quid for a ticket to see Monkey Journey To The West at The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

When I bought the ticket I thought it was an extortionate amount of money, but actually its less than my old weekly fag bill, so there you go, not obscene at all. And I have to say, it was the worth every single penny.

The Opera House itself is amazing, it was my first time in there and I loved the look and feel of the place. The sound/acoustics were phenomenal, the best I've ever heard. Based on those two things alone I'd go back there again, blimey I might end up being an opera buff!

Now to the show. There's scarcely enough superlatives to praise it with! Written by lovely Damon Albarn, the visuals by Jamie Hewlett, and directed by some bloke called Chen Shi-Zheng who is a renowned director aparently (I ain't that cultured!). It was just incredible from start to finish.

You can hear Blur-isms in the music, yet it feels very Chinese at the same time. I remember seeing The South Bank Show special on it last year and Damon talking about how he'd had to invent a brand new instrument to make the sounds he felt it needed - it paid off, I'd listen to this stuff over and over again!

A fabulous actor/acrobat called Li Bo plays Monkey and he is brilliant. He has all the primate manerisms without it being a cartoon, and a cracking sense of humour. The entire cast - and its a huge one, which is probably why the tickets ain't a fiver - are just wonderful. It lasts two hours without an interval and the time flew by! Before I knew it the lights were coming up and it was all over. I wanted to stay and watch it all again.

There really is everything in this show/opera. If you ever get a chance to go and see it, do.

Other than that, this week has been a time of consolidation. Working out how to get my mobile broadband installed on the new laptop (that took two days), mundane domestic stuff, and generally gathering my thoughts and energies. Its been good.

I'm off to Edinburgh Jongleurs later today, and taking the train rather than flying (even though the flights are given to us) cos I've worked out it's actually quicker door to door for me, plus I got two first class tickets for the same price as a plane ticket, and I don't have that EasyJet scrum to face at Luton.

Have a great weekend folks, and if you are going to see Monkey, enjoy!


Friday, July 18, 2008

Interesting Times...

So this week has been pretty hectic in its own way. After the 'not-knowingness' of last weekend - I ended up not gigging incidentally - I've spent the rest of the time catching up on having fun really.

Last Sunday my mate and I headed off to the Rise Festival at Finsbury Park to see Jimmy Cliff. We got there just in time to see the Dub Pistols and the gorgeously-dishevelled Terry Hall doing Gangsters... it was awesome! I still knew every word too!

CSS were great fun too, tho I'd rather see them in a dark sweaty club, and finally it was time for Mr Cliff. He went onstage about 30 minutes later than billed, but I doubt anyone - least of all him! - thought that was gonna be a huge problem. Sadly it was, as 20 minutes into his set and long before he'd done The Harder They Come or Many Rivers To Cross, the sound was cut! At first everyone kinda hung around thinking it was a technical thing, but nope, it was the council! There was an 8.30 curfew! Shame nobody told Jimmy, he coulda done the greatest hits and not bothered doing Rivers of Babylon and Wild World! Still it was a good day out.

Monday was a big old first for me. I went and did my first ever Yoga class! It was a free taster session at the Iyengar Institute and I had no idea what to expect. I was so glad I went cos, boy! I loved it!!!!! For the first time in my life, I wasn't the fat, sweaty outsider at the back who couldn't do the same moves as everyone else. I was there in the middle of it all and I was doing some of the moves better than some of the other people!!!!!

I've never really been a 'group' person, but I suspect it was cos I always stood out for what I perceived as being the wrong reasons, but I tell ya, this felt amazing. Roll on the foundation course which starts next Monday.

Tuesday saw me camping it up along with a host of other menopausal West London women at the half price screening of Mamma Mia. At first it was so cringe-worthy, the way the songs were crow-barred in, but it just kinda wins you over to the point where even Pierce Brosnan's singing is just about bearable! Meryl Streep looks like she's having soooooooo much fun in it! The screening was followed by coffee-flavoured cocktails at the Electric on Portobello, and by the time I got home I was pretty tipsy. To the point where I fell into bed without even taking my make-up off. Always the sign of a good night out.

On Wednesday I met up with my great friend Paul who's been living in Italy for the last 8 months. We went along to a private view at Tate Britain of British Oriental paintings, called The Lure of the East. To be honest we spent more time catching up than we did looking at the art but what I saw I liked.

Thursday I spent the whole day with Paul, we had lots of catching up to do! We started with lunch in a fabulous Soho noodle bar, then it was a movie at the Curzon - Savage Grace - about the idle rich indulging in incest (as you do). Needless to say it was a tad bleak! Julianne Moore was excellent tho, and there was a very cute dark haired boy in it for about 20 minutes too. We wandered around the West End afterwards - even taking in a bit of shopping. I'm now the proud owner of a pair of fabulous Evisu jeans, which I've wanted for years but always been too big to get into! They look hot!

I bumped into a few comedy chums too, the lovely Johnny Candon who I haven't seen since he moved back to Dublin before Xmas, the gorgeous Rob Rouse all leathered up on his motorbike. He looked like a young David Essex in Silver Dream Racer, and last and certainly not least, Hattie Hayridge who I've not seen since Edinburgh last year. She was looking fierce and on her way to the Groucho and invited Paul and I to join her, so we did.

Thursday night in there is obviously the 'night of the really pissed people' and it was hilarious watching people in various states of drunken distress. I even saw a really old mate - Phil Dirtbox - who I've not seen for at least a decade! He hasn't changed a bit bless him.

So today its back to really working, and I've got a fabulous weekend at Bow Jongleurs which should be a lot of fun.

Whatever you're up to folks, enjoy x


Friday, July 11, 2008


So this weekend I am kinda working but maybe not. I am a 'spare' for Jongleurs which means I am on stand-by incase someone goes sick/gets lost/car breaks down etc., etc.

It's a weird one cos potentially its money for old rope in that I get dressed and go to my local club which is the lovely Camden, I sit there, and wait for the phone to ring till about 10pm when I am free to go. So I could get paid for doing nowt, but its a bit like, erm pleasuring yourself and the batteries cutting out just before the conclusion!

Of course I could get a call telling me to get my ass down to Battersea or across London to Bow, so in a way its all very exciting too! We'll see.

My good mate Mickey Hutton is the MC at Camden so at least I get to hang out with him and hear his version of Freebird which he always plays before he brings an act on after the interval.


Dirty Old Woman!!!!!!!!!!!

Is what I felt like yesterday afternoon.

After my visit to White Cube I wandered up to Abercrombie & Fitch in Burlington Gardens to get a pair of jeans, or at least check out the stock. I've not been in the London shop before, but did rather enjoy my visit to the New York one in January where I got my first ever pair of size 2 jeans!

Sadly the British prices are bordering on the obscene compared with the relative cheapness of the US ones, but even if you don't buy anything it's worth a visit. It's an assault on the senses, you walk in and it's dark, the music is loud and the whole place is overrun with the most beautiful young men and women I have ever seen, and that's NOT even counting the half nekkid young buck on the door! I couldn't even look at him it felt soooooo wrong!

As a Buddhist I believe in reincarnation and while I have no real say in what I come back as (other than making sure I'm a pretty decent person in this life that is), if I have anything to do with it I will come back as the person who audtions the applicants for jobs in these shops. The girls were all really pretty, with tight bodies and smooth skin the like of which no amount of plastic surgery will give anyone over 21, and while I can appreciate them, it was the boys that made me feel a bit wrong!

My god they were gorgeous! There were a couple of dark haired ones, that stirred up feelings in me that I thought were long gone! The boy who served me on the till was breathtakingly beautiful, like a work of art, I hope I didn't drool too much!

Oh yeah the clothes, I nearly forgot. Well most of it is pretty basic jeans, sweatshirts, shorts, trackie bottoms etc, but the cuts are very sexy. I got a pair of distressed flared jeans that give me the pertest butt I've ever had! Well worth the wedge!

From there I went to the Marc Jacobs shop in Mount Street - boy have I come a loooooong way from Primark!!!!! There was a sale on but unfortunately not enough of a sale for me to be able to splurge too much. I did get a couple of fab t-shirts tho and a pair of Marc Jacobs flip flops to wear when we finally get some proper sunshine here.


F**king Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nope not gratuitous swearing by me, but the title of the most amazing art show I've seen in a looooooong time!

Those of you that are interested in art will recall the warehouse fire at MOMART a couple of years back. It destroyed, amongst many other things, Tracy Emin's tent "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995". It also destroyed Jake and Dinos Chapman's "Hell", an installation depicting Nazi soldiers committing various horrific acts of depravity using tiny little models. I saw it at the Saatchi Gallery when it was in County Hall and remember feeling quite moved by it.

Anyway it was burned to buggery so the boys made a new one and called it Fucking Hell. I saw it yesterday at the White Cube in Mayfair and my god, it really blew me away. There are nine display cases each one filled with scenes of war and inhumanity, each one with the capacity to induce a feeling of nausea in the viewer at the atrocities within.

Blimey that sounded a bit pretentious didn't it? But it really did move me, and 24 hours later I am still thinking about it. We are all aware of what the Nazis did in WW2, we've seen Schindler's List, some of us have been to the Imperial War Museum and seen their displays, we've read books etc etc, but for me at least, it always seemed a bit 'remote'. Yes it was perhaps one of the blackest periods of humanity, but nothing I have seen or read about WW2 has really brought home to me just how relentless the horror was until I saw this yesterday. I think the show ends tomorrow, but if you can get along do, if not keep an eye out for future exhibitions.

In addition to that, they have a sister show called "If Hitler Had Been A Hippy How Happy Would We Be". The brothers anonymously bought 13 of Hitler's watercolours and then painted over them. It comes as no surprise that Hitler wasn't the most creative of artists, they're all quite mundane, but I love what they've done with them. There's rainbows and stars over the top and it looks like a child has gotten hold of them, it kinda gives a sense of hope from the darkest of sources.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Lucha Libre!!!!!!!!

Soooooo last night I rounded off my fabulous weekend by going to the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm to see Lucha Libre London.

Lucha Libre literally means Free Fight, but you might know it as Mexican masked wrestling. It's totally cartoon, pretty much fake as f**k, and pure pantomime. It was brilliant!

Me and me mate had ringside seats which were perfect and the audience were one of the most mixed bunch of people I've seen under one roof ever! There were tattooed rockabilly kids, very middle class Dads and their kids, loads of loved-up trendy couples and even Robert Elms - who probably invented this, as he seems to have invented everything else including Sade and 'Hard Times'!

The characters were fantastic, the first bout was between two tag teams of "minis' aka little people. It was hilarious, then we got the taller ones for bouts that seemed slightly less choreographed, and the whole night culminated with two teams of three flinging each other all over the ring and the auditorium!!!!!! My favourite one was Cassandro - the tranny wrestler!!!!!! Her signature move is to kiss her opponents into submission and it worked cos her team won!

Fueled by a couple of frozen margaritas, me and my mate got right into it, it was a very cathartic night out, a great chance to let off steam. Perfect.

The weekend's gigs were really good fun, I was on with a fantastic line-up including for the first time sharing the stage with the wonderful Sarah Millican. She's doing her first full length Edinburgh show this summer, and based on what I saw her do this weekend it's definitely one of my ones to watch! The other two turns were the daft Steve Best and even dafter Dave Johns both of whom lit up the stage. A cracking time was had by all.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Who Would Ever Have Thought...

... that at the age of 47 I'd be buying a bikini!?!?!?!?!???????????

What's more, it looks really hot on me! Losing weight, getting thin and healthy, tranforming myself inside and out, are the best things I've ever done for myself!

The sales are in full flow and this fab two piece was reduced in M&S of all places, sadly not in the sale was a gorgeous grey washed silk jumpsuit, but it looks amazing and was worth every penny! Luckily the Gap and Selfridges had loads of bargains for a gal to indulge in, and the pink and black sequinned backless mini dress from All Saints was beyond a steal at £30 down from £200!

Its my first out of town weekend for a while and I'm off to Southampton to do Jongleurs tonight and tomorrow. If its the same bill as the website it promises to be a cracking weekend.

When I get back on Sunday I've got another treat in store, Lucha Libre aka Mexican masked wrestling at The Roundhouse! How bizarre and fabulous does that sound? I am so excited!

Whatever you're up to, I hope the sun stays out and you have fun.


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blown Away ...

... by the Richard Prince show at the Serpentine Gallery!

Until today the best examples of his work I'd seen close up were his handbags for Louis Vuitton! They're pretty breathtaking, and sadly way beyond my price range and God knows I've tried real hard to justify the amounts!

Anyway, today I got to see his "proper" art and it just made my heart soar! The 'Nurse' paintings, the joke paintings, the car, the bonnets, the cowboy... all of it just incredible! Its one show I'll be going back to see again!

Right outside I got to see the Frank Gehry Pavillion being built. It opens on 20 July, and having seen it so far I am so excited to see the finished thing! Its beautiful. A cup of coffee is going to taste delicious in here!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Summer's Back!!!!!!

With a vengeance innit? I spent the afternoon under a tree in Hyde Park with a good book and an iced tea... life is good.


Where Do I Begin??????

OK I have damn near two weeks' worth of stuff to tell you all about, so I guess it makes sense to go right back to the start and break it down.

Gig wise, I've had some crackers. I had a brilliant night up at Leeds Jongleurs, then I did a set (my new set!) at Reading Jongleurs both the weekend before last. I can't tell you how energising it is to have tons of new jokey jokes!

Post surgery I MC'd Camden Jongleurs last weekend. The line up was fantastic - gorgeous Greg Davies who makes me feel all petite and girly, mainly cos when he hugs me my face hits the middle of his chest, we also had Tony Hendricks, Geoff Boyz, Jason John Whitehead who I've not seen perform for ages and who was just a sheer joy to behold, and the 'so amazing its terrifying' Jack Whitehall. I first saw Jack doing a set at the Hospital in Covent Garden and couldn't believe that this mere babe in arms was capable of such confidence and terrific material. He's 19 and going places extraordinarily fast believe me! He did the open spot both nights and just killed the crowds with his charm and gags.

Sunday night saw me hitching a ride with Kevin Shepherd to do a gig in a leisure centre in Milton Keynes. It also happened to be my 15th anniversary as a comedian. I'd been booked by special request apparently and was down to do a 40 minute set. I had loads of new stuff that I wanted to try out so I was really looking forward to it. The money wasn't great, but it didn't matter, it'd be great to have the space and time to play around and work in the new stuff, including some Amy Winehouse stuff I'd come up with over the weekend, that I was dying to do again!

We got there to find the bar heaving with people watching the Euro Football final - who would've thought a newtown could produce so many Spanish and German fans? Sadly the crowd that were waiting for comedy numbered two. Yep two people had bought tickets and so they pulled the show. I have to be honest, I was relieved they didn't try and press gang people into watching to make the numbers up, but it was a damn shame cos I really, really wanted to do the show! I'd even put my make-up on!!!!

Its a bloody good job I haven't got a massive ego that's for sure! I'd have been crushed for weeks!

In other news, I've been a bit social. I went to my pal Micky Flannagan's wedding down in Greenwich which was a beautiful day out. His gorgeous missus Catherine was just glowing and Micky had scrubbed up well, but the one with the real 'wow' factor is Max, his fabulous son! He's all blonde curls and cherubic face and just scrumptious!

I also had a wonderful trip to the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre to see my great friend Stephen K Amos doing his comedy. It was my first time at the Theatre and it was amazing! What a great space! Shame nobody thought to warn me about how cold it gets tho! Thank God Steve was funny, the laughs kept me from hard-core hypothermia!

The night was rounded off with cocktails at the Dorchester darling! We were taken there - some of us in a chauffer driven car - by one of Steve's friends and what a perfect way to round off the night. My first time in the Dorchester too!

The next day I went to get my carpal tunnel sliced at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and in this time of firsts, I had my first ever operation under local anasthetic. I can't tell you how freaky that is! Being awake and aware of the surgeon cutting at my hand and tugging on the carpal tunnel itself in order to rid me of the RSi! I could even tell when she was doing the stitches! It went so smoothly, I got the bus home! How mad is that? I've spent the last 9 days wearing a rubber glove on my right hand whenever I need to go near water, and I have to sleep on my back, but other than that there's no hardship really. Other than not being able to type for long enough to do my blog!

In keeping with the theme of a time of "firsts", I also had my first ever colonic irrigation last Thursday! A delicate, softly spoken lady called Victoria made what was potentially an incredibly embarrassing situation seem as normal as it possibly could be, and cliche of cliches an hour later I really did feel like a HUGE weight had been lifted off my shoulders! Well maybe a bit lower down than my shoulders but you get the idea. The next morning when I got on the scales I'd lost 4lbs too! I guess I truly was full of shit!