Sunday, April 26, 2009

Catching Up...

So I managed to blog about my sore hand but didn't mention my gigs last weekend which were really good fun. I was in Portsmouth, doing Jongleurs at Gunwharf Quays, on the bill with fabulous people like Christian Reilly, Adam Crow and Tom Stade (Friday) and Sean Collins (Saturday). We all had a great time as you would expect from such strong acts. I also spent Saturday afternoon down there checking out the 'bargains'.

In my experience, these outlet places rarely offer the deals we hope they will, but I actually did get a result last Saturday. I got a pair of SuperDry jeans for £22! Its amazing, but when you are a 'normal' size there are deals to be had all over the place.

With that in mind on Monday I joined a gym not too far from where I live. The credit crunch has had a very positive effect on these places. I got a brilliant membership that gives me damn near 24hr access to classes, a pool and the very well equipped gym for £48 a month. That's £2 less than I was paying six years ago for an off-peak Mon-Fri membership at my previous gym.

I had been working out at home, and it was good, but I'd started to get bored with the weights, crunches, squats etc., plus I need to step up the cardio side of things. I know I could have just walked or run anywhere really fast for an hour, but there's something a bit more comforting about getting sweaty in a room full of other sweaty people. Its more seemly somehow.

Then of course on Tuesday I cut my bloomin' hand open which kinda scuppered plans for the induction on Thursday. I did however still go down there and do an hour's cardio - don't need your hands for the treadmill, right? It felt amazing! So amazing that I went back on Friday and did it again. Apart from the health benefits, going to the gym three times a week will keep me outta the shops which is definitely a good thing!

Friday and Saturday I was MC'ing at Bow Jongleurs. I shoulda been in Southampton, but with the hand and all, I couldn't drag/carry a case, so they very kindly moved me closer to home.

Friday night's show was fantastic. The audience were a bit sluggish at first but I worked my ass off and got em in the right mood for a terrific night of comedy from Sean Meo, Paul Thorne and Adam Bloom. Saturday they were anything but sluggish! A packed house, about seven or eight large stag parties, half of Columbia's national product shared between them, and an ocean of booze consumed before the show even started.

I was less a comedian, more a lion tamer/school teacher. I got em sitting down and facing the right way, then got Sean Meo on who didn't hesitate to show them who was boss. Next up was Rob Deering. I really rate Rob but in a pissing contest with a room full of "geezers" he's gonna find it tough, and he did. They just didn't give him a chance. Afterwards of course people were coming up and saying how much they enjoyed him. Sod's law innit? Paul Thorne closed the show, and like Sean, his years of experience showed as he hit the ground running and took control. I would've liked an opportunity to tell a few more jokes, but people were laughing and I think they had a good night. Sometimes its not about us.

The spring heatwave seems to be holding, so I am off out to do yoga and cardio... I remember the days when a Sunday was spent trying to remember the bloke next to me in bed's name and mainlining Resolve! I've changed!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Sooooooooo yesterday morning I had another brilliant yoga class with the hardcore teacher, followed by a lovely coffee in the park cafe. So far so good.

I was going out in the afternoon to see some friends, so decided to change. I opened my wardrobe door to get a pair of shoes out, and boom! Half of the glass doorknob was on the floor and the curve of my thumb was squirting blood! Yikes. I was in a state of undress so wrapped some toilet roll round it while I put some clothes on. The blood soon soaked through so that the clothes I put on soon resembled a butcher's apron! I rang a cab and grabbed a clean teatowel and wrapped that round, but minutes later that too was covered in blood, and I was feeling very faint. Called an ambulance and cancelled the cab - figured the driver would refuse to take me what with all the blood and all.

Two lovely paramedics turned up and did their assessment thing, then took me to St Mary's Hospital. I didn't actually faint but must've lost a ton of blood as it was still squirting out! Got seen by an odd doctor, who on hearing I was a comedian decided he would cheer me up by telling me a rape 'joke' before causing me the most intense pain ever by injecting the local anaestheic into the cut. I haven't screamed like that in a long time!

All stitched up, I finally got out about 5.30, the blood still coming. Came home laden with a selection of dressings, painkillers and latex gloves so that I could shower etc.

Just goes to show, you never know what the day has in store for you!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pablo is God!

Since I started my little art journey a few years ago, I've seen a fair bit of Picasso's work. In Barcelona at the Picasso Museum I was impressed by the ceramics - they didn't have much else there when I went. Guernica blew my mind when I saw it in Madrid, and I would've happily said I was an admirer of his talent.

Today however my admiration went to a whole new level. The National Gallery has an exhibition called Challenging the Past and its one of the best exhibitions I've seen in a looooooong time, and head and shoulders above any Picasso show I've ever seen. Some of the pieces are so awesome I actually did get a bit teary at their beauty! Course it could be my hormones!

Go and see for yourself its on till 7 June.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Post-Easter Post

So I had a cracking weekend at Up The Creek. The bill was amazing, really strong young whippersnapper Kevin Bridges who at 22 is scarily talented, my old mucker Dominic Holland who I've not worked with for the best part of a decade, and magnificent Mike Gunn whose Gok Wan routine is funny cos its true!

Both Mike and I were in comedy heaven watching Dominic. He really is a master craftsman when it comes to gags, he leaves no comedy corner untouched. It's a lesson in how to do it watching him! Offstage he's still the same lovely, generous man he always was.

Yesterday I met up with some good mates for a lunch at Joe Allen. Its the first time I've been back there since I leapt blindly off the wagon on the night before New Years Eve and had to be carried out. If I hadn't changed my hair colour I doubt I'd have had the guts to go back! Obviously I wasn't on the blacklist cos not only did they let me in, we were given a free glass of champagne! That's how it all started last time. The reality of course is that infinitely more famous people than me have been carried out in far worse states from that place during its history I'm sure.

What else has been going on? Well last week saw me ooop North on Inheritance Watch... the fact that I came back to London and back to work tells you I'm no closer to getting my hands on the dosh! My Dad is gonna live forever and actually, for all my cynicism, I am really happy about that.

I'm back at the yoga with a vengeance, and found a new teacher who takes us beginners far further than any of the others. She's German I think, and as she barks her instructions, we all obey the orders!

I've noticed that I can feel far more bones -ribs, hips, gawd knows what! - and thought it was cos I was losing weight, but actually its because of the stretching. My spine is elongating and my posture is improving as a result! Yoga is da bomb!

The other wonderful thing in my life at the moment is The Wire. Just about every comic I know watched it either on Sky or via DVD box sets, but I'd resisted till it came onto BBC2 a couple of weeks back. Five nights a week is a helluva commitment, but so far I've stuck to it. Dominic West is sooooooooo handsome and his character McNulty is very sexy, but its Omar the gay drug dealer I'm loving watching. Let's hope I stick with it!

This weekend I get to go to Portsmouth and I am really looking forward to it. If the sun is shining, it'll be a fab chance to get some walking in. Not to mention good gigs with a cracking line-up.


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I Am A Mystery Wrapped Inside An Enigma yada yada yada

Sooooooooo I had a cracking time in Brighton.

Two of the three gigs were excellent, the Saturday late show marred by a crazy woman who at first was talking loudly to herself, then trying to mask her drunkenness/madness by pretending to talk into her mobile! I was actually trying to be compassionate towards her, but the beeeeyatch turned on me! It took three bouncers and the venue manager to get the witch out! Still she didn't ruin my birthday cos it was already technically Sunday by then.

The lads I was working with made it special The Raymond and Mr Timkins Revue bought me a card and a cake, Dan Evans (who is on just the best form ever!) gave me a copy of his book, and Rufus Hound bought me a delicious latte in Tootsies. How rock and roll am I?

I gave my walking boots a good workout earlier in the day walking from Hove to Brighton city centre on the pebbly beach. It's a great way of strengthening my ankles and making the boots more comfy. I can see myself making a few more trips to Brighton over the summer as part of my Himalaya training. Good excuse eh?

Of course getting older is a great reason to buy myself something nice - like I ever need encouragement! - and I decided to go for something a bit special. I browsed the jewellery, clothes and shoe shops of Brighton but there was nothing that tickled my fancy. Then I went for a look in Art Republic in the Laines and there I found it. A signed Jamie Reid God Save the Queen print in a fabulously over-the-top gold frame! Even better it was small enough to get it home! That and the difference in price is what made me pick it over the Banksy! It looks amazing in pride of place on my 'gallery' wall.

The other present I got - bit of a theme developing here - is a vintage punk rock leather biker's jacket. I found it in Camden market (of course) and it was a right bargain at £45! It stinks of patchouli oil, desperation and bitterness as all aging punks do! It doesn't have any studs on it tho, so that leads me to my dilemma today.

There's a fantastic shop in Noel Street called Kleins, which sells every kinda stud you could ever want and I plan to go and stock up, but its also the day of the G20 protests and whilst I was happy to be an anarchist 30-odd years ago, today I just wanna wear the clothes! I'm wondering if the great unwashed masses with their various agendas will be invading the West End and the tubes? I'm all for public transport to save the environment, but I think I might have to book a car to take me!

Jeez I am so bourgeois!