My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman
There Must Be 50 Ways To Make A Gig Difficult
Hi, we’re calling from Some Criminals.com
An Open Letter To HSBC
Pay What Now?
Hearing the music
When to quit
I am not as other men
Tonight I was funny
Out with the old and in with the new
Woke up. Drove back to Reading from my girlfriend's place - with the lady herself.
Then we got ready to go out for our New Year's Eve celebration. We could have gone and done something fancy at huge-pence. Instead, we went to a local independent arts centre and watched a local band make a lot of entertainment through our alco-pop fuelled jollity. Then we walked home and had some chips.
This was actually very good fun and highly non-pretentious. The hippy arts centre gave it a sort of indy-chic. We enjoyed ourselves. Bye bye to 2008. 2009 will be better. Even better.
A Night Out
A friend of mine did very well at the Fringe this year. She had a very successful show and I enjoyed watching it and enjoyed seeing her receive much acclaim and award for it. It was, therefore, a pleasure to take my girlfriend out to see the show this evening. In truth, it's a pleasure to be able to call someone a girlfriend and take her anywhere, even more so when I get to introduce her to someone who makes me laugh and with whom I've shared many a gig.
It's amusing to see that I'm not the only comedian who, post performance, has my stage persona still turned on. My friend had another gig, so she probably had to stay in performance mode. We had a quick chat, but owing to stage presence, the chat managed 30% more content.
After the show we went over to China Town and had some Chinese food. What else!? Then there was a trip to Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. I think that the meal and museum trip was a nice way to get 30% more from the evening, much like stagecraft can pack 30% more into a chat.
I like the people I get to hang out with.
Last gig of the year
Retrospective write up - Jan 09
The gigs hadn't really been going so well in the run up to Christmas. I was, however, looking forward to the last gig. I was MCing a gig in Cradley Heath. It has a small regular crowd and I've had fun there. I think I was feeling down. However, Cradley is a place where you can mess about and try new stuff. So, I tossed the main ideas of a song together in the car on the way to the gig and wrote it down quickly on a notepad before the gig started.
My song about self-love at Christmas is my only performed attempt at a Christmas themed bit of material. I'll have to wait another year to try it.
At some point I sang and they brought out the chips. I love the odd things that I can take for granted.
A Sign Of The Times
Out shopping today. Woolworths is closing down, so they have discounts on top of their discounts... on top of that there's a reduction in VAT, which makes it a bit like a lottery when you get to the till - how much will the machine convert the price into? It's magic. It's maths actually, but it feels like wizardry nonetheless. To make that totally-closed-down feel, they have run out of Woolworths carrier bags and are giving you your goods in a bin liner.
Then I wandered in to WHS and found an article I'd written in a computer magazine. It looked good. I'll have to read it. I've no idea what it says.
Having read it, I now know that it says "I was edited too hastily". It looked pretty, but some of it didn't quite add up.
With an office party at tonight's gig, the crowd dynamics were weird. In this situation, you have to use every trick at your disposal to get the crowd's attention. As I bumbled onto the stage and picked up my guitar someone commented "ooh a guitar". I leapt on that comment and made a joke. Then I asked the girl's name - Nicky - and proceeded to mock-flirt with her through the first song.
I left the stage and found a text "Who's Nicky and why do you like her". My girlfriend appeared to have developed the power to read minds. Or maybe there's something else? I texted back that it was amazing she should ask since I was only just comedically messing with someone of that name. How did the lady in my life know to ask about a Nicky. Am I to believe in spiritual crap?
I checked my auras and chakras and then looked at the phone, which showed that I'd placed an outgoing call about the time I hit the stage - the recipient...? you've guessed, the girlfriend. So, it wasn't that mystical.
Looks like my pocket is an additional voice of conscience.As a minor correction here. If anyone reading this got the impression that there was a tight-lipped upset girlfriend at any stage in the proceedings, then think again. The lady in question knew exactly what she was hearing and was winding me up in the way that anyone who knows me well is usually quite adept at doing. I think she was amused at the antics she overheard and at the opportunity to freak me out... job done!
Back from the Trip
Myself, and the lovely lady who agrees to be my girlfriend, are back from our trip away to the city where we met - Edinburgh.
To list on a day by day basis what we did would be uninteresting to anyone but the most assiduous of historians. Instead, I'll summarise - we did a lot of walking around places that are familiar to me. We sat in a lot of coffee shops doing nothing but relaxing. We had meals. We drank drinks. We saw friends.
It was a brilliant trip - the perfect way to celebrate 5 months together, and ideal for pre-christmas recharging of batteries.
Inaugural gigs can sometimes be a bit weird. Tonight in Stourbridge was pleasant enough, but the audience were a little stand-offish. I had some amusement as I took the piss out of the view of the room from the stage. This meets one of my central rules of live-stand-up. Prove it's live!
Anyway, it wasn't the world's most amazing night, but I know why I did it. One of the organisers asked me to and I like him. Because I like him, and because I feel part of a rich comedy community, I agreed to do the gig. That's good enough for me!
Having Fun In Loughborough
Having invited my girlfriend's cousin to tonight's gig, it was important that it went well. The opening act had her work cut out as the rather odd audience behaved as though they were three distinct groups. It was a solid opening and I laughed heartily throughout, seeing how some jokes had developed since I'd last seen this act.
Come the middle section, it seems like an audience which doesn't have me booming with laughter in it, is even less hearty than I'd like it. As a result, I too had my work cut out, and I was dealing with an audience that had already been warmed up.
I think it went well enough. Sometimes a gig can just be tricky. Still, I know I was amused while I was on stage. Also, I was able to hold my head up high and face the people I'd invited to come along and watch. I think that's the main measure of the gig.
Opening The Show
It's always odd for me when someone I know from my work-life comes to a gig. On the one hand, it's a supportive friend coming to see how I send myself round the twist in between trips to the office. On the other hand, I don't want someone to look at a bad gig, see me come off stage dejected and then be able to have "so, you do all this for that?" in their eyes.
Luckily, after a pleasant meal before the gig, tonights gig visitor saw me in reasonable form, opening the gig with an audience that could be difficult, but pretty much fell into my rhythm once I'd taken control of my nerves. I was slightly nervous because the MC is a fabulous musical act, and I'm fairly rudimentary with my instrument. Luckily a few events in the room, especially the man who disappeared out of the window, gave me material enough to keep things spontaneous and amusing for even me (I've heard all my other stuff before).
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