The home of the haikulator



Sentence Generators
My Stand-up & gigs
The Coding Craftsman

The Musical!
Incredible Productions


Previous Posts

It probably says more about me than it does about ...
Favourite Gigs
Two years ago, I was excited about wearing out a g...
Just got back from doing The Musical! in the North...
This weekend is looking like something of a challe...
Last night in Coventry was one of the more tough g...
Elephants and regrouping indeed. Pah! Boy I'm f...
Beneath this elephant-like exterior there lies the...
I'm currently regrouping... normal service should ...
Well... I woke up with hopes and I'm going to bed ...

Blog Archives

October 2001
November 2001
December 2001
January 2002
February 2002
March 2002
April 2002
May 2002
June 2002
July 2002
August 2002
September 2002
October 2002
November 2002
December 2002
January 2003
February 2003
March 2003
April 2003
May 2003
June 2003
July 2003
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
August 2009
September 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
October 2011
December 2011
February 2012
March 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
May 2014
July 2014
January 2015
February 2015
March 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
May 2016
July 2016
August 2017
January 2018
August 2018
September 2018
July 2019
August 2019
May 2020
June 2020
July 2020
August 2020
September 2020
December 2020
January 2021

Monday, June 28

What a weekend...

An evening spent in the home - I know... how out of character was that. I ate chicken sandwiches with horseradish - the definitive radish if you ask me. None of these cheap pink salad radishes... pah! The horseradish - in the form of a lovely hot white sauce. That's what you call a radish. It has bite... it has legs. You can race it to the tap.

Part of Friday night was spent on the phone to a friend with whom I needed to spend some catching up time. This was achieved with alacrity. I also transferred the recording of our Manchester showing of The Musical! to CD. While it was transferring I spend some time hooking up a DVD player in my bedroom. For reasons that do not require explaining, I now have a spare DVD player - installing it in the bedroom means I can now listen to CDs in bed and watch the occasional movie. Quite whether I'll get around to using the machine is anyone's guess, but I was in the mood to sort it out and I had a CD in production that I thought would be best listened to in bed.

Rigging up the DVD player required a couple of trips to the garage (that's the one attached to my house, rather than the local late night petrol station - they don't do audio visual equipment). The first trip was to get a lead I made in the early nineties for connecting my BBC Micro to the TV. This lead doubles up as a fancy phono to scart lead, ideal for DVD players - and they say technology moves fast. The second trip to the garage was with a pair of powered speakers and their power unit... which I'd previously chopped the end off. I managed, miraculously, to find a spare end in my box of spares. I then, heroically, managed to destroy this spare end in an attempt to solder wire to it. So I wired the power supply directly into the speakers - and I didn't do a bad job of it.

The DVD player is now rigged up, and I listened to the first 15 minutes (or so) of the show on it before my co-star/temporary co-habiter returned home. We then sat downstairs and laughed and cringed (in pretty much equal measure) at the recording. No, we didn't sit in my bedroom and listen to it... that would have been weird. I think we set a new world record in ratio of speed of performance to intended speed on the songs.

I slept and slept and slept. I also slept. Then it was afternoon and I had to go to start my weekend's jaunt in Scotland. Me? Scotland? Surely not? (this is sarcasm - I spend a lot of time in Scotland, of course).

I drove to Glasgow at a reasonable pace - reasonably relaxed and reasonably promptly.

Arriving in Glasgow, I met up with another comedian, who provided pre-gig company and was prepared to help me with the dash between gigs. I was due to perform at The Vault, south of the city centre, and then immediately following at The State Bar in the centre.

The gig at the Vault was surprisingly tricky, but I managed to get something out of the audience and keep my head. The other comedians were able to look me in the eye, which is always a good sign. Disaster struck - I've finally managed to lose my lucky plectrum... clearly it's not all that lucky! I have other plectrums... and there was no time to mourn the loss. I had to steam all the way across town.

Arriving at the other gig, we discovered that the football had managed to remove our audience from under us. There was no gig. Simple as that. No problem, thought I. There are other things one can do at night.

Saturday late night
So, I'm listening to a live band in a bar - they take a break, we chat with them about music and The Musical! and then I'm spirited away to a nightclub. This was one of the weirdest nightclub experiences of my live. Similar to the last nightclub I went to in a small town, actually, but in a different venue. Over the course of the evening, we got to know various characters in the room - well, we came to understand the social dynamic of the room. Since I was driving, I was sober. Since I was in a small town in Scotland, I also had a height advantage over most of the other people present. I had a lot more perspective on the events that unfolded.

As is often the case in a small nightclub situation, I had a favourite co-partier. In this case it was a pretty blonde called Julianne. (I've no idea how to spell it, but at some point she introduced herself verbally... whatever happened to business cards?) It's quite nice to have a person like Julianne to keep an eye on over the course of the evening. It gives some focus to the night. Young miss J reminded me of someone - I think she reminded me of Renee Zellweger - similar facial structure, high cheekbones sort of thing.

After tiring of standing on the sidelines, it was time to get on the dancefloor. I'd been shown a very funny Michael Jackson move that I kept threatening to use on the dancefloor, but that wasn't necessary. What was necessary was to enjoy the atmosphere and try to make the most of the eclectic mix of music. There was plenty of female attention, but that wasn't all of a good thing - being grabbed by a female-human-sofa wasn't really high on my list of priorities, though I did my best to steer her onto someone else before she got "ideas". I also showed her respect. And she had her label showing - it said "another great discount from DFS"... human sofa... gettit!? ha ha ha ho. I showed her more respect at the time.

I started to feel like the pretty lady of the evening was looking my way a fair bit... oh yeah... the Ashley magic is working really well... I'm so... I'm so utterly... standing near the guy she was actually looking at. I'd noticed this guy when he came in (yikes - he got to me too... well, no) on account of his stupid hairdo. It looked like he'd been flushed down a toilet too many times as a schoolkid and it had somehow stuck. His plumage was a good 5 inches erect, which was probably for the best, since he was a total shortarse - shorter than the temporary object of my appreciation, Julianne. This lad may have suffered playground taunts for being a shorty. He may have had permanent follicle damage from having his head repeatedly jammed down toilets for being an uber-midget, but tonight, Matthew, this guy was going to be The Fonz. He was just so totally cool. He stood on the edge of the dancefloor, not dancing. He had a fixed cocky grin on his face... and he was just watching... almost pointing to one side with his hands, his head lowered (I know... that's pretty low when you're a shorty) but his eyes looking up and to the side - a good modelling angle, if ever there was a need to be a model on a dancefloor. Maybe he used to be a model - perhaps for Ken from the Barbie and Ken range.

As is often the case when I observe male behaviour, it's not so much the behaviour that fascinates me as the effect it has on women. It was clear that this The Fonz-like behaviour was working. This led my friend and I to develop our own chat-up line for the ladies of Bathgate - "Eyyyy Ritchie" and "Eyyyy" (and point with both hands) - this latter proving somewhat confusing to the ladies we used it on on the dancefloor... especially since it was followed by us laughing uproariously. Yes, The Fonz managed one dance with the pretty Julianne and then left her to dance the night away unaided. I'm sure this confused her. Every so often she engaged the company of other dancers, including us - hence we discovered her name. I watched her behaviour on the dancefloor some more. Occasionally, she seemed to be paying my direction a lot of attention - but a quick check behind me and The Fonz was lurking somewhere... fixed smile - "Eyyyy". If I ever find a lady's eyes on me, I shall always keep an eye our for Fonzie - I'd recommend everyone else do the same. You might save a lot of embarrassment.

Foolishly, my friend and I were still in the thick of the dancefloor when they went into the slow numbers for the evening. This was an awkward moment. Everyone coupled up, except me, him and Julianne. I contemplated asking for a dance from my friend... er.. no... her... er... no... and so we got the hell out of the way. As we left the dancefloor, The Fonz wandered up to his quarry and she was his. Quite what she sees in him, I don't know. Probably she sees mainly hair, since he's a fair bit shorter than she is. We left the nightclub and played the amazing new game "is there any part of my shirt that isn't soaked in sweat?" - the answer was "no". I eventually found someone to give me a free promotional T-shirt, which managed to cool me down and dry me off. Then it was time to retire for the night.

Running through some details for... guess... yes... The Musical! (yes, all roads lead to that subject of conversation) took most of the morning and then it was time to head off to the afternoon and evening gigs.

The afternoon gig was Kirkcaldy. I can't say too much of note about my performance - it was up and down, it ended ok, I think I undermined myself a bit by teching the whole show - it didn't make me seem altogether very special. Still, we entertained the crowd and it was a good room in which to run a show.

The evening gig was in Dundee. Their previous gig was 23rd May, which seems centuries ago for me. I performed there - 16 gigs previously in my career. The original idea was that I was going to MC the gig, since they'd seen me last time. However, the overlap of audience was pretty small and those who were there a second time seemed to be keen to see me again. Therefore, I headlined the gig. Of all the performances I've given in closing a show (actually, overall), this was definitely one of my favourite performances. I was up there for quite a long time and I think I gained their trust... in that they were prepared to listen to me when I was trying to make funny with them.

My set started with a reference to the joke competition, which had basically been "give a funny song title" - I started by writing the song that won the competition. Had I just turned up and done this it would have seemed magically. Sadly, the MC pre-announced the competition with the fact that I was going to do the song-writing. This gave me one of the greatest feelings of "pre-match nerves" since everyone knew that I had to come up with the song. It needed to be better as a result. Spontaneity (or at least apparent spontaneity) makes comedy seem more magical. Remove the spontaneity and you need harder hitting ideas.

I got away with the song and postured, pondered and otherwise chuckled the crowd through my set. I had fun. Actually, I went a bit crazy on my ending and made the room scream with laughter... I also amused myself. Once I got off the stage, I had a giggling fit which lasted about 2 minutes (actually, it may have been nearer 5). I'd performed for about half an hour and I'd had a whale of a time. A part of me was hoping for an encore - I could have done another 10 :)

Lovely lovely.

I drove back from Dundee at breakneck pace and managed to keep my neck unbroken. I'd made some sort of gag to the audience about me being more likely to die on the road than them - it's not my driving, just the string of hitchhikers I insist on picking up... ho ho ho. Apparently, our Czech friends, from earlier in the week, were right about the chances of getting berry picking work in Dundee.

Back to work on Monday
It's interesting how threads of this weekend's themes converge on this morning's news. I'll bring two together.

I mentioned the young lady in the nightclub whom, once I'd noticed once, I repeatedly noticed over the course of the evening. This is not a product of anything untoward, just something I've noticed about one's perception of beauty. Once you've seen a twinkling star, you continue to see it twinkling and maybe even navigate by it. In any group I'm in, I see those that shine and mark my way by them. It's comforting.

I also mentioned my comment that I'm on the road so much that it's a risk. Late night driving is tough and I'm going at speed in order to make the most of the bed when I reach it. There are occasional hairy moments.

This morning, I found out that one of my work colleagues died in a road accident over the weekend, and that colleague was one of those twinkling stars... well... words escape me. She was lovely. We spoke about 3 times - only once at any length and even that was about the show. She's not there when I walk past her part of the office.


Post a Comment

<< Home

All content ©2001 - 2020 Ashley Frieze