One of my favourite parts of gigging is journeying with people I like. Last night I drove me and Andrew O’Neill all the way to Stafford. We parlayed about many a topic from the state of the world all the way to bladder control, stopping halfway through for Andrew’s specialist subject of Norwegian Black Metal bands trying to out evil each other. This is a subject I knew nothing of before but now feel very knowledgeable about. I am particularly glad that ‘out-eviling’ someone is not a day to day target for dictators or the world would be a truly terrible place. Out-Eviling is such an odd idea outside of the metal world. I understand out-running. If someone challenged me to a race, I would want to out run them. I wouldn’t be able to, and I’d be out of breath in two steps but the concept would not evade me. However if someone gutted the eyes out of a puppy and challenged me to do better, I don’t feel I cold reciprocate. Unless it was Paris Hilton’s dog, then I’d kick its face off.
It was a top journey though and a gem moment was Andrew finding an old Sean Lock cd in a service station on the way. Sometimes I forget due to his constant relegation to panel appearances that Sean Lock is such a truly brilliant stand-up. There is a joke on the CD about moments that aren’t funny or dull and it made me accidentally snort some water up my noise. Which is quite dangerous when on the M6. If I had killed us both in that moment I would hope that Sean would feel both a tad guilty and a little bit proud.
The gig was a lot of fun. There are two campuses at Stafford Uni that do comedy and one of them is a gig where it looks like someone has stuck a stage in a Starbucks without telling anyone. This was the other gig thankfully. They were a great up for it crowd and despite feeling mega rusty, I managed to bang out a 35 min set including new stuff and dealing with two heckles all of which made it fun. There were one or two lulls here and there which mostly made me feel extremely old. One happened during a bit of current topicalish stuff I’m doing, which halfway through I realised students don’t have any knowledge of the outside world. When I was a student the biggest news was what bars were doing drinks promos and who got kicked out of the venue. This is why if you ever read a University newspaper you will find it dull and unexplainably smug.
The other lull happened during occasional cultural references that I made, which were 10 years too early for anyone in the crowd who was born in 1990 (ie. all of them). 1990?!? I know. Its wrong isn’t it? Someone in the crowd whistled and I mentioned ‘One Man and His Dog’ which they had no idea about! How could such a pivotal show about shepherding be avoided? It was technically the beginning of reality TV. Without someone whistling and yelping while a dog ran around a bit for what was possibly the dullest half an hour on television, Big Brother would probably never exist. Well it would have done, but it wouldn’t have shepherds on it. Which it doesn’t now. Perhaps thats what’s wrong with it?
The MC last night was not so much an MC but a bar manager who told a few racist jokes before we went on. I expected them all to receive boos, but oddly the crowd went for them. Then afterwards a black guy in the front came up to me and told me his favourite racist jokes and that his nickname at uni was ‘Nignog’, which he found funny. Is that what has happened with racism? The world has gone so far round the circle of anti-racism that it has become racist again? I tried to explain to him that Martin Luther King would be turning in his grave hearing that, but he didn’t know who Martin Luther King was. I hope for his sake he ends up in North London with those friends who gave him the nick name and watch as they are quickly decimated.
So a good show, but I have somehow left with the first impressions of some this year’s batch of students as racist, ignorant shepherd ignoring people. I feel its my duty to change this. I have university gigs Sunday through to Tuesday and will endevour to spread the words of Dr. King, Jon Snow and Pilger and the whistlings of Phil Drabble.