Coventry, Squished People and Hardee

In two hours I’m going to have a roast. Thing is, I’m hungry right now. This is that terrible conundrum whereby if I eat now, then I won’t be hungry enough to eat all of the roast, and if I don’t eat now I’m going to complain about being hungry endlessly for the next two hours. Its a veggie roast by the way, just incase any of you regular readers (ie one of you) was throwing yourselves back and forth in confusion and dismay by earlier possible lies of my eating habits. Don’t worry, it will only be a collection of roast tatties, roast other vegetables and then some sort of veggie roast attempt that I will probably leave as it’ll no doubt taste like dried pieces of peoples feet. Very few culinary establishments have ever really conquered the veggie roast. I’ve had a few in my time that use good veggie sausages, which is a decent option, although I feel ruins the idea of a roast by not actually having a roast in it at all. The best one ever ever is in the Thomas a Beckett pub in Canterbury where they have somehow managed to make a not shit nut roast. In fact, its better than that, its actually good. Really good. I haven’t been for 6 years so they may now have screwed it up, but back then it was even better as it was always served by a woman who looked like a slightly squished version of Anna Kornikova. From henceforth she was known to us all as Ini Kinikova, which is what happens to people when made smaller or squished. You just exchange letters in their names for ‘i’s so they sound tiny. Example, take the very tall Greg Davies and squish him = Grig Divis. Simple.

Coventry was as expected. Not terrible at all but not brilliant either. Just kind of, well as opposed to this term as I am, very ‘meh’. Last time I was there I was informed of a fight that had happened the week before, but my gig had turned out to be ridiculously tame. Again when I arrived last night I was told that the previous week had been so mad people had been kicked out and it was pretty terrible. Last night however was very very tame. Well nearly. There was one idiot heckler who was part of a fancy dress party, but she was deftly destroyed by Okse during his set and she didn’t spark up again after that. Everyone else however was enjoying it, but were never going to set the roof on fire. I mean that as a metaphor. My gig expectations are not so high that I expect them always to finish with some level of arson. It was fun though and the night was more than made up for by the journey there and back where Nick Revell told myself, Chris Mayo and Nathan Caton many tales from ghost stories to stories from the 80s alternative circuit. And he made us all sandwiches as well. Not that I have a passenger classification list but if I did, Nick would be high up there. Along with Tom Deacon who last gig we did together, brought tangerines and eclairs.

What was interesting was hearing Nick tell us about Malcolm Hardee pissing on a member of the audience’s face as they slept in the front row, or Keith Allen’s mad drug fuelled rants and realising just how different the circuit is today. There is far less of the complete mania then there was back then. Not that this is altogether a bad thing, as I’m not one to advocate the urinating on of paying punters faces. Or in fact anyone’s faces really. I suppose that unless we get someone like Thatcher in power again there won’t be the same level of rebellion in comedy. Saying that, it looks like the Tories will get back in so hopefully there’ll be a sufficient amount of opposition in the world of stand-up if it happens. I doubt there will be though. Not that I’m one to talk, but I can’t imagine we’ll get too many political comedians again anytime soon. Or mentals like Malcolm Hardee. There are so many brilliant tales about that man, but sadly I only ever met him once and I hated him. It was my 7th ever gig and I was doing an open spot at the Wibbly Wobbly boat in Surrey Quays, which was owned by Malcolm. When I got there he was lovely and told me how the night would run. Then the audience settled in. I say audience, but it was just three tattood skinhead builders sitting at the front, and no one else. Malcolm then walked on stage and said, and I quote ‘ Its a new act night. They’ll either all be good or they’ll all be shit. To be honest they’ll probably all be shit. Now here’s some cunt who’s name I can’t pronounce.’ I walked on to the builders singing ‘when the fuck are you going home?’ and I lasted one and a half minutes before running off into the Surrey Quays only to get lost and not find the tube for 40 minutes. Maybe its not a bad thing comedians aren’t like that anymore.

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