If X-Factor was judged in a shower, I would definitely compete. I’ve realised this sounds dodgy, but I meant in terms of the fact that I can definitely warble a tune while in my ceramic cleaning pod. I did not mean in terms of wanting to show off my speedos to Cowell. I don’t have speedos. And I think if I did, I wouldn’t make it past the audition stage. What I’m saying is I can sing in the shower like I was a member of the shower cappack. I can also definitely sing in my car when no one else is there. I’m very good at that. I’m fairly sure that when no one else can witness or hear a single thing I’m belting out while going along the motorway, that I am 100% in tune and a veritable Katherine Jenkins of the drivetime. Just less pretty. Or Welsh. However, despite these areas I am Frank Tiernatra in, on stage it appears otherwise.
I’ve sung on stage before. Oh yes. I played Adrian Mole at school aged 13 and as my voice was breaking had to sing in tones that could have been mistaken for a broken radio tuner or perhaps a new album from Bjork. This trend continued throughout many a school play and I was even in an amatuer musical aged 17 that everyone involved has agreed never to talk about again. I did have my own song though, which raises many questions about the hearing of the composer ie he was possibly deaf. Since then there has only been the very odd occasion, with, as per usual, emphasis on the odd, and one venture to a karaoke bar some time ago where I got a bit drunk and insisted on singing Just by Radiohead, much to the detriment of the song.
You stick me infront of any audience and tell me to do comedy and I won’t bat an eyelid. Which would become creepy for a while. You’d start to wonder why I didn’t blink. Was I some sort of lizard man? But as soon as you mention singing infront of people, the fear arrives like a big bucket of fear based sludge in the face. So last night terrified me. It was a gig for the irritatingly talented James Sherwood who can do both funny and singy and pianoy playing all at once. Bastard. He runs a lovely monthly club called the Piano Bar in central London, where the basis of the gig involves a comic doing a set, then singing a song. I stupidly agreed to do this a while back, and have spent pretty much every day since wondering what on earth to do. After much deliberation I went for ‘Ain’t That A Kick In The Head’ by Dean Martin. The reasons? Well, for a start, I thought that it was in my vocal range. Secondly its (as well as featuring in the original Ocean’s Eleven) used in one of my favourite films Out Of Sight. Its an ace film that. Yes its got stupidy Lopez in it, but this was before she became stupidy and she actually acts and looks all hot. Well done her. Also the song includes the lines ‘like the sailor said quote, ain’t that a hole in the boat’, which is brilliant. Not least because its quite a random phrase, but also because the song is an analogy about falling in love, and yet the idea of a hole in a boat can never be anything less than a bit shit.
James introduced me onstage with a song to the tune of Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Do You Want To’ ie Tiernan, Tiernan Tiernan Douieb etc. and I did my set, all the while thinking of my song at the end, and therefore, not really enjoying any of it. Then I sang. Glass shattered, the heavens opened, dogs howled, children cried and ears bled. Not really. Actually I was a bit flat at the top like a shit hair cut, but then seemed to just enjoy it. In fact, singing in public is a bit good. I may now harass the Karaoke Circus people, sing at the end of all my sets and then just sing in the park and on the night bus and everywhere. I’m going to sing so often people will think I’m lost in music. Or not. In fact probably not. I think I’ll just stick to the comedy for a bit. Unless it rains. Or I’m winning. Then you have to as those are the rules.