Leeds Part 3: I am Teddy Ruxpin

I love eating after gigs, mainly because I can never eat before them after an unfortunate incident with a pie an hour before a gig in Banbury. I say unfortunate incident, but it was the best pie I’ve ever had from (a place I have mentioned before) the incredible Pudding Face the Pie Place in Deddington. If you ever want to eat pie till you feel like you physically might die from stomach expansion and delight at goodness of pie, then head there. The pie I had on that fateful day though ensured that once I walked up on stage I felt as heavy as a concrete Vanessa Feltz. My brain slowed down, and I essentially became food drunk. I dislike the feeling of food drunkness as it provided neither the bravado, nor the stories that actual drunkness gives and just the sloppiness of thought and inability to move your legs. So since that day, Pie Death Day, I have resisted having anything to eat ages before I go onstage and therefore always stuff my face with unhealthy goods at a godforsaken hour when all banter is done with. It has to be unhealthy food too as no-one seems to sell healthy things after 10 at night in the UK. Its almost a law. ‘Let it be declared that as no-one health conscious will be likely to be eating past 6pm anyway, that after 10pm may the streets be awash with kebabs, curry and general lard, fat and gastronomic heart death and stomach expanding devices.’ Its incredibly difficult to get a salad when the sun goes down, but chips thrive like the nocturnal food stuff of evil.

Last night was a curry. I love an after gig curry and I felt like I deserved one after a truly awesome gig. I was reminded during this curry of how unhealthy it was by Layla, who is about to start the Weight Watchers scheme. I have promised I will partake in this too, from Monday, but I am already scared it won’t last long. The whole thing seems to work on a points based theme, with some food being more points than others and you have a limit for how many you can have in a day. Now, the thing is, I have always grown up with computer games and points based board games where the idea is to beat your opponent. I am very scared I will get the wrong idea and in an attempt to hit a million points triple combo score I will become whale size. Still I suppose it wont matter as long as I win.

It was the sort of show that needed to be rewarded with a curry. It was a sold out room with a hen-do, a stag-do, two birthday parties and Layla, her nephew and her sister-in-law. The pressure was on and as I watched them all walk in I geared myself up for some crowd control and riot proof gags. The noise in the bar was at its full level and the hen do were already shrieking, while the stag do were telling laddish tales. To be fair they weren’t your usual stag-do in that they appeared more like a live-art piece called ‘The Many Generations Of Man’, with member ranging from a very young punk kid, all the way to a man who looked a lot like Yoda. He wasn’t green yet, but I knew that after a few beers this may change. And then the gig started and suddenly, without warning, they all became lovely and respectful of the show. They all quietened down and while there were a few heckles to be dealt with I enjoyed dealing with them and the only slightly vicious one was dealt with by the rest of the crowd before I could get to it, which is always good. I enjoy it when the audience heckle each other. One day I will let that happen, sneak off, have a beer and come back when they’ve finished. Its like my own 5 minute fag break.

I hadn’t worked with Sam Avery for about 3 years. It must’ve been that long, because he clearly didn’t remember who I was, which is good to know I made an impression back then. I couldn’t remember his act from 3 years ago either, but he had a cracking set and the audience loved his tales of Liverpudlian antics. Oddly however, I chanced a mean gag about Liverpool which then went down quite well. Audiences are fickle bastards when it comes to anywhere other than their own city. If the acts from Liverpool its all ‘yey, an act from the North’, as soon as he leaves the stage ‘yey, isn’t Liverpool shit!’ You wonder how our country operates as one when city and area divide works on a bitching basis worse than a drunk Lily Allen but with worse songs. It wasn’t Sam I was worried about though, it was Carey. Not because of his material but incase mental lady or one of her cohorts was back to get angry with bouncers. Steve the bouncer was back and he was already standing ready, waiting for Carey to say albino, incase it all kicked off again. I bet that bloke from Big Brother would have felt proud.

Then the second section started and the only heckle I received was from a rather attractive young lady from Whitby calling me ‘Teddy Ruxpin‘. I can honestly say that is the best heckle I have ever had. I really can’t tell if she meant it to be malicious, but I took it as a full on compliment. I don’t come with a selection of tapes that you can insert in my for a series of noises, but I’m sure that were you to insert tapes in me, I would make noises whether I wanted to or not. My best friend is not a caterpillar, but the character’s name is Grubby, and he is definitely that, and I would also rather like to think of myself as a small bear who likes to have adventures. I genuinely giggled for about 2 minutes when she said it. Needless to say, Carey then went on and stormed it, with no albino related aggravation. Even Layla’s sister-in-law loved it, which is good as I wasn’t sure how the rape gags would go down, but it was all good. Layla’s nephew enjoyed it, but that was a given as he is 16 and therefore has spent the weekend telling me the sort of jokes about Jade Goody I’d be scared to do onstage.

Back to London today, for one night, before heading off to Bristol tomorrow. I like being up North and won’t be back here for a while sadly, although I am in Glasgow in two weeks. I don’t think that counts though does it? Surely there is a point where you stop saying North and instead say Scotland. That point, I would have thought, would be Scotland. I mean, I imagine the Scottish would loathe the thought that they are merely the even further North of England. In fact, imagine is the wrong word. Know, would have been more correct. What have I learnt from my adventures in Leeds this time round? Many many things that I shall continue to take on my travels with Grubby. I know now that ladies can really take on bouncers even if they look small and unhealthy, as long as they are angry enough. I’ve learnt that hen and stag-do’s aren’t always obnoxious, that everyone loves a rape gag and that with the help of Newton Gimmick, I will find the truth about the magical powers of my ancestral treasury. Come dream with me.