Hot Thing

Its a bit bloody hot isn’t it? That’s what everyone keeps feeling the need to tell me as though I haven’t quite noticed. I suppose it gives them something to talk about when otherwise they would be stumbling for a starting point to conversations. I have spent the last day giving the response to that question as ‘no, not really,’ which foxes them and often causes the conversation to stop. I quite like this weather. Sunshine as far as I’m concerned is lovely and is a huge step upwards from last year’s rain maelstrom summer of glum. You’d think everyone would look back on that and say thank god for this current summer sunshine. No, instead everyone is getting miserable. ‘Its too hot to do anything,’ they all keep saying. Yet when it was winter I remember people saying it was too cold to do anything. Us Brits live in a country of erractic weather climates, which may explain why there are so many unemployed. One day the weather will be exactly temperate and people will have to think up something new in order to skive off work instead. There is also the constant notice that we must check on the elderly during this hot weather to check they are ok. We are also asked to do that in the very cold weather too. I wonder if the elderly are sending out these warnings so they get some attention for once. Its a very clever publicity scheme, I’ll grant them that. I always knew my Nan was a sneaky PR. My hope is that all this hot weather doesn’t enforce a stupid hose ban again. Surely all the rainfall from last year must’ve been enough to cover this year fully? If not god forbid anyone has a fire, cos the fire fighters will have a tough job putting it out without a hose. Perhaps they’ll just try and blow it out for a bit before using a watering can on the remainder.

Despite this weather being ‘too hot to do anything’, I have been doing a lot this week. Yesterday was a day full of filming for Dan Antopolski’s Sandwich Rap, which should be out next week. It’s such a great comedy rap and I think the video is going to look excellent. Once again myself, Carl Donnelly, Barry Ferns and Albion Gray were dressed as chefs for the duration of the day, mixing up taking on Nathan Caton and Tom Deacon’s skater gang, to protesting outside the Houses of Parliament to prove that Tessa Jowell is NOT a sandwich. It was a lot of fun, but as is the magic of TV, it meant a lot of standing around and being hot in a full culinary garb. It is a wonder why chefs choose to wear such clothes as kitchens are always very hot and I can’t imagine all that get up does anything to help them cool down. I know its hot in kitchens because there is that phrase that says if you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen. Thing is in all that chefs gear I’m surprised chefs dont get out of kitchens more often. Although I suppose the food would burn. God cheffing must be hard. No wonder Ramsey’s so angry all the time. The shoot started very early and we were at Southbank for 8.30am to film under the heavily graffitted skater park section underneath the Festival Hall. Some of the graffitti was very good and there was there one or two rubbish bits. One saying ‘Balrog’ which I’m sure was someone’s cool idea for a tag name, but is also the name for the creature Gandalf fights in LOTR. I’m not sure I’d want fellow graffers to think of me as a big hairy flaming beast that gets beaten by an old bearded hippy dude. There was also a tag that just said ‘The Police Stink!’ which I thought was the most lacklustre attack at the police ever. Perhaps it wasn’t intended as hate and instead just commenting on their state of hygiene. I needed a coffee to begin my day, so before donning my chefness I headed off to EAT around the corner. I asked for an iced latte and one of the film crew who came with me asked for a normal latte. The barista who was exceptionally grumpy, even beyond the usual levels of grumpiness that exude from coffee shop staff, made our drinks with a grumble. Then when she handed them over she asked us ‘Any coffees?’ with a hint of sarcasm. Never have I felt less manly about my coffee choice. I wanted to but 12 espressos and down them in one go. Then I realised I wouldn’t handle that and the barista had a point.

After a gruelling day I had to do two gigs that evening. On the way to the first one I walked through a very busy Leicester Square. There were lots of screaming women and I had put this down to the fact I was wearing my sexy summer trilby, but apparantely it was because Johnny Depp was there for the premiere of ‘Public Enemies’. Don’t know why they were screaming. I have heard its very disappointing. No Flava Flav or Terminator X, or any mention of any of the tracks from ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions.’ Helen Arney’s ‘London Air Accordian Society’ gig in Central London was lovely and full despite the heat. The crowd were very nice and included two identical twins and two men who weren’t twins or remotely identical but said they were. I rambled along with a melted brain and some jokes I had written on the way there. I thought it went ok, but audience were visibly wilting. Nearly all the crowd, as they left for the interval, told me they loved it, except for one goth man called Laurence who I have met at gigs before. He is a gig frequenter and nice but a little scary. He told me, with all well meaning, that he saw where all my jokes were going and that maybe I should try and break free a bit. I said thanks, not really knowing what to think of that and walked away feeling like perhaps I had been a bit rubbish. Its amazing how one man, who wears all black and spends the summer months undoubtably being hot, should say his opinion and that bothers me more than the entire rest of the crowd who said they enjoyed it. I thought about ‘breaking free’ all the way to my next gig and could only picture me in Prison Break with a tattoo of a map on my back. I’m not that was what he meant.

Getting to the next gig was an arse, as the ‘heat’ had meant the Northern Line had broken. Every year the Northern Line uses as many excuses as possible to run as shitly as it can. ‘Its too hot, its too cold, there’s someone in front of the train, there’s someone on the back of the train, there’s someone in the train and we are panicking as it all seems to be running so smoothly that we might have to stop everything just to check we aren’t dreaming.’ You would think that operating a system that every summer becomes a small metal tank of sweaty hot, the least they could do is make it work on time. I remember when the tube strike was on and they said the Northern Line was running a ‘normal service’. They were striking too, but it runs just as badly when they are not so they could pretend there was no difference. Luckily the preview was worth the mission and the 30 people that returned after the interval at the Camden Head in Islington were lovely. Still need an ending to the show as I’m really not happy with my current mess. Grainne McGuire told me to ‘take my show for a walk’, which is an idea I like. Problem is I crippled myself by wearing my Birkenstocks yesterday. They are meant to be comfortable for your feet in the summer but instead they have chaiffed all the skin off the sides and given me blisters. No wonder the Romans were so tough. They didn’t even get arch supports. So show walking will have to wait a couple of days as I don’t think show hobbling will be very beneficial.

Two final things.

1) Its Fat Tuesday tonight. Phil Nichol and Susan Calman, which will be lovely. The room is air conditioned too, which is lovlier. Its all so lovely in fact the Metro have recommended. Think of all the loveliness. Here’s the Metro article:

And here’s where you can buy tickets:

Phil Nichol and Susan Calman at (air conditioned) Fat Tuesday tonight! Tickets at

2) Here is the video of my Perfect Movie at Richard Sandling’s awesome film based gig. It includes the re-enactment of me and Rich doing Transformers the Animated Movie, which allowed me to live out my dream of being Optimus Prime for all of ten minutes. It also has very funny stuff from Rich, Nick Helm, James Acaster, the Real Brian Blessed and Kiosk of Champions, so worth watching.