There is a Tom Craine in my house and so I will have to make this quick. I’m not sure if any of you have ever had to look after a Tom Craine before, but he requires constant care and attention lest he hurt himself or breaks things. He’s not dissimilar to a Tamagotchi if they were a lot taller and would turn up to your house having known they’d be away from home for a few days, and yet not brought enough clean clothes. Or shaving things. Or most necessary things people would pack if they knew they were going away for a few days. So far this morning I have had to tell him our internet password four times, point where the shower is six times and I’m constantly scared its only a matter of time before he wets himself having forgotten where our toilet is. I often think I could leave a Tamagotchi alone for longer than I could Craine without it getting into a panic about where its next meal will be coming from. Tom’s here because we are both about to go and do the Jokes Newington festival in Stoke Newington. Its a pretty fun idea of a mini-comedy festival in a fancy middle class London village. However the whole thing would be far more appealing to me if I didn’t actually do the hair of the dog trick yesterday, and instead had spent some time working on my show. Essentially I am worried that anyone that sees my show will just be witnessing some rambles by a man who’s brain is even angrier than it was yesterday as I appear very much to have learnt nothing.
I blame my friend Jude for everything. Her appalling spontaneity and disgusting fun attitude meant that we had a truly brilliant day involving watching loads of good bands, sitting in the lovely sunshine and finishing the night by drinking beer in a tree. I have realised that that is pretty much the best way to end a day. Monkeys and birds must constantly want to high five each other about how they get to just stay in the tree till the next day. The tree we sat in is in a small park square by Jude’s flat which she has a key to, and once inside the tree has some fairly easy natural steps. Before you know it, you can sit aloft in the private park enclosure giggling at people walking by who don’t know you’re there and feeling much like a shit ninja in the best of ways. Brilliant times.
The Wireless festival, while not as good as climbing a tree, was also much fun. Some acts were not great, especially Missy Elliot who after turning up late and scolding us all for being ‘All In Her Grill’ – I assume she wanted to make cheese on toast and we’d ruined that – she then did a few excerpts from songs and announced a new act that was going to do a song for us. She pissed off and some pink haired woman mimed and gyrated to a rubbish song for five minutes. I’ve never know such arrogance in a performer to just go ‘screw this, I’ll pop someone else on, no one will mind’. It was also the new performers third ever gig and it feels a bit like if in the middle of a Radiohead gig they just said ‘here’s Johnny’s cousin with a banjo, he usually only performs to the family at Christmas time’ while they all sit around backstage for a bit.
But then there was Snoop Dogg, an act I’ve been wanting to see since I was 12 years old when my friend Karl Black played me Doggystyle through his headphones at the back of Mr Yates’ science lesson. Back then, I’d never ever heard west coast hip hop and it was the catalyst for my music listening preferences to this day. I’ve caught up with a good amount of the acts I’ve always wanted to see – Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Gang Starr etc – but had never got to see Snoop. So I was pretty excited. In terms of content, he played a lot of other people’s songs, perhaps as a nod to the fact that despite his huge back catalogue, most of it is Dogg shit. But he did play ‘Gin and Juice’ and ‘Who Am I (What’s My Name)’ which sorted everything out. I stood, in the sunshine, rapping my tiny heart out, surrounded by people who without Snoop would assume Compton was the follow up to Trumpton, all waving their Westside hand signs in the air.
– Jamie Lidell, despite being in a jacket that looked like he’d stolen it from Joseph and His Technicolour Dreamcoat, was awesome.
– As I was leaving the festival a random man high fived me. I like this. More random high fives please.
– Guest areas are brilliant. Unless, like in Wireless, they appear to have made everyone a guest. Less guests please.
– DJ Shadow was brilliant. What was more brilliant was watching two men in front of me juggle to the rhythm of his tracks. It was like a hip hop circus. Only time it failed was when Shadow played drum n bass. I would like to see them try harder please.
– The men at the grill referred to veggie burgers as ‘lesbian burgers’. I asked why, expecting something derogatory, but they just said ‘cos its made of vegetable’s innit?’ I wanted to very much point out their entire lack of logic or question why they assume lesbians are made of vegetables, but I was also conscious they could spit in my lesbian burger. I am going to follow their path and name things in a seemingly offensive way but with no reasonable explanation. Later I will eat a ‘learning disabled sandwich’. When asked why, I’ll just say ‘cos its got cheese in it, innit?’ as though that makes perfect sense.
– According to Jude’s friend Mike, he could tell I was a comedian because of my delivery. I hadn’t brought him a package or letter or anything so I don’t know what this means.
– Over the whole festival, I saw a lot of wires. I feel cheated and will have to write a letter to someone.
– I genuinely still don’t know which one is Ant and which one is Dec.
– We saw Lisa Snowdon. She looked lovely. We then followed her a bit. We then realised that was creepy and stopped. She looked lovely. More Lisa Snowdon please.
Right that needs to be the end. Craine has just walked upstairs to the study to try and have a shower. I need to resolve this before he lathers up by the printer and all hell ensues.