Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Hair Goes Nothing 

OK, I’ve now seen 25 shows, which is probably more comedy seen than can be considered healthy. I’ve seen more permutations of material on both Iraq and, slightly bizarrely, Diagnosis Murder than I ever thought possible. Still, here’s a quick look at what’s been on in the last couple of days.

In terms of ‘Big Names’, I’ve seen Mel and Sue and Bill Bailey. Mel and Sue are, unsurprisingly, fab. This is due to the simple fact that it is Mel and Sue live on stage, and is therefore another one of the top 17 most fantastic things of all time ever. I don’t feel there is any need to explain their amazingness any further, so I’ll stop.

Bill Bailey, on the other hand, was the very definition of ‘Not bad’ when I saw him on Friday. Admittedly this is partly my fault as due to a distinct lack of organisation, rather than seeing him in a proper venue, I saw him at one of his extra shows in the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Now, while I’m sure the EICC is an ideal venue to see your Managing Director give a keynote speech on your company’s place in the world of plastic teaspoons, it’s not exactly an environment conducive to a good comedy gig. Unfortunately though, even bearing this in mind, the performance was distinctly lack-lustre:- for an all-new show, a lot of the material had been seen before, and the new material wasn’t the best in the world, highlights included Portishead’s version of Zippedee-do-dah, which is hardly an up-to-date reference point, and a dance version of the BBC news theme. It was a decent enough show, but isn’t going to be troubling my top ten any time soon.

Time was also spent getting my money’s worth out of the license fee by going to see two Radio 4 recordings and Greg Proops on Radio Scotland. The fact that my laughter has now been broadcast on national radio is, I realise, the closest I will ever get to my fifteen minutes of fame, so I shall consider that to be the highpoint of my life.

Simon Evans is decent enough, but seems more like the sort of comedian who’s funnier written down, rather than performing, while Mitch Benn and the Distractions was a lot better than I expected him to be, and does a fantastic version of Macbeth performed in the style of Eminem. The main problem is that the sound quality is a bit piss-poor, which isn’t a good thing given that Mitch is all about the musical comedy and not being able to hear the lyrics does kinda spoil the enjoyment a bit, having said that though, his bikini topped drummer is very foxy and does provide a suitable alternative when this happens.