Glastonbury toilets

July 1, 2010

Ok, if you don’t want to hear about Glastonbury toilets, stop reading now. Soon I will write about pop, but for now it’s a quick toilet break. It won’t be nice. Stop reading if you are squeamish. What follows isn’t even toilet humour. It’s just toilet stuff. Are you still reading? Why? Stop now.

You may have been drawn into this post by the pretty picture above. Don’t be fooled. Even that is toilet related. I took the pic when my friend Ben needed to stop for a toilet break. Ben Norris, this man. He weed, I snapped.

Toilets at Glastonbury fall into two categories; those you wouldn’t dream of using and those you have to use. Within these two categories there are two types; portaloos with hand-pumped flushes and then large metal boxes raised high off the ground that let everything fall into a cesspit below. It’s the second type I’m going to concentrate on. If you are still reading I advise you to stop now.

Inside the metal cubicle is a wooden toilet seat. If you look into the toilet, and you shouldn’t, about ten feet below you will see a pool of all human life and colours. Well, not all colours. A mass of brown, yellow, green and red liquids and solids slushing away amongst debris such as toilet paper, wet wipes, beer cans, oh you name it. You’ll even see half-eaten snacks bobbing along.

Are you still reading? Here comes the shocker. As you stand there, waiting to wee, and if the muck pool is relatively unchurned, you will see a face reflected back up at you. Not your own. Nor some poor child who slipped in there. The face will be of the person in the cubicle opposite yours waiting to start their own wee.

It’s the worst mirror I’ve ever stared into. Far worse than the one in Snow White and not a patch on Candyman.

Hob Knobs

February 20, 2010

Do you like laughing? If you do and you live near The Hob in Forest Hill why not come and join me and my mate, top notch comedian Ben Norris, for a funny evening of nonsense this Wednesday at 8pm.

Here’s the deal; once a week I visit Ben, Sarah and their lovely triplets for an evening of food, drink and nonsense,  the drink and nonsense taking place once the kids have gone to bed. We sit around the kitchen table, talk rubbish and make each other laugh. As the evening goes on and we drink more, Ben scribbles things down in chalk on their blackboard pantry door. The next day he looks at it and wonders what drugs we must have been on. My favourite bit of scribbling so far… Nosferatu! I haven’t even seen Nosfera One!

The secret of dodgy Chinese dentist jokes- timing

One night we sat around laughing at all the daft things on You Tube. And then Ben said we should do it in a pub, invite people along with their favourite clips and all watch them and laugh, or boo, or whatever. And somewhere along the line this has become a reality.

me laughing

So, we will be at the Hob this Wednesday watching your clips on a big big screen. Come along. Don’t forget to bring a few links with you, or just enough info for us to be able to track them down, and then we’ll play them. It’s as simple as that. Oh, and it’s £3.

Come along and see things like this, recommended to me by Gareth Aveyard. Stick with it, because at first I felt sad, but 50 odd seconds in I started laughing like a goose.

It won’t all be funny animal clips. There’ll be music and proper comedy… well, I say that. It’s up to you. It’s your night. You bring the clips. It’s whatever entertains you.

What? Funny animals? Oh, alright then.

You can find more details here.


Robert lloyd out of The Nightingales

I’m reading Renegade; The Lives and tales of Mark E. Smith at the mo and it’s a right old read. The Fall; a band that’s had 10,000 members, all hired and fired by Prestwich’s finest living man. Ok, some of them walked, but they don’t count. I haven’t got a clue what The Fall are on about most of the time, but that’s ok by me. It takes me about 20 years on average to get to grips with lyrics. The sound comes first and then maybe later I’ll fill in some gaps. Or not bother. Yes, not bother. if I just want words I’ll buy a book. That’s what I did with Renegade and it’s a book that won’t shut up.

So, that’s a long roundabout way to get to the Nightingales. I’ve never known of them, but they’ve been around a bit, and over the years they’ve hobnobbed with The Fall. That’s it. That’s the connection. I think Mark E. Smith may like the Nightingales; may even be friends with Robert Lloyd, the band’s singer and songwriter. But then again…

Watch this and read this and see where you are. I know this; Mark E. Smith always makes me think of my Uncle Ken. I’m not sure why. Something to do with pubs in Prestwich.

So, last night I went along with Ben Norris to see The Nightingales. Although we were firstly there to see the support to the support to the support, David Cronenberg’s Wife. See them sing My Best Friend’s Going out with a Girl I Like.

The support to the support have gone from my mind, but the support was the marvellous and wilfully perverse Ted Chippington, a comedian who does his best to make an audience, well, angry. A comedian reading from notes, in German… or Russian, or Polish. I don’t know. A comedian who calls out for subject matter from the audience and then refuses to make a joke out of it.

When me and Trev started doing comedy in 1982 as The DevilfishhornClub we used to tell these “jokes”.

Joke 1. My dog’s got no nose. How does he smell? He can’t, he’s got no nose.

Joke 2. Have you seen my mother-in-law? No, course you haven’t. I’m not even married.

Joke 3. Doctor, doctor, I feel like a pair of curtains. You need to see apsychiatrist, you’re obviously mentally ill.

And so on. You get the idea. Anti-jokes. Then we got into kids tv and had to start smiling and pointing at each other on publicity cards.

I think we were maybe a little Chippington-esque. We certainly did enough hard gigs supporting local bands at the International in Rusholme. We even attempted comedy at the Hacienda, along with the Buzzcocks and the Redskins at a Lesbians and Gays support the Miners gig. Now there’s a combo-title you don’t see too often these days.

Anyways, I’m going off the point. Ted Chippington was great and awful, good and bad. Stewart Lee and his wife were there and me and Ben said hello. I muttered somethig inane about how his current show, The Stewart Lee Comedy Vehicle (BBC2), has had me laughing out loud. I’m a fan, and as a fan can’t help acting like a fan. He was very gracious about it. And like Ted, Stewart will push his audience, taking a joke as far as he possibly can, taking it all the way around the world until it comes back at you, anti-funny. And funnier. I wanted to find Stewart Lee talking about the rappers but couldn’t so have a look at him taking on Joe Pasquale in this great clip. Then, for a treat, watch Stewart Lee track down Ted Chippington.

I know. That’s a lot to make you watch. If you choose one item from the above links choose Stewart Lee does Joe Pasquale.


"get to the end of the cue"

I’d been playing pool all day; Interleague. My team, Waterloo 2, won all three matches, but no thanks to me, only managing 2 out of 6 frames. I had to take my cue to the 100 Club. I left it propped up by the photo wall. By the end of the evening it had gone. The staff weren’t much help. Eventually I tracked it down to behind the bar. They guy behind the bar, before handing it back, quizzed me as to what it looked like. A pool cue. He brought out the box. He wouldn’t hand it over. He wanted to know what colour it was. I think they were a bit pissed off because I hadn’t paid to put it in the cloakroom.

“If there was a career ladder Ted would have been carrying it rather than climbing it.” James Brown.

“I suppose there’s a case to be made, he was this country’s Andy Kaufman.” Phil Jupitus.

Ben Norris- photograph by Andy Hollingworth

Ben Norris- photograph by Andy Hollingworth

My good friend and top comedian, Ben Norris, pictured left wearing a fetching tyre and jacket combo, has made a video of Beige- the 35 Rap. It’s very funny and he wears a nice hat and does all his own stunts. You can find it by going to his website (listed down at the bottom in my blogroll) or watch it here on YouTube.

Don’t get him confused with the other Ben Norris’s on YouTube. Ben Norris, plastic surgeon to the Australian stars, or something; Ben Norris, some rugby playing goon dancing in the dark and also a Ben Norris squeaky song with oranges! All these Ben Norris’s are fake. Only accept the real thing. If he makes you laugh, he’s the real deal Ben Norris. If he doesn’t, he’s a fake Ben Norris, who’s stolen his name.