Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Prior to his leaving, I didn’t have much confidence in my ability as a songwriter or a front-man. While I’d co-written a lot of the material with him, I'd never felt comfortable with our partnership, mainly because I was intimidated by his ability. He was always coming up with ideas he was hugely cocksure about (which is intended as a compliment), and while there was a crossover in our musical taste, I was more into songs that were truthful while he was more motivated by a good riff.
His leaving was ultimately a good thing as it cleared the field and took away my fear. The three of us who remained were on the same page and shared the same sense of humour. It gave us a burst of energy that could have driven us to great things if the tours I took when I left drama school hadn’t got in the way and led to our eventual sad, yet amicable split - but that’s another story for another day.
Slow Down was one of the first songs I put forward to Mark and Chris after Rich left. It’s barely a song really, more a series of riffs, but it has a quirky edge that personifies what we were about. The recording doesn't do it justice as it's pretty primitive, but live, it was great.
The bit where the distorted guitars kick in at the end still makes me smile eighteen years after we recorded it: it’s best heard through headphones; that’s my tip.
Monday, 29 May 2017
Sunday, 28 May 2017
While I’ve always been an avid (or should that be ‘David’?) reader, I tend to go through periods when - through tiredness or otherwise - I fall out of the habit. This will usually be the case when I’ve finished a book and haven’t had time to start another during daylight hours; I don’t like beginning new books at bedtime, as I’ll end up having to reread the first few pages the following day to make up for what I missed through tiredness.
It only takes a gripping novel to remind me of how addictive reading can be. It’s such a lovely feeling when you submerge yourself in a story and get lost in it. There’s little to match the pull of a great book that no sooner have you put down you're desperate to pick up.
A well-written novel is a little bit like magic; how is it that hundreds of words on page after page disappear to be replaced by such vivid imagery? Yet it happens so often. I enjoy writing, yet I’ve no idea how you'd approach something so immersive; to be able to write so smoothly that the mechanics evaporate is truly a talent.
The book that drew me back was Robert Harris’ novel Conclave (I’m a big fan of his work) and now I’m reading ‘The Firm’ by John Grisham, which was a birthday present. I only started it a week ago and I’m already halfway through it. It’s proving a welcome distraction from work stress. Who knows what'll be next in line, but William Shatner’s TekWar is a strong contender.
Saturday, 27 May 2017
See below for the press release for next month's show in Hitchin. It's a majestic feat of copy-and-pasting from old mailouts and near-defunct websites by a person who's tired of editing them. While I may be negative about writing press copy, I'm very positive about next month's line-up, which includes a member of one of Britpop's biggest bands, for Christ's sake; the blasphemy wasn't necessary, but my point still stands.
Thursday, 25 May 2017
|Angelos Epithemiou and Barry From Watford at Hitchin Mostly Comedy (24.05.17)|
|Me, last night.|
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
While I'd like to be at the Sun Hotel setting up for tonight's Mostly Comedy, instead I'm seated outside a coffee shop in Covent Garden, waiting for word from the Apple Store about my poorly laptop.
The very fact I'm here is a calculated risk. It's all a question of timing; if I hear from them in the next half an hour or so, I should be able to get back to Hitchin without too much hassle. If it takes any longer, I may have to leave my computer behind...and God knows what we'll do at tonight's show.
(Ooh, the drama.)
It could have been worse. I'd originally had an appointment booked in Cambridge for first thing this morning that was early enough for me to book a room at a cheap B&B nearby, as this seemed the least stressful option. Then a slot came available in Covent Garden that seemed more convenient all round - leading to me cancelling both the Cambs appointment and hotel room (losing the money for the room; obviously); my life is nothing if not comedic in its unravelling.
The good news is the repair needed is both minimal and free. The bad news is I'm now waiting for further contact from the Geniuses of the Genius Bar as to when it's been fixed. There's nothing like a bit of near-to-the-line tension to keep your blood pressure high; if all else fails, I might just stay here and give the gig a miss; would anyone notice?
Monday, 22 May 2017
Saturday, 20 May 2017
We popped over to their house this afternoon to say hello - not unexpected of course - and to hand over a couple of presents, along with a card for Glyn’s birthday last week. Not only did this give us the chance to meet the new arrival, it was also an opportunity to play with Glyn’s other son Max, who - a month into having a younger brother - was more excited about showing us his new heavy-duty bubble machine than introducing us to his sibling.
I feel we've started to bond properly in the last few months. I felt the change kick in when we went to visit the Broadway Theatre in Letchworth a couple of months ago, with Max in tow. It was nice to chat with him, to be able to ask him what he liked and to hold his hand. What was lovely - as was the case today - was how he kept comfortably referring to my wife and I by name, like he sees us all the time, despite us maybe not having met that often. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to right that in the future, but it’s nice to feel he knows me in the meantime.
It was fun to play in the garden today, while he ordered me to catch as many bubbles from the bubble machine while he waved it in my face. We also had a kick-about with his Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends football, using his slide as a makeshift goal. As it stood, I spent more time with him than I did with the newborn, but that’s okay. Just before we left, he gave me a hug, which was lovely. I’m glad he feels comfortable with me, and look forward to getting to know him and his new brother better - even if he did get in a strop because my wife and I were unable to transform into the Incredible Hulk convincingly; you can’t argue with standards like that.
Friday, 19 May 2017
|The Quadrant: The Stage is Set (18.05.17)|
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
Tuesday, 16 May 2017
Monday, 15 May 2017
Sunday, 14 May 2017
8:02pm: Twice this year, my TV stopped working at a key moment: once as Big Ben stuck midnight on New Year's Eve, & just now as #Eurovision began.8:03pm: Forgive me, while I have a fit in the corner.8:05pm: Salvador from Portugal: first top-knot of the evening.8:08pm: The presenters are handily positioned from least-to-most glittery jacket increments.8:09pm: This is entirely improvised banter. Entirely improvised.8:10pm: Already experiencing teeth-whiteness envy.8:10pm: Did he just say, "This is the whitest place on Earth"?8:12pm: Imrie. Celia?8:13pm: Mmmm. Sleeveless.8:14pm: I'm feeling love too. Best way to enjoy my evening.8:14pm: I sing that high when I'm feeling love too. Euphemisms.8:16pm: Poland's entry's called Fleshlight? Surely not.8:17pm: Poland's entry sounds like Celine Dion.
#NoNoNoNo.8:18pm: Well, she certainly means it. #Poland #Fleshlight
8:20pm: "Don't shine that torch in my eyes; I've just lost a pint of blood".
8:22pm: Her hair is reminiscent of Rowlf from the Muppets.
#Belarus8:25pm: I like this. I worry about myself. #aut8:25pm: He's not running at the moment. #aut8:25pm: After the show, Belarus and Austria will share a white wash.8:26pm: "If you let me drown, I'll swim like a champion." Confusing imagery. #aut8:29pm: I liked it when she moved her arm and the backing went shwwwwwwwwhhhhhhhmmm. #Arm8:30pm: The women either side of her are extraneous to requirements. #Arm8:31pm: So pleased about Bananarama reuniting. #Arm8:33pm: Add their ages together, multiply the outcome by two and the answer will still be younger than me. #Ned8:34pm: The blonde one looks like Pixie Lott. #Ned8:34pm: First key change of the evening. #Ned8:36pm: That presenter has a stubble incapability.8:38pm: Sunstroke Project? SUNSTROKE PROJECT? ...lost in translation. #MDA8:39pm: The sax break sounds like M People. #MDA8:40pm: I do love a nice bunch of SM58flowers. #MDA8:41pm: The lead singer reminded me of a shorter-haired Bob Downe. #MDA8:43pm: He looks like Dougal from Father Ted dressed in his Matador stuff. #Hun8:46pm: What's with the T.I.E. troupe behind him? #ITA
8:48pm: "...I was livid."
8:52pm: She's shrunk.
#DEN8:55pm: ...posture like Fester Addams. #POR8:55pm: He's like the Childcatcher. #POR8:57pm: ...such banter.8:59pm: She looked like a cat throwing up. #AZE9:00pm: The horse up the ladder...the new version of the elephant in the room. #AZE9:02pm: ...like Lynn drawing a chalk penis on the teacher's back. #AZE
9:05pm: ...I know him so well.
9:06pm: The chest-voice / falsetto highlight of the evening.
#CRO9:11pm: Are we going to be strong and stable?9:15pm: She has a very shiny leg. #GRE9:15pm: Will the male dancers dress down or up? #GRE9:18pm: Seann Walsh and McBusted. #ESP9:19pm: I liked it when the backing track went bwwwwwwwww. #ESP9:20pm: Where's the drummer? I can hear a drummer. Where's the drummer? #ESP9:27pm: Who needs drama training? THEY NEED DRAMA TRAINING.
9:28pm: The cover of my forthcoming
#Eurovision album Br-ephgrav-exit.
9:30pm: ...and the rest of Europe switches off. Thanks Daily Mail, thanks Johnson, thanks over-70s, thanks Farage. Thanks a lot.
#GBR9:33pm: Well done, #GBR. Better than most of our recent entries.9:38pm: ...is this why my parents voted Leave? I still disagree. #ROU9:39pm: ...well, this is happening. #ROU9:40pm: He wants to do something to her with his big canon. #ROU9:40pm: ...he went for the Partridge kiss. #ROU9:48pm: A left-handed headstock on a right-handed guitar that actually is a right-handed guitar? madness. #UKR9:57pm: ...and yet he did go on. #SWE10:02pm: ...he's almost legally untouchable too. #BUL