Broken Biscuits No.9.

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Another great night. And despite my phone bricking as we were setting up (meaning no one could get hold of me at all for soundcheck info et al), it just added to the wonderful jumble of mayhem that seems to characterise these shows. Almost predictably, Southern Rail robbed us of Joanna Neary (although she has kindly agreed to join us at the Brighton Fringe, more on that another time), and compere Kate Tym was stricken with a virus and held at bay in St Leonards. But we got through it! Here’s how:

With the mighty Mr B, of course! The voice (and banjolele) of reason in a sea of madness, his immaculate set, attire and bonhomie were a joy to behold, as we all knew they would be. And he played The Crack Song, which I will be grateful for until my dying day. We Need To Talk About Kanye was another killer: seek it out and love him forever. This is a gentleman of substance you cannot afford to miss.

With Lorraine Bowen. Her Casiotone-fuelled, endearingly confused mix of pop, fashion and laughter had the house eating out of her hand the minute she stepped on stage. The Crumble Lady herself gave us tunes to die for, moves to watch and learn, and low fidelity acumen to shame the new kids on the block. Seriously, we had a party like it was 1969 and we didn’t want it to stop. Now that’s showbiz!

With Jenny Vegas. Once again, she delivered a blazing set with less than 24 hours notice, this time treating us to a reading from her new book 39 Shades of Brown. Which is as fabulous as it sounds. And she crushed the rumour that she and I are…well, you know…with the most damning words her vocabulary could muster. In front of a live audience. Don’t mess with this lady, she tells it like it is.

With Idle Eye and guests. This time he put a bloody jacket on and looked halfway respectable, let down somewhat by three pairs of reading glasses worn simultaneously. If he learns his lines and comes up with some decent between post banter, it might be worth coming to see his offerings at some point in the future. You heard it here first.

With Joss Perring and Nick Hollywood. Who once again transformed the Komedia Studio into a magical den of light, vintage film and great music. It’s always special to watch this father/son combo at work, particularly when they’re made up to the nines and sporting attractive hats. And Callum Hughes, who stepped in as compere with minutes to spare and masterfully ruddered our kooky ship through the entire evening. And Dan Laidler‘s Windy, who is fast becoming the unsung hero of Broken Biscuits. Hola Windy!

Thank you, Komedia Brighton, that was fab. BB10 is back at Antenna Studios in Crystal Palace on Saturday 11th February. Yes, that soon! Info post comin’ atcha after this. And sleep and red wine. Over and out x

Broken Biscuits No.9.

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Right. Christmas and New Year are behind us at last, so now we can get on with the mucky business of making 2017 everything 2016 wasn’t. And the best way I can think of is to put on a mighty BB9 at Komedia Brighton, ‘mighty’ being a woefully inadequate narrative for this one. I mean, look! It’s beyond huge, as three of Brighton’s comedy giants straddle the same stage for your delectation, immediately after Idle Eye splutters into first gear with a fistful of Kalms.

Lorraine Bowen, the undisputed queen of kitsch, crumble, cheesy keys and off-the-wall hilarity, will be giving it some. I know! Word has it that she owns the largest polyester wardrobe in the UK, so expect some 60s chic as well. It’s an embarrassment of riches, I tell you.

And then there’s Joanna Neary. An absolute must for anyone who cherishes character comedy colliding with the somewhat surreal, her sublime, very British quirkiness is, at times a cross between Joyce Grenfell and Celia Johnson, and at others Björk giving it all that about house prices in the South-East. She’s razor-sharp too; don’t be taken in.

Mr B, the consummate gentleman of Chap-Hop and the banjolele, has a superb new record out called ‘There’s a Rumpus Going On’. So we might be treated to a recital or two from that, or possibly something from current project ‘Absinthe House: Chapstep Vol.2’. And if he does The Crack Song as well, my year will be complete. In January.

But it just gets better: Nick Hollywood and Joss Perring, the dream father/son team who transformed Komedia last time we were there, are doing it all over again! With St Leonards’ finest Kate Tym as compere, and Dan Laidler‘s Windy’s Farm animations doing their thing, BB9 must surely now be considered a night not to be missed. Unless you miss it. In which case, it doesn’t really matter.

Broken Biscuits No.4.

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Komedia Brighton, you are a one! We got ourselves proper scared about this, and it turned out to be brilliant, lovely and the best fun EVAH. Where to start, though?

With Joss and Nick Hollywood. Because they transformed the space into a Lynchian, dystopian playground of circus animals, 50s neon and technicolour weirdness, all spurred on by Joss’s extraordinarily eclectic playlist. The boy may be fifteen, but he has carte blanche to DJ at my funeral. I’ll be posting a short compendium of clips on the Facebook page soon, be sure to check it out.

And then the acts. Kate Tym was just superb – taking no prisoners as per, she kicked off about kids, sex, Joanna Lumley, death and Take That. In that order. There are no words. Except hers. Jules Oliver‘s subtly surreal, hilarious set (who else could segue a loathing of falconry into an Essex Brides Magazine party featuring Spandau Barry?) had us all wondering when she was gonna crack. Not once, not once… And James Cook rounded off the night with a truly inspired collection of songs from his solo career. Just himself, a laptop and two guitars. Wonderful stuff!

As for Idle Eye, I’d like to thank Kate and Louise Yates for turning a six post run into something far more entertaining, Donald Ross Skinner for letting me take a piss over his 80s credentials, and to all the friends, family and those I’ve yet to meet who made the trip and helped make the night what it was. Because it was really quite something.

Now, a few weeks to regroup and then we’re off to Regather Sheffield on the 2nd October for BB5. We have a line-up in place and once again, it will not disappoint. I’ll throw something up here when the flyers are done, but if you happen to be in the vicinity and fancy a (very big) laugh, put the date in your diaries. We’re going comedy-tastic for this one, which is appropriate: my worthless degree came from Psalter Lane x

 

Broken Biscuits No.4.

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Next up is Komedia. Now, everyone on the circuit knows that this is an important one, so if any of you Brighton (or environs) folk would care to part with a few quids and get stuck in, we’ll make it more than worth your while. I mean, look! We’ve got Jules Oliver for starters, who’s won more comedy awards than I’ve had hot dinners and is surreally obsessed with Concorde. The plane, not the venue. Natch. Also, James Cook is doing a turn: his astonishing career has spanned NEMO, IAMX, The Mighty Boosh and a string of spectacular solo albums. Thoughtful, political and above all, effortlessly catchy – not to be missed. And yay! Kate Tym‘s going to hightail it over from St Leonards to join us once again. Her Tampon Tax Poem at BB2 Hastings went through the roof on the IE Vimeo account; she is one seriously funny lady.

I was told recently that after seeing Dan Laidler‘s wonderful mini-series Windy’s Farm at BB3, a colleague woke up in the middle of the night in deep distress at poor Windy’s plight. So we’ll be showing them all over again. The cruelty of art, the cruelty of art.

Finally, I am delighted to announce that my old pal Nick Hollywood will be doing a DJ set with his 15 year old son Joss. The Brighton-based godfather of electro-swing himself alongside the next generation of home-grown talent. This is worth more than the price of admission alone, so please do the right thing. The link below is for online bookings, but you can also contact Komedia direct at the number on the flyer. Looking forward to seeing you there x

https://komediabrighton.ticketsolve.com/#/shows/873555772