Broken Biscuits No.10.

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We love Antenna. Clearly, as we’ve done four (count ’em) shows there now and there’s plenty more to come. As we had but an hour to transform the room, things were a little (lot) hectic but we got there somehow and it was packed to the rafters. Seriously, it was. Thanks to everyone who pitched in, bought merch, turned up on another vile weather day, and drank the bar dry. Palace, you did us proud!

Our magnificent compere Tim Suturist was drier than a manzanilla sherry in the desert; in direct contrast to the elements outside. And Jenny Vegas treated everyone to their own personal Valentine Lovescope; in direct contrast to her own car crash of a love life. How she got conned into giving a Boyzone tribute act one is anyone’s guess. Except hers. The lady protests too much, methinks.

Awanyu were nothing short of extraordinary. As if gossamer vocals that soared, swooped and almost shattered over a beautifully subtle acoustic wash weren’t enough, our man certainly knew how to make an entrance. The lamé cape and feathered headdress, removed to a live Eric Satie intro, will not be forgotten in a hurry. Think a male Kate Bush, or Antony & the Johnsons gatecrashing Bowie’s theatre period and you’ll still be miles off.

How to describe the sublimely batty Vivienne Westnorwood? Perhaps, in keeping with the headdress theme, that she rocked up in one fashioned COMPLETELY FROM JAMMY DODGERS!!! Or that she’s so livid about getting on a bit, she managed to punk up the proverbial menopause with a banjo that begged to hold a note. Or that… it really doesn’t matter: this is one kooky lady that had the audience in stitches and is probably still bewildered by the whole thing. Vivienne, we salute you!

As is customary, a mention should be given to Idle Eye. Bless him, he did try to keep up, and some new material was aired. But the real stars of his pitifully short set were his guests – Callum Hughes and Jenny Vegas – who breathed a little life into the twitching carcass of his world view. There is a crowdfunder doing the rounds to send him on a holiday: let’s make it a long one.

There’s going to be a little breather until BB11 in April; to write, to do admin and maybe even go away for a few days. Cabin fever and burnout are the deciding factors, coupled with an ennui that will not heel: I don’t make the rules. Finally, a word out to Mr Donald Ross Skinner. Sadly, he couldn’t be with us for personal reasons and he was sorely missed. Don, hang in there buddy – we miss you, we love you and our thoughts are with you right now xx

Broken Biscuits No.6.

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And they just get better and better. Always lovely to do a gig in the manor but oh, Crystal Palace, you surpassed yourselves! Have a biscuit. Let’s break it down, because that’s what you know and love:

Sadly, Michael Legge couldn’t be with us for this one, but the unstoppable Jenny Vegas kindly agreed to take another day off her Bernard Matthews tour of Norfolk to join us once again. And this time, we got the full Manky Shanka, yes we did! God only knows how she manages to walk to Jobcentre Plus every morning.

Jenny Lockyer‘s hilarious, delicate and beautifully delivered songs ranged from a five-year-old’s wry observation of her mother’s appalling driving skills, to the quite brilliant Agnetta Askeholmen doing a ditty about a little dolphin and a magic fish; and anything in between. She’ll be joining us again in Bognor so if you missed this, for God’s sake get a train ticket now. Mmm, Southern.

Joe Duggan kicked off the evening leaving no stone unturned. I’ve tried to give a flavour of just how varied and powerful his work can be in the below edit, but to get the full hit you really need to be there in the flesh. He is blessed with not only the words, but also a voice that soothes on the one hand and kicks off with the other. An extraordinary talent.

Idle Eye went sonictastic for this one. Samples, vocal fx and not one but two wonderful guest speakers (Callum Hughes and Penny Capper) helped disguise shoddy writing and bullshit delivery from the main man. I’m seriously beginning to wonder why I continue to put on this utter no-mark; he’s a sad epitome of a waning talent, clinging onto the coat-tails of a rising star. Pathetic.

Next up, we’re back in lovely, lovely Hastings – 20th November at the newly restored Palace. Right on the seafront, right on the money. We’ll deliver, I swear to God. And if we don’t, Donald’s contact details follow below. Usually replies within 24 hours:

donaldrossskinner@notsurewhatsgoingonhere.co.uk

IE Audio 29 : The Wicker Man

Quality undercoat for exterior stone and wood. With Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet.