Broken Biscuits No.8.

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BB8 was the usual heady cocktail of madness, hilarity and confusion, only this time we had an angry poltergeist along for the party as well. Not that anyone heard or saw anything, mind, but she was definitely there. And it is a she; we checked.

David Farnan stepped in for James Cook (who sadly couldn’t be with us) at the eleventh hour, and knocked out a repertoire of effortless, self-penned acoustic swagger: with a vocal rasp that would have Liam Gallagher running for the hills. Lovely stuff!

Now here’s a challenge: I defy anyone to listen to the attached Jenny Lockyer song and not well up at the end. She has that rare ability to fuse humour and pathos in equal amounts, all mixed in with a touch of the surreal and a voice to die for. And I’m delighted to announce that she’ll be joining us yet again for a big show in April next year. More on that another time…

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a seasonal address from our very own Jenny Vegas. Unlike the politicians, she cuts through the crap and tells it like it is, all dressed up as a sexy Santa. This is how you get the word out, Theresa: think on it! Actually don’t (can you imagine?) In the meantime, we wish Cabernet Vegas all the very best in rehab, and let’s pull a collective cracker for little Chardonnay, whose tag gets removed in January. Huzzah!

As promised, Idle Eye also had a pop at something seasonal. No hats though, just a rather sad, out-of-character cameo as a Pizza Flyer Delivery Boy in the style of Alan Sillitoe. No jokes, neither. Because who wants them, FFS? There was some other stuff, but unless you were there (and let’s face it, you weren’t) there’s not a lot of point banging on about it. Wasn’t too bad, though.

Well, that’s it for 2016. It’s been a curious journey – from blog to book to the live shows – but I wouldn’t have it otherwise. I’ll write up one of those End of Year thingies after the Big One, but not until: I’ve got a £10 Majestic wine voucher that runs out today & I know where my priorities lie x

Broken Biscuits No.8.

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Last show of the year, so get yer ya-ya’s out and head off to the coast again! This time it’s at Bognor Regis’s magnificent SeaFiSh, the brainchild of Sean Bw Parker (who has kindly agreed to compere the evening) and inexplicably under threat from Arun District Council. It’s a venue that embraces all forms of the arts and is very much a cultural hive, so to lose it to jobsworths would be nothing short of criminal. Sean has set up a crowdfunding page here to help with legal costs, so if you can help in any way, please do.

Jenny Vegas and Jenny Lockyer are back for this one (in a curious J² BOGOF deal), and James Cook is flying in specially from Berlin to be with us once again – it’s not often you get to write stuff like this. Windy will be getting a look in as well, and the grapevine informs me that there will be a Christmas address, so Idle Eye will be digging deep to find something appropriate to the season. I know, I know. There may even be hats, heaven preserve us! All in all, not a bad way to end a particularly gruelling 2016, so very much worth making the trip for (unless you’re travelling on Southern, in which case we salute you and will arrange in situ councelling as you leave the train).

Broken Biscuits 8 – Fortifying the over forties for tea. I thank you x

Broken Biscuits No.7.

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BB7 then. Last time we did Hastings, it was Brexit; this time it was Trump. So unsurprisingly, we were given the full might of the elements in return. Horizontal rain and the tail end of a hurricane did their darndest to whip our scrawny arses into submission, but we weren’t having it, no siree; the show had to go on…

Kate Tym, our compere, kicked off the night with this and had us all squirming in our seats. Really, Kate? Really? And just as we were trying to rid ourselves of the mental image of a President Elect’s ginger moobs, The Magic Wizard cast his spell with the finest drone pop since…well, Tiger, actually. Dan Laidler is back, on form and not before time, ably assisted by a couple of blokes he found in Wetherspoons.

David Quantick singlehandedly proved that by changing one word in Bob Dylan’s Wikipedia entry, the entire course of music history as we know it could be seismically altered. In “The Day Bob Dylan Went Disco” we got our Judas moment all funked up; because that’s what he would have wanted.

Idle Eye adhered to the old mantra ‘something old, something new, something borrowed’ etc… There was a bit of quality swearing from his potty-mouthed satnav, samples, spot fx and a rather fetching new teeshirt kindly donated by Magda Archer. Yes, his life is crap; get over it.

To round it all off, Jenny Vegas allowed us a rare glimpse into the rigours of being a consummated professional. Her acting coach, Ophelia Cordelia Bagshaw-Smythe, clearly had her work cut out. Sadly, what happened to Miss Vegas did not stay with Miss Vegas but she soldiers on regardless, bless her…

Windy’s Farm hit the big screen this time. Bloody huge, it was too! Our thanks to The Palace for putting it all on, to everyone who ventured out on the gloomiest of Sundays, and to Brooklyn Lager for aiding and abetting. The last show of the year will be at the wonderful SeaFiSh in Bognor Regis on 15th December, hope to see some of you there. It may or may not have a festive theme, but I’m trying not to think about that just yet. Bah! x

Broken Biscuits No.7.

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Once more unto the breach, people of Hastings! BB7 is coming back atcha, because we love you to bits and you deserve it. This time, we’ll be at the Palace, right bang on the seafront (near the pier) and newly restored to its former splendour. Can’t wait!

We’ll be bringing Jenny Vegas with us (can’t keep her away), with her unique brand of celebrity culture gone a bit wrong, all squeezed into a character you can’t help falling for. Not quite sure how the Bernard Matthews Celebrity Tour of Norfolk is managing without her, but I’m sure we’ll get a letter soon. In blood.

David Quantick‘s back too! And we have it on good authority he’ll be doing a new piece called 20 Joan of Arcs By Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. Anyone who was lucky enough to catch him last time will know that this is going to be quite something. Do not miss it; seriously.

And as if all this isn’t enough, we’ve managed to pull off something of a coup: The Magic Wizard (aka Dan Laidler) is going to out a few tunes for the first time ever. His work with Tiger in the 90s cemented his status as one of the UK’s most enigmatic singer/songwriters, and now he’s back. Thank the bloody lord, it’s been a long wait.

Yes, you’ll be getting the Windy’s Farm animations as well. And Idle Eye, now that we’ve worked out how to use the desk and put in funny noises. Also, this time we’ll have a proper compere! St Leonards’s very own Kate Tym has kindly agreed to step in and save me from embarrassing myself in public as per. Worth the ticket price alone.

So, all in all not a bad night out. It’ll be great, actually (I know we always say that but it’s true). See you there x

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

Broken Biscuits No.6.

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I know I bang on about the respective BB line-ups a fair bit, but bloody hell, look at this one! This will be our third at leafy Crystal Palace’s fabulous Antenna Studios and sixth overall, so we’re pulling out all the stops:

Michael Legge, probably the most incandescent, sweary ambassador of our time, vegan killjoy and godlike comedy genius, will be treading the boards and slapping on the greasepaint. As if that isn’t enough, Jenny Lockyer, whose delightfully surreal characters have had me & Don (quite literally) wetting ourselves over the past few weeks, is up there too. Most probably with a guitar, to accompany her brilliant mind. And the magnificent Joe Duggan, without doubt Crystal Palace’s finest wordsmith, will try to pull us all back from the madness: tall order!

We’ve had the chat with Dan Laidler about Windy, who is fast becoming the unsung hero of these BB events, and we have it on good authority that more episodes are on their way. In the meantime, even if you’ve seen them before, give it up for what we already have . As our world slowly shrinks and the demons begin to take hold of the Free West, it’s comforting to know that a little black and white windmill and a Spanish tractor driver can make a difference.

That’s it for now. Hope to see some of you there on the 29th, but for those who can’t make it, we have two more shows before the year is out: 20th November at the newly restored Palace in Hastings, and finally at Bognor Regis’s fantastic SeaFiSh on the 15th December. Don said that if you come to both, he’ll play World Shut Your Mouth to your Nan on Christmas Eve at a venue of your choice. Naked…x

Broken Biscuits No.5.

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4.5 hours in a Triumph Herald filled to the roof with kit was always going to be interesting, but oh was it worth it! Regather Works is a great venue, so perfect for our bizarre little cabaret. But bizarre doesn’t even begin to cover it – before we knew what was what, (A Whiff of) Chester Le Flange burst onto the stage, the man himself as the pope and accidental guitarist Ollie Quiche as the Test Card, and had a startled audience eating out of their hands by the end of their first number. No mean achievement.

In case we’d forgotten where we were, The Yorkshire Teabaggers let us know. In style. With innuendo, a pinch of smut and sweet, sweet harmonies. Lovely to catch up with David McClelland after a 30 year hiatus (hit the audio tag for more of his work with Idle Eye), and we were all treated to a drink on the boys after the set. Of tea, bless ’em! Tread with caution if you’re looking them up on the Twitter, mind.

And then there was Jenny Vegas. The inimitable standard bearer of celebrity culture, she has survived the mire of her dysfunctional childhood to become the Face of Dave’s Tyres, a recorded songstress (Only If You Care/Ooh Baby) and author of the bestselling novel Love and Nuts. There is no one quite like her, except off of the telly.

Idle Eye banged out the hits as per, because we have hits and we’re not afraid to use them. And Dan Laidler‘s Windy’s Farm, despite the palaver of assembling a screen the size of Wembley Arena, was riotously received again. People were crying; they were, they were. If you’re reading this, Dan, you know what to do…

We’re back on home turf for the next one: Antenna Studios, Crystal Palace on 29th October. With a line-up so skillz, you’ll never believe we didn’t resort to bribery or extortion. Because we did with the others x