Broken Biscuits No.12.

BB12, despite stealing every strand of my will to live from my trembling, broken body, was truly magnificent: anyone there will back me up on this. A three night extravaganza in one of the coolest spots in Hove as part of Brighton Fringe, with every act at the top of their game and the loveliest, most supportive audience we could possibly have wished for. I’m going to go all Gwyneth Paltrow on you in a minute so perhaps it’s best to give you a rundown before I do:

Joe Duggan kicked it all off, with his inimitable word-perfect prose that charmed and challenged the room in equal measures. You could have heard a pin drop as he spoke. Quite, quite extraordinary.

Julitha Ryan‘s gut-wrenching piano ballads were so moving, heartfelt and beautifully performed, the hairs are still standing upright on my arms as I type this. Watch the video below. Then watch it again. You’ll thank me.

Thanks to the eternal gift of his surname, Elvis Parsley was once again in the building. And he owned that crowd for the first time in forty years, yesiree. Don’t think I’ve seen a reincarnated star of yesteryear bring the roof down quite like that, well, ever. The King was on fire, and the rest of us were wet with laughter.

That Jenny Vegas has upped her game, I can tell you. With puppets re-enacting domestic abuse that still managed to be hilarious, and a torch song nicked and adapted from Andrew Lloyd Webber that was genuinely heartbreaking. Don’t let on though, she’s handful enough as it is.

Vivienne Westnorwood continued her upward trajectory to be the maddest punk rock grandmother on the planet. No one knew quite what to make of her (herself included), until she hollered, howled and screeched her way into everyone’s hearts via the medium of song and general weirdness. I’ll have what she’s having, please.

Headbackbob were sublime. All Weimar cabaret meets gypsy punk, headed up by Nadia Strahan whose stunning voice can knock small birds out of the trees at fifty paces. Everyone was on their feet and loving every second; the perfect way to round off an evening.

Daniel Laidler‘s Windy’s Farm had its best reception yet. I swear there were people on the verge of tears by the end, and quite vocal with it. Danny boy, we need some more, your public demands it!

A small mention for Idle Eye, I suppose. Although it appears he gave it some welly, no one’s entirely sure what he’s so livid about. All that shouting will only knock up his blood pressure, bless him. We’re thinking a whale music cassette and some tantric sex might do the trick; just saying.

Hope you enjoy the videos. Next up is Brighton Fringe‘s The Warren on 31st May, I’ll be coming atcha for this one ‘cos it’s massive. But first, I need a long waz and a sleep x

Broken Biscuits No.12.

Last minute heads up for this. If you’ve been on the social you’ll already know, but I’ve been pulled in more directions than an Irish road sign of late and to be perfectly frank, I forgot. However, we are where we are and these will be magnificent: three warm-ups at The Bee’s Mouth in Hove as part of Brighton Fringe 2017 before we hit The Warren on May 31st – more on which to follow.

For these shows, we’ve pulled in a combo of greatest hits, local heroes and blinding talent; because you’re worth it. It’s quite a spur having the luxury of time to try stuff out, alongside luminaries in their own fields who don’t, so we’ve decided to keep the whole flavour verging on the chaotic. Anything could (and probably will) happen, and the only vague certainty we can offer at present is the daily line-up:

Thurs 11th May – Joe Duggan/Julitha Ryan/Idle Eye/Jenny Vegas. With JV and IE as compere(s)

Fri 12th May – Vivienne Westnorwood/Julitha Ryan/Idle Eye/Jenny Vegas. With Elvis Parsley as compere

Sat 13th May – Elvis Parsley/Headbackbob/Idle Eye/Jenny Vegas. With Vivienne Westnorwood as compere

All shows will hopefully include Donald Ross Skinner’s Idle Eye Disco and Dan Laidler’s Windy’s Farm animations. But who knows? You might get your very own Hoseasons rep whisking you off to a self-catering Shangri-La in Kent. Or a mindless bloodbath of existential angst. That’s the beauty of a Pay What You Can gig – we call the shots, and you can’t say you weren’t warned. My advice would be to come along to all three with some personal idemnity in place. That way, we’re all covered x

Broken Biscuits No.6.

bb6_general

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.

broken-biscuits-antenna-flyer_oct_v3_hires-1 broken-biscuits-antenna-flyer_oct_v3_hires-2

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.3.

Broken Biscuits CP flyer_July_HiRes2-1

Broken Biscuits CP flyer_July_HiRes2-2

Just to let you know that BB returns to Antenna Studios in Crystal Palace on Sat 16th July, and once again the line-up is superb. The unfathomably prolific Franck Alba will be knocking out a few tunes like only he can; Joe Duggan, possibly the Palace’s finest wordsmith, will make you laugh, cry and think, most often all at once; Marijne and Paul (engine room of ’90s indie darlings Salad) are reunited at long last, so expect effortless, lyrical pop for those with something upstairs; and yes, DRS and I will pretend we’re not pissed as we try to hold it all together. And if we can get a projector, we’ll be continuing the newly-found tradition of screening Dan Laidler‘s superb animated mini-series Windy’s Farm. If we can’t, we’ll sing a little ditty or something. Like you like.

Tomorrow, we head out West for the Wonder Fields Festival just outside Exeter. We’ll be doing a few posts on Sunday, probably around midday. In a tent. And we’re meant to dress up as Aztecs or something but that ain’t gonna happen. One of the very rare occasions that common sense and human dignity shall prevail. No one needs to see that x