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Blog: Anything Goes

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I negotiated the MAZE of Still-Running TUBE on Sunday evening to eventually reach Chalk Farm and MONKEY CHEWS, where I was playing at the Anything Goes club. It was in Proper Camden - some of it loooked dead posh, some of it really didn't, and around every corner a fashionably unshaven twit in a silly little hat could be seen PONCING. CAMDEN!

I arrived a bit late and was full of apologies, but found Jim'll (AkA Jim'll's Brains) and Hattie (BOSS) dashing around trying to fix PA systems and wires and that. I was really chuffed to be asked to play, as i am quite keen on doing some CABARET type gigs in the RUN-UP to going to Edinburgh, but I was pre-GIRDED for it all to be a bit different to the ROCK gigs, and indeed it was. Not long after I arrived one of the other acts emerged from the ladies' loo, where he'd been putting his costume on, and was now IN CHARACTER. You don't get THAT sort of thing at The Bull & Gate!

Downstairs I was very happy to be joined by Mr J Norledge and Mr P Knight, and we returned upstairs to BAGSY some seats before the evening kicked off, which it did with me doing the first set, as follows:
  • The Peterborough All-Saints' Wide Game Team (Group B)
  • My Boss Was In An Indie Band Once
  • I Did A Gig In New York

  • It seemed to go OK - I did it without the PA system and people appeared to quite like it, tho previous experience has taught me to be WARY at these sort of gigs, as people are always very SUPPORTIVE (i say it like it's a BAD thing!) and so it's very easy to think "Wow! I must be GRATE!" just because people clap, when really they're being nice, also polite, and are really just waiting for their pals to come on.

    Anyway, the evening got going proper after that and it was EXCITINGLY VARIED. There were some dead dead good people on - Hattie the host was really good, she made the whole evening feel friendly and NICE, and there were a couple of comics who had some GRATE gags - WARNING! Anybody who sees me in the next couple of weeks will be TOLD the Tony Blair Joke of one of the first comedians, as it was HILARIOUS, also CLEVER. Jim'll was also on towards the end and he was CHARMING and also BRILLIANT as usual - i'll hopefully be having him on at a Totally Acoustic night in May, he is GRATE.

    The other acts were ALL SORTS of varied - it's funny with comedy (ME MAKE JOKE!), as unlike THE ROCK there is not entry-level filtering system. To do a gig you need to at LEAST either a) learn some sort of instrument, at least to the level of being able to switch it on and make a noise OR b) be able to persuade other people to do it for you while you shout over the top and usually c) have some songs written or learnt. For Stand-up all you need is to THINK you can do it, and you CAN. This is of course GRATE and a bit PUNK, but sometimes (NOT always) can make for a bit of a confusing act, like the guy who made a pretend copy of a celebrity magazine and then... er... read out of it. Another bloke got up and started off being ALMOST Slightly 70s Racist by talking in Comedy Foreign accent, but then did some HILARIOUS stuff about GHOST POO, and also album covers, so HEY! is swings and roundabouts, no?

    There was also some LEWDNESS, as a poet called ERNESTO got up and did an Actually Quite Good POEM - it was attention grabbing due to the Graphic Homosexual Nature of his subject matter... although personally the only thing i found A Bit Much was the GRAPHIC description of Belly Button Licking. Come on, there's NO NEED for that is there? During his second poem he gradually removed his clothes so that he did his third one ENTIRELY NAKED. It was a bit RUM, tho as my GYM has communal changing rooms i am Surprisingly Used to seeing Naked Gay Men chatting, so felt a bit left out!

    The chap who came on after him had a DVD playing of ZOMBIES behind him, for a song he was doing about ZOMBIES, which was a good idea except that it also had NUDE LADIES in it, so everyone was watching THAT a bit more than perhaps he might have liked. Bless him, he seemed very pleased with all the WHOOPING and APPLAUDING going on, every time a lady took off her bikini, i don't think he realised!

    It was, to be frank, A BIT MENTAL. After Jim'll and another dead good comedy guy it was ME for the final act, when I once again went sans-PA and did THIS:
  • The Lesson Of The Smiths
  • Easily Impressed
  • Boom Shake The Room

  • There weren't many people left by this point - most of the audience had come for acts in the first THIRD of the show (there were two intervals) and they, and the acts themselves, had mostly gone home. However, there were TWO lads who'd just wandered in on a birthday pub crawl, with the birthday boy getting a bit LAIRY. It was actually quite sweet to see his equalled drunk but less Generally Lairy MATE trying to, on the one hand, back up his PAL and let the tiddly good times roll, but ALSO to try and control him without embarrassing him. It was SWEET.

    However, it was interfering with the gig bits, and as usual ONE finds ONESELF in the position of Teacher with Disruptive Pupil - ignore him, and he'll get rowdier and angrier and create a bad atmosphere, pay too much attention and you encourage him and leave out everybody else. It's DIFFICULT, but I found, without PA, that simply by standing in front of him facing into the rest of the room i was able to quieten him down - perhaps it is like with a PARROT, when DARKNESS encourages them to sleep?

    It was all very enjoyable anyway, and also A BIT KRAZY - I was VERY relieved when Jim'll told me afterwards that this had been the MOST KRAZY one they'd ever done, as, FUN tho it was, I don't know if i'd be able to take six months of doing LOADS of gigs like that!

    posted 3/3/2008 by MJ Hibbett

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