One of the absolute worst things about being a stand-up comedian is that to do the job you almost always have to leave the house. It's rare that a comedy club pops round to yours for the night (although not that rare that a "comedy friend" will call up at home to try out new material on you, which is as comfortable an experience as your mum phoning up to describe her favourite porn film. It's shocking, you don't know why it's happening and you have to fake laugh the whole way through it). So, basically, at some point in our day we have to walk out the front door and travel to a gig that's too lazy to come to us. I've been unfortunate enough to travel all over the country and I've visited some right fuck-holes, I can tell you. But last night I set foot in what I can honestly say is the worst place I've ever been; Hereford. Good news, Nottingham, you're now down to number two.
Hereford is terrifying. Firstly, I don't know where it is. I honestly don't even know what country it's in. You get on a train from London that goes to Wales, you get off at Hereford and everyone has English accents. Where the fuck is this place? Maybe it's best kept secret. I walked from the train station to the B&B and I feared for my life the entire way. Everyone looked a bit mad, youths were riding motorbikes on the pavement and the whole place looked like the back streets of Belfast during the seventies, except Hereford would only benefit from three decades of terrorism. The theme of "shit" was very much kept up at the B&B, too. The lady who ran it was a piss-fountain full of pointless questions; "Did you travel here?", "Would you like your key?", "How many of you are you?" etc, and after I declined her offer to meet her family (honestly) I made the rookie mistake of going into my room. My room, slightly smaller than me, had the luxury of a bath/sink/urinal all-in-one and a television that only showed the programme that the little girl in Poltergeist used to watch. I was kindly informed that my bathroom, wardrobe and bedside alarm clock were all situated on the lower floor and imagine my joy when I discovered that right outside my window some enterprising young cunts had set up a make-shift go-kart race track. Fucking lush.
This is all trivial really as the gig itself, at the Courtyard Theatre, was one of the best gigs I've ever done. I basically went on stage with my few observations of Hereford and the audience agreed. It's very funny to visit a town, call it a dump and have the residents buy you a drink afterwards. I really had a good time but the comic .. me, Julian somethingorother, was absolutely brilliant. Pretty much every one of his jokes was really well crafted and very, very funny. All in all, a great night. I know that the Hereford Council subscribe to my blog so, as you have lovely people in your town, could you shoot everyone there under 20, bulldoze your B&B's and make the town generally a bit better? I'm just jealous because, as rough as Hereford is, they'd never build a traveller's site there. Travellers wouldn't last 5 minutes.
Right. It's a hot day. Now go outside, put Ween's La Cucaracha on your iPod and sit in the park.