What an odd weekend. It was all highs and lows. I was in a horrible mood on Friday because I missed a friend's wedding because I can't say no to work right now. Edinburgh starts next week and, although the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is always supportive of artists and audiences and never ever ever rips them off and then spits in their faces with a sort of cum/shit based spit, I need every penny. It was obviously a great wedding do because plenty of people there Twittered and added exciting stuff about it all day on Facebook. How fun could it be if they have time to do all that, I furiously and spitefully reasoned.
But the weekend was great and on a creative level I'm glad I gigged. I was doubling up at The Frog and Bucket in Manchester and Comedy Central in Liverpool. Both good but terrifying gigs. Opening at The Frog and Bucket puts the fear of God in me every time but for no reason as it's always, at the very least, fine. Of course, sitting on the crapper listening to three drunk men quoting Peter Kay and laughing like they've just discovered joy did nothing to relax me. All three gigs in Manchester were fine but I didn't really do what I set out to do. Well, not completely. Before setting off this weekend I promised myself that I would push myself a bit more. Improvise a lot more and try out new material. I did it but just not very much. The same could not be said of Comedy Central in Liverpool where I turned up each night just in time to see the compere, Chris Ramsey, preparing to introduce me to the stage. He set up the gigs so well that it was a breeze (nearly) to do exactly what I set out to do. And, I loved it. Imagine me saying that about comedy? Well, it's true.
The last night was no where near as good as the previous two but I still stuck relentlessly to my plan. I upset a member of the audience by discussing terrorism and his anger put a horrible atmosphere in the room that I just couldn't shake. Luckily, Chris was there to come back on and make the night all OK again plus a lot of people came up to me afterwards to say how much they'd enjoyed my set so I didn't feel too, too bad about it. I'm utterly impressed by Chris' talent and, as he is very talented and young, am not looking forward to him turning into a big arsehole. Please don't turn into a prick, Chris. You're going to do so well and everyone turns into a big prick. Wouldn't you like to be the one who doesn't turn into a big prick? If you haven't seen Chris I very much urge you to do so before TV makes him a star and a fucking nightmare to be around. He's great.
After the final gig I decided to treat myself to a 7 hour bus journey back to London sitting next to a fat man who snored in Spanish the whole time. It's very difficult to snore in another language but he managed it. We got on so well that he found it completely comfortable to just lean his massive skull on my shoulder for hours. Oh, and Britain decided to go Road Accident Crazy last night so the bus with no working toilet and a sit-beside-a-cunt policy was diverted all over the country avoiding pile-up after pile-up. Really lovely.
Yesterday's highlight for me was guesting on Andrew Collins' 6 Music show. I had to travel from Manchester to London and back, knowing fully well that I'd be in a toilet-less bus for 7 hours later that night, but it was very much worth it. I was very nervous but only because I was nervous that Andrew might be nervous that I might swear (does that make sense). I knew I wouldn't but was convinced that that was all Andrew was thinking about even though he plainly wasn't. We had a nice chat and my hour on-air seemed to take about 10 minutes. Even though I wanted him to play This Band Has Eaten All Our Money by 28 Costumes, he played 1974 by Robyn Hitchcock and I discussed the delights of the Latitude Festival and my many embarrassments in front of Hitchcock himself. They're very nice people at 6 Music and it was an utter privilege to basically be fucking Richard Herring's wife live on the radio. I got paid like the WHORE I am but I'm nothing if not fair. Richard and Johnny Candon will be up in Edinburgh together for a month. It is only right that they spend the night together at least once. I insist. You can hear the Andrew Collins' show on iPlayer here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00lvgsp/Lauren_Laverne_25_07_2009/
Thanks very much to Ros, Beth and Curtis for making the weekend great.