For fuck’s sake. I mean, really. For fuck’s sake. What is so wrong with doing nothing or going for a piss or buying a drink or realising that this isn’t for you and just leaving? Isn’t that what the interval is all about? What has happened to the good old British interval? You know, the interval that won two world wars and ruled the planet and invented TV? The interval that you could leave your front door open during and cheered on when Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards was shit. That’s the interval I remember. But, people, that interval has gone.
I’m in Portsmouth this weekend. No, don’t pity me. After all, I got to see the Chinese restaurant that Peter Sellers was born in and I got to hear more of Rod Stewart’s American Songbook than any human deserves while in a pub last night. So, really, I’m having a (have a sarcastic voice in your head for the next two words) great time. Last night’s gig was fine but very, very tricky. The audience were perfectly nice but it’s the kind of room that you have to slow down to be heard and every word must be emphasised properly or people won’t have the first clue what you’re talking about. I figured that out early but that didn’t stop me struggling. I just about got away with it even though a few of my jokes were greeted with concrete grey warmth. But they were OK. You just had to be on the ball and, as the show had to be rushed, I didn’t really have time to get on the ball (yes, yes, yes. And I’m shit).
Martin Davis opened and did a great job. The audience loved him. I thought this is going to be great from now on. I was big wrong. I went back on stage to introduce Ron Vaudry and the audience looked at me as if to say “Go away. We like the elderly mod better”. Ironically, I aged rapidly during my two minutes on stage. Some people laughed. I now have both of their names and addresses. Ron went on and again struggled to be heard. Still, at least the interval is near and we can clear the slate and start all over again. They’ll have time to drink away the memory of me and then it’ll all be fresh again.
Then something weird happened.
During the interval a church group got up on stage to give a “fun” lecture about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a comedy club where a church group gets on stage to give a “fun” lecture on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases before but this was a first for me and I’ve done nearly 20 gigs. They certainly looked like a church group anyway. Four people wearing blue t-shirts that individually read “Chlamydia”, “Herpes”, “Gonorrhea” and “AIDS” who all showed us ways of avoiding catching something horrible from unprotected sex. Surely the best way to avoid catching an STD is to wear one of those t-shirts. I’ve never once tried to seduce a woman who has the word AIDS screamed across her clothes. Not even while drunk. The four churchies were lead by their very own Mr. Cool. I’ll tell you how cool he was: he didn’t wear an STD boasting t-shirt (he wore a groovy black suit) and he was a DJ on Galaxy FM. In Portsmouth he is 10 Brad Pitts and a Fonz. He had a microphone and used it to persuade people to get up on to the stage to receive an STD goodie bag. I wish I was making that up but that’s what was happening right in front of me during the interval. More and more people (mainly sluggishly dressed women) got up on stage to shout “OI OI!!!” into the mic and receive their STD goodie bag and I couldn’t help but think that this was the work of the Devil that this church group were doing. Surely, if God loved us He would want these fucknuts to get a disease and die. Why are these people stopping this important piece of natural selection?
Then, Mr. Cool from Galaxy FM invited for dignityless fuck-holes on stage to see who could put a blue condom on to a plastic penis the best. God must be spinning in his grave. It goes without saying that the big-titted blonde in the fuck-me-up-arse-if-you-like-I’m-not-bothered-as-long-as-you-buy-me-chips shoes won.
The second half, and I’m really not sure how this happened, was actually pretty good. I did a VERY tight five and introduced Rick Wright. The audience didn’t seem in the slightest bit phased by what they had seen during the interval even though I felt like my brain had been to Noel’s House Rape. Is this a new thing I have to get used to? Very strange.
The good thing was that the gig went OK and we were in the pub by 10.30. That NEVER happens. It’s a lovely thing going to the pub after a gig and having a, you know, conversation. I recommend it. Martin told some brilliant tales of his days as a Faces groupie and I even managed to recommend a Small Faces related album that he had never heard of before. It’s called Would You Believe? By Billy Nicholls and I think you should listen to it too. It has an amazing song on it called London Social Degree that basically says everything in 3 minutes that Brett Anderson said in 6 albums. Enjoy.