Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Rainbows and Lovehearts.

Read this first: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/jul/27/comedy-standup-new-offenders

I wasn't going to blog this week for a very good reason. I wanted to get away from blogging for a little while because next week I'll be in Edinburgh and no doubt my fury levels will be pretty high and blogging will be my much needed release. It's what happened last year and I can't imagine this year will be any different. So, I wanted to try to avoid things that would upset me so that I could simply enjoy being angry all the time in August. It hasn't been easy.

First, I stupidly watched Uri Gellar rape a dead man he barely knew for money on ITV on Sunday night, then I got a lot of posts on Twitter claiming that I wasn't being supportive to my fellow Edinburgh performers and writers (have a look at some of the blurbs for shows in the Ed Fringe Brochure. How can I not laugh at that pretentious pile of wank?) and then I read that article from Brian Logan in The Guardian.

Where to begin with this idiot? I don't know much about Brian Logan but I do know one thing for sure. This man does not understand or like comedy. Say what you like about Brendon Burns but I don't think for a second that he thinks that sexist or racist jokes are acceptable. From what I remember of his act (I haven't seen it in a long time) he pretty much constantly talked about being not good enough for the women he was with and generally a bit of a fuck up. As for racism, I know he used the word Paki but he explained that it was just a name and it was how you implied that name that is surely the offensive thing (like what that Lenny Bruce did do in the 60's). Brendon explained that in Australia the word Paki is used as a positive thing and not as an insult. I don't know if that's true. I saw some Pakistani people when I was in Australia but I felt saying "Brendon Burns says I'm allowed to call you Paki. Is that OK?" would not portray the outward image that I would wish. Even if that's not true, the piece was about actions not words and that is valid. And yes, I am spelling his name Brendon. If I'm defending his free speech I might as well defend the stupid cunt's right to misspell his own name.

But it's obvious that it's Richard Herring who comes out worst in this piece. Logan has, I can only assume, deliberately taken so much out of context that it comes across as a direct attack on an artist rather than a comedy movement. For fuck's sake, Logan. There are so many offensive comedians out there spreading hatred and horror and you set your sights on Richard Herring? I haven't seen his latest show but from others that I have seen, his podcast and his blog I'm pretty safe in assuming that Hitler Moustache is about the rise of the new right in the UK (if I'm wrong, then I'm sorry, it should be) along with how we look at the history of facism. His ideas of everyone wearing a Hitler Moustache to show that they do not support the rise of the BNP in this country is both hilarious and admirable. I just realised that I have made an assumption about Richard Herring without actually seeing the finished show that he is discussing. I am no better than Brian Logan.

This kind of lazy and spiteful journalism does not help the comedy circuit at all. If this is really how someone takes a piece of comedy then it is easy to expect that others will too. Which means that maybe we can't say what we want. Remember when The Guardian was a bit leftie?

Of course, Brian Logan's attack on Herring isn't the most offensive thing about the piece, nor is his general thought that a joke about race is racist. The most offensive piece in the article is when Brian Logan, the biggest arsehole on the face of the planet, says that he likes Scott Capurro. Scott is one of, if not THE, best comic I have ever seen. Logan has no right to like him. To quote Bill Hicks, an outspoken comedian who was so often misunderstood, "Seriously. Kill yourself."

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Manchester/Liverpool/London.

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.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Friday, 24 July 2009

Ambition Makes You Look Pretty Ugly.

I was a new act once. Now I’m old and decrepit and carry a foot lump in my pocket with me wherever I go. It was great being a new act. Back then I had no idea that I’d be doing this for a living, travelling round the world (occasionally) and carrying a foot lump in my pocket wherever I went.

It’s been years since I compered a new act night and, if the one I did on Wednesday night is anything to go by, they’ve changed a lot. It’s a career thing now. It’s how you get to be on E4. And it shows. Yes, these people were new and yes they were nervous and it wasn’t an easy gig but my God do they have to show their hunger quite so much? Within seconds of being handed the running order I was surrounded by young fellas asking “When am I on? When am I on?” How the fuck could I know when they’re on if I don’t know who the fuck they are and, you know, what happened to “Hello”?

Don’t get me wrong, I know that it was a competition night and winning must be a fairly big deal to these new acts but for fucks sake relax. So what if you don’t win? You’ve just started. You have no right to be the best act on a bill when you’ve just started. Greg Burns, who has been going for about 10 years, was there and you didn’t see him thinking he was the best on the bill. Obviously.

But there was a moment where a few of these new acts thought Greg was a new act also. They saw a new act being relaxed and confident on stage and started questioning how long this guy had been going for. What the HELL is he doing on our stage? He’s been going for longer than 8 weeks. If he hasn’t made it now then he never will so he can fuck off now because we have the producer of TNT coming to see us tonight. He said he’d be here. He really did.

Four separate acts came up to me saying "Is he new?" and part of me wanted to say yes just to see the nervousness grow but as they seemed so utterly serious anyway I just couldn't do it.

Sigh…

I’m just not sure new act competitions are good if new acts are actually properly competitive. Where is the joy in performing if you see something beyond performing and have that as your goal? I’m probably being na├»ve.

Luckily, I know that there are plenty of new acts who do seem to be there for the joy of it. I still look back at that night at The Ambassador’s Comedy Reception and the nervous excitement of youth with great fondness. Eric Lampaert was great that night and he just seemed so happy in what he was doing. The same with new acts that I’ve met in Manchester this weekend. I’ve been hanging out with my new friend Curtis who has been doing stand-up for a year who is driving from Manchester to Eastbourne on Sunday to do an unpaid gig and he seems delighted by it. Will there be people in from Avalon/E4/CBeebies in at Eastbourne?

Yes, this is a grumpy old man grumping oldly. It’s what I do second best (my Father is slightly better at this sort of thing). I started in comedy through improvised comedy which, although lots of people think is utter shit including me a lot of the time, just felt like a brilliantly free way to be creative and funny. It was exciting to be involved in something that, to me, was totally new. I cared nothing about a career, just about the fun and joy of doing some good work.

FUCK! That’s why I STILL don’t have a career. If you’re a new act and have just read this PLEASE IGNORE EVERYTHING I HAVE SAID. It is the only good advice an old man like me can give you.

Have to say that last night’s gigs were great. Manchester was good (though I wasn’t very on form) but Liverpool was excellent. I improvised my aging arse off and it’s all thanks to a lovely audience that were made lovely by a genuinely great compere called Chris Ramsey. He was fantastic.

Chris is 22. The fucking cunt.

Just a reminder that I’ll be on Andrew Collins’ 6 Music show tomorrow. I will be bringing my foot lump. You won’t be able to see it but he will.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

This Is Not a Blog.

I don't have time to complain today but would it be too crass for me to give myself a little plug? Fanks.

I'm going to be on Andrew Collins' 6 Music show on Saturday somewhere between 4pm and 5pm. Not sure what we'll be talking about but as I am such a fan of Andrew and, of course, the fantastic Collings and Herrin Podcast I can't tell you how happy I am to be asked. I've been told that I'm not allowed to say cunt.

Two little things (of which I have little to no information): I'm going to host a screening of "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door" on the 24th August at the GRV in Edinburgh. We'll have Nicholas Parsons with us to share his memories of Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson continually trying to kill him. Lovely. Hopefully, we'll have one more guest there too. I'll let you know.

Sarah Millican and I will be performing a Blog Off at the same venue. Tiernan Douieb and hopefully some other bloggers will be there too. Times, dates and a description of what a Blog Off actually is will follow very soon.

Sorry, this has just been an ad so let me leave you with this. What the fuck is that thing in You Have Been Watching? The show is great and all but that annoying fucking eye-rape that skips about begging for help before and after the show as well as during the ad break, is it really necessary? Don't accept 3's money, Spencer. I propose a whip round to help him get out of his contract with 3. Will you all help? Let's set up a donate website. Seriously.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Oh My God, That's the Funky Shit.

Easily the most horrible thing that happened to me at this year's Latitude festival was having to take a shit on another man's shit. I was unhappy enough just looking at another man's shit but when I pulled the flush and nothing happened I just got depressed. Yeah I could go somewhere else but these are probably the best toilets in the entire site (it was in the Artist's Area and artists rarely, if ever, excrete). The cubicle next to me was occupied so it was shit on this shit or get off the pot.

It's disgusting but also too intimate for me. Something that has been inside me has touched something that has been inside another man. I mean, that's sort of more intimate than sex really. And so much dirtier, in more ways than one. I mean, I don't even know the guy. It could have been Jarvis Cocker's shit which is quite a pleasing thought but then it could be Carl Donnelly's. Nothing wrong with Carl at all, of course, it's just that from the moment I first met Carl I knew that I didn't want my shit to touch his. He's not alone, either. There are lots of people who's shit I don't want mine to touch. Write to me for a list. And I know it wasn't Ben Goldacre's because he keeps his. But it is someone's and now mine it attached to his somewhere.

One thing I do know about him is that he vacated the toilet very soon before I arrived. I knew this because the seat was still warm. Another piece of intimacy that the two of us have shared together. Unbeknownst to this complete stranger his body heat has warmed my buttocks and the backs of my thighs. I've gone out with people who never did that. I did my business feeling slightly raped, got up and left. I didn't flush. There was no point.

FUCK! Maybe someone else came in right after me and did a shit on my shit. I have taken part in a shit orgy. I hate festivals.

With the bad there must be a small piece of good. I met Robyn Hitchcock, an incredible songwriter who I have loved for 20 years. To me, him and Morrissey are pretty much it musically. I've met him before but this time it was very different because I didn't make an almighty arse of myself. I have embarrassed myself in front of Robyn so many times that it's just...pathetic. Robin Ince finds my stories of fucking up in front of my idol hilarious and therefore told Robyn all about them. Great. That meant when I met him he said "Robin told me your stories".

Me: "Er...yeah".

Robyn: "Pitiful".

I can't even quite remember if pitiful was the word he used (though I think it was) because I was busy making sure that I didn't accidentally pee on him or set fire to him or knock his eye out by falling on him and poking him with my stupid erection. I once ruined a gig of Robyn's at the Jazz Cafe because I treated it like I was at a Metallica concert despite it was a man alone with an acoustic guitar on stage. I apologised to Robyn the next time I saw him at the 12 Bar Club but this time a woman dropped a bottle from the balcony and when it smashed Robyn looked up only to see me. I hadn't done anything but I got the blame. This type of thing went on for a long time pretty much anytime I was in the same room as him. I went to rescue Muki and her friend Emer from a Gang of Four gig that they got paraletically drunk at. I was holding Muki up and trying to pick up Emer while they both shouted FUCK OFF at me. When I finally got the two screaming, swearing drunk women standing and balancing on me I realised I was in front of Robyn Hitchcock. It sort of looked like I had drugged two women and was human trafficing them. Silly Legge.

Nothing quite so bad this time, thankfully. This time I kept my celebrity embarrassment for Vivienne Westwood when I gave a loud "Oh-For-Fucks-sake" type sigh when she was telling us that the environment is "important". She looked round and disgusted. But you know what? An hour and a half of hearing her boring everyone by telling us stuff we all know justified by rude, rude sigh. Especially as she was telling us this at a festival that financially thrives on pretending to give a fuck about the environment.

I'm sure there was something else that happened at Latitude. Did I tell you about Pappy's Fun Club's cocks?

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Monday, 20 July 2009

Bad Latitude.

I haven't blogged since last Thursday and I've missed it. It's a shame because I've got plenty to blog/complain about as I've spent the weekend at the Latitude festival. I don't like festivals, I've discovered. There's nothing fun about sleeping in a bag, walking in constant rain or watching 1500 people breaking Janeane Garofalo just by staring at her. Well, the last one was fun-ish but that's about it.

I've actually been away from my house since Wednesday. I went to a friend's wedding in York, a town that I've never been to before but, thanks to their "interesting" road system, have now visited 28 times. The wedding was fun and not without it's FUCKING HELL moments. I met a complete stranger who saw me getting booed off stage at a gig years ago and I spent an hour eavesdropping on the world's poshest fuckwit. He referred to food as "guys", said that he did what he did for a living because he wants to do what he wants to do and that's what he does, and when asked if he was ready he replied "No. I'm yellowy". Cunt.

The wedding was great, though. Very lovely people and York is a lovely looking town. I saw the most perfectly quaint, Dickensian looking porn shop and visited a public school with a very small garden that, by law, the head boy is allowed to graze a cow on. If you were allowed to do that, why wouldn't you?

Then it was off to Latitude so rain decided to get angry about everything and continue getting angry about it forever.

Why do people like festivals? They're awful. The weather is ALWAYS bad, everything costs too much and they're a Krypton Factor to get to. Firstly, the train was delayed. Then I had to queue up for my coach ticket from the train station because the ticket I had was only a ticket for a ticket not a ticket for the actual coach. Makes perfect sense. Then when I get there I realise that the free booze that will constantly be given to me any time I demand it was drunk by Johnny Candon the night before. Fuck it, I'll PAY for a drink like a fucking idiot. I mean, the drinks are only over-priced plus you have to pay £2 on top of the price of your drink so that you can rent the cup your drink is in. The festival claim that this will really help the environment. What a great excuse to rip us all off for lots of money. The fucking, fucking, FUCKING CUNTS. I still had two cups at the end of the festival but could I get my money back? NO. The festival was over and my money now belonged to the Latitude corporate fat cats. I then did what everyone at the festival did. Threw my cup away. The environment remains screwed.

Once I got my beer, after queuing up for a millennium, Johnny thoughtfully lummoxed into me and it spilled over my already wet clothes. I hate festivals.

£7 for a burger. £2 for a coke. £25 for a t-shirt. It's just not the peace and love thing that all music festivals make themselves out to be but, then, the people who go to festivals are all cunts so they deserve to be ripped off. Grown men in their 30's were playing with two sticks attached to string and spinning a cup in the air. Did they want to be beaten? Then there were people who actually wanted to paint their faces blue and voluntarily watch theatre in a tree that was surrounded by brightly painted sheep. This wasn't a dream. It really happened in real life right in front of me.

It was the families that mainly upset me. Firstly, families think they have have more right to space at a festival than the rest of us. They spread out a blanket and lie on it while you have to tip-toe round them to watch a tiny, tiny version of Thom Yorke who is on stage just three miles away from you. Plus, they seem to bring babies in prams to late night gigs so that they can ROCK together as a family. I know when I was a kid I'd much rather have that than have my parents make sure I was in bed and care about me and shit like that.

Was it all bad? Yes, but it did have it's moments. The gigs were good, especially late night Book Club plus I saw a lot of great acts. Grace Jones's 85 year old arse terrifying security is an image that will stay with me forever. Nick Cave, The Vaselines, Magazine, Pet Shop Boys and Jeffrey Lewis were all excellent and The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra were just fantastic. Of course, the main talk (comedy-wise) was about Garofalo but to be honest it was just a bit boring. She came along, misjudged the gig, got off stage, ran to he dressing room and closed the door. It's a shame because I love her and was really looking forward to the gig. She went on stage and the first thing she talked about was Doctor Who. I thought "This is the greatest gig ever". Then, 12 seconds later, I thought "This is the worst gig ever". It was just weird that she made fun of David Caruso's acting as her opening gambit. It's not like she's tripping over her Oscars, is it? But she took it all really badly and sprinted to her dressing room to hide and, no doubt, phone her friend Sarah Silverman to warn her about British audiences. Bruce Dessau's review on Chortle offer's Ed Byrne's performance directly after Garofalo a whole sentence. Very generous. Ed was utterly superb in his slot and didn't just "fill time", he pretty much rock-solidly triumphed at a gig that looked to me to be pretty damned hard. If you were there I'm sure you'll agree it was an incredible piece of stand-up.

Pretty much the highlight of the festival and my life so far is being stopped by a very drunk John Simm to discuss the lack of merits of a band called The Gaslight Anthem. "They're not The Beatles", The Master wisely pointed out. But the big heroes of the festival for me were Waen Shepherd who's songs as by both Gary Le Strange and his Brian Wilson character (I'm an idiot and forget the name) were just sublime, and Robin Ince who is nothing short of a miracle. The Book Club tent was always rammed full anytime he was on and his reading of the Horrible Henry stories to a tent of a thousand screaming children is a sight to behold. Brilliant.

It was also good to see comedians terrified at Karaoke Circus. They had every right to be terrified. Singing is dead hard and remembering words, a tune and a key is practically impossible. Johnny and I shouted Come On, Eileen without remembering any of the words while other comedians went on looking like they had never heard of music before in their lives. Dave Gorman was visibly bricking it before singing Daydream Believer and his stage-dive was something that needed to be done. Not enough stage diving in karaoke. Not nearly enough.

So, that was that. My last ever festival. I'm glad I went despite the rain and Ben Goldacre but I'm not a festival or Ben Goldacre person really. Thanks to Robin Ince for inviting me and being brilliant and a lot of thanks to people who came to see King of Everything. You're very brave.

I haven't even mentioned how pointless Vivienne Westwood was or how I did a shit on another man's shit. So, that's tomorrow's blog sorted.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Fake.

I am nothing if not up to the minute when it comes to pop culture. My finger is always on the media pulse at all times. That's why I got to see the Katie Price/Piers Morgan a full four days after everyone else. I hadn't even heard of it's existence until tuesday. Don't get me wrong, it's not really the sort of thing I would have the slightest interest in but you would thing that something with that magnitude of trivia would be all over the newspapers. It was and somehow I missed it. Maybe the pointless can be filtered out or maybe, like Katie Price herself, I "don't read all the papers".

That was the level of reveal in this interview between a cunt and a cunt. Who would have thought that that this IQ-free, talking fuck-hole occassionally passed on The Guardian? Her big drawing of a face just sat there throughout the hour and a half of utter bordom spouting shit about how she was in love with her Pete and now, five fucking minutes later, she isn't. THAT for a fucking hour and a half. With that dump of dirty washing Morgan nodding and occassionally saying really controversial things like "Well, Kate, you were wearing a bra and an arrow pointing to your minge at a christening, maybe Pete was upset?". Never once did he ask the important questions like "Are you embarrassed ever?", "Why do you do this, seriously?" and "You're rich, why don't you just fuck off?"

This is all very trivial. Of course it is. It's supposed to be. She is trivial. Something to do when we're bored. But then, all of a sudden, the interview turned to something horrible. During a trip to America Katie Price had a miscarriage and is deeply feeling the loss of this as well as the breakdown of her marriage. So much so that she started crying during the interview. I am relieved that her new tear-ducts work but really is this the kind of thing that a sane person uses as an exclusive on TV so soon after it happened? Isn't selling the loss of your child just, I don't know, a bit fucking immoral? That doesn't really upset me as much as the cunt of a TV channel who think that it's fine to buy that and stick it on telly to gloat at how the other half suffer. If you don't count Horne & Corden, I rarely get offended but that is just plain sick. Remember when the nation became appalled at that blonde forgettable idiot selling her wedding for a Flake? She seems pretty decent all of a sudden.

Not that it matters but how is she supposed to come out of this looking good? Her next move has to be to get married again. Really quickly. To someone all those messes like just as much as they like her. She needs to marry Kerry Katona or Primark or something. It's not going to be easy for Katie Price but she needs something big to stay on top. Jade was so lucky, eh?

I'm in York right now. I'm about to go to my friend Ronie's wedding. Should be a very romantic, lovely piss-up. Then it's off to Latitude on Friday were King of Everything will be performing as part of Robin Ince's Book Club. Come and see us.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Glorious.

Sunday was a first not just for me but for my entire family. We celebrated the 12th of July. We've never done that before, not sure why but being Catholic probably has something to do with it. It's weird. Every year on the 12th of July Northern Ireland holds it's very own version of Gay Pride with lots of people having a big street disco, and throwing batons in the air and wearing Orange sashes (a bit like Miss World or something) and basically partying like it was 1699. After all the street dancing, all the party revellers would go to a big field, have a bonfire and put their bestest dolly on top of it to keep it warm. It looks great but we were never invited. Shame.

The thing is, not everyone in Northern Ireland likes this colourful day of celebration. Some people get all grumpy because they don't want fun people dancing up their street and wearing funny hats. I HATE those people. They're just trying to have fun, you bloody party poopers. Look, seriously, if these people want to show how proud they are to be British by supporting the beliefs of a Dutchman, pledging allegiance to a woman of German heritage and, you know, living in IRELAND then they should be allowed to. Despite the violence and hatred they spread, are they doing any harm?

Luckily, my family camped it up and got into the 12th of July spirit. King William of Orange would have loved it. We had music, booze and there was no sign of a mole (it's what killed him, history fans). We held the party at my house which was terrifying for me. MY ENTIRE FAMILY IN MY HOUSE. They'd meet my neighbours and my friends and talk in THAT accent.

My siblings and my niece, Maryanne, were the first to arrive to prepare the surprise party for the man of the moment. Not King Billy (although we invited the lazy, rude, dead prick) but my Dad. It was his 70th birthday so we thought we'd best show that we remembered it. My parents turned up about 3 minutes after my siblings but that was plenty of time for them to pour a glass of wine, hide in the garden and smoke 17 cigarettes before Dad walked in. Dad looked surprised. It had worked. The stupid get. Why else would he be at my house? Thank God for senility. I'm looking forward to that.

It was a great do and I'm very grateful to my friends for turning up to show my family that I had something resembling a life. My parents had just arrived in Southampton that morning from New York (they haven't heard of planes yet so the boat is the only way for them) and as they were knackered they left their own party quite early. It was a shame because we had lots of birthday joy to heap on Dad but we managed to struggle on after they left. We went to the pub. It's a VERY traditional 12th of July thing, OK?

The main thing that I forget about my family is their constant friendliness. I don't have that but they have it in bucket loads. They say hello to people they HAVE NEVER MET and start conversations with bar staff and ask people standing next to them to join them. It's like going out with 10 Crocodile Dundees. We played Jenga and made lots of noise. I was aware that that might piss other people in the pub off but my lot are so fucking friendly that people instantly love them. The cunts.

Soon strangers were joining in with our game, sitting at our table, going out to the beer garden to smoke with my brother and bar staff knew us all by name (except me). All that took about 10 minutes in the pub. IN LONDON. The bar closed at 10.30 but we were there well after midnight thanks to a very friendly lock-in. My family are just brilliant to be around and I'm actually jealous of their enthusiasm and friendliness. My brother is unstoppable when it comes to being a nice guy. If you look up "Nice Guy" in the dictionary you will see a picture of my brother. It is the only photograph that is in the dictionary so we're actually quite proud. But sometimes the very best nights have to come to an end and sometimes you just know when that night HAS to end. I walked into the beer garden and saw my brother saying to a black guy that "it doesn't matter what colour your skin is. Me and you are brothers". He gave the black power sign and I suggested we go back home.

Of course there was nothing bad in what he did. It was just funny (even though he utterly meant it, perhaps that's why it was funny?) and, as a Londoner, friendliness and sincerity, even if it's pissed sincerity, scares the shit out of me. Plus, it's the 12th of July, for fuck's sake. We can't start being nice on this day of days.

It was just brilliant having them all over. I doubt there are more fun people to hang out with than them and next time they're over I should sell tickets to you so you can go to the pub with them. This could be the new Karaoke Circus. Anyone for the next 12th of July?

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Wonderwhy?

I think I'm in love with my foot lump. I've started staring at it for long periods of time and I get panicy if I think I've lost it (which happens about 12 times a day). Mainly, I love the disgust that the foot lump brings to other people even if they haven't seen it. A neighbour, who I had no idea read this blog, looked like he was going to puke when we bumped into each other yesterday. After exchanging a few pleasantries he said "That thing's in your pocket, isn't it?". He didn't want to look at it though.

I don't think I could put it on eBay now. It's more a part of me now that it's not an actual part of me.

There really hasn't been much to report on the last few weeks of gigs. All have been good without being great but at least none of them have been awful. Which is very selfish because writing about a shit gig could really help me out here. Even the journey's to and from gigs have been arsehole-free. Until last night.

Now that Blur are back Oasis fans are furious at all times again. Although neither band have ever been cool, Blur are cutting edge compared to Oasis due to some of their songs sounding different from some of their other songs, they have lyrics that aren't just about being drunk or people who "shine" and Blur don't spend all their time tripping over their own dragging knuckles, their own dragging foreheads or their own ex-bandmates. But did you know about the Oasis Vs. Thunder rivalry? Me neither.

I vaguely remember Thunder but can't think of a single thing they've done. They obviously played a gig in London last night because I saw lots of 40-something and 50-something Thunder T-Shirt owners on the tube. There were also some on the last train back to Ladywell last night. They seemed very jolly. They obviously had a great night. Then three Oasis fans got on board.

A man and woman both wearing Oasis t-shirts and another man in civilian clothing sat near the Thunder fans and, more importantly, me. It wasn't long before one of the Oasis fans (the one who who lives on Alcohol & Alcohol) struck up a chat with the ageing metallers. "Who are Thunder?", he asked.

"They're the best band in the world", a woman replied. "We saw them tonight".

"Oasis are the best band in the world".

"Fair enough. Thunder are the best heavy metal band then".

"Heavy metal is shit".

Then there was silence. Oasis idiot had sworn at the seemingly pleasant woman and none of the other Thunder fans seemed to like that. Oasis idiot then started to sing what I presume was an Oasis song. "Let's all get drunk and then we can sheeeeee-iiiiiiiiiiiine". Something like that. His twat friends joined in but mercifully cut the song short. He then went back to chatting to Thunder lady.

"Why don't you like Oasis? Why don't you like good bands?" (This man was in his 30's by the way).

"Thunder are a good band".

"They're shit".

"You've never even heard of them".

To which he replied "Noel Gallagher is a genius".

No, he's not. He's a very lucky thief. "You need to fucking listen to Oasis. Get into a decent band".

And that was the last straw. A male Thunder fan (in his early 50's I'm guessing) said "Can you stop talking to us now, please?".

The Oasis fans just laughed and started singing an Oasis song that I recognised. From my Beatles records. It was also a song that Thunder Man didn't enjoy, a bit like everyone else sitting near by. The train then stopped at Waterloo.

Thunder Man stood up. He was a big fella. He pointed at the Oasis idiot and said "Off. Now. Go on". Oasis idiot argued but his slightly more sober friends realised that Oasis could never win in a war against Thunder and dragged him off the train. They looked sad and wet as the train pulled away. To be honest, they looked sad and wet when they were on the train anyway.

I was happy that Thunder Man had stood up for Thunder Lady but they still had time to impress me further before I got off at Ladywell. They were obviously upset by Oasis idiot and his friends singing so they starting singing Thunder songs. Luckily, they're really nice people who didn't want to disturb the rest of the train so they sang the songs really quietly. It's hard to sing things like "Run to me in the night 'cos I'm on fi-aaaaaaaah" really quietly but they managed it. Well done, Thunder.

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Friday, 10 July 2009

Lump of 'Wood.

Ladies, you can all just relax. I thought I had lost my foot lump yesterday but after much searching I found it in the back pocket of my jeans that I'd thrown in the laundry hamper. Stop looking now, girls, because it's found. I have had 11 foot lumps in my life (I like to think of this one as Matt Smith) and lost 10 of them. This new one I am going to keep forever.

And why wouldn't I? People who have read my blog can't wait to tell me how disgusting they think my foot lump is and I can't wait to tell them that I have it in my pocket. The look on people's faces when they realise they are mere feet away from my foot lump is terrifyingly priceless. I met Dan Mersh and Paul Litchfield yesterday and Dan looked as if it was the end of days when I told him he was basically sitting next to it. Paul ruined everything by being really interested in looking at it and wanting to touch it. Cunt.

Anyway, if you see me and would like your picture taken next to my foot lump then please just ask. Unless you think I really should put it on eBay. Both are very tempting.

It's good that the foot lump is scaring people. Torchwood should be doing that this week and it isn't. Torchwood: Children of Earth is doing a Dead Set in as much as there are 5 episodes being shown every night this week finishing, I'm delighted to say, tonight. It is absolutely God awful. "The adult Doctor Who", the BBC cried when Torchwood first hit our screens. It isn't. It's a puerile mess of characters that constantly change character, sexless sex and high camp pretending to be drama. Basically, it's The Sarah Jane Adventures with the occasional "shit". But how could it be anything other than that when the leading man is John Barrowman. FUCK OFF just seems too kind and polite for him. He turns his hand to so many different things just to, I assume, prove without a shadow of a doubt that he can do none of them. He was good in The Empty Child and then Russell T. Davis forgot what the character of Captain Jack was and since then he's been shit. He sings, he dances, he gives me an ulcer. Already in this Torchwood nightly trawl Captain Jack has SHOCKED us by being MONOGAMOUS, a PARENT and a GRANDPARENT. These aren't layers, this is basically a writer who doesn't know his lead character. He should kill him but the cunt can't die. Anyway, tonight's episode concludes with Captain Jack tap dancing with the 456, asking the children of Earth questions to see if they're as smart as grown ups and saving the planet by singing Dancing On The Ceiling by Lionel Ritchie. Weeeeeeeee-Ooooooooooh.

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Thursday, 9 July 2009

Where Are I Now?

What were you doing exactly 20 years ago today? Yeah, I'm not really sure what I was doing either but I definitely know what I was doing 20 years ago yesterday. I was listening to Green by R.E.M. while washing every item of clothing I owned. My dad had put a bottle of aftershave in my suitcase and it had opened while I was travelling. I opened the suitcase and the smell screamed FUUUUUUUCK at my retinas. I didn't want or need aftershave but my dad obviously thought I was going off to be a man and men need aftershave so he gave me a bottle of his. A bottle of his aftershave that he didn't want. You know, the bottle with the broken cap?

I had all my clothes and broken Old Spice with me because 20 years ago yesterday I moved to London. I stayed in my cousin's flat in Ruislip, went to the cinema EVERY DAY and kept myself to myself. I had to. Nobody wanted me. I hated London at the beginning but only because I was pretty much always on my own. The reason that I moved is so that me and my cousin Patti (who was living in Belsize Park, the fucking jammy cunt) could swan around pretending to be bohemians. The thing is bohemians tend not to have mulletts, wear horrible brown leather jackets and stone wash jeans and have a Marillion obsession. I suffered from all of those things. Patti, on the other hand, took black and white photos of shadows so she was SOOOO cool. Patti was going to live in London for the rest of her life and marry Adam Ant. I was going back home to Northern Ireland in three months maximum. I'm still here and Patti has returned to America without Adam Ant. HA! The Marillion Mullett Man wins!

I can't really remember when I decided that I loved London but it must have happened pretty quickly-ish. I definitely remember getting jaded very quickly, a sure sign that you're a real Londoner. A man came up to me one Sunday afternoon as I sat queuing up outside The Comedy Store about 7 hours before the Comedy Store Players had turned up when a man approached me. "Marajuana?", he said.

"No, thanks".

"Acid?".

"No."

"Blowjob?"

I turned up Clutching At Straws on my walkman and sighed. This sort of thing happens every day and will do for (at least) the next 20 years.

I went to see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade on my first night in London then walked round the corner to the Marquee club to watch Then Jericho. London was tough at the beginning. Crap films, terrible music and it took me a year to get laid. No, it wasn't the blowjob man.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A Part Of Me.

I went to see Public Enemies last night, the new Michael Mann film about John Dillinger and other depression era gangsters. It was OK which is very dissappointing from the director of Heat and Johnny Depp. It should have been excellent but it was corny pretty much all the way through and it ended with an embarrassing bit of CGI. Yeah, 1930's CGI. The whole film looked like it was filmed on a video camera too. But it had something going for it and that thing is Johnny Depp, the man that all straight men would gladly fuck. I'm the straightest man ever in the history of the world but somehow I can't help but feel a vagina growing every time Johnny Depp is on the screen. And that isn't even gay so shut up. I also saw the first episode of Torchwood: Children of Earth and the series is better than ever. It's just crap instead of total shit. Is it really supposed to be for adults?

Which brings me neatly to me. In this blog I try to reveal a little something of myself so that the reader can discover a little of the many layers that make up the mystery that is Michael D. Legge. You know that I'm pissed off, angry, upset and gay for The Depp but did you know that I also have the weirdest thing on Earth growing on my foot? Well, I do.

My foot seems to yield a strange, hard, not to mention revolting, shell on my big toe that slowly grows over a period of about two years. This has happened since I was 18 years old and I had an operation on my toes to remove my ingrowing toenails that were cutting into my flesh and permanently making me bleed. Disgusted yet? Then read on.

As I say, the weird foot thing takes about two years to grow and then it.....just falls off. Today, it fell off. This is always a fun day for me and that two-year fucked up growth period can't come round fast enough. Anyway, I'm thinking of putting it on eBay. If someone was stupid enough to buy my Rex Boyd photo then selling a foot lump should be piss-easy.

If you don't feel like puking then please check out this lovely article that Matthew Crosby discovered. It's very funny and depressingly serious: http://www.viceland.com/wp/2009/07/babes-of-the-bnp/


This is what grew on my foot.


Just to give it some scale, here it is next to a cyberman.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Monday, 6 July 2009

A Cunt On a Train.

Last night's preview of King of Everything was great fun. I really enjoyed it. Although it's far from perfect, the new bits we tried out last night all seemed to work. Some re-writes and tightening a few things up and we'll be done. The good news is that our show is well over an hour long, the bad news is that we're definitely dropping one of my favourite parts of the show. Fuck. That happened last year with The Clock Hour and it's crap. But I'm not that down about it. Johnny and I are very happy about what we've got and very excited about what we'll do with it next. We had a really lovely crowd at The Funny Side last night and no-one could have ruined my good mood last night. But, of course, someone tried.

We took the train home. Already, that's a bad move. Trains have idiots in them and I know that so I only got what I totally expected. Muki, Johnny and I got on together and, as I wanted us all to sit together, I thought I'd do the decent thing and sit in the vacant seat next to a stranger while they had the adjacent double seat together. Sadly, the guy next to the spare seat was Captain Cunt from HMS Wanker. He had one of his legs up on the spare seat so I asked him if he could move his leg so that I could sit down. He said no. I tried again.

"Can I sit here?", I said.

"No", he replied while texting his only friend in the entire world who is also, by the way, a prick.

"I'm sitting here", I said very firmly.

"No, you're not".

"Move".

He moved. That's that then. It was unpleasant but it was now over. It was also pointless because by this time Johnny had taken the seat behind me and not the one next to Muki. So much for manners. I thought I'd stay in this seat anyway because I thought it might have annoyed the horrible man. It did.

He started elbowing me. Obviously on purpose. I let him off with it the first time but after the second time I asked him if everything was OK. He replied with "What?"

By now, I was very bored with this prick. I told him to stop elbowing me and his only reply was "I didn't ask you to sit next to me". I very much hate this man. I patiently argued that I knew he hadn't asked me but I am sitting here now so he can stop elbowing me and I glared right at him. It was my best Paddington stare. Muki clocked what was going on and wisely asked me to sit next to her. I moved seat. I felt bad because a cunt like this should NEVER be allowed to get away with that. Fuck.

The train hadn't even started moving and I was already furious. Then Captain Cunt got on his phone and loudly shouted to his only friend in the entire world that he was getting off at London Bridge. That suited me. Only two stops and the prick would get off and maybe, just maybe, be murdered.

Then a black guy got on the train and asked Captain Cunt if he could sit next to him. The Captain moved his leg and said "Yeah". This was very interesting and I think we all know why. He wanted everyone to know that he was a cunt but he didn't want anyone to think he was a racist cunt. That is cunt progress, I suppose.

Then his phone rang. It goes without saying that his ringtone was audible AIDS screaming at us all. It was his only friend in the world again. The Captain reminded his only friend that he was getting off at London Bridge. Definitely. The train started moving. Thank fuck.

Something beautiful happened to The Captain after that phonecall. He fell asleep. He slept all the way to Waterloo and carried on when we got to London Bridge, his stop. He was still on the train sleeping when we got off at Lewisham. Hope he likes Dartford because that's where he was going.

Cunt: 0, Legge: 1.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fridgid?

I was surprised at how lovely the park was yesterday. The trees looked lovely, the grass greened at me as I arrived and the sun made the river look like it was constantly winking at me. It was cheery and these things made me very, very happy. To be honest, the thing that made me happiest was the lack of people there. People should be banned from the park because they ruin it. They throw frisbees (grown adults, mind), they "forget" to pick up their "dog's" excrement and they chuck fridges into the river. Honestly, who the fuck could be bothered to throw a fridge in a river? It's not like anyone lives nearby so they have to drag it all the way to the river, lift it over a fence and then chuck it. What happened to the good old British way of just leaving it in the street? I mean, you must really hate your fridge to drag it all the way to a park and heave it into a river. But how do you HATE a fridge? Well, I've thought about it and the only conclusion I can make is that these people fuck their fridge one night, then can't look at it the same way again and MUST get rid of it. I mean, it just sat there and let you fuck it so why would you respect it? That fridge is a WHORE and looking at it only makes you feel sicker and sicker and sicker. It just sits there faintly buzzing like better wouldn't melt (which, if it's working properly, it wouldn't). And when you're out you dread coming home because you know that slag will just be waiting there for you to use it again. Forget it, love, you think, I wouldn't put my bottle of milk in you to clean it. And, like all partners in your life, you drag it down to the park and abandon it. You never see ovens in the river, do you? That's because ovens aren't FUCKING DIRTY KITCHEN WHORES.

What was great about being in the park was the fact that the tennis court was actually being used. It was particularly great because Andy Murray was playing the exact same hobby at a tennis court in Wimbledon at the exact same time but his game got on international television for some unfathomable reason. I really admired these people for not sitting at home watching a hobby but actually participating in it. Not that I'm a complete cunt, although I loathe tennis I did actually "want" Andy Murray to win. A lot of people got excited about him and that's good. But he didn't win. He came last in that particular match and even though a lot of people are dissappointed he's probably fine about it. At least now the media will refer to him as Scottish again.

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Thursday, 2 July 2009

O homem irritado escreve uma carga da merda.

I've said before that it's the little things that make me happy. Things that you don't expect. Like seeing a hedgehog when you're waiting in Chester for the National Express bus back to London at midnight. Last night was no exception and I'm glad because yesterday was quite, quite shitty. I got sworn at by two complete strangers. Actually, that's pretty normal for me. Sigh...

I took Jerk for a walk in the park, the setting for many of my disasters. On my way I crossed the busy Ladywell Road and, halfway across, waiting on the pedestrian island for traffic on the other side to go by. I saw a driver approaching with his arm out the window, like he was riding a bike and wanted to turn right. Didn't know what he was doing but I also didn't care so that was fine. He wasn't slowing down, he was just driving normally with his hand out the window. He got closer and there was no other traffic behind him. Good, I'd soon be crossing that road, eh? NO! He stopped right in front of me and said "I'm letting you across, mate". He said it rather aggressively so I wasn't over flattered by his kind gesture.

"Oh, OK", I said.

"What do you think this meant?", he said talking about his hand out the window.

"It means I'm turning right on a bicycle".

"Fuck off, then".

He drove off but not before I gave him my default insult. I crossed the road and walked into the park. Jerk was very excited because I had brought the ball launcher. It's a long piece of plastic that you can put a tennis ball in and when you fling it the ball is catapulted over a distance I couldn't possibly throw otherwise. About 6 feet. Jerk loves the ball launcher. I love the ball launcher. I tell you who HATES the ball launcher: that fragrant, young lovely who shouted "Don't fucking throw that thing near me".

I wasn't going to throw a ball near her. She was lying on a blanket enjoying the sun. Why would I want to disturb her? My plan, though improvised and not really thought through, was to throw it nowhere near her so that she wouldn't be disturbed at all. It's one of those Good-Dog-owner things that I do. But if she was scared of dogs (something that, to be honest, I'm running out of patience with people) she just needed to say "Excuse me. Do you mind playing with your dog over there as I'm scared of dogs, please?" She didn't. She said "Don't fucking throw that thing near me". No prizes for guessing where I aimed the ball launcher.

There was a man sitting near her but not with her. He wanted to be with her. I could tell by his gallant "She told you not to throw that near her, didn't she?" as he strided towards me. What this man didn't know is that not everyone falls for macho bollocks and that appearing a bit mental wins over brawn any day. "No", I said. "She didn't TELL me to do anything because she CAN'T tell me to do anything. She just swore at me and that's what happens when you swear at people". He stopped and realised that I was either a nutter or I had made a valid and reasonable point. Of course, you was right either way.

So I went to my gig in a foul mood thinking that maybe Lewisham isn't for me anymore. It's now full of cunts so I should probably go so they can make room for more. But on my way home a lovely thing happened. I got on the tube and found a copy of "Via Gospel", a Portuguese religious magazine. It's now my favourite magazine. I can't speak and foreign languages at all but now I have realised that it's much more fun to not really understand what I'm reading. That way the articles have an air of mystery about them. And there were some crackers too. One was about the religious side of Psoriasis and as a "sufferer" I'd probably have got something out of that but, like religion itself, I just couldn't fathom a word. "Susan Boyle nos Simpsons" seemed an interesting read but my favourite article was definitely "Sobre a Parada Gay", a religious celebration of homosexuality which seems very refreshing in this day and age. Good for you, Via Gospel. I will start subscribing to you immediately.

To be honest I was cheered up well before that because the gig was excellent. I'll be honest, dear reader, I never really thought I'd say that about doing impro (or improv) again but it was a genuinely great, fun, really funny gig. I recommend you go and check out the London Improv Players during their weekly residency throughout August at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square every tuesday. Last night it was Tara Flynn, Brendan Dempsey, Rufus Hound and me. I was particularly proud of my tribute to the King of Pop during the improvised song at the end. Everyone made up a very funny verse and then it was my turn. I'm crap at this sort of thing so I chickened out by walking right into the audience and sang She's Out Of My Life VERY passionately. It's called failing big.

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Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Too Much Too Old.

I am old. If you know me at all then you will know that I am old. I don't really need to be reminded that I'm old but some people feel that they need to rub my fucking ancient nose in it.

It was my fault, really. I was very happy at home but about 9 I got the urge to go to my local pub, The Fox & Firkin, and check out their Ska Night. I'm not a Ska expert but to me Ska is music that sounds a bit like a lovely, big brass band playing really cheery reggae while a misery guts sings about Thatcher. That sound right to you? Well, how wrong I was. There were no men in suits looking sharp and cool, there were no pork pie hats and, very noticeably, there were no black people. At all. Three bands played in this Ska night and, I think, one of them played one song that was kind of like ska-ish. The rest was the whitest rock music you've ever heard in your life. They were whiter than Michael Jackson's corpse (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Topical. You can have that).

They were also all about 18 years old. Great to see young people starting bands but, and I hate to be nit-picky, it wasn't Ska. Ska doesn't do ballads with guitar solos or have call and response bits between the bass player and the drummer. Ska definitely doesn't sing about texting, I'm pretty sure about that. Plus the look? Is this really how Nu-Ska looks? White boys with dreadlocks, beards, tattoos of their favourite fires and, Christ Almighty, shorts?

It's No Doubt Ska, isn't it? A Ska band that don't do Ska at all ever. Well, that's not how we did Ska in my day. It wasn't songs about love and pretty blonde singers and it definitely wasn't about joy. These bands were actually happy. The fucking cheek of them. I stood there with my friend Anthony mildly grumbling about how all young people should be sent into the army at 17 and then have a war on the moon. But after a while the joy of The Scaredy Cats (that's what they were called) was too infectious and in the Fox and Firkin, they say, that the Grinch's heart grew three sizes that day. I went down the front for a dance.

I lasted about half a song because, as everyone around me proved, I am old. The band were slowing down on purpose because they pitied me trying to keep up.Being old is crap. I wouldn't do it if I were you.

www.twitter.com/michaellegge