Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Thrill of The Chase.

Yesterday, Robin Ince and I brought our Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire show to the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, a completely secret comedy festival in a secret town somewhere secret. No one I spoke to knew how to pronounce Machynlleth (Myclunkclick being one of my favourite attempts at it) and no one knew where it was. It was definitely somewhere in North Wales or in Central Wales or in Wales. Or maybe England. It didn’t really matter where it was, the main thing was that Robin and I were travelling 5 hours on a train to do a gig where we would spend more getting there than we would earn. It isn’t cheap staying at “the best hotel in Machynlleth” (it tragically, tragically was the best hotel in Machynlleth) nor is it cheap going on the stupidly long train journey.

Not just any train journey. No. It was a loud train journey. It’s not often that Robin and I are surrounded by women and this is not how I ever fantasised about that concept (I’ve always fantasised about Robin crying in a corner while the ladies brush my lovely hair and throw their shoes at him). I don’t mean to be rude but I think Welsh women are the loudest noise on the planet and these particular ones were ear-bleedingly terrifying. Hey, guys, I’m all about equality but is displaying all the very worst traits of arsehole men really what Emily Davison wanted? All I’m saying is that if ANY woman sits on a train and drinks a litre of something blue she should have the vote taken away from her. It’s not like she’s going to use it.

For two and a half hours, these screaming, foundation-caked efforts filled the carriage with their charming tales of fucking. Golly gee whizz, these ladies loved cock and got loads and loads of it. From their gentle banter, I can only assume that the two and a half hours spent with me and Robin are the only two and a half hours they have ever spent in their entire lives not getting spit-roasted, bukkaked or gangishly banged. At one point, they played a game. The rules were simple: one lady would name a gentleman that they all knew and the others then confided as to whether or not they had fucked him. Alan did well. Robin or Michael didn’t get a mention.

The two ladies next to us talked of an argument one of them had with a bitch. “She’s a bitch, that one. She called me a slapper, that bitch”, the lady deafeningly whispered. “I can’t help it if he fancied me”. No. But surely he could?

This journey wasn’t helped by the fact that, 10 minutes outside Machynlleth, I looked out the window at the beautiful scenery and saw a sheep stuck on a barbwire fence. It was horrible. It’s wooly coat had got tangled in the wire and it was clearly stressed out. But we were on a train speeding past and I couldn’t save this lovely animal like I normally would do. Poor Gary (that’s what I called the sheep). He’ll be the first Gary I couldn’t rescue. You know, like I did with Gary the seagull, Gary the Michelle from Richmond and Gary the ladybird (I never told you about Gary the ladybird. He nearly drowned). I SAVED ALL THEIR LIVES. But Gary the sheep…Poor Gary. I felt like Indiana Jones when he thought Marion had blown up. There was just nothing I could do. I might as well go drinking with a monkey.

To say the least, I got off the train completely stressed. We’re throwing money away on a gig, the train was made of solid noise (although it really was funny seeing how disgusted Robin looked when a woman sprayed half a can of deodorant on her tits) and Gary the sheep was in trouble. Then Muki rang to say she’d lost her house keys and couldn’t get in. Jerk was inside getting agitated that she could see Muki through the window but Muki wasn’t coming in. Stupid Muki. I was in Machynlleth and couldn’t really let her in. MORE STRESS! Still, I could now just leave Muki to sort that problem out herself and I’ll just get to the hotel and de-stress before the gig. It’s bound to be a relaxing hotel. I mean. It’s “the best hotel in Machynlleth”.

I’ve never been to a hotel where the receptionist has said “Would you like a key?” before.

Bad food and a lack of vegan booze followed. Luckily the gig was excellent. It took me a while to get into it (I was worried about Gary, OK?) but when I did I loved it. Really lovely audience who were angry about local government, Donald Trump and public spending. I was angry about Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

It was great afterwards too. Lots of nice people to hang out with and watch on stage at the festival showcase show. Nick Helm, Ed Gamble and Pappy’s were fun. Not as much fun as Josie Long’s disbelief that Billy Bragg and Boris Johnson are friends. They really are. It’s true. Her utter disappointment will comfort me in my dotage.

I woke this morning and thought of Gary. He was the only sheep in a field of cows and he’s caught on barbwire. How often have we all felt like that? Has someone saved him? Is he OK? I remembered last night’s gig and as I lay in bed I noticed there was a painting of three dogs on the wall. One looked like Jerk. Awww. It’s not such a bad place, old Machynlleth. It was a fun night and luckily enough people came and we might make a small profit.

Robin and I got on the train home and I saw Gary. The only sheep in a field of cows was now happily grazing by a river and free. Some Gary’s don’t need me. Some Gary’s are special. I couldn’t be happier.

Then I saw a sheep chasing a squirrel. ADORABLE! It’s definitely never going to get any better than that ever. A sunny spring day watching a sheep chase a squirrel up a hill. Lovely. Maybe this is how it feels to be truly content and happy.

Of course, only I could see the negative side to all this. WHY did I see a sheep chase a squirrel TODAY? My life is full of crushing disappointment and flaky psoriasis but today I’m reeling from a lovely gig, a picture of Jerk, a non-lost key chat with Muki and a freed Gary (Don’t. I’m well aware of what I’ve been saying). Even the news today is good because apparently nothing happened yesterday other than a lovely wedding. I wonder how it would have been reported if Wills was gay and met a man and fell blissfully in love with him and yesterday was Britain’s first Royal Civil Ceremony. Might not have got in all the papers, I reckon. Well, it’s just been great and a sheep and a squirrel made me happy.


ps. We have a BRILLIANT line up at the next Los Quattros Cvnts on Wednesday the 4th of May at The Phoenix, Cavendish Square (where it's less than £4 a pint but it's still central London). Our special guests are CHRIS ADDISON and CATIE WILKINS. It'll be a great night and, as usual, get there early to secure a seat. Doors 7.30 pm, show starts 8pm. Admission is £8 or £6 with the secret password which I will publicly tell you is "Mrs. Brown's BAFTA".

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Marigold Hyde-Parke said...

Billy Bragg is mates with Boris Johnson?! Are you absolutely sure? Have they got matching tattoos, because this is the only thing the could persuade me to believe it. Tell me it's not true!

Matty said...

"Not as much fun as Josie Long’s disbelief that Billy Bragg and Boris Johnson are friends."

Does this stem from Bragg and Johnson's entertaining bits of coverage from the Glastonbury Festival a few years ago, I wonder?

Jane Rothwell said...

Saw you in Mac..I laughed, I wondered what the eff was going on and then laughed some more. Thanks :o)

howlie, said...

You forgot Jack Whitehall. Who was only annoying me because we'd been talking about punching him in the car.