March 11, 2005
Roar With Laughter

Last night's Roar With Laughter was, uh, interesting.

Chambers & Nettleton were, well, rubbish. Perhaps it's just me - I really can't stand comedy songs.

Tim Vine came on for a brief 10 minute set. He wasn't on the bill, and the material was a bit rough. I think he was just using us to try out some new stuff. He's welcome to do so again - he was fantastic.

Johnny Candon's set was very funny, but rather uncomfortable. He asked if there were any parents in the audience, and I was the only one to respond. He proceeded to interrogate me for several minutes about my family history, my children, my relationships and my ex's relationships for what felt like ten minutes (but was probably only a minute or two) in front of sixty or seventy people. Still, very funny, though, and when he asked another audience member if she was a "proper nanny, or a shaky nanny", it was one of the high points of the night for me.

Sarah Kendall; well, what can I say? She pretty much died. She got off to a bad start being heckled about the size of her watch(!) before she'd even started, and she never really recovered. It didn't help that half the (generally good natured) heckling came from a Scot whose accent she didn't understand. And at one point she was accused be being an aggressive racist. The 'aggressive' bit was just absurd, and I really don't believe the racism accusation to be fair, either. She might have been a little naive in her choice of language, though. So, Sarah, on the million to one chance that you read this, here's a couple of rules to keep you out of trouble.

  1. If you aren't black, don't use the word 'nigger'. Ever. I know that you were only mentioning the name of a band, but just say NWA next time, OK?
  2. Never claim that you aren't a racist. That's complacent - none of us are perfect. You may despise racism, and you may strive to eradicate it from yourself. But if you aren't willing to accept that you might still bear the odd prejudice or two, you'll never see them and have no chance to fix them.
  3. Avoid referring to members of other racial groups as 'them'.
Anyway, despite the fact that I really don't think she recovered, she struggled on bravely, there were some very funny moments, and she came across as very likable. She's stunning to look at, too, I must say. I'd be more than prepared to give her another chance. ;-)

Anyway, it was a good night on the whole. Well worth a visit.

Posted to by Simon Brunning at March 11, 2005 01:17 PM

Comedy songs are extremely funny when done by Bill Bailey, but very rarely otherwise.

Posted by: Katherine on March 11, 2005 01:34 PM

I've not heard him do a comedy song, so I'll reserve judgement.

Besides, it's a personal thing. Even people who I know are funny - Barry Humphries, Victoria Wood - don't make me laugh when they sing.

Spinal Tap songs do make me laugh. But then they are pastiches rather than comedy songs as such...

Posted by: Simon Brunning on March 11, 2005 01:39 PM

Zippity do dah done in the style of Portishead (proposed as the new British national anthem) is a good one. As is the Hokey Kokey in the style of Kraftwerk. This man knows his music.

Posted by: Katherine on March 11, 2005 03:04 PM

Oh, I'll second the Bill Bailey comment. I hate comedy songs as much as the next man, but Bill Bailey made my face hurt laughing.

A true musician too. He took requests from the audience and it didn't feel like he was waiting for someone to shout out something he knew. He attempted every one.

Posted by: Paul Freeman on March 11, 2005 09:06 PM

But what about when Ant and I do a song. Surely you like that??? (And, yes, regarding Bill Bailey; I'll third it!). Grrrrrrrrrrr

Posted by: Ed Dewson on March 12, 2005 04:18 AM

Your songs are incomparable, Ed.

Keep up the good work...

Posted by: Simon Brunning on March 14, 2005 09:16 AM

The Tracey Brothers used to do excellent comedy songs - but they (along with Bill Bailey) are an exception to the rule.

Cue Rolling stones music.. "When I'm driving in my car... and a man comes on the radio... thats the last time I pick up a hitch-hiker", suit yourselves - it made me laugh.

One half of the TB's was the excellent Mark Billingham - still doing stand up and now an excellent crime-novelist - if you like that sort of thing.

Posted by: Pete Parkin on March 14, 2005 11:26 AM
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