Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Yep, I decided to change the colour scheme back, though I will have a fiddle at some point to make the links stand out more. I felt I should have something a bit more Spring-like when I found this in my front garden this morning...

Spring is here

So last night was good fun, what I saw of it before panic sent me out the door and on a bus home (related elsewhere, I can't be bothered with cut'n'paste right now). And the first time I've met Barbeloids, MT-Listers and Biconners in one venue. Arrived with others to see compere Ida Barr in full flow. The evening was comprised mainly of people I'd either heard but never seen or neither heard nor seen, I'd heard of Ida, or rather her alter ego's alter ego but she was great fun, leading the theatre in a music-hall singalong cum rap song.

She introduced Caroline Parker, who does sign-language versions of hits. She signed along to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, though I'm not quite sure how 'Bismillah!' translates in to BSL. The best bit is where she goes all air guitar in the instrumental.

Next up was Incandescense, what I saw was mainly one woman doing some of that thing where you fall up and down a rope without going splat on the ground and two lads doing something with angle grinders that made a lot of sparks but somehow didn't set the place on fire. Unfortunately my gaze was rather impaired as for most of their performance I was faced in the opposite direction, trying to get a drink at the bar. Then it was Miss Behave, dressed like Zatanna's older sister with a gorgeous voice, she did some fire-eating and "she's not going toohmygodshe'sputitallthewaydownherthroat!!" sword-swallowing, as well as showing the best way to cut a cucumber.

I'd lost track and interest in the next act, Rob Newman, somewhere around the end of his partnership with David Baddiel and the release of his pretentious first novel, Dependence Day. I didn't regret it until last night, when he did a great set abour travels in the American South, Bob Dylan taking on corporate gigs and part of the story of the joint British/US sponsered overthrow of the government of Iran in the middle of the last century, though he did get rather distracted by the fact the name of one of the people involved was Kermit Roosevelt and he explained that he wasn't going to allow himself to get sidetracked on the role of puppets in revolutions. He was so good I'm tempted to give his latest book, The Fountain at the Centre of the World a try, and will look out for when he's next doing his full show in London.

Then it was someone who got one of the biggest cheers of the night, Mark Thomas. He did an all-too-brief set, starting with a conversation he'd had with Jeremy Hardy's manager. Following Jeremy's anti-BNP statements last year his manager had got a number of unpleasant calls at work. Rather than waste time talking to these morons he'd just tell them he was putting them on hold for a minute, only to come back half an hour later to find they were still holding! And the music being played to them while they were on hold? Bob Marley. Some of his set was stuff from his last tour but some of it, like his comments about Mark Thatcher were obviously new. Not surprisingly Iraq did come up,

What's the difference between an Al-Qaeda operative and an Iraqi civilian?
Welcome to the US Army.


What's the difference between Al Qaeda and Balfour Beatty?
When Al Qaeda are involved in some horrific act that causes death and destruction they admit responsibility for it.

After that it was interval time, people going round selling raffle tickets for the prize draw. We had a couple of people from the charity the night was in aid of to talk about what they are doing and the organiser who'd been in the area when the Tsunami hit, explaining that some of the Governments in the area were obstructing the aid being used to help their people (I forget which country he named, possibly Sri Lanka, maybe Burma). Then someone from Madness, Chas I think, to read some poetry and do the draw. Then it was time for The Blockheads, Ian Dury's old band, to take to the stage, which was about the time I left, though not because of them I hasten to point out.


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