Butt out MC Hammer

peter buckley hill (pbh)

Hola. I’m back from Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Festival. I was only there four nights, but even that took it out of me. That’s the Edinburgh Festival for you. (and getting older)

Now it’s over I can be honest with you. I went there not having a clue how it was going to go. We had a title, ‘Argos Catalogue of Disaters’, a sketchy premise that the show would be about failure and we had a venue courtesy of PBH (see pic above) and his Free Fringe. We were parachuting ourselves into the madness that is the Edinburgh festival, we were only doing 4 shows so had no real opportunity to build momentum, we also had no flyers and we were not in the main festival guide. Out of the three people performing the show 2 had never met before, Steve Rooney and myself, the third Marvin Cheeseman knew both of us.
Steve could only make the middle two dates. So there was great potential for this show to be a disaster, which in many ways would unintentionally fit in with the general theme of the show.

with this is mind, things didn’t get off to a good start, when on the first day, I got a call off Marvin at about 5pm saying he was stuck in Preston, in the worst traffic jam he’s ever been in and that he hadn’t moved for a couple of hours and so he has missed his train and therefore he’s not going to make it for the first show. Apparently the traffic jam was caused by a man threatening to jump off a motorway bridge. So that left one,me, to fill the hour. Sh*t!

Normally, I would have cacked myself but for some reason I was quite calm about this. It probably helped that ‘Her with one permanent job’ and my mate Tom were there to offer support. The show itself was ok, although I did end up doing a lot of chatting to the audience, which turned out to be a good source of humour. Although it did back fire slightly, when after asking one girl from Lithuania a couple of questions she replied by saying, “I’ve not come here to participate in the show”. That was me told.

The second gig was an unmitigated…. success, firstly we had a full complement of performers, and secondly the room was packed. When I say packed, I’m not exaggerating, people were sat on the stairway and some people were even turned away. We also had a woman in the audience with a remarkable laugh, which always adds to any comedy event. When you have these ingredients it’s hard to not to have a good gig and thankfully a good gig is what we had. Even before we’d done the final two shows, I knew this gig would be the highlight of the four.

After the gig we went for a few drinks, one place we went to was an outdoor venue, which outside the festival is just rubble but during the festival is a popular hangout. That’s the Edinburgh Festival for you. We ended the evening at a gay club as you do. After we left and whilst waiting outside the club ‘HWOPJ’s sister was having a ‘discussion’ with a man. So I went over to intervene (only after ‘HWOPJ’ told me to intervene) but before I could say anything, he said, “Butt out MC Hammer”! MC Hammer??? Who references MC Hammer in 2010. Luckily for him I wasn’t up for arguing and being a Sat night ‘HWOPJ’ didn’t have a copy of The Observer handy. (see here)
 
The third gig was quiet but pleasant and the fourth was just under a full house, which made it a good gig to end on. After a shaky start it turned out to be a successful festival for us. Marvin was even making noises about doing a week next year, I should have recovered by then.

                                                                               Til next time, stay safe!
(original post 24/8/10)

Before Sunset, Before Sunrise

ian wright,kate walsh,melinda messenger

Hola. Hope you are all well.

I’ve got a busy week ahead, well busy for me. I’ve got a couple of writing workshops to do and then I’m off to Edinburgh on Thurs for four shows see here. If you’re in Edinburgh or know someone who is in on these days, come along or get them to come along. I’ll be travelling back next Mon, so I will update this blog next Tues. It will also mean I won’t be on the radio this Sat morning. Let’s hope the person they get to replace me isn’t someone who wants to take my place, unlike the last time I was away from the show.

A couple of months ago, I mentioned how I did a few poems at the Manchester Independent Book Market. Well Literature Northwest were there with a camera and have put 3 of my poems on YouTube. You can see my attempt at a Peace poem here and there are 2 more poems here. Cheers.

Last week I mentioned how a couple of Warrington Rugby League fans ruffled my hair. It got me thinking that this had a lot to do with being part of a group (and a little to do with alcohol) , because they wouldn’t have done this if they were on their own. Nobody would do that to a complete stranger if they were on their own. This made me think how many people does it take, in a group before you would feel confident enough to ruffle the hair of a stranger. So the next time you’re out in a big group and you feel confident enough to ruffle a complete stranger’s hair ,do it and then count how many people you are out with and then let me know. If you have an problems when doing this, tell the people involved you are conducting an experiment. I’m sure this will smooth things over.

Talking of last week’s post, just out of interest did anyone click on the pics of Tom Jones’ groin area???

Onto other matters, I’ve had to endure what can only be described as two chick flicks. The first one was ‘Before Sunrise’, where a man and a woman meet on a train, they end up chatting on the train, then they chat whilst walking through Vienna, they chat in a bar, they chat whilst they’re lying in the park. There’s a lot of chatting. We don’t even get to see them boff. Apparently this is romantic. And just when you thought it was safe to go near the DVD player, they made a sequel, ‘Before  Sunset’. This was totally different, when I say totally different, it involved all the chatting of its predecessor but this film was set in Paris. If there are any men reading this and their wives/girlf shows any interest in watching these films, fake an illness, distract her with sex or do whatever you have to do, to get out of watching them. If you’ve watched either of these films let me know your thoughts. I imagine they will differ on gender lines, but I could be wrong.

I was interested to see that Ian Wright has left ‘Live from Studio Five’, which means there is a slot for a black guy to talk nonsense about nonsense. Never has there been a job  description that says me, in the history of job descriptions.

And finally…. In my attempt to be more popular than an octopus I have predicted the League placings for the upcoming Premiership. So if you want to know where your team is going to finish or you’re just interested then click here (and scroll down to bottom).

                                                 Til next week (tues), stay safe!
(original post 16/8/10)

Picasso and the rugby league fans

naomi campbell

Hola, I hope you are all well.

I’m alive and kicking and ‘Her With One Permanent Job’s Nana hasn’t nobbled me. In fact I’m led to believe she’s ok with everything now (see last week’s post), although maybe bringing it up again isn’t the best idea, especially as she’s recently become computer savvy. Damn those computer courses for adults.

Once again I’ve had a varied week, I was on the Becky Want show (BBC Radio M’cr) on Wednesday talking about public transport. You can listen to my bit here. (my bit starts 2hrs 6mins in and will remain active til this Weds). It was nice to do a show on the station where I didn’t have to set my alarm for 6 in the morning. Becky mentioned that she listens to me reviewing the newspapers on Saturday mornings and that “she’d built up an image of me” but “I looked nothing like it”. I didn’t know how to deal with this statement because it could have been a compliment or an insult. For all I know she could have imagined me to be taller, more buff or better looking than I actually am. I know this is hard to believe but it could have been the case, so I wimped out and said something non-committal like “oh right”. If you have any suggestions as to how I should have handled this situation, feel  free to let me know. Cheers.

Yesterday (sun 8th) I took in a bit of culture. I went to the Picasso exhibition at the Tate in Liverpool. HWOPJ and I got a lift there but due to unforeseen circumstances we had to get the train back. Naturally I was ok with this, especially as I am now a spokesperson for public transport. The journey was going ok until we got to Widnes, where waiting to get on were hoards of Warrington Rugby League fans. Of all the carriages they could have got on, they chose ours, and as is typical of men when they are in big groups they were being loud and confident. I didn’t overly mind as I knew they were only on for one stop, what with Warrington being the next stop. Because I’m probably exotic to these guys, as they were getting off a few of the fans decided to ruffle my hair and mention something about velcro. In this situation I thought it better not to react, as there were a large number of them, ‘HWOPJ’ hit them with a section of The Observer. I’m not sure what surprised them more, to be attacked by a woman or to see someone reading a broadsheet.

Onto other matters. I was listening to the Home Time show on Absolute, presented by Geoff Lloyd (weekdays from 5pm) and he was talking about a picture of Tom Jones, that highlighted Tom’s groin area. He then said he would put the pic on his Twitter site. Because I am wrong, this intrigued me, so i clicked on. If you, like me want to see a 70 year old man’s groin area, then click here.and for a close up, click here. If you are a better person than me, ignore this whole paragraph. This incident did however remind me of this.

And Finally…. I was fascinated by Naomi Campbell’s appearance at the war crimes trail. In her testimony she said 2 men knocked on her hotel room door and dropped off a pouch that contained diamonds. She then went on to say, she didn’t think much of it, as she often gets gifts given to her. Some people thought this was a bit suss, but on this matter I’m with Naomi, because often when I’m staying in hotels, usually in London, unknown men knock on my door in the middle of the night thrusting a pouch at me. And nowadays I think nothing of it.

                                                              Til next week, stay safe!

 (original post 9/8/10)

Don’t believe everything you read in the papers, even if it’s true

edinburgh

Hola. I hope you are all well.

I was doing a poetry workshop this morning, which means it delayed this blog. Can you believe this thing called work has impinged on this blog? I must do something about this.

I also feel I must apologise for the fact that David Cameron is not doing the blog this week. I did say in last week’s post that I was going to get the PM to be a guest blogger. Unfortunately he couldn’t make it, I think he’s in India upsetting the Pakistanis.

In last week’s post I also jokingly said the ‘Big Society’ may result in the women from the local Bridge club becoming prostitutes. I was contacted by a lady at my local Bridge club who assured me her ladies had no intention of becoming prostitutes. All I can do at this stage is to apologise for any confusion and to warn you that this probably applies to the women at your local bridge club. Hope that clears that up.

Also on last week’s blog I mentioned how I had been doing some re-pointing at my mum’s house. Well it’s kind of taken over my daily thoughts. I’ll be out and about analysing walls and at times horrified at how decayed some of these bricks are. This can’t be right for a man in his mid-thirties. Aren’t I supposed to be thinking of sex every 7 seconds not trowels and cement?

I had some good news last week. Well, initially it was good news but then it turned a little sour. The good news was I made it into my local newspaper, the South Manchester Reporter. It was a nice article and even made me seem like a go getting writer and performer. The only problem (not for me) was that in the article it described me as single, which technically I am as I’m not married. This however didn’t go  down well with ‘Her With One Permanent Job’s’ Nana, who appears to think I’m using my new found fame (the local paper) as a way of attracting the ladies, if you know what I mean. Admittedly I am a hunk of burning love and added with this media spotlight, I can see why she might be concerned for her Granddaughter. But to be honest I haven’t got the time, the money, or the inclination to be dating scores of women. Maybe I have the time but the other 2 factors remain true.

Plus these women are only attracted to people more famous than me. If a woman is willing to sleep with me because she thinks I can open doors to the world of showbiz, she’s either deluded or lacking in ambition. There’s plenty of famous comedians out there, with a reputation for womanizing that these women could take advantage of, such as this guy.

And Finally… I thought I’d give you the heads up on a couple of things I’m up to. This Weds 4th Aug, I will be on the Becky Want radio show on BBC Radio Manchester, a little after 4pm, talking about public transport. 

And I will be doing 4 nights at the Edinburgh Fest from Thurs 19th Aug-Sun 22nd. The show is called ‘Argos Catalogue of Disasters’. It will feature fellow comic poets Marvin Cheeseman and Steve Rooney. If you are at the fest (or know someone who is) for these dates, come along and the best thing it is Free. For more info click here. Cheers

                                                        Til Next week, Stay safe!

(original post 2/8/10)

It’s just another brick in the wall

brick work

Hola. Hope you are well.

About this time last year I started doing some pointing at my mum’s house, well a year later I’m back there continuing the job. I don’t know what it is about this time of year that makes me think I should do pointing. Maybe it will become a family tradition, something to rival Christmas. Just to clarify, when I say I’m pointing, I mean doing brick work and not just being really observant.

And before you ask, I’m not doing this because I’ve been inspired by David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ which I’ve got to say is a ridiculous idea. For those that are unsure what the Big Society is, (which probably includes politicians) David Cameron wants people to take control of their community by volunteering in different areas. One example given, is for locals to take over the running of their pub. Which seems like a very sensible idea because if your local landlord/lady can’t make the pub work despite having years of experience in the licensing industry, you and your mates are bound to make a success of it.

Allied with the cuts that are on the way, it will mean we are going to be removing qualified people and replacing them with well-meaning volunteers. It’s like Man Utd replacing Wayne Rooney with the 65 yr old who currently works at B&Q or ‘street walkers’ being replaced by the ladies from the local bridge society. So with this spirit of people doing jobs that they are unqualified to do, next week David Cameron will be doing this blog and Nick Clegg will be running the country.

Another ‘politician’ making the news last week was the BNP’s Nick Griffin, who was invited to the Queen’s Garden party along with others, in his capacity as a MEP. He then got uninvited, the official reason given, was that he was using the event to promote his political views and this wasn’t the arena for such a thing. However I think, the Queen thought, ‘I don’t want to be pictured with a man prone to coming out with racist remarks’. Let me clarify this, I imagine having had to go on many foreign trips with Prince Philip, she didn’t want to be pictured with another man who may come out with racist remarks.

Onto lighter stuff. I was flicking through the Royal Exchange listings brochure (I’ve changed). I was happily flicking through looking at all the different events and then what should I see but this. It was for an event called Speakeasy. For those who don’t know, I’m a member of this collective (I’m far right in the pic) and yet I had no idea about this event. Let me know if anything like this has happened to you. Have you ever found something out about yourself that unbeknown to you was actually public knowledge? (Feel free to use the comments button to let us know, cheers)

And Finally…. I ended up watching 3 films over the weekend, ‘Changing Lanes’,‘Catch me if you can’ and ‘Up in the air’. The first two I’d seen before, which does seem a little bit like a waste of my time but when you’re sat on the sofa and there’s much else on, what can you do. ‘Catch me if you can’ follows Leonardo Dicaprio’s character who is a con man (con boy). Watching it did make me want to become a con man. If anyone from any law enforcement agency is reading this, I’m not actually going to pursue this an option. And ‘Up in the Air’ with George Clooney is a good couple movie, because it’s slush enough for the chicks but not too unbearable for us blokes. For any more film advice, do not hesitate to ask. Cheers.

                                                           Til next week, stay safe!
(original post 26/7/10)

I hope he’s not sick on my coat

splat the rat

Hola. I hope you are well.

I’ve had another varied week. On Thurs I was in Leeds, Garforth Library doing a Young People’s comedy event. When I think of young people the words ‘surly’ and ‘too cool for school’ does cross my mind. But these young people were a really good and engaging audience, which was just as well as I was the only act on, so if they didn’t like me, they were screwed.

On Friday, I was helping ‘Her with one permanent job’ and her charity out. My job was to go to designated shops and pick up gifts, bottle of wines, vouchers etc.. so we could offer them as prizes in a raffle the following day at a festival in Chorlton. The only problem was, I was involved and nothing goes smoothly when I’m involved. So despite each shop having received a phone call in the week and agreeing to this, I was still met with blank faces, or told to come back the next day when the boss would be in or in one place they even told me that I’d received the gifts. It was like the world’s worst ever Treasure Hunt. I’d crack the clues, get to the correct location but there’d be no sweets for me. So I did what any self-respecting man would do in this situation, I rang ‘HWOPJ’ to sort it out.

On Sat, I helped out on the stall at the Festival (it was more like a village fete). Despite having great prizes for the raffle, including a £100 voucher for a hair salon, or a £30 meal voucher for correctly naming a Tiger (a toy one), the most popular thing at our stall was ‘rock the croc’. If I was to say ‘rock the croc’ was basic I think I would be giving it too much praise (see the pic at the top of the post). It’s normally called ‘Splat the Rat’ but we didn’t have a toy rat but we did have a fluffy green toy crocodile. The idea was for me or ‘HWOPJ’ to drop the fluffy green toy croc down the tube and for the competitor has to hit the croc with a stick before it hits the ground. It’s actually harder than it sounds. My unscientific findings were that it was most popular with young boys trying to impress their friends and older guys trying to impress their wives.

After the festival, we were driving back when ‘HWOPJ’ and ‘HWOPJ’s mum’ spotted a man collapsed on the pavement. They got out of the car, called an ambulance and comforted the man who had a fit. I had to stay in the car holding the ‘rock the croc’ to ensure it didn’t slip through the windscreen. My coat however was used to prop his head up. I hope it doesn’t sound bad, but I was thinking “I hope he doesn’t throw up on my coat”. He didn’t, and for those who are concerned by the time the ambulance came the man was up and puffing on a cigarette, a sure sign of good health.

And Finally…. Yesterday (18th july) I was doing 10mins of my poems at the Earth Cafe, at the Buddhist Centre in M’cr. It was a really friendly audience and people laughed in the right places, which is all I can ask for. Afterwards a woman came up to me and said my poems “had lifted her spirits”, which was a really kind thing to say. I mentioned this to one of ‘HWOPJ’s’ relatives (not mentioning any names Cath) who said, “the woman must have been really low”. Everyone’s a critic.

                                                          Til next week, stay safe!
(original post 19/7/10)

I couldn’t make this up

paul

Hola, I hope you are all well.

Congratulations if you are Spanish and commiserations if you are Dutch. I’m not sure if  this blog has Dutch or Spanish readers. I don’t think my celebrity has reached mainline Europe. If you are Spanish or Dutch feel free to let me know (you can contact me via the comments button). It would be good if I had readers from exotic places, as one of my aims is to replicate my success in this country, Internationally. 

If you have no idea why I’m congratulating the Spanish, then shame on you, where have you been for the last month. In fact how come you have found your way onto this obscure blog and yet you don’t know the winners of the World Cup.

I must also congratulate Paul. You may ask yourself who is Paul? Paul has been one of the most talked about things at this World Cup. He’s not a player and neither is he an official. He is the octopus that correctly predicted the winner in all the Germany games as well as the winner of the final. If you’ve missed the story, you are probably reading this questioning my sanity, but it is true, see here. Paul the Octopus has such fame these days that he has a spokesperson and a Facebook page, which let’s face it, is more than I have. You know you’re struggling career wise, when not only do you see younger people progressing quicker than you but also a bloody sea creature.

Talking of football and Pauls, I’d like to talk about Paul Gascoigne, as I’m a little concerned about him. Last week he claimed he was a friend of Raoul Moat (the gunman in Rothbury). I also read that he used to take phone calls from the Pope, not the current Pope (the former Hitler Youth) the previous one, John Paul II and that Cheryl Cole/Tweedy used to fancy him, see here. Out of the 3 things mentioned I’m struggling to workout which is the most believable (maybe you can put them in an order of believability).

The story did make me think, if you had to choose to be one of the Geordie Icons, Gazza or Cheryl, which one would you choose. On the one hand Gazza had a remarkable career and is seen as one of the most naturally gifted footballers England has ever produced, but he’s also a little bit bonkers to put it politely. Whereas Cheryl despite not being the best singer or dancer has managed to become a massive star, loved by large numbers. But if you do choose Cheryl it would mean that you’d have had to have slept with Ashley Cole. So who would you choose to be???

And Finally …. My favourite showbiz story of the week, is the fact that the rapper Snoop Dogg has said he would like to be in Coronation Street (see here) Now that is something I would love to see. Can you imagine Snoop in the Rovers, maybe supping a pint of Mild and asking Betty if he could sample her delicious hot-pot? If the producers of Corrie are reading this, sign him up!

                                                   Til next week, Stay Safe!

(original post 12/7/10)