Saturday, 19 September 2009

Ok, the transformation is COMPLETE

Just over a year ago, I went on stage every day in Edinburgh for a month and labelled Mac users 'Pretentious Tossers'. Immediately afterwards, I went and bought a Macbook. And I love it. I love it with the zeal only the newly-converted born-again Christian could love it with.

And this week, my journey to the Dark Side is complete. Like The Fly, or the bloke in District 9, it is Over.

I have an iPhone.

And I love it. I do, I do, I do. I DO believe in fairies! I DO!

For fuck's sake. I know. And I loved my Nokia N95.


Click on the title link to hear the end result of a joyful evening pissed up the wall. Hoorah!

ALL DONE ON MY PHONE. Fuck's sake.

If the link doesn't work, go to or click on the little widget thing down a bit and on the right a bit on this page. I've made it downloadable. So that other users of wankphones may use it as their ringtone.


Sunday, 6 September 2009

Can I Offset that against tax?

So this weekend I popped my Festival Cherry (apart from Edinburgh) and went to the Offset Festival, surely the best alternative rock festival, in Hainault, in early September, in the world.

I was there to perform in the comedy tent. This is the comedy tent:

It wasn't as glamorous as it looks, though. Anyway, the lovely Bob Slayer was looking after things there, and I have to say, it was him at his finest. What he does best is wade through chaos. It's like fighting fire with fire.

Anyway. I had a little time to kill before I was due on, so I decided to drink in the heady atmosphere of my first ever FESTIVAL.

I have no point of comparison here. I can't say, 'Oh, it's like a smaller version of Glastonbury' because I have no idea. I can't say 'It's like Latitude without the platitudes' because I've never been. I think I would best describe it as being like a school fete. If the fete had been organised by the goths in the sixth form.

It was nice to see some families there - it's always rather cheering to see more than one generation having a good time. There were a couple of families picnicking in front of the main stage. It was nice to see their little 4-year-olds bopping away to the band. I'm hoping the lyrics didn't fully sink in though. The band was singing this:

I wanna fook you oop...
I wanna fook you about...

I can't think where little Levi and Poppy picked that up from...

So I sat and chewed self-consciously on my veggieburger, and looked down at my ridiculous silver shoes and my ridiculous bright blue shirt and my ridiculous jacket and my ridiculous ukulele (paranoid about leaving it anywhere at gigs since the last one was stolen at the World Music Awards) and felt, well, ridiculous.

I saw one group of young women staring at me with what I first thought was contempt, but then I realised was more a sort of pitying curiosity. One of them, Claire, or Clare, or possibly Cleadghfgh in Gaelic, came over and spoke to me, mainly about my ukulele. And her ukulele. And her friend Maeve's ukulele. And then I met her friends, Maeve and Ella, and I felt pathetically grateful to have someone to talk to, and to be taken under their collective wing. I also felt very lucky that they weren't part of the apparent fancy-dress competition that seemed to be going on, namely the see-who-can-make-themselves-look-like-they're-dying-of-heroin-addiction-the-most.

Anyway, I went and did the stand-up and they very charitably came and watched me go down in flames. Ok, that sounds more dramatic than it was. It went fine. Three people walked out after about two minutes though, and when I made the mistake of asking if it was because they were under age and my material had a strong sexual content, they shouted "No, it's because you're shit"...

I don't think anyone there was up for what one might term "jollity". My joke about the aperitif Kir attracted two rather comforting laughs from some middle-class allies.

Anyway. We staggered away, my newly-adopted support group and I. I went to buy some booze (had to drive miles to find anywhere, and all they sold was alcohol on special offer. You couldn't buy it normally. You had to buy it in threes, sixes or sevens...)

I returned and delivered it to the tent, and then rather tediously hummed and hawed over What to Do Next.

I didn't know if I would be required back on before 9pm, or after 11pm (there was a two-hour break). And so I waited for a text to come through, and when I hadn't had one by 9.30 I decided to get drunk. Always the best plan.

There then comes a happy haze of face painting, and chips, and BURGER SAUCE what the FUCK is that and can you INJECT IT, and, well, drinking, and it all being so jolly and fun you could almost forget you were in the middle of a scene that bore a striking similarity to Darfur:

Welcome to District 9.

My hosts very generously apportioned me a corner of their tent in which to hunker down for the night, and I went and fetched my duvet. Although most of the night was spent with my back pressed against the wet tent walls, listening to bongos, retching, and some of the following choice snippets of dialogue:

"...Well, I just figured since I'd paid for petrol, you'd pay the camping fees..."

HIM: Have you got like a best mate?
HER: Well, I've got loads of friends...
HIM: Yeah, but you must have like one best friend, is it?
HER: Yeah, I have. But she's a prick...

"He's blatantly chucked up all over his sleeping bag..."

I now understand why people take drugs. I would have taken anything. I nearly woke up one of my new friends and begged them to punch me unconscious for the rest of the night.

At 7.25am peace finally reigned. The bongos stopped. The generators for the floodlights switched off.

That's when Ella started blowing her nose.

Cleadghghgf left. She kindly returned the ear plugs I had given her, which was very thoughtful, but I am sort of thinking they are hers now.

When Maeve woke up, we had forgotten about the moustache Ella had drawn on her last night, and I nearly screamed.

We decided to go and get breakfast off-site, because, really, anything to get away from the scenes of human detritus that lay all around us. As me, Maeve and Ella left for the car, some blokes from a nearby tent spotted my uke and hailed us:

"No WAY! WE'VE got a uke as well!" I know, mate. What are the chances, eh? Two pretentious tossers in one festival. Whoda thunkit. I don't want to own a ukulele any more. I love that little instrument. But I don't want to be part of this Venn Diagram overlap any more.

"You should have come over to our tent last night - we had bongos and my uke - we could have JAMMED!"

I could have "jammed" my ukulele sideways up his mincing little anus for every one of the six fucking hours I had just spent listening to his stupid fucking bongos. I said:

"Yeah. That would have been sensational."

And so we got to the car. As we approached, I said to Maeve and Ella "I'm sorry my car's full of crap", suddenly remembering it was full of stuff from Edinburgh I hadn't got around to emptying. But things were looking up, we were about to bust out of there, the wind in our hair, not a care in the world.

But we now get to the crux of the experience for me. There is something I would like to know. I would really like an answer to this question. This is the question that will haunt me above all else from this weekend, more than questions like 'Why did I think any of this would be a good idea?', or 'What the fuck do I think I am doing?' or 'is it really really too late to train as a dentist?' No. This is, as far as I am concerned the question of the weekend:

Who shat in my car?

That's really the one. The other ones I can sort of work through by myself, or with plenty of counselling. But, 'who shat in my car?' is the one I don't think is ever going to get resolved satisfactorily.

As we got in, Ella was lucky enough to put her foot into something a bit slidey on the passenger side floor. And it was a human turd.

Oh, capital. What a perfect finish.

Nothing stolen - laptop in the boot - all fine. Car locked. No signs of disturbance. But there, unmistakably, as we looked on and dry heaved - was a Snickers bar-sized human shit.

I have gone through every scenario I can think of. I wondered if it was the parking attendant there, who had leant through the passenger-side window, and told me she hadn't had a break in hours - well, she'd have had to dump it somewhere. I have quizzed my parents, wondering if one of them had done it for fun on the drive back from Edinburgh last week ("I promise I won't be angry, I'd just like to know").

The problem is, I could see Maeve and Ella running every scenario in their heads, too, and jumping to the most plausible explanation; namely that the shitten finger of suspicion pointed squarely at me.

Which, you know, who can blame them? Unless some sort of weird Fight Club type scenario is happening in my head (and really, by now, I am prepared to accept that - it isn't impossible that the last month has caused me to split into multiple personalities, of which one is a mad car-shitting maniac) I don't recall ever pooing into my own car footwell.

I don't want to go into it too much, but there are some very Bermuda Triangle-esque elements to it. It was unquestionably laid there fresh, c'est a dire done in place. But no signs of any peripheral processes, oh look, this is all disgusting now, and I am going to stop.

We found a pub and I washed my hands five times. Only cremation can clean me enough now. I do not want to exist as matter any more.

I didn't stay to do my spot today. Sorry Bob. Please understand. Once someone has taken a shit in your car, it's hard to rally.

Really might not do another festival.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Road Trip - Part Two

Mile 414


Fuck Ye Off, Mate.

Road Trip - Part 1


Mile 0

The boot is full. Our souls are empty. Still we pack. Will there be room for the three of us?


Mile 0

We are OFF, out of this shitten town, on a brisk, clear February morning.


Mile 3

I can feel we are approaching city limits. I can see the mountains on the horizon.


Mile 5

Lothianburn Junction. A ‘Welcome to Midlothian’ sign – we have busted out of Edinburgh!


Mile 12

Passed Penicuik. Out in the hills on the A702. It’s so beautiful. Suddenly, all the elements come together, and you can see nature working the way it should. Instead of a huge, monolithic city trying to be New York on top of a marsh.


Mile 15

Carlops. Presumably it’s an upgrade from Cyclops. “Troglodytes” mutters mum.


Mile 72

Annandale Water Services.

Stopped off to watch the poor boy at Costa Coffee who is presumably in his first week of employment. The safety pin through his ear offset his bad shaving wonderfully.


Mile 93


Monday, 31 August 2009

It Must Be Something I Said

Well, it's over. Over, over, over.

My free show has finally garnered some reviews, getting a whopping 2 and 1 stars.

And I have learned a lot. I absolutely, unquestionably, overstretched myself this summer. Two shows is a ridiculous amount of material. Along with the breakfast show. And I guess that is the price one must pay.

I cannot wait to get out of here. I would feel a little humiliated, but the bulk of the feedback I got from most audiences was really positive. The last two evening gigs were a delight, an absolute delight. I wish, well, what does it matter what I wish? It came, it went, it's done.

And better to have received such a cool critical response this year than last year, which would have scared me off from ever going on a stage again, ever, ever, ever.

Behind every comedian who sets themself up as being the funniest person in the room for 50 minutes, there are probably two things at work - a combination of rampant, tyrannical ego, but also, I hope, a heartfelt desire to give people a good time.

And should anyone ever read this who came to one of my shows and did not have a good time, then I really do sincerely apologise. I do not take the 'fuck you' attitude; if I failed to diagnose what you would enjoy, and then supply it, that was my fault. One cannot please all the people, etc etc, particularly the random element that must come in any mixed audience of people who don't know the comedian they are seeing. For instance, how could I ever hope to please people like the couple my dad tried to flyer last week by saying "Do you like to laugh?" to which they replied "Oh, no, no?"

I don't know what to do. I need to find my audience. And I don't know how.

If an unknown Jimmy Carr, or Jack Dee, or whoever had to play to a bar full of people who have walked in to see a show because it's free, and because it's raining, and it's four o'clock in the afternoon, and there is building work going on in the bar, the chances are they would not be able to please everyone. But that's ok, now, because people know who Jimmy Carr and Jack Dee are, and they can choose to go and see them, or not.

There are too many variables at this level - me, and the audience.

I thought this trip would garner some critical acclaim, and hardly any audience. What I got was the exact opposite. I played to over 1400 people, plus guest spot appearances. I have been, not trounced by the critics, but given a bit of a pulling-up, and not unfairly - I have no real counter to their arguments.

So what do I do, what do I do? And how do I do it?

I poured so much work into this venture, not to mention the money... And I do not think it has particularly got me anywhere. I am still proud of Hallo, Music Lovers. I still think it was a good show. And better than last year's show. Which is progress. And there were many, many nights where you could see one or two members in the audience properly losing it - doing that centre-of-gravity-tipping-point laugh where they can't stop any more. And I can't believe a serious critic could have sat through an average show there and not been forced to acknowledge the proper, belly-laughs it generated.

Maybe now, with a screaming hangover, and on the brink of total exhaustion, is not the time to try to figure it out.

I was very touched last night, by some lovely blokes who sat in the front row and laughed most obligingly throughout the show. Afterwards, one of them said, perhaps reading my thoughts before I did: "Don't give up the stand-up, mate - it's really good".

I don't know. I don't know what the point is, or the goal is, or anything... I feel like I have let people down. And I think I hate that feeling more than almost any other.


Thank you for reading.

Live text on the drive home tomorrow! Thrillin, my dear. Thrillin.

To London. To my cats. To respite. To a real bed. To home, home, home...

Peace... No, really. Peace.


Friday, 28 August 2009

Twenty-Second Night

Corblimey, eh? 22? Blige.

Today was busy, busy, busy. Managed a 7-8 mile run this morning, which, since it was through some pretty dodgy areas, I reckon counts for double mileage when you factor in the adrenalin.

Did a guest spot at a venue called The Grape, with Katerina Vrana.

Bloody hell. Tough venue! Adjoining a noisy restaurant, in what looks like an old bank, with reverby high ceilings. Argh, argh, argh... I don't think I could do a month in a venue like that. Anyway. I read them a little erotic fiction and they seemed happy enough.

Numbers are still low in the audiences, but only comparitively. 20 in tonight - but compare it to the poor darlings at the Pink Bus who cancelled their 9.30 show this evening.

I totally do not buy the whole "audience numbers are up on last year" story. You have only to spend half an hour flyering (or six, in mum and dad's case) to see there are fewer punters about.

I think there are the same number of 'hardcore' festivalgoers, who buy the premium tickets and see the prestige shows. But there are far fewer of the 'chancer' festivalgoers who'll have a flutter with the odd fiver on an unproven performer's show.

Recruited two little flyerers today - Jen and Fiona. Bless 'em. They are splendidly enthusiastic. Ah, youth...


And we have had pizza and ice cream. I didn't run through the fucking ghetto for nothing, you know.


Thursday, 27 August 2009

Twenty-First Night - So Right for a Fight.


Interesting sort of day. Blimmin lovely in the afternoon. Tried a new piece of erotic literature. It was deeply sexy. I can't remember what it was now. Oh, it was about a film director.

I made the mistake of singling out a young lady who wasn't singing during the shanty, who happened to be a friend of a nice man I used to work with. So now I feel like a right old tosser.


Then the evening show was fantastic - a small crowd, but a really lovely one. Special thanks to Natasha and, shit, Rob? who heard Dora Dale on Radio 7, and were very encouraging.

And THEN - well. My first compering gig. Sowerby and Luff's Allstars, minus Sowerby, minus Luff, and plus Jake, and plus a nutter who wouldn't stop using his mobile phone through the whole show.

We got through it. The fabulous Katerina Vrana read some of my most lamentable erotic fiction (she elevated it for me, if you know what I mean, but, you know...) and she was wonderful. As were the other acts, Nick Helm, James Shakeshaft, and the Dog-Eared Collective.

And then after the show, Richard, the God of Trespassed-Against Comedians, burst out from behind the curtain, and yelled at the mobile phone guy, and then the landlord yelled at Richard, and I said "thank you for coming!" to the audience, and I don't think there will be any more of those shows.

And in all honesty, why should there? Not to cast nasturtiums, but, you know... If you tack your name to a show, I don't think it's really ok to sort of leave other people to get on with it.

Sorry if that sounds a little bitchy, but, you know. It's been a night for scrapping. I myself am going to go out and tell a local he looks like a pussy.



Shit. Ow.


Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Ok, Alright, Dammit, BEFORE I Go to Bed... - Jake Yapp Review

About that review. Not, I hope, that you have read it. It was in threeweeks, it was three stars, and it was pretty non-committal.

Anyway. SHOULD you decide to read it, do take it in the context of its author. I quote from his blog profile:

Tommy 'Tp' Peel

About Me

Hello Dear Reader, I am a Drama and English student at Hull who enjoys all types of Media activities but like a large number of people, am continually pissed off by it. I also struggle to spell. I hope to be a decadent but am far too worried I might kill myself

Everyone is, of course, entitled to an opinion. Just bear in mind that the opinion you'll be reading is his opinion. The opinion of a man who doesn't even put a full-stop at the end of his sentences


Twentieth Night - Except it Wasn't

We cancelled this evening's show. With no pre-booked tickets, and Team Yapp/Lescott pretty knackered, we decided to cut our losses and save ourselves for the Last Big Push.

Fantastically lovely afternoon show though! Such nice people, including some who had been to the pay show.

This whole run has been so unpredictable. More people in the pay show than the free show. Crazy.

Anyway. I shall STFU now to remain springy and fresh for tomorrow. Uncle Shaun will require me in seven hours. Seven hours in bed! Feels like a complete luxury.



Nineteenth Night


That is the sound of the Edinburgh bubble bursting for many people this evening.

Where is everybody?

Shows cancelled, tiny audiences... Lordy. I had a small but select bunch in this evening. I think they enjoyed it. Sometimes you just can't tell. I do hope they did.

Did the Pink Bus this evening, and then a late one at the Electric Cabaret at C Central. It was a nice night, and the audience was nice, but it absolutely cemented my feelings about venues with a completely dead acoustic. It is REALLY unfriendly to a comedian. We had a totally acoustically dry room, and the white noise of an air conditioner to contend with. I know it sounds pretentious to talk about such things, but, god, it really makes a difference.

I have to say, I felt in a daze on stage for the last gig. It is too much to be doing comedy from 6am-1am. I have totally overstretched. But, you know. I am proud of having survived, and I am proud of most of the shows. And I have met some great people.

Found myself giving Richard Bacon stand-up tips this evening. Ha! Who do I think I am? He's going to be doing stand-up live on Five Live on Thursday night at 11pm. I think it will be worth hearing. Sadly, I'll be compering at the White Horse then. Sowerby and Luff's All Stars, minus Sowerby and Luff, and Plus Jake Yapp. My first compering! Lawks.

I left my jacket somewhere. Bugger. I love that jacket.


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Eighteenf Night

Arrrrt mate wicked is it.

Tonight was smashing. 59 people in. Including, I am humbled to say, Danny Wallace and his enchanting wife Greta. And now I am drunk and must get up in shit fuck shit fuck 5hrs14mins.

Anyway. It was great. My friend Marn went home today, which was a great shame because I drew a lot of strength from him over the last few days. Not to mention what ace company he is, obviously. There are not many people with whom you can have a conversation about spirituality and consciousness over a tray of chips with cheese in the drizzle in Hunter Square.

Anyway. It would be reckless to continue to type. So, you know. Goodnight.


PS I met David Mitchell this evening, but refrained from telling him everyone says I sound like him. Wouldn't want him to think I was WEIRD OR ANYTHING COME ON PHWOARRR LET'S SEE ALL THAT LOVELY ORANGE SQUASH.

Ok shhh goodnight.

No, really. Come on. Goodnight.


Monday, 24 August 2009

Seventeenth Night

Another super time. Chiefly, I think, thanks to valiant flyering by my poor exhausted parents.

Afterwards, went and did my little guest spot on the Pink Bus. I was followed by Simon Munnery, who has always been a bit of a hero of mine (remember Alan Parker, Urban Warrior?).

So we snuck upstairs and watched. He's fantastic. He does a routine about Richard Dawkins which is a consummate blend of surreality and very smart jokery. I shan't spoil it. Go and see it. He's doing his own show ("Five stars in the Scotsman. But, to be honest, that's only on a very good day. Realistically, you'd do better to expect somewhere between three and four.")

But if you're on a budget, he's taken on a PBH Free Fringe show. Every night this week he's doing an impromptu little show called "Fungers at Fingers". He has a stellar line up of guests, including John Hegley on Wednesday. So there. 9pm, Fingers Piano Bar, 61 Frederick St, EH1 1LM.

He seems like a very nice man, too. I bet he's an ace dad.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

What a Ridiculous Existence

This is a mad way to live.

For the last half an hour, all I have done is debate with myself whether to have a shower now, or after the afternoon show. Or to go for a run after the afternoon show and then shower. Or to run now, shower, and then do the afternoon show. Because then, I've blown my shower for the day, and I can't really shower again, which I'd like to do before the evening show. But I do sort of need to shower for the afternoon show. Should I shower now, or shower after the afternoon show?

Mother is counting leaflets. She is up to 283.

Father is emptying rice out from boil-in-the-bag rice bags so he can cook it.

Deliver us.


Sixteenth Night

Swings and roundabouts, mate. Swings and roundabouts.

It was a belter of a show. Such a lovely crowd. It does reinforce this dumb idea of perceived value. The audience this evening comprised almost exclusively people who had paid for their ticket. Which means they've invested in the show. Which means they a) want it to be a success and b) must believe that it will succeed...

So it was great.

Excitingly, the sound check went well, and then the first song began, and the CD started skipping all over the shop. I immediately reached for my ukulele, and began to wonder what sort of an acoustic set I could muster from scratch... It a twisted way, I was sort of looking forward to the challenge...

But then we tried again, and it was ok. Which probably was better, since the CD tracks form about 80 per cent of the show...

Crikey, eh?

Got a bit drunk last night. Ow.


Saturday, 22 August 2009

Fifteenth Night

It's all a question of balance.

Inasmuch as, I actively welcome a bit of friendly heckling. It makes the show fresh and exciting. It truly makes a show.

But it rapidly becomes boring. So do please feel at liberty to contribute to the show. But if you have already tried it half a dozen times and failed to take the roof off with your witty badinage, may I politely request that you then shut the fuck up? And, particularly, please don't stomp all over the punchlines.

Both shows today were really heavy going. People just chatted through the afternoon show, and the evening show was just crappy, with some hilarious wags just shouting whatever sprang to mind pretty much the whole way through.

Yuckola. What does one do? I am 35, it is pretty much too late to train as a dentist now. I am going to have to plough on with this shit, god dammit.

So, you know. Fuck it. Bring it on. That which does not kill me leaves me feeling depressed and insecure. But I shan't stop. Damn you, pissed-up heckling twats.

On we go!


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Fourteenth Night

It was my privilege to welcome the players from Oompah Brass into the audience this evening.

They are truly superb musicians. It is difficult to express in words the effect their playing has. They do the most astonishingly good cover versions of rock classics, in an Oompah style. Their show has quite rightly garnered five stars and is sold out. If you can get a ticket, go - you will not regret it.

Check them out on

In other news, my poor parents are flyering frantically. I think everyone is growing quite tired. Festival Fatigue is setting in. It's hard, man. Don't underestimate the toll flyering takes on you, if you're doing it seriously. It's a mini-show every time. And people can be very rude.

Dad had a little moment of satisfying schadenfreude this afternoon. He stopped a couple, and unsuccessfully flyered them. As a result of him stopping them, they got out of step with each other, and the man trod on the woman's shoe, and broke it.

It may seem cruel to laugh at these people, but they can be horrible. Or just plain weird. This one happened this afternoon, too:

DAD: Do you like to laugh?

OLD MAN: Oh, no. No.

Dude like totally WTF etc. Anyway. On we plod. It is a bit of a grind. The shows themselves are ace, ace fun, and we all have a jolly old time. But the behind the scenes is hurting us all. We could do with a glowing review. We finally got a review today, but it didn't really glow. It all comes down to an individual, and I rather stalkerishly read his other reviews. It seems his favourite show involves a chap called Monsieur Montpellier and surrealist improvised something or other. Which I am sure is lovely, but it is unlikely you'll particularly dig my music or comedy if you're into that.

Three stars. Hmph. I know it sounds a little callous, churlish, even, to 'hmph' three stars. But I got three stars last year from the same publication and there is NO WAY you could say this year's show isn't massively better than last year's. So, you know...


Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Thirteenth Night

It is a curious irony, that one's best performances often come after a night of binge drinking and little sleep.

Yesterday was the day off in the run. So we got drunk.

And today I assaulted Arthur's Seat, if you know what I mean:

Ran from Haymarket, over in the West, all the way East to Arthur's Seat, and back again. Ran up as much of it as I could... I looked like shit. Felt good though, in a bleak sort of way.

This afternoon's show was a bit treacley, until we got to the shanty. There were some lovely people there, including a 6Music listener, who didn't realise I worked on Shaun's show, but recognised my voice. How AWESOME is THAT? I shall tell you. Very.

I am so enjoying the show now. Less than a dozen performances left! Please can somebody figure out some way I can do this some more?


Tuesday, 18 August 2009

John Darwin - Canoe-Death Fraudster - The Diaries

Apparently, he lived off pies and cola, while he faked his death.

Day 43

Decided to just relax today. Fancied a pie and some cola. And why not? We’re quids in. I’m living the high life in this little wardrobe. Well done, John. Well done me.

Day 44

A nice relaxing day. I thought, “why not?” so I treated myself to another pie and cola. Delicious. There’s plenty to do in here. Sometimes I stare at the wood panelling. Sometimes I smell it.

Day 45

Relaxed today. Pie and Cola again. Noticed a nail I hadn’t noticed before. What a laugh.

Day 46

Relaxed. Pie and cola. Wood.

Day 47

Pie and cola.

Day 48

Pie and Cola.

Day 49

Pie and cola

Day 50

Ok, maybe I am getting slightly bored.

I know! I’ll have a pie.

And some cola.

Twelfth Night - Hmm, Catchy...

What a stormer.

Bloody marvellous night. How we laughed. Show has been slightly tweaked, and I am now really really really happy with it.

And we had an awesome crowd in. Ok, quite a few were comps, but notwithstanding that, it was big, man. I never expected to see so many people in the pay show - there have now been more people in to see it than the free show.


Then I had to run off to the Pink Bus, which was sold out - mainly to people from Eltham, where I went to secondary school. Gave me warm fuzzies.

I really must try to sleep. Got the breakfast show in five and a half hours...


Monday, 17 August 2009

I've put some Edinburgh pictures up...

...Should it be of the remotest interest to you. Just click on the title above...


Sunday, 16 August 2009

Eleventh Night

We are drinking gin.

It's all about the flyering. And it's hard work. And, currently, Mum and Dad are doing it all. For hours a day. Out in the elements. I am going to find some people to do some. Today mum flyered an old couple who were kissing.

"How nice to see people in love" she said.

"Ach," said the man, "D'ye like kissing then?"

"We-ell..." said mum.

And the man moved in and kissed my mother. Yes. I am whoring my mother out for this show. It is not right. She bravely said something about "It's fine, I washed when I got home..."

So not right.

On a sidenote, Facebook suggested I might like to be friends with Lisa Tarbuck today. I don't know why. I was very flattered, I'm sure. Out of interest, I clicked on her profile, and discovered she only has one friend. It's Ken Dodd.

I feel rather sorry for Lisa Tarbuck now. Should I be her friend?

We are trying a major change in the pay show tomorrow. Yipe!

Wish me luck...


Saturday, 15 August 2009

Tenth Night

O heavenly gluttony!

O orgy of fat!

Tonight we have had FISH AND CHIPS and I have had RUM AND COKE MMMMMMM

I have been looking forward to this all week. NO 6Music work tomorrow. So tomorrow I am at liberty to LIE IN feeling REALLY POORLY.

And I SHALL. Make no mistake. Wicked.

I am enjoying the show more and more. Tonight we had 59 people in to the paying show. 59! Gorblimey. Never thought I would be able to revel in such a luxury.

The mime seems to be doing well. I hope I am not jinxing it. At any rate, it's ace fun to do.

And this evening I played the Pink Bus again. It's great. It's mad. The top deck of a bus that's been covered with crazy junk... And you stand at the top and look like a ticket inspector. I go MAD with the power. Come down! It's at the C Venue - Soco Urban Garden on Cowgate.

It is, however, a bit like a typical bus journey, in that there always seem to be one or two slightly strange people on board...

Anyway. I'm trashed. Nighty!


Oh, yeah, and PS hello to the lovely couple who I am sure came to see me last year, and were at the afternoon show (particularly the gentleman who volunteered to be my personal trainer), and to lovely Melanie, for doing the double and coming to both shows!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Ninth Night

Four gigs and a breakfast show today.


Thursday, 13 August 2009

Eighth Night

Oh lord. Oh lordy. Lordy oh my lord.

There was a young man in the crowd this evening. And I am talking 8 or 9 years old.

I was knackered, and suddenly I am faced with a huge crowd, and A YOUNG BOY IN THE FRONT ROW.

Terrifying. So, rather than just getting through the set, I am going through it frantically trying to cut out all the rude and sweary bits... And I mostly managed to do it - and to be honest, it was a gift - until I got to the last bit. And then Neil came into his own. I said to him and his parents "This last song has a very strong word in it, will it be ok?"

And Neil said "Oh, don't worry, I hear it all the time at home..."

I salute my comedic superior.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Seventh Night

One of the loveliest things about being in Edinburgh this year has been meeting some of the 6Music listeners. There were a couple at The Caves this evening, and they were really smashing. And I can't remember their names now because I am a disingenuous prick. God dammit.

To be honest, it's all turning into a bit of a blur.

I would be completely stuck without my parents. We have a timetable drawn up on the back of the living room door where we're staying. It is mapped out to the hour. No kidding.

The average day runs like this:

6am - Get up, work on 6Music

10am - Do some sort of exercise

10.03am - Stop and practice smoking. Ok I am joking. Feebly. But it is late. Cut me some slack.

11am - Sleep

12pm - Get up, lunch, shower, etc

1pm - start flyering

4pm - Show 1

5pm - Flyer evening show

8pm - Show 2

9.30pm - Guest spot

11pm - Home

11.45 - Bed

I am beginning to tire - I can feel it. So how lucky I am to have the 'rents watching my back.

I swear to god, I finished lunch today, and I said to my father "What do I have to do next?" and he said "Now it is time to go to the toilet, and then we are going flyering".

We actually have bowel movements scheduled now.

I don't take that flippin' long.

I think I might be on BBC Scotland tomorrow! Crikles.


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Sixth Night

I must confess that it is not without a little pride that I managed to hang onto two rather senior ladies throughout my free show this afternoon.

For people who don't like cuss-words, they still seemed to be chuckling away at my erotic prose, and my ukulele rendition of an extremely hardcore hip-hop number.

Full credit, of course, must go to them, for having splendidly open, and slightly dirty minds.

This evening's pay show at the Caves went well, too, with a small audience, but an appreciative one. It's a relief to know the show can still work with a smaller audience. Even when one of them is either doing an impression of a ghost, or really should have eaten before the show.

Night, all!


Monday, 10 August 2009

Mystery Picture For You

Fifth Night

Yesterday I had to do an open spot on the Royal Mile, on one of the stages.

It was an interesting process. I got some sense of what it might feel like to be a vagrant. There are strict rules about performing on the Mile - you can't use amplification of any kind. Which is fine, as long as you're not squished up between some people yodelling Shakespeare, and an accordion band. My little ukulele didn't stand a chance. So I felt like a bit of a numpty, almost mutely mouthing my way through a few songs that made no sense whatsoever out of context, and attracting looks of at worst, disdain, through bewilderment, to, at best, pity.

Finally a few people started paying attention. I almost broke down and wept when a sweet young boy, maybe three years old, started dancing to my version of "Jump Around".

Sweet innocence of youth!

By and by a few people stuck around to listen, which was jolly sporting of them.

I am relieved not to be doing it again.

The two shows continue to be maddeningly unpredictable. YOU JUST CAN'T TELL. EVER.

The audience decides collectively how your gig will go. It's never about your performance, or how much you put into it. Yesterday - the Free Show - Amazing. The Pay Show - So-so.

Today - the EXACT OPPOSITE. My nerves can't take this kind of lottery.

Oh, by the way, I have been learning some new Scottish phrases. You will be interested to know, I hope, that I nearly sprained my Queet this afternoon. But it still does the job.

Thanks to the Cheltenham Massive for this evening - it meant the world.



Sunday, 9 August 2009

Fourth Night

The free show in the afternoons is turning into an awful lot of fun. It is nice that so many people are getting to know my cats. Perhaps a little too intimately.

Angus volunteered to be my assistant in the pay show this evening. He was a very nice young man, and I am sure he and his girlfriend will come to terms with the blossoming man-love which emerged on stage.

My microphone will never be the same again...

Or possibly smell quite the same.

Oh, Angus.


Saturday, 8 August 2009

Third Night

Tonight's best heckle:

ME: Does anyone here enjoy drugs?

MAD OLD BLOKE: I'd have to take some to enjoy your show, hurhahahahaha!

ME: Ah. Very good. That explains the syringe dangling freely from your eye socket, sir.


Bring 'em on, I say.

Also, it was the first free show of the run this afternoon. It was not bad - lovely, lovely crowd, including a reader of this very blog. Humbling.

Not only that, but we had time to squeeze in the Barack Obama bumsex joke in the paying show. Sounds fun, doesn't it? If you fancy coming, try and find me from about 7.45 outside The Caves - I'll try and sneak you in for cheap. Two for one. This week only. Then I'm not sure I'm allowed...


Friday, 7 August 2009

Second Night

Now I remember.

Now I remember what it's all for.

Having a lovely, lovely night, with a smashing crowd, when it doesn't feel like standup, it feels like a roomful of mates, and getting drunk and elated afterwards, and eating fish and chips in Grassmarket, staggering home, and knowing you won't sleep.

Now I remember why we went through the months of preparation, all the worry, all the angst.



Ahhh, so thank you, God, Marx, humanity, friends, family, whatever it is that puts it all into place.

Yes, I am drunk.



First Night

Last night was the first night of Hallo, Music Lovers!

And it was not too bad. The venue was running horribly late, but we had a lovely crowd of people in.

The Caves are amazing. Waiting backstage as the audience came in, I gazed at the dripping stalactites on the walls. I am pretty sure if you wanted to, you could sink your fingers right into the walls. They seem to be made of chocolate mousse.

But the stage is reassuringly solid, made of robust flagstones, which give me the confidence to bust out my urban dance moves when the occasion presents itself.

The acoustics are a bit, well, 'cavey', but I have to say, they make my ukulele sound divine. If it is possible to make a ukulele sound divine.

All in all, we had some laughs. There's room for improvement, so roll on tonight!


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Shameless Merch Plug


Good news! There is a brand new compilation album of some of Dora Dale's funniest stuff available on iTunes!

It features some of her choicest short pieces on radio, and it's material that has never been available before. It features Martin Kelner, her interviewer from Pleased to Meet You, and is pretty much the same sort of stuff.

If you buy the whole album, you also get to hear from two other characters - Bernard Rush, the Drinking Man's Alan Whicker, and Antony Ferrel, a young offender with an exuberant outlook on life.

There's even a never-before-broadcast tour round the home of Richard Whiteley with Dora Dale. It gets a little messy at the end...

Here's the link for iTunes:

Or if you'd rather do it through Amazon, it's there as well:


Hey, and if you're in Edinburgh over the summer, look me up and come and say hello - I'm doing two shows up there, and Dora features in one of them.

Best wishes

Jake Yapp

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Sliding into Darkness

Oh, this is wrong. And I mean Properly Wrong.

I was in Bristol a couple of weeks ago, and we got drunk on Pimms, and there was a skip.

So I said "Let's go Dumpster Diving!".

So we did.

What we found looked like something out of Lost. Amongst the busted office chairs, ceiling tiles and bits of carpet, there were dozens of wallets of slides.

So we took some.

And they are DARK, my friend. Here's a teaser for you:

It's the last one on that list that turns it into a SAW prequel, I think.

I shall post more. Some of them are really unpublishable. I am talking severed human feet. Not only that, but the names of the patients are written on the slides. Surely that is a bit wrong. Surely there must be such a thing as a Slide Shredder?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

What I Am Doing In The Mornings

I hope the clement weather finds you well.

Some bits and pieces for you:

"Pleased to Meet You" the Sony-nominated radio show featuring my alter ego Dora Dale is enjoying some repeats on BBC Radio 7 - you can catch up here:

Although I don't know of whom the photo is. One wouldn't have minded being consulted on such things... Ah well. Dora will be making her debut in Edinburgh this year... See below.

Also, Jake Yapp's Little Bits, my new, compact podcast is up to show ten (10) now - you can catch up here:

Work continues apace on the TWO (2) Edinburgh shows. I do hope you can come. I am doing previews on the 16th and 26th July at the Doghouse in Kennington, if you fancy it. Admission free and all that. If you'd like to read the little blurby bits about the shows, you can do so here, on the Edfringe website:

I am pleased to report I will be working with the preposterously affable Danny Wallace when he sits in for Adam and Joe on 6Music from July 11th. Do give the show a listen if you can. It'll be good!

Also, I am now an official voice over artist, registered with the lovely Emma Harvey of Harvey Voices. You can see my page and listen to samples here:

And now, my cat has eaten my earphone, so I must go and buy a replacement.



Monday, 22 June 2009

Impressions That Must Never Be Done Again

I want legislation. The following impressions must be made illegal within the next 28 days. If you have a legal background, please get in touch.

Kermit the Frog
Frank Spencer
Sean Connery
Elmer Fudd
Tommy Cooper
David Coleman
Roger Moore
Anyone from The Simpsons
Fred Flintstone
Robert de Niro
The Movie Voice Over Guy
Arnold Schwarzenegger
George Bush, especially with extrama syllamables
Any Other Muppets, especially Miss Piggy and Fozzie
Any Harry Enfield characters
Any Fast Show characters
David Brent
Bob Hoskins
Michael Caine
Clint Eastwood
David Attenborough
Are You Being Served?
Cartman and Any Other South Park Characters
Jeremy Clarkson
Trevor McDonald
Lenny Henry
Groucho Marx
Larry Grayson
Ronald Reagan
Margaret Thatcher
Mickey Mouse
Donald Duck
Robin Williams
Jack Nicholson
Ozzy Osborne
Ali G
Bruno (coming onstream July 2009)
Family Guy
John Merrick
Beavis and Butthead
Marlon Brando
Anyone from Star Trek
Bad Lip-Synched Kung Fu Movies
Nelson Mandela
Bill Clinton
Little Britain
League of Gentlemen
Vic and Bob / Shooting Stars
Eddie Murphy
Bob Dylan
Michael Jackson
Johnny Cash
The Churchill Dog
Mr T

Offences should carry minimum 10 year sentence. Life for Kermit, Connery and Arnie. If you have any other suggestions for the list, please add them below...

Monday, 20 April 2009

In Praise of Downham

It is refreshing to remember that the big supermarkets haven't sewn everything up. In these times of corporate vertically-integrated brand synergy bollocks, you have to love a place like Downham:
Downham! Jewel of East Catford!
At the bottom of the sprawling housing estate is this little parade of shops, and I cannot count the times it has provided the things you just can't buy anywhere else.
When I needed maggots for a TV shoot, I found them in the fishing shop.
When I needed a walking stick for Dora Dale, the charity shop provided one.
And at Christmas it was the last place in London to stock Glace Cherries.

David Tomlinson banged on about Portobello Road in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but I put it to you that he should really have been singing about Downham. And he really should have cut the song down by about three minutes. Especially the world music montage. Bloody hell. But I digress.

Downham was home to one of the last surviving Woolworths, and for a long time had a shop called Alladin's (sic) Cave, which sold everything from hinges to blank painting canvasses. Awesome.

In one shop last week, I bought garden shears, Lemsips, and a plastic storage tub. Which I had to take home and wash up. There was a slightly more expensive clean one. I like shops where the same product comes in different prices. Or where the product label says "Only £1.29!" but they stick a price sticker saying £1.99 over the top.

Anyway. I put it to you that without these handy little oases (oases? oasises?) of moulded plastic, modern Britain would be lost. God Bless You, Downham!

Why Spain Leads the World

Pizza. In a cone. 
Come on.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Tonight's TV - Tues 17th March

What the flip is going on with Horizon? Personally, all I want is Cox. Brian Cox. I suspect that joke might have worked better on the radio. Anyone would think I wrote this for the radio and have now repurposed it for the blog. Dear me no. Not my style. Always fresh, every time.

Anyway. Horizon. Tonight the show is fronted by David Baddiel, who will no doubt be twiddling his stupid earring and talking about education. I’m sure the former English reader at King’s College Cambridge will have plenty to say to the likes of you and me about education. What do you mean, bitter?

Frog Blancmange, anyone? No? Bone Marrow Rice Pudding? Heston Blumenthal is rapidly turning into a culinary Roald Dahl – mmm, dahl – with his latest offering, Heston’s Tudor Feast at 9 on Channel 4. Still, it might be moderately entertaining to watch Sophie Ellie-Bextor and Cilla Black trying to get it down. Fame is a cruel mistress. They must be desperate.

Finally, oh well, Horne and Corden continue their sketch show on BBC3 at 10.30. Whether your favourite is the lumpy one, and I’m a fine one to talk, or the one with eye shadow, there’s something there for everyone, if everyone has never ever ever seen the Fast Show, Smack the Pony, or almost any comedy, quite possible including Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. 

Have a good day!



Sunday, 25 January 2009

Why JJ Abrams Sucks

It started (although I didn't know it at the time) with Armageddon, a film from 1998 that sucked. It dealt with the subject of the earth being struck by a meteor, and it came out about 8 seconds after Deep Impact, which dealt with the same theme but was a much more interesting, sensitive, and well-thought-out film. 

JJ Abrams was a writer on Armageddon, from there on he made the TV series Alias, which featured Jennifer Garner looking like she was trying to suck milk out of a diamond, and then he went on to make Lost.

The next slew of episodes has just hit UK television, and it sucks. Now, I know I'm saying nothing new here, but here's the thing:



Thing is, I can PROVE THIS. 

Series One of Lost was one of the most exciting things ever. We all watched, chewing our knuckles, wondering what it all meant, what GENIUS masterplan was at work, what MONUMENT of televisual EXCELLENCE was being built on these EXHILARATING foundations?

And the answer is none. None monument. In series one, we had to endure the unending flashbacks to the characters' lives before they crash landed on the island. We sat patiently through them for the 90 seconds of gratifying plot advancement each episode afforded. 

And so it continued with Series Two. More mysteries! Lordy, it sure would be nice to have something explained, or some mystery revealed at some point, but gosh darn it, it's all so exciting!

Then JJ Abrams started making Cloverfield, and then we realised he was a fucking liar and a bullshit merchant and a substanceless piece of sucky fuck. Don't believe me? Click on this link and watch:

(Incidentally, don't let it put you off, which is one of my favourite websites)

And there it all is. Let me save you the precious minutes of humanity - I'll paraphrase his little talk. What he basically says is "I think it's way more exciting when you don't get to find out what's going on. And Macs are way cool." 

Oh, SUPER. Well, sorry, but isn't that part of the contract between the creator and the audience? We agree to watch your film or TV show or read your book, and you promise to give us some kind of fucking payoff.

Around Cloverfield time, Lost started doing flash... forwards, instead of flashbacks. A fantastic move, that suddenly made the time on the island, formerly the exciting part, the boring part. And in fact, we all started not to care about any of it, because nobody was really telling us anything about anything anymore. 

And this evening's episode, after a year's hiatus, is the most incomprehensible mess of bollocks I have ever seen. At any given time you don't know if you're watching a flashback, a flashforwards, a 'time-loop' on the island, or the delusions of Hurley, the mentally-disturbed fat guy, who must surely be on danger money for maintaining that weight for so many years. Dude, just looking at him makes me feel a little... Hurley.

The whole thing smacks of a play mounted by two six-year-olds who are frantically trying to raise the stakes as they sense the endgame of bedtime approaching:

"And, then, er, and then, a THING comes out of the trees and it's made of SMOKE!"

"No, come on JJ, it's bedtime, isn't it...?"

"No, and then... And THEN! They discover they are travelling in TIME!" (Starts bouncing on sofa.)

"Come on JJ... Teeth"

"But, no, and then, then, one of them's DEAD but he's not!" (Leaps off sofa.)

"Teeth and bed."

"No, TWO of them!" (Smashes into brand new DAB radio with iPod dock.)

"Right. That's it."

Getting into a mess is a piece of cake. Getting back out of it without losing your audience is the hard part. JJ Abrams, you SUCKY PIECE OF COCKING SHAFT. 

Oh, and isn't it awful what's going on in the Middle East.

Monday, 19 January 2009

It's Officially the Saddest Day of the Year

Another one of those official-but-pointless press releases.

Now look.

There’s plenty to be unhappy about. God knows we’re all facing those foul little squirts of adrenalin with the credit crunch, and this morning it seems Britain has been hit by a water cannon, but come on.

You could be living in the hottest part of the world, where people every day have to walk a 30-mile round trip to fetch their water in sweltering heat, and when the water comes out of the ground, it is literally boiling.

You could be George W Bush, about to give way to someone approximately 8 billion times more popular than you – no money is worth that, dude.

You could be an animal – would you like to spend your life as a dung beetle? I would, actually, but I’m a bit weird like that.
Or you could be a patient awaiting dentistry in the 18th Century. That was not fun.

And if you really want to widen the frame on the luckiness thing:

Arthur C Clarke said we are nothing but chemicals risen to consciousness, so be grateful that the chemicals that make up you aren’t currently being used as a swamp, or a cow pat, or a lamp, or spinning through the vast, cold vacuum of space as a lifeless comet, or Gary Bushell’s Beard, getting covered in bits of egg and venom.

So come on, brace up, let’s make the best of it. It’s really not so bad. Have a good day.