Stewart Lee at The Leicester Square Theatre

Originally published on Panic Dots

There’s nothing quite like the toilets at a comedy club to fill you with abject disgust. While the urine soaked floor laps at my trainers I realise I don’t care; I’ve been a big fan of Stewart Lee’s since the days of Fist of Fun, so I would happily wade crotch deep through a WWI latrine just to catch him on stage.

As I look at the audience, it amazes me how much tweed there is on display, and I formulate a theory about Lee speaking to a generation that desperately wanted to rebel, but were pampered into submission by a sycophantic media and resigned to accept the path of mediocrity and suburban ennui set in stone for them since birth. Then somebody tells me it’s press night, and I feel like a bit of a dick. I’d be lying if I told you the guitar stand and rickety stool on stage didn’t fill me with a sense of dread. Surely he won’t have cause to use either of them? The front of house makes the two-minute call, and there’s still a queue at the bar. Bloody journalists.

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The World According to Russell Brand

Originally published on Panic Dots.

The World According to Russell BrandIf you don’t like Russell Brand, then you might as well stop reading this right now. In fact, you should probably question why you even clicked on this review in the first place. It is, after all, about The World According to Russell Brand, his new DVD.

I must confess that I am a self-hating Russell Brand fan. I tried for so long to despise the man. I mean, look at him. He’s the epitome of everything that’s wrong with the current trend of dressing up in alternative garb without putting in the hours scouring record shops for out of print punk albums, or lurking in the darkest corners of metal clubs and generally looking at everything through a prism of nihilistic cynicism. No? Just me then.

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Camden Comedy Crawl 2011

Originally published on Panic Dots.

Camden Comedy CrawlMy first mistake was drinking the leftover beer in the fridge without eating. It’s not my fault, I asked my wife if I should have a beer, and she told me I deserved one. Who was I to say she was wrong? As my head swelled around me, I remembered the Jamaican lamb patty I’d been saving for lunch on Monday. I attacked it, cold, short crust pastry taking residence in my beard like a swarm of delicious head lice. I had less than 2 hours to get to the crawl, and I still wasn’t sure of the line up schedule. Cue a quick email to the PR company, and – hey presto! – one line up pdf.

I leave the house and meet my first obstacle. A gaggle of Londoners without the foresight to check TFL before setting off on their journey, blocking my path to the ticket gates. In an age where even Mount Everest has 3G and Wireless hotspots, this never fails to make my blood boil. Especially when it results in me missing my train. Despite the initial setback, I make it to the media call early – and it’s complete chaos. The beer garden of The Black Cap is filled to breaking point with cameramen, soundmen, and people mooching around waiting for Rich Fulcher and Tiernan Douieb to turn up. I mistakenly thought this would be set up as a press conference – turns out everyone’s jockeying for a brief one on one interview with the two comedians.

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