Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soulwax - Too Many DJs

Soulwax - Part of The Weekend Never Dies

fucking hell! can't wait for this baby!

The Fun Follies of Flyering....a photostory of romance between a group of men and A5 glossy pieces of paper...

See above for our flyer design by Tom and artwork by his bro Bob Moran. Thought they were really cool and when flyering people did want to pick them up and read them rather than throw them away or wipe their arses with them or something (they are not very absorbent). My favorite comment on the flyers was when Tom and I were on the Royal Mile flyering and these two girls with wee feathers in their eyelashes started talking to us. One of them starts to examine the flyer and says...'these are cool, you know what's really great you've done them on recyled paper!...' and me and Tom were looking at each other, perhaps with the unspoken mental question...'do you not understand it's just a scanned in version of line notepaper done on photoshop and then printed on premium non-recycled glossy paper 10,000 times over'.
They didn't come to the show, just as well, we might had to talk them down about how our voices came out of those wee black boxes when we talked into the black metal flower with the rope coming of it. Being on the Royal Mile was a good experience though got to meet some of the Diet of Worms and guys and Andy who I know from Axis of Evil (and does similarly perverse stand up to myself and who gave me a nice compliment whilst I was flyer some girls who mentioned Jim Jefferies by coming over and saying I was way filthier) who had a really well received show with the Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre. Although I'm still ot convinced losing their Jesus puppet was genuine. Could it have been a publicity stunt? What with the whole Wallace and Gromit precedent.
Other highlights include the body stockinged Little Shop of Horrors Crew (I think I probably picked up about 18 or their flyers) and Siobhan, who was lovely, from Exeter's Theatre with Teeth's Golden which didn't see because a)it cost money to see it and b) it was at 11am in the morning a time zone that doesn't exist from comics in Edinburgh...or anywhere. It seemed like a cool show though

Check it out! the consignment of flyers displayed in all their glory in Whetherpsoons...before they got covered in beer, sick and horseradish sauce...I least I think that was horseradish sauce...

This was day one, look at the happy wee Jimmny how pleased he is to get the flyers, I didn't get a comparison shot of how I felt about seeing this A5 nuggets by day 25...

Would you except a flyer from this man? 100s didn't....

The official Royal Mile handing out bits of A5 paper festival!

Tony Montana: In this country, you gotta make the flyers first. Then when you get the flyers, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

Impoverished performers occasionally resort to flyer eating the last step before cannibalism...lovely. (jk's fave ad)
By week two after trying to hand out stuff that people don't want for a show they won't the rain....methods of flyer dispersal inlude the ole 'house of flyer cards trick'
until you sometimes think...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beck: Sexx Laws

another edinburgh musical interlude, everyone who tries to make a sketch show for bbc3 should watch this, cause like they may make something funnier than scallywagga

Friday, August 29, 2008

Celeb spotting in Edinburgh...Dustin Hoffman!!!

We were performing in the Standing Order on George Street which was very near the Assembly Rooms so there was quite a few stars about but here are some my favorite Heat-magazine style celeb spotting encounters, these were the people I just saw and not met probably, more on them later. I have also included a funny youtube link for almost all of the celebs I saw...(no prizes for the notable exception)

*Dustin Hoffman!! I shit you not. Dustin and his kids were wandering about and walked into our venue..a Whetherspoons! and walked into the comedy venue bit, it was during Bob Slayer's show.

*Ben Elton. I saw him wandering around the Pleasnace Courtyard, I resisted the urge to tell him I really liked his standup when I was like 12 and drew a cartoon depiction of his appearance on The Late Late Show. Around this time I also drew a cartoon of a funny priest who came to out town to do a Novena (which was a compliment to him because going to the Novena meant I missed the rest of The Search for The Brass Monkey). I resisted the urge to call to call him a cunt, Ben Elton I mean not the priest.

*Joan Rivers walking from her gig at the Assembly Rooms she looks just as real as she does on TV!

*Ronnie Corbett and his wife on the corner of Cowgate and Holywood!.

*Brendon Burns getting interviewed outside the Assemby Rooms.

*Jim Bowen walking past the Assembly Rooms it looking sad, shoulders hunched in beige jacket.

*Jimmy Carr, on the Royal Mile, Tom seemed more excited than me but it was still quite funny, Tom gave him a flyer with the phrase 'there's a man who looks like he'd enjoy some comedy' Carr said thanks and good look with the show, which was nice he could have called us a bad word, I've seen him do that on the telly....

*Lorcan McGrane!! I know, I could hardly believe it either... in a mirror looking sad!

Quantum of Solace - Proposed Theme Song

Time to break up all this Edinburgh wank with Joe Cornish's great Quantum of Solace theme song

Adam Buxton's

and dr. bucles one

Fringe Favorites: The Wonderful World of Mr. Methane, I finally get to meet a real-life superhero.

For the first week at the Standing Order we were preceeded by Jake Yapp's Bum Notes, a great musical comedy show and with serendipitious humour the last too weeks was An Audience With Mr. Methane: Adventures in Showbusiness. I was aware of Mr. Methane before, here's the wiki-skinny on Mr. Methane for those not in the know. He's the world's only performing flatulatist and all round nice guy.

Martin Kelner and Mr. Methane

The show was him and journalist Martin Kelner (of Guardian Talk Sport and Piss Poor Podcast fame, see his article on the show here. ) in conversation disussing how he found his powers (an origin story if you will) and loads of puns like 'ring-side seat'. Coming in at the end of each show to get ready for our's was hilarious there was normally rows people with cameras and mobiles trying to catch this cliamtic moment as Mr. Kearns attempted:

Mr. Methane inserts a straw into a certain area and then uses it to fire a high-tech dart retro-engineered from a Japanese design into a huge balloon placed on an audience member's head (with requistite safety visor and helmet) which a huge bang it goes off the crowd goes mental, music plays and they are invited to slip some pounds into 'the buttocks of destiny' (we found it on the last day and I posed with it, you'll have to be on the auld facebook to see it).

I think there is an American pretender to the flatulist crown but I just can't imagine an American version of the act, I can imagine him going up to people's faces going 'howwdda like that huh?!' what makes Mr. Methane so good is the contrast between the physical at and his hilarious soft-spokennes with phrases that became (in my mind as I spent time on the Royal Mile flyering) hilarious catchphrases 'that's right Martin', 'I'll just get my talcum powder'.

In Deadhead Comics I found some old copies of Viz (four for a pound!) and there was an ad in one of them that had Mr. Methane supporting The Macc Lads along with a guy called Eddie Shit. I had to show Mr. Methane and he goes 'ohh that's right, you know there was one time in the 1980s that every boy had an Eddie Shit tape in his bedroom'... It's something to tell the grandkids that one has performed with a through one-of-a-kind act, or as Mr. Kelner would say 'turn', which I feel like saying to people who do anything, like when someone posts a letter or something 'top turn lads'.

Martin was a stand up gentleman, very nice to us all and very entertaining and knowledgable about comedy and media in general, he even had to go one or two days alone without Mr. Methane, and having played that room it's quite a job to fill it for 45-55 minutes! . When I had gut troubles I could still do my show and then hurl afterwards--that's a whole other story, that involves Tom's shoes--but obviously with the physical strain of Mr. Methane's turn, it's not so simple. Considering the cost of the props and everything this was really the spirit of the fringe (obviously they can put it on their flyers for next year as can we all) and you really get the sense that Martin and Mr. Methane were there for the craic and meeting the audience rather than any ulterior motive.

Johnny Kearns modeling Fest's "Fart Attack" article on Mr. Methene

Mr Methane takes on Broadway

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Tommy Tippee Situation....or they call me Jimmny Four Pants

I came a bit ill-prepared for ole Scotland, packing as I usually do at like 5am. It was so lovely in Norwich I didn't think of the grim wet Victorian misery of the Edinburgh weather and had to invest 1.99 in one of these horrible ponchos (basically a blue rubbish sack with 'Scotland' written on it, see above right, photo courtesy of Johnny Kearns). Leaving The Loft, a trendy Gilded Balloon bar, one night I put on this monstrosity in readiness for going home in the unrelenting rain and could feel the sensation of the security guards closing in (a bit like when all the SWAT fellas come after Batman in Year One). I bet Roy Walker doesn't have one of these.

My other bout of ill-preparedness was finding out all too late that I somehow packed like 20 pairs of socks yet only four pants, four pants! that's insane, and Edinburgh doesn't have a Primark and I wasn't going to buy 3 pants for 7.99 in H&M (which I kept mistakenly calling HMV and people were going what do you expect, pants are always going to be expensive in HMV they probably have Stewie from Family Guy on them or something) so I had to do loads of washes.

On my first wash I saw a strange red cup in the machine and thought it was some integral washing powder distribution device, they all get more complicated each year like the current tiny blue pillows, I remember the days when the tiny wee net things were a novelty. Anyway it made a teribble clanking noise, until on taking out the wash it was discovered to be a child's drinking beaker, who puts them in washing machines? kids probably. Mr. Kearns thought it was very funny and took a pic (see above left) of the offending infant-liquid dispenser with this caption:

Absolutely THE most stupid thing I have ever heard a man, let alone a 32 year old man, say/do. Holding a Tommy Tippee (clues in the name, clues in the name) McGrane puts in his Bold Capsule and throws it in with his shitty pants. 'Whats that clanging?' The clanging? That'd be the childrens beaker you just put in Lorcan. What did you think the handles were for? In case the Persil was heavy?

Incidentally this is Johnny Kearns at the Arthur Art exhibition, just so you can keep and eye out for him, he doesn't always have the sign with him, he is very funny:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Edinburgh...

Mmm...I wonder what guff I will say to a room full of strangers tonight?...

Karl over at Dumb Riffs and The Dublin Bike Blog had a good idea: "Just an idea - why don't you write a piece for the Guardian on your experiences in Edinburgh?They have a piece in G2 every day, and most of them are dull as fuck" see below for my effort, not used obviously, but they have Simon Callow and stuff so it's hardly a surprise:

My Edinburgh
Lorcan McGrane
Stand Up Comedian, PBH’s free fringe.

I have been doing comedy for about a year and this is my first time in Edinburgh for the festival. I started a PhD on superhero movies, and my comedy is esoteric and geeky. One of my jokes, about how people who normally dress up as superheroes know very little about them, involves listing everyone who ever played Catwoman, including the voice artists on the animated series—In chronological order. Performing in a Wetherspoons is good experience in making some of my material more accessible.

I love going to Deadhead Comics and bought an old copy of Viz that had an advert for Mr. Methane who happens to be performing in the venue just before us. Moments like that really bring home the unique experience of doing The Free Fringe. Free admission is great for the impoverished performer, too: last week’s ‘Josie Long and Friends’ featured David O’Doherty and Meave Higgins, and Robin Ince’s show ‘Bleeding Heart Liberal’ last night was amazing. Of the comedians I’ve seen so far, the Norwegian Daniel Simonsen is my favourite, his delivery and dedication to the routines even if its only an open spot for a minute is inspirational.

Tom Moran, Jon Brittain and John Kearns and I are staying in a flat just behind Arthur’s Seat, which for me looks like the big mountain Faye Dunaway drops on the street in Supergirl (1984). People think sharing a house with comedians will be hilarious but it has mostly been evenings of analysing comedy and rehearsing our sets with occasional bouts of insanity and wrapping things in tinfoil.
The walk home after a less-than-good gig is always pretty bleak in the Edinburgh rain. I also teach and do bar-work part-time, but when you have a bad day at work you don’t have to walk past a mile of huge posters of all the better and more successful teachers or bar-workers than you with reviews like ‘The way he served that pint and handed over those crisps was nothing short of a joy ****’

A Couple of Couples of Comics/PBH’s Free Fringe
21.00-22.00, every day until August 24th
Standing Order 62-66 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2LR

Well...that 's Edinburgh done...

Me about half way up Arthur's Seat...

And jumping out of a wee cave like a loon (or one of the lads from The Desent according to Daire)

Howdy all, just came back from Edinburgh late last night. The 10am bus didn't leave until closer to 11 finally got into London at 9.15pm and had to run to get the 9.30 bus to Norwich and got in at like 12.30, feck that wasn't fun. (We climbed Arthur's Seat the day before so it was very Knackering) Read most of Final Stage, which include's Harlan Ellison's mental Catman and made the journey through the industrial areas seem a bit like J.G. Ballard's Crash. Have loads of posts to put up with my highlights, flyering experiences, the other show's I did, including Sowerby and Luff's podcast (see vid below the guy who filmed their studio bits also filmed my set so it should be up here soon), Up the Arts Comedy Lock In and the Comedy Manifesto panel show thing and Pear Shaped with Brian Damage and Krystal.

Overall it was a great exerience I did almost 40 gigs which you wouldn't normally have the chance to do and it was a good way to learn and adapt/practice material every day. It was bizarre to be in a Whetherspoons everyday though more posts to follow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Horray for the Stills, this will be my Edinburgh Haven!

Whilst flyering for the show today I find a really cool haunt. Flyering is a weird experience, we all swap flyers and pretend to go to each others shows, and with the free fringe most of us will, and with other comedians that are actually flyering their own shows we'll defiently go. Most of the time, however, one is confronted with a bevvy of bottle-blonde bosum ladies that comedy companies like bound and gagged employ when they are trying to sell you a £9 pound show and they feign interest in yours it's a bit difficult, plus how do you explain, 'I was talking to a bound and gagged lady earlier' without sounding strange. Sorry in bad stand up mode there. Have realised (And it's only about three days in) that if you are a stand up you try and make fun out of things that you see, but the problem with Edinburgh is that if you are just seeing comedy all the time then all you have to make fun of is other comedy, forwith, the current most hackneyed line:....
Comedian (with glasses): "Hello, I know what you're thinking,... Harry Potter's let himself go...'
Comedian (fat with beard): "Hello, I know what you're thinking....Frodo has let himself go..'
Comedian (pretty normal but with blonde hair): "Hello,I know what you're thinking, TinTin has let himself go"...(p.s.he didn't look Tintin)
my version that I have to do sometime:
ME: "Hello, I know what you're thinking...some genereic popular culture character that I think I look vaguely like...has let himself go...
Me: "Hello, I know what you're thinking....Richard Kiel who played Jaws in the Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979) has let himself go...."
but this post is not about stand up but about the most amazing place I have found so far in Edinburgh: The Stills

Picture the scene, you've been doing comedy and/or seeing/flyering for comedy for about 2-3 days the realisation that you have to do it for 20 (hey the time's no problem it's just the money) more just hits you after you have been flyering alone and hungry and poor all day and then you wander into an amazing free library and gallery and your brain explodes.
A gallery that has a lovely free reading room of all my favorite subjects...philosophy, feminism, movies, media studies, science fiction, it was like someone had put my brain in a room, but made it nice and inviting..unlike my brain, but like my brain very interesting (also like my brain it's free)

God bless Martha Rosler and the lovely people of the Stills thats all I can say, the staff were very friendly to me but then again they probably didn't realise that I would be henceforth darkening their door almost every day to read Philip K Dick and Frederick Pohl and Poststructual feminism ..yep it's that kinda kind of library...
The American artist Martha Rosler out of the amazing goodness of her heart has put her book collection in the lap of the public for free moire info here:
Stills has undergone a radical transformation. An open reference library with an eclectic array of over 7,700 books from the personal collection of the prolific artist, writer and political agitator, Martha Rosler, now fills the space. Curious readers can delve into volumes on photography, war, economics and political science, flick though comic books or browse maps and newspaper clippings.
Throughout her career, Martha Rosler has sought to establish new spaces for thinking and questioning. Often working with photography, she generates ideas by creating links between what appear to be entirely different worlds. Following an invite from Anton Vidokle to open her library to the public, users can reflect this approach by creating new pathways into the material, forging new connections and associations according to their own particular interests.
A series of informal public conversations, lectures and discussions accompanies the Martha Rosler Library project. Please see for more details. Martha Rosler Library is presented at Stills in association with eflux.

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Couple of Couples of Comics, The Standing Order, 62-66 George Street, Edinburgh 2nd-23rd August

Four young* stand-ups join forces to take on jokes too big for any one comic. Chortle Funniest Student finalist Jon Brittain, John Kearns, Lorcan McGrane and Tom Moran present a fast-paced hour showcasing their eclectic, usually ridiculous and often outrageous thoughts on life. 2-23 Aug

Show every night 21.00-22.00, free/voluntary contribution at the end.

62-66 George StreetEdinburghEH2 2LR, UK
PH: 0131 225 4460
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, it's great to be here, etc.! Sorry I haven't been blogging buch recently been slaving away at various kitchen and bar jobs to have some funds for the Edinburgh trip, see above, a draft of our flyer created by Tom's very talented (and bizarre) illustrator brother Bob, his site's here.
More details:

Google Map of the Standing Order
Listing of the show on the Fringe Website
Free Fringe Listing
Chortle UK Listing

I hope to be uploading the odd picture here and there whenever I can get online during the month but in the meantime I can heartily recommend my online-homies Clamnuts, Trollop 23, Karl, Joe, Coungo and Khmer.

Well, almost ready to get the bus 7.50-11.20 to London and then 12.00-21.00! to Edinburgh, must book flight way in advance for next time, if there is a next time. Have stashed all three volumes of Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions for the trip, although may ease into it with some Viz

So if you happen to be in Edinburgh check out some live Jimmny Homunculus action you won't be disappointed!**

*plus one grumpy old one!
**I don't exactly what your expectations are so you might be disappointed, I'm not dressing up like She-Hulk or anything...not after the last time.