Monday, July 9, 2012

Absolutely July 8th (& Stuff)

It's been a strange few days of abrupt gear changes.

The last gig of the poster (but not the last UK gig) was on Friday night in the Isle of Wight - that was followed by a TV show taping on Saturday night and then the radio show on Sunday morning.

It made time feel kind of elastic. By the end of Sunday night my trip to the Isle of Wight was already feeling like it was something that had happened a week or so ago... rather than the night before yesterday.

Because of my commitments on Saturday, Friday's gig was planned like a military operation. After the show and the meet and greet we were away from the venue at just after eleven and racing across the island to make the midnight ferry.

Not that we needed to race. The drive that had taken us 40 minutes on the way there took us only 25 on the way back so we were at the ferry terminal in plenty of time. In the end I was home and on my way to bed before 3am - which seems to be pretty good going for a night when the show took place on a different land mass.

The TV show I was doing on Saturday night is a new show for Sky Atlantic called Don't Sit In The Front Row which is hosted by Jack Dee. It's an improvised show - which is what I mean by a change of gear. My live show is as tight as a drum - I don't need to do any preparation on it on the night but only because I know it inside out and backwards... but with Don't Sit In The Front Row I can't do any preparation because there's nothing to prepare. It's just whatever happens on the night.

It's like working a completely different set of muscles. With one the laughs come because of how well I know my way around it... in the other, it's to do with how well we find our way around it. Very different beasts. And exhilarating in a completely different way. It was great fun... but I've no idea how their editor is going to squeeze it into 30 minutes.

And then a few hours later the gears change again and my head goes into another space for the Absolute Radio Show where we're freewheeling and live but structured and planned in different ways.

We talked about those moments when you find yourself playing at being a spy - which led to some great stories from listeners.

The songs I brought in from home were Easier Said Than Done by Rachel Goodrich:

And Too Insistent by French/Finnish duo The Dø

Of course you can get the podcast here if you want to catch up with all that was said as well as all the extras that we do just for the podcast.

I have another change of gear tonight and a completely different style of performance - I'm doing a book reading in town as a sort of pre-Latitude event.

And having said that the Isle of Wight show was the last of the poster but not the last... I'd be a fool if I didn't mention the show we're doing next Saturday - July 14 - for Shelter at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.

A few people have assumed that because it's for charity it has to be a mixed bill with lots of people doing short sets. It's not - it's the full show, exactly as you'd see it on the rest of the tour - it's just, y'know, for Shelter. I hope you can come.


Craggus said...

Is it a genuinely improved show? I always get the impression watching some of these 'improved' shows on TV that the panel have been primed about general things that may happen or topics / situations that might come up, even if they don't know the exacts... sometimes you can even catch a panelist taking a sneaky peak at notes scribbed down in front of them, maybe a punchline they have prepared in advance. Just wondered if that was how all shows worked, or if there are still some truely improved shows out there....

Dave Gorman said...

I don't know about all other shows - although rumours of panel shows being scripted always abound and are nonsense - but in this instance I can promise you it is genuine improvisation.