Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hello Photo Updates...

From the last few tour dates...

Hello Andover!

Hello Aldershot!

Hello Stafford!

Hello Durham!

Details for the remaining 27 dates of this tour are here

Monday, May 28, 2012

Absolutely May 27th...

I think it's fair to say that the lack of sleep did affect me this week... but I'd still rather do the show in a slightly wobbly way than not do it at all.

Of course you can judge for yourself if you get the podcast.

Luckily Danielle and guest presenter, Paul Foot (pictured) were there to help the tired old man through it.

The usual features - Ward's Weekly Word and Found Poetry - were there, Paul explained the royal family in the way that only Paul can and Autofill Your Boots made one of its semi-regular appearances with a listener, Nick, taking on both Paul and Danielle at the same time.

The songs I brought in from home were this absolute treat from Marthas And Arthurs called Sally Started It All:

And You Don't Need To Worry by This Many Boyfriends:

... both of which I've been humming randomly for the past week. Lovely stuff.

It should be slightly easier next week as I'm not gigging on Saturday night. Apparently people are more interested in the lubilee jubilee (as I believe Delboy calls it).

The gigs between now and then - one in Colchester and two in Norwich - are all sold out - but there are tickets available for the week after in Hayes, Dartford, Treorci, Dudley, Salford and for many of the 18 gigs that are still to come beyond those as the tour rolls on.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Our next guest presenter...

... is the brilliant Paul Foot. Brilliant or, as Tim Minchin describes him in the video below, maybe a little bit ill.

I'm a big fan... and can't recommend seeing Paul live highly enough. He's joining the radio show for the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to it...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Longest Weekend

So the tour is back on and it feels like we never stopped. The first gig (in a tiny venue in Great Torrington, Devon) blew the cobwebs off the show nicely and the second - at The Tivoli in Wimborne - was a blast.

Which reminds me. Traditions need to be upheld!

Hello Great Torrington!
 and Hello Wimborne!
(Actually the first picture was taken outside the train station in Umberleigh which is just up the road)

A journey from London to Devon and then to Dorset sounds quite civilised as touring goes but alas it didn't work out like that. Instead it became London to Devon to London to Dorset and back.

I say 'alas'... but it was my choice. I simply didn't want to miss out on my Sunday morning at Absolute Radio. I genuinely missed it when I was in Australia and I've really loved throwing myself back into it since my return so I made the, possibly foolish, decision to do the journey back from Devon after the show. It turned Sunday into a long day on very little sleep... but I think it was worth it.

I think I'm going to be able to get through this tour without missing a single radio show... it's going to mean some long, Saturday night drives... but I reckon this first weekend was the most challenging of the lot. If we can do that one, we can surely do the others.

By the way... the songs I brought in from home were:

If You Got To Know Me by Stephan Altman:

and an old favourite, The Story Of Love by Misty's Big Adventure:


The next run of shows goes as follows:
Wednesday: Andover
Thursday: Aldershot
Friday: Stafford (Hello Mum!)
and Saturday: Durham

Oh. Durham. So that'll be another interesting Sunday morning.

Of course, there are loads more gigs - the tour runs into July - so you might want to check the Live Dates page to see if we're coming near you.

And if you're a fan of radio shows made by sleep-deprived presenters, you might want to get the podcast and/or tune in next Sunday morning.

Friday, May 18, 2012

If you're looking for a badger glove puppet...

I'm indebted to @RobDoylecouk for this discovery...

At the time of writing, this is what you see if you search amazon.co.uk for the words badger glove puppet. One of my books - America Unchained - turns up as the fourth search result. I have no idea why.
I know that in the book there is a brief mention of Bodger and Badger (and Badger's profound love of mashed potatoes) but surely amazon isn't returning searches based on every word contained within a book is it?

There must be other more badger-centric books out there. Like, say, just as an example, BADGERS, by Michael Clark.

But presumably that doesn't contain the words glove and puppet and presumably mine does. (I don't recall the exact context but I'm pretty sure every book I write will contain at least some passing reference to a glove puppet. They're bound to all things considered.)

If it is to do with the content of the book then presumably this is to do with the Kindle. I think all of my proper books are now available on the Kindle which means that amazon now has the content to all of them.

But out of all the books they've kindle-ised, is mine really the only one to contain all three of those words? It doesn't work for any two word combination... if you search for Badger and Glove a load of other books show up before mine. And the same is true for Badger and Puppet and, obviously enough, for Glove and Puppet... but when it's all three, mine is the only one. Odd.

I suppose if there is a two word amazon.co.uk search that leads to only one book... well... you could call that, something, like, oo... I dunno... say, a Kindlewhack.

But I'm not going there.

EDIT TO ADD: The immediate response to this has been a mass, "ah ha... you so will go there... go on, write a sequel." The navel-gazing explanation as to why I definitely won't be doing that is here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 13th... Absolutely

On Wednesday night I went out to see a gig - a single launch for Saul Ashby.

Here are a couple of pictures from the night...

I really enjoyed the gig - and I thought the single was great - and so we put it in the show on Sunday as one of my records-from-home. Here it is:

The other song I brought in was by an unsigned Scottish band called The Imagineers. They probably won't be unsigned for long as their song, Imagineer, has been used on a trail for the CBS talk show, The Late Late Show. The host, Craig Ferguson, might have taken US citizenship but he hasn't forgotten his Scottish roots and they recently filmed a week of specials in his homeland. Which goes some way to explaining this video...

 It was another really busy show, with Pete's Treat, Found Poetry, Ward's Weekly Word and a new game, Which Bong Is Wrong, that I think we'll return to as an occasional treat in the same way that Autofill Your Boots has become a semi-regular part of the fabric of the show.

If you don't listen to the podcast, but you hear us referring to Pun Street every now and then, you might be forgiven for thinking it's nothing more than a collection of shops with punny names.

But that would be to ignore the rest of the precinct that has grown up around Pun Street - a precinct that contains Charming Alley, Punintention Alley, Vain Parade, Creepy Close, Fail Lane, Punny la Rue and Calamity Close.

Which explains why at some point we ended up discussing this shop.
As you can see, it was originally tweeted by Gavin Seymour but it was brought to the committee's attention by Tim Drury.

It was discussed in the Someday Podcast... which as the name suggests will come out someday this week.

If you've seen a shop that you think belongs in the precinct you can tweet it to @PunStreet or, better still, email it to the show here... which is also the best place to contact the show for Correspodcast, Listener's Lexicon and everything else that we do.

If you use itunes, the best link for the podcast is here... and if you don't, it's here.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May 6th... Absolutely

The two songs I brought in for Sundays' show were Mondays by Bleech

and Tick Tock by Molotov Jukebox

It was a really busy show with Pete's Treat, Found Poetry, Ward's Weekly Word and Autofill Your Boots all making an appearance. It was the third time we've played the Autofill Quiz... and the score is now 2-1 to the listeners after a man called Phil played a blinder. (By the way, if you want to play Autofill Your Boots in future, feel free to get in touch with the show and add your name to the list. Contrary to the way it looks after three outings, girls can play too!)

Before the show started, I decided that, seeing as we've been joined for a few weeks by magician, Pete Firman, I'd have a go at some magic of my own and show Pete the two tricks that I (sort of) know... they work. Sort of. The podcast, for those who like that sort of thing is here. That's an itunes link... if you don't use itunes... you can get the podcast here instead. By the way... dedicated soul that I am - I think we've managed to make the travel arrangements work in such a way that I won't have to miss any of the radio shows during the next tour. I might well be asleep at the desk on a couple of occasions. But I'll be there, that's the important thing!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

That Slim Volume Of Found Poetry...

When I started doing the Found Poetry on the radio show I didn't really know whether people would take to it or not. It's not always easy to tell if something's going over well on the radio and after a few weeks I quietly phased it out. But then people started asking for it to return and we realised that it had actually become quite popular. So I put it back in.

There was more evidence that people were enjoying them when I started doing my Screen Guild shows in Hoxton: a few people asked if I'd be doing any of the Found Poems at the shows. It had never really occurred to me to do them live and I was far from convinced that they'd work in that environment... but the point of those shows was to experiment so I threw one in. I ended up trying one out at every show. (It helped writing a new show each month knowing that, thanks to the radio show, I already had one thing pre-written and ready to go.)

One went into the Powerpoint Presentation for Edinburgh and a second went into the encore on tour. And then people started asking if they were going to be published.

Which led to this slim volume being printed.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the booklet - I think that's the best word for it - was only really intended for sale at gigs on the next leg of the tour but then people who'd already been to see the show asked - quite reasonably - if they could get it too. It's taken a wee while to sort out a sensible way of making it available online but yes, yes you can.

It's only twenty pages and it contains these seventeen poems... and a limited number are available here.