I’m not really sure where to begin in describing this amazing event, so I’ll begin with a big thanks to Michael Legge (@michaellegge) for organising it, and to all of the other people involved behind the scenes. All Day Edinburgh (@AllDayEdinburgh) was a 7 hour (more like 8 hours on the day) comedy gig which aimed to give people a taste of numerous acts who performed (or didn’t) at the Edinburgh fringe festival this year, all in aid of the charity Shelter.
I don’t often blog about shows/gigs because I have an appalling memory for such things, but through friends and tweets I think I can give a pretty good account of how it went. I will include some tweets sent at the time to give those that follow me on twitter more understanding of what really happened. Some descriptions of acts may be brief in order to avoid spoilers for future shows (or more likely because my memory is rubbish). Then you will all see how amazing it was and join me in hoping for another event next year.
It was held at The Phoenix on Cavendish Square in London, a regular host of comedy including Los Quattros Cvnts and London Comedy Improv (@LondonImprov). The pub has had a recent makeover and was an ideal place to hold the intimate marathon of comedy. The audience were eager to begin at just before 2pm, with some tech issues being resolved as they waited it started not long after…
“michaellegge: I hate the homeless, all venues, comedians, comedy fans and the cold hollow sound of laughter.”
Our esteemed host Michael Legge welcomed us to the event and explained how he hated everyone (I think he was a little bit stressed), there is nothing more funny than Michael having a rant, and planning this event provided him with good ammunition. A delightful introduction to the day, taken in the spirit of humour it was meant.
First up was Nick Helm, an act I had not had chance to see in Edinburgh this year. With his gruff voice he warmed up the audience well with his loud and shouty explanations of why he *loves being single (*this may have been a little sarcastic) interspersed with a couple of very funny songs, which we were encouraged to join in with and a some audience interaction involving fruit tins connected with a piece of string. He is certainly an act I won’t hesitate to see again.
Next up were An Hour of Telly Live, I’d heard a lot about Margaret Cabourn Smith (@MCabournSmith) and Zoe Gardner’s show but had not managed to fit them into my hectic Edinburgh schedule. They lived up to those expectations, showing us their versions of adverts (“it’s a tiny yoghurt”) the way they should be done and practicing well known acting techniques such as the use of “barbed comments”. “Your teeth are cunts!” still makes me giggle now. Their set ended with a West End themed sketch which was not only funny but revealed the power in Margaret’s brilliant voice.
The pace continued with Caroline Mabey (@mabeycakes) with her breakfast themed set, complete with various charts and skilled visual representations of the evilness of the meal. A unique delivery which was quirky and fun.
Following a brief interval we were treated to a brief version of Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire with the angry Michael Legge and Robin Ince. I saw this show twice in Edinburgh, no rant can ever be the same. They did not disappoint, *discussing sketch groups, small children and much more briefly than planned the (well known anger fuse) Daily Mail (*shouted furiously to each other and the audience).
“nwoolhouseuk: Michael Legge and Robin Ince have just been very very angry. #ADE (I hurt from laughing)”
I really hope to see more Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire in the future.
Sara Pascoe (@sarapascoe) was up next, and although she did not perform her Edinburgh material, she did not disappoint. “Penis enlargement spam” we were bluntly told was the topic for the set, ending in Sara showing us her own version of graphic novel porn. I belly laughed throughout. (I won’t give too much away as it is new material, so she will be using it).
The Trap are made up of Jeremy Limb (@jeremylimb), Dan Mersh (@danmersh) and Paul Litchfield (@MrPLitchfield) when you add Michael Legge to that mix, they make up Los Quattros Cvnts who perform (almost) monthly at The Phoenix. On this occasion we were treated to some material from The Trap, even though they have not been to Edinburgh for a number of years now. It was great to see some of their original material including the Alphabet Sketch, but the highlight of their set was The Palindromic Sketch blew me away, with all of the audience lulled into a false sense of disappointment as the two Neville’s performed outdated gags but then they really turn it around literally, doing it backwards and show the sketch for it’s true genius.
Matt Ricardo was up next, and even though he forgot his balls and had to use apples (I know), he certainly demonstrated his juggling skills and technique. His banter with the crowd making up for any moments of error, ending with a rather spectacular display using cigar boxes, a comedy cigar and some “wine”.
I forget where the intervals were, but there were many, and between acts Michael continued to keep the energy in the room, even providing a prized bag of King of Everything badges for the raffle, which were gently being “warmed” in his trouser pocket for the lucky winner. Other prizes were donated by Adult Swim.
Even though they had there own show to perform later in the day, we were lucky enough to be visited by The Horne Section. Alex Horne (@AlexHorne) is obviously the front man with 4 musicians, much of the short set being the introductions of his band and banter with the front row resulting in some hilarious improvisation of Bon Jovi songs. The set ended with The Horne Section’s dance to Beyonce’s Single Ladies.
*Clears throat* I really like Pappys (@pappystweet) and have seen them several times… this time was not the same. Tom struggle to even find his way on stage and then chaos. It was funny chaos but for some reason they were unable to actually start their sketches, with Tom explaining the back stories while Matthew and Ben giggled and called each other names (sex addict) or told him to stop, with many tangents (Dogtanian being one) they finally performed the Musketeers sketch, all 1 minute of it! They managed to do the Working Lunch sketch with much less, but still some “explaining” from Tom and then finally ending on a song about modern electronic technology.
“Pappystweet: RT @nwoolhouseuk The oddest @Pappystweet gig I’ve ever seen. #ADE (one of the oddest we’ve ever done #breakdown)”
One of the big surprises of the day was a performance from Chris Addison (@chrisaddison) who I had never seen live before. He was much more energetic and passionate than I had previously though, with a hilarious set about what “writes off” people in his eyes (I agree with him on all counts) including (of course) The Daily Mail, a certain type of footwear and some commonly used sayings. Followed with an eloquent and amusing anecdote about his home life, I was pleased to have finally seen him and am already planning to see him perform again.
Storytellers was on before the next interval, introduced by Sarah Bennetto with her own anecdote involving an ex boyfriend, some spiderman pants and a box, despite the next story teller, waiting in the wings being her current boyfriend James Dadswell. James did something great with his time and told the story of when his material was stolen by a well known comedian, there was solidarity in the room with so many acts in the audience. (Later Paul Sinha even mentioned it in his blog). The final teller of tales was John Luke Roberts who kept it light hearted with short tales.
Dan Antopolski (@DanAntopolski) jovially talked us through his family’s genetic contribution to the human race, complete with pop up visuals. And then rapped about the delights of owning a domestic lazer (we all want one now).
I saw Colin Hoult’s (@wheeliemancrow) amazing show in Edinburgh, for this set we saw one of his many characters, Andy Parker from Nottingham, he does stuff in Nottingham since he left the army, like drawing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and writing screenplays, which have to be heard to be believed (“Giggle giggle, giggle giggle”). His accent is spot on, as are his mannerisms for the character. I can’t give lots away as the show still has a run in February in London, which I urge you to see (tickets). He has a great talent for chatting to the audience in character during his shows and it was a little bit cold in the room for Andy/Colin’s attire, a fact which he commented on much to our amusement.
Although, it was a very long day, and this blog is also really long, the time flew buy with such great entertainment. Next up was Paul Sinha (@paulsinha) with his anecdotes of debating with the BNP on the radio and a cockney rhyming slang racist insult at a train station toilet. A tight set with lots of laughs from the audience.
Tony Law (@mrtonylaw) was new to me, and quite an experience, starting with googly eyes and persisting to enjoy himself as he told us about animal sounds and revolutions. I have no idea how to explain it, you definitely had to be there, and I’m glad I was.
Tara Flynn (@TaraFlynn) delighted the audience with 4 of her songs from her Edinburgh show Big Noise. I was very grateful to get a chance to see it again (Confession – I did see it in Edinburgh, but that day unfortunately learned that too much afternoon drinking and a hot room make for poor concentration, and embarrassingly had to break out the energy drink, naughty naughty me, and such a shame to not give it my all – please learn from my stupid mistake). We saw Bjork Song, The Fog, 80s and Custard, with Tara showing her diverse styles of music, dance moves and comedy talent throughout. Loved every moment.
Paul Litchfield who performed earlier in the day in The Trap, spoiled us with a performance of one of the characters from Los Quattros Cvnts, the author of a fusion of sci-fi and erotica, Sean Golsworthy. It never ceases to make me giggle in such an immature way as he reads the tales of sex robots. Go and see Los Quattros Cvnts at The Phoenix!
“MCabournSmith: My favourite part of #ADE was when Sting turned up. (@mrjimBob)”
We were nearing the end of #ADE but the quality never dropped with an awesome performance from Jim Bob (@mrjimBob) formerly of Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine fame. He was a little green around the gills having been thrown a surprise birthday party the night before, but as a true performer went on to impress the audience with Mrs Fucking MacMurphy, The Wheels on The Bus and the Carter USM song The Only Living Boy in New Cross.
“Kateweb: My favourite moment of #ADE was watching @turlygod and @michaellegge waltz to @mrjimBob’s Mrs Fucking MacMurphy. Lovely day – well done all.”
The yelps of excitement from “back stage” (behind a screen) revealed that Mr Legge was rather excited to see this particular performer, as did the above mentioned dancing. Much of the audience joined in singing the songs. A joy to see and one I will repeat on Wednesday when I go to see #Guttedfest with Jim Bob and The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra (details).
“nwoolhouseuk: The Penny Dreadfuls headlining this shit (their words not mine) #ADE”
I did see The Penny Dreadfuls (@dreadfuls) and was happy to see their sketches again, the creepy guy sketch is not one I recall from Edinburgh, made even more repulsive by the chewing of some newspaper balls which has been where the sun don’t shine. the sketch was giggly and a lot longer than anyone (including Penny Dreadfuls) thought it would be. Following this was the Sea skipper sketch and then the Twilight parody, again I cannot give it all away or it spoils it for others. I’ll just say they kept a now weary and a little bit drunk crowd still giggling.
A well deserved standing ovation was given to the embarrassed Michael Legge for his brilliant MCing and organisation of the event. Drinks, hellos and goodbyes followed (yes, more booze).
I suggest you follow @AllDayEdinburgh on twitter and hope that we are lucky enough (or that Michael forgets this year’s breakdown) to have another one next year.
(please feel free to tell me if any of this is wrong/spoilery too much/needs editing – as I said my memory is not great. Oh, and sorry for the crap quality photos, they are from my phone.)