5 Jul 2009

Post 140: Thoughts on Henley, Andrew Maxwell and once being a student.

I seem to be least unhappy when writing which is probably why my bloody blog posts are so long. But I have a little time to kill today before I head out tonight to see young Irish comedian Andrew Maxwell
do his excellent stand-up (post 108) at the ace Soho Theatre.
Tonight is a sort of Carbon copy of when I went to see him in February, same venue, same driver (friend Oli Cassidy
who is a local lad and always good company and can usually be relied on as long as he's not DJ-ing). This time I'm going with my cousins husband, David,
a man that anyone planning on proposing should talk to about getting an engagement ring with an ethically sourced diamond from.
(type Ingle Rhode into google), OK, shameless advertising over, I'm sure you'd rather waste your time hearing about my Henley Experience on Thursday, probably my mistake.
It was largely as I'd expected/foretold but I guess it's nice for my parents to have me there. It is a long difficult day for me and I still fail to see its relevance as a sporting event ie how a bunch of toffs standing around in blazers quaffing ludicrously overpriced champagne/Pimms
braying about what an *rse Gordon Brown
is has to lycra-clad glandular freaks sweating profusely while messing around in boats..I
In a serious point, I narrowly missed out on rowing at Henley for my Oxford college
largely because of lack of commitment to yet more training on my part. After I'd given up most of my 1st year Summer term to row in Summer Eights
failing my first year exams into the bargain. 'Sod more training, I've got some serious drinking and partying to be getting on with' was my not entirely misplaced attitude. Sadly I conformed to a lot of student stereotypes.
I have digressed, back to this years Henley. It was hellishly hot (for a change,usually it rains) so hot in fact that the Stewards (a bunch of doddery old guys)
had decreed that 'Gentlemen could remove their jackets', how avant-garde! This made um, sod-all difference to a lot of people but probably avoided the odd heart attack among the many seriously old duffers. Apart from my brother who had thankfully driven me there so Dad could stay late, watch more rowing and drink, I was the youngest in our group by at least thirty years (probably forty) and there was sadly nowhere quiet and shady for me to rest or get away from the decibels of my mums voice so sadly I did get rather exhausted but as rude as I have been about it, I'm glad I went because mum and dad seem to like it that I'm there and I feel my comments about 'window shopping' (in the last post) were spot on when my legendary uncle, Ian,
was heard to say 'I'm going to wander down the course to the start because there are plenty of great looking birds to look at' in our family, ornithology is in the genes!
I wrote all that yesterday (sat 4th july, my sisters birthday in fact) and have since been to see Mr Maxwell which was fun and more than a little amusing, once again I neglected to take any pictures, grrr! First things first we had forgotten, it being the 4th July, it was gay pride
so Soho was closed off to traffic, was one huge 'listening to Erasure or Madonna' streetparty or more acurately looked like a warzone, when we had finally located a disabled space (north of Oxford street) we made our way through piles of discarded plastic glasses down Dean Street where there were myriad party casualties, I've said already in this blog that gay people know how to party, my goodness, it looked like they'd done a proper job on Soho. Brilliant, I thought without a trace of irony.
Having finally got to the theatre and located the respective people we'd arranged to meet there we were ushered into a totally different space to last time, rather than it being a modern tiered seating place like last time this was just a room with a few chairs laid out with a table and a microphone stand at the front, proper raw, mano a mano if you'll excuse the expression intimate comedy, this was going to be great! When proceedings started it was fairly clear this was going to be fairly informal as this was an Edinburgh preview, as if to illustrate the informality of the situation, Maxwell got out a few crumpled pieces of paper and said 'here are the jokes, I might have to occasionally refer to these or scribble something down'. This is how professional Stand up comedy works folks. He started off by telling us how 'f*cking bloggers' have made their lives so much harder, and how out of work journalists are the most dangerous people. I felt slightly guilty that I might be making his life harder then I thought how many people read this and that fewer still might put themselves in harms way and take this seriously.
Even though Maxwell is an Irishman to the core he lives in London and observes like most UK standups how people in London only care about one thing, themselves. Sad but true, I only knew my neighbour in Brixton because she used to complain about the noise I made, now I'm in the sticks I know most of my neighbours and they even know my name at the local pub.
Maxwell observed some rather crazy London statistics, apparently 75% of gun crime is carried out with replica guns that won't ever fire and that 75% of street drug deals don't involve buying real drugs (a technique rife in Brixton, apparently), Maxwell then hilariously observed that if you went to go and buy some marijuana but got home to find it was Oregano (for example) and then went back and held up the dealer for your money with a fake gun, has a crime actually been committed? Comedy Gold. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Maxwell was a little more aggressive and Sweary than he needed to be but that was probably because of the presence in the front row of a group of shouty Irish Idiots from Co. Mayo, a place that is to Ireland as Somerset is to England. Despite feeling exhausted, it was a fun, gutterall laugh of an evening, at points my face genuinely hurt. Thanks to Oli for doing a masterful job of looking after me, showing he can enjoy the small event as well as the big one (the lucky b*stards just back from Glastonbury which was apparently amazing) He's next chalked in to take me to see U2 and Elbow on August 14th at Wembley Stadium. I can't wait. You would think I should settle down to do some serious 'sod all' now but my physio Ian is driving me to the Albert hall to see some band called the Killers, Ian is as excited as a small child at christmas. I'm looking forward to it but it's hard to get excited about much these days.


Shaun said...

Everyone at Henley braying about how bad Gordon Brown is is enough reason to make me vote Labour again I think. If he's pissing them off he must be doing the right things...

Dom P said...

Classic Rowland thinking

Simon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

That Henley thing sounds/looks truly awful :p

Dom P said...

If I could get drunk it would be tolerble

Simon said...

Anywhere/thing where you have to be drunk for it to be tolerable is shit. End of.

Dom P said...

You don't go to pubs not to get drunk, so most pubs are in that category by your reckoning, understand what you're trying to say. Even Bora-bora might be rubbish if you couldn't get w*nkered.



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