Blog posts by year and month August 2010

Posts (152)

  1. A unique exhibition showcasing the contrasting work of two of Wales' prominent artists is to go on show next month at Oriel Ynys Môn in Llangefni. Visions will feature the work of sculptor John Meirion Morris and landscape painter Wilf Roberts. The exhibition will be officially opened on Frid...

    Read more

  2. Most people can empathise with that feeling of not realising how drunk you are until you try doing something you usually do sober (ie 'why am I in my kitchen trying to make a cup of tea in a pint glass?'). It quite often happens when you're sat in a nightclub having drinks bought for you in succession (I'm aware this only really applies to Page Three models and people who drink in enormous rounds), and you think 'wooooah' on getting up to go to the toilet, as the nightclub dancefloor starts to feel like you're walking on a catamaran. Anyway. I always perform stand up comedy sober, but I got this feeling on Monday night when there was late show I'd forgotten about... which I had to do hammered. Now then. I don't drink at all before stand up. I am funnier sober, my timing is better and my ad-libbing more sharp. The least I can do is turn up for work without being drunk; after all I talk for a living and everyone knows a slurring newsreader is probably quite a bad thing, so I work on that principle. However, while it's occasionally possible for footballers to look graceful and fat (Jan Molby immediately springs to mind, Lee Trundle during his early years at Swansea and John Barnes at the end of his career, when I thought he was both cuddly and effective), it is possible for some stand ups to be incredible whilst inebriated. In fact, there can be something quite exhilarating about a drunk yet lucid comic freewheeling their way through a hazy flight of fancy, spittle flecked moments of genius being punctuated by sips from a glass of wine or beer. Dylan Moran drinks on stage, Johnny Vegas has clearly had a pint before performing, and these are two of the most lauded stand ups of their generation. Unfortunately, I am one of the comics who proves the rule, as demonstrated on Monday. Following my solo show at 7.40pm, I met a friend for something to eat. The show had gone well and I decided to drink a bottle of red with my salad, being fairly health conscious during the festival (that's my five-a-day if you include the grapes in the wine). We talked about comedy, football and everything in between, at which point I thought 'I love the taste of expensive premium lager,' and had a few of those. A couple of lagers later I got a text saying 'as you're closing the show, you don't have to arrive until 12.15am,' at which point I thought 'oh dear.' I turned up, a few espressos sloshing around my stomach just to make my insides think that I'd had a breakdown, and as I was announced I was beginning to think 'well this should prove no significant problem,' until I walked on stage and the mic stand wasn't quite where I expected it to be (ie about three feet away from where my hand was flailing). I said 'hello' and the audience said 'hello' back. I then said 'hello' again and mumbled desperately 'why aren't you saying hello to me?' before somebody replied 'because you're drunk!' I took a moment to steady myself before delivering a retort that would shake artistic foundations in London, New York and Swansea. 'Yes!' I replied. 'I'm drunk... because I had a drink!' The gig went pretty badly. I decided to do some 'greatest hits' material, thinking 'I can just get my head down and bash these out' in the way pub covers bands hastily decide to do Mustang Sally instead of Miles Davis if there are mini kievs being thrown at the bassist. Unfortunately, I gave away the reveal to my best routine (ie the punchline, and thing the routine rests on) about five minutes too early, thus rendering the whole set up pointless. I carried on with the set up regardless, however, displaying a titanic lack of judgement. So, that's five minutes of the gig wasted, now it's time for some banter. I asked various members of the crowd questions, answered clumsily each time before deciding on the hoof to perform a routine from last year's Edinburgh show - the most ambitious thing I've ever written and, also, something I haven't done for a year. I have no memory of how it went. My only memory is of Dave in the tech box doing that 'wind up now!' motion with his hands, which is probably a bad sign. I left the stage, the other comedians gave me a hug (we were all mates so they found it hilarious) and I walked home, a lesson learnt and preparing myself for a hangover. I spoke to my friend John the next day and he was philosophical about it all. 'It's good to blow out the cobwebs' he said. 'Prove to yourself that you can't do stand up drunk. If you'd nailed it then suddenly you've set a precedent for drinking heavily before each gig, which is dangerous and the next thing you know you're asking for crème de menthe on the rider before performing the fresher's week show at Reading University.' So if you're disappointed that I'm not writing this from a harem in Edinburgh, other comics drinking champagne from a football boot as Page Three girls look on, squealing things like 'despite being three sheets to the wind his metaphors are still as snappy and hilarious as ever,' I can only apologise. Maybe it's lack of practice. If you see me in September, sleeping in the car park of Reading University, clutching a bottle of cooking sherry and urine stained notebook, then you'll know I've put the hours in. Elis James is performing his show Daytripper at The Tron in Hunter Square, at 7.40pm (not 19 August).

    Read more

  3. Most people have heard of Henry Morton Stanley. He was the man who was sent to find David Livingstone and supposedly greeted him with the words: "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" It is quite possible that Stanley never uttered that immortal phrase but, perhaps more importantly, a row has recently ...

    Read more

  4. This week's three hour feast of new Welsh music is smugly proud of the following: 1) a peripatetic cascade of perfectly-formed bleeps courtesy of Crash Disco! carefully moulded into the form of a 16 minute 14 second mix. Crash Disco is 18. Crash Disco has amazing melodic instincts. Crash Disc...

    Read more

  5. It seems as if this story comes around every summer...littering at our beauty spots and beaches. Countryside rangers on Gower are becoming increasingly frustrated by the amount of litter they are finding at some of the areas most pristine beauty spots. The recent good weather is largely to bl...

    Read more

  6. Dyfed-Powys Police are urging farmers to be vigilant, after an illegal rave was thwarted last weekend. Following a tip-off, the force stepped in to prevent the rave taking place in the Newport area of Pembrokeshire. Read the full story. Now the National Farmers Union (NFU) is targeting far...

    Read more

  7. Most people know the name Rudolph Hess. Many know the story of his dramatic midnight flight to Scotland in 1941, supposedly in an attempt to broker peace between Britain and Nazi Germany. Yet how many realise that from 1942 until 1945, when he was flown to Nuremberg to stand trial for crimes ...

    Read more

  8. Pete Lawrie, the south Wales singer-songwriter newly signed to Universal Island, has given us an exclusive video, documenting a weekend of musical fun and frolics earlier this summer. Watch as the Long Welsh Weekend takes him around the country in his yellow VW campervan, playing impromptu gi...

    Read more

  9. Listen to a clip from my appearance last Friday on the Jamie and Louise Show on BBC Radio Wales, this time presented by Mal Pope and Louise Elliott. I'll be back again this Friday for another chat. Feel free to comment! If you want to have your say, on this or any other BBC blog, you will need to sign in to your BBC iD account. If you don't have a BBC iD account, you can register here - it'll allow you to contribute to a range of BBC sites and services using a single login. Need some assistance? Read about BBC iD, or get some help with registering.

    Read more

  10. I'm just back from an amazing week in Ireland - Donegal to be precise. I stayed in Ballycastle for a couple of nights and visited the Giant's Causeway - one of nature's natural wonders. The next day I took my life in my hands and crossed the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge which is great fun so lon...

    Read more