Christmas Party – The AFTERMATH

…no, not that one but the official Christmas Party, at the Posh Hotel, Knightsbridge. I think this is best done in summary form:

The Good:
* Free food
* Free booze
* Watching the Briggs schmoozing the lovely ladies…
* Ali G, innit
* Jorge’s face when he was singled out…

The Bad:
* My head this morning
* Getting a taxi 20 feet for £10
* Ignoring the sensible voices and staying later
* Overdressed for a club?
* Russian dancing. Why? Why? Why?

The Ugly:
* The face in the mirror (you too…)

Forever Delayed

It was the Manics’ gig @ Brixton Academy last night. Nicky Wire’s seeming lack of interest was more than compensated by James Dean Bradfield’s vigour and excellence. Opening with an old and brilliant tune penned by JDB, Motorcycle Emptiness, the line-up thereafter was: Repeat, You Stole the Sun From My Heart, the Masses against the Classes, There By the Grace of God, Australia, Slash n’ Burn, Kevin Carter, Tsunami, PCP, Suicide is Painless (theme from Mash), F*** Off (one for Richie), Little Baby Nothing (minus Kylie ha ha! or even Tracy Lords…), Faster, From Despair to Where, Roses in the Hospital, the Everlasting, Everything Must Go, If You Tolerate This Your Children Will be Next, Forever Delayed, You Love Us and finally: A Design for Life.
“Encores are pretentious” – Translation: Bugger off home – we can’t be bothered.

Well that’s my memory cells tested for the evening anyway.

The Outstanding Day of the Year Award

…goes to Friday 6th December 2002. What an absolute top quality day!

Yesterday introduced itself with the minor after effects of a Christmas fancy dress party from the previous evening (see Movies theme party photos at the English Gentleman pub on Edgware Road) and just went on and on improving at vast paces.

By 10.15am I’d won two tickets to the Manic Street Preachers gig at Brixton Academy on Sunday. By 10.30 I’d won another two tickets to the Manics at Brixton on Sunday – err, best keep quiet about that one in case I wasn’t meant to enter the prize-draw twice! Coincidentally enough, we’re off to Paris on Monday for the first time since seeing the Manics there in March 1999. They’ll now feature in this Parisien week too…

Strolling along Regent Street at lunch time, who should swagger past clad in long leather flasher-mac with the arrogance of – well, someone who’s pretty pleased with themselves really, but Paul Weller? I guess humble isn’t the word of the day. Still, I’m sure it made his day.

If I was to say that the late afternoon was spent secretly supping vodka in toast of a particular person’s last day at work, with all except that leaving person, that would have the potential to get me in trouble, so I won’t mention it.

By 18:15 Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss were all in the flesh and only 2 feet away, being the superb final cast of Art.

How does it get any better? OK, a chicken taouk at the Amal Shawarma it is then.

ho ho ho!

No, Santa isn’t spilling his sack early – this week is proving to be a veritable feast of belly laughs! King Gong at the Comedy Store last Monday night provided the monthly opportunity to both chortle and hail abuse at up-and-coming comedians, as well as being an excuse for yet another leaving do for Mr Neefahs (who’s traded in the UK’s nubilous winter skies for the more fragrant climes of Bangkok!?)

Taking place on the last Monday of every month, King Gong is guaranteed to be a seriously funny, if not brutal, night out: the comedian’s performance is dependant on winning over the crowd, and is left to the audience’s mercy. However, someone had the bright idea of grabbing eight seats together on the front row and managed to be the only one of us not to get picked on – wasn’t impressed! I don’t look like I’ve been out in the wind. And Keith doesn’t look like the Bastard Son of Darius. And we do have proper jobs. Really.

Learning from this mistake, far-target seats were sought out at the Chuckle Club on the Saturday night, 30th November, although there was a lack of audience interaction, disappointingly. After all, everyone loves a stand-up to pick on some poor unfortunate, just as long as it is on someone else. Comics such as Ronnie Golden performed well rehearsed, short routines to perfection, but without any apparent spontaneity. Until the dynamic Andy Parsons headlined, that is. With his unique energetic style, Parsons’ incessant babble won the punters back, pulling us out of our pint pots and reminding us what we were really there for: the exposing of the vulnerable front row? Thanks to Andy Parsons and his lengthy headliner, this evening at the Chuckle Club became another excellent and great value night out.

Am now looking forward to ART this Friday at Whitehall Theatre, starring the League of Gentlemen cast – front row seats too – Can’t wait!!…