Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Drinks, poker, hand holding and pow!

Monday arrived to a surprisingly OK voice and the knowledge that my friend Jo was coming up for a few days and just when I could really have used a couple of early nights, I was definitely not going to get them. She arrived shortly after my Monday TB show which was surprisingly nice and I packed her on a bus back to the flat (Well I was already living with TWO girls, why not three?) so she could chill out for an hour and freshen up before coming to TLMCC. I'm going to stop talking about my shows now. Suffice to say that bar Tuesday afternoon they were all really good fun. I'll round up my feelings on them in the next blog. Right now there's fun to be had.

We had dinner and then got up to the Loft bar in time for me to bump into Arthur Smith. I'd been wanting to see him to try and get a slot on his "P**sed Up Chat Show" so I could unofficially open it. For details of what happened there, look here. As soon as my back was turned she'd bumped into Danny Ward and the next thing I knew they were holding hands and posing for photographs. This isn't as random as it sounds - she's got a history of holding hands with comedians in pubs but this is the first time it's been caught on film. It also gave me a plot to hatch.

Here's Jo holding hands with Danny Ward, comedian par excellence.

Booze flowed, the night drew out and I don't know what time we went home, but (flatmate) Susan was still in the coughing state of near death I had left her that afternoon. I can skip most of Tuesday afternoon. and cut to Tuesday night. Jo had a guest ticket for Danny's AAA show in Pleasance Courtyard and I had a date with the annual comedians poker tournament. We bumped into Chandrika Chevli (Freelance voice woman) and I left Jo in the hands (once again) of DW. Chad and I strolled up to Gilded Balloon where, after a couple of bizarre phone calls, we did actually rendezvous with Kevin Shepherd and Hannah Oldman - a couple of facebook comedy poker types that I had agreed to share a cab with out to the Circus casino in Fountainbrdge Park. Far less mucking about than last year resulted in (within half an hour of our arrival) the following comedy types present:

Andy Smart (The Man I came second to last year)
Andre Vincent ("Pokerman" and occasional comedian)
Christophe Davidson (Canadian comedian and 80s Rock Star)
Ria Lina (Slight comedy multi-mother)
A woman called Dana who may have been something to do with poker
Richard Vranch (Comedy Store Player)
Lee Simpson (Comedy Store Player)
A bloke called Phil
Myself (last year's runner-up)
Hannah Oldman (Comedy Agent)
Kevin Shepherd (Comedian)
Chandrika Chevli (As discussed)
Dave Gorman (Minor Celebrity)
Jason John Whitehead (Canadian comedian with woman's hips)

Twenty quid buy in, twenty quid add-on after an hour, prize money split between first and second place and the MS Society. Serious faces. Well, serious faces on one table. Our table had an absolute hoot as Chandrika quickly tired of the game and threw all her chips at Dave and Ria Before scampering off to "Karaoke Circus" to watch Richard Herring singing "I Will Survive". This left Dave and Ria as chip eaders on the table and frankly none of us ever got near them. The game started at midnight and wrapped up about 3.45am. I finished 5th. The important thing was this though: Andy Smart finished about 12th. To understand why this is relevant, It may be worth me telling you that he won last year's game by knocking me out in the final double-header. I have born hime a grudge for an entire twelve months. Cheeky grin or no, he was PaulB enemy number one until is early exit. There was no shame in 5th, I never got a card to be honest and only won two hands all night. Ria beat Dave in the head-to-head, which pleased the rest of us no end. He'd been ahead from the start and altogether intolerable in his constant analysis of how badly the rest of us were doing. It was brilliant.

We had an hour in The Loft and I got a cab home about 5am. Wednesday was largely a non-event, other than my shows (Which were great) and I was glad to be home early and coughing up into my pillow.

Thursday was Jo's last day and we'd got her booked solid with shows which left me free to do my own nonsense all day. If any of it comes back to me, I'll let you know. By the time we met up with Duncan Oakley in "Sin" we had already been persuaded to go to Banshee Labyrinth where Andrea the sound/bar man was having his weekly open mic gig in the room where I do my TB show. We we joined by Trevor Lock and (I think ) Jay Handley as well as one or two others. Andrea got my guitar. It was packed. I did "Everybody Dies" it was still busy. Duncan jumped up on drums with me and we did "Should I stay or Should I go". Half the crowd left. Undeterred, we belted out a very fast version of "Wild Thing" with me screaming "Triple time, Oakley! Triple time!" as drumsticks went flying, entire strings were missed and he ended up playing cymbals with his head. Trevor said it was the highlight of his festival. Andrea (fortunately) was laughing. We left before we did any more damage.

The Brown Stripes

NOW there was hand-holding to be done and camera at the ready, I set about arranging a number of impromptu photo-shoots over the next couple of hours as wine flowed and bonds were made. Here are a couple of the more choice results:

Kevin Shepherd

Matt Forde and Mick ferry
To see all the album, you'll have to already be a facebook friend of Jo's, or Dave Williams. it was yet ANOTHER late night and left me with only the last weekend to deal with. I'll deal with it soon.

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