Who Is Chris Ramsey?

 

Citizens Theatre

Glasgow

21/3/17

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Chris Ramsey at The Citizens was comedy genius.

A simple set and lighting echoed the title question mark in big inflatables, setting the backdrop for a domestic-based comedy that doesn’t slag off the in-laws. Ramsey is far too clever for that, being supernaturally funny. But first let me tell you about support act Carl Hutchinson, introduced to us over the tannoy service by Ramsay himself… ‘Don’t worry, he’s not shit.” How true.

Hutchinson bounced on stage with the energy of a lion, and launched full-blast into his job interview sketch which was good, but superseded by his Come Dine With Me antics. You will view Masterchef differently after hearing his take on garlic infused oil, certainly creative but superminging. Equally appealing was his take on vaping, and his vision of doctors twenty years down the line chastising us for being so vulnerable to inhale anything into our vital organs that has a 240 volt charge in it first…makes you think.

His twizzled take on the moustache and bearded modern man had the audience eating out of his hand quite deservedly. Politically correct Guess Who, veggies and his girlfriend spoiling their TV nights by fretting over where she had seen the actors before hit a chord with the crowd. This talented guy is worth seeing on his own and you can realise this by booking at The Stand in Glasgow, where he will be performing on May 21st.

After the interlude came our main man. Rapid-fire slagging of the man in the front row began, who looked like, ‘a highlighter pen  in his neon garb, leading to much hilarity…. kryptonite and beige suit repulsion jokes flew out of Ramsey so fast you hardly had time to laugh before you erupted again. The fact that Stu worked for Scottish government and his wife Clare for the Inland Revenue did make you think that they were plants for our amusement, but so what if they were? When asked what she did specifically for the I.R. Clare replied, “Tracing.”

‘Why, have they not got photocopiers? ‘ Ramsey  laughed.

The Gorbal, 10 inch pizzas from Asda, a whole manner of grocery items that will make the weekly shop a far more entertaining experience were all closely scrutinised and ridiculed with every fibre (pun intended) of humour wrung out those vegetables and citrus fruits. The program The Undateables got a rollocking followed by an original insight into our mundane bodily functions. Grandparents was a later topic and their penchant for wrecking established routines and turning the weans into red bull and coffee addicts with a need for a Sunday roast at 2am.  Ramsey’s insight into toddlers’ sleepwalking, with full audience participation, was another funny moment, as was his complementary jealousy of how his dad would have handled random drunk women adamant that the hotel room belonged to them.

I can’t recommend this gig enough so if you get a chance to catch him you will not regret it.

Reviewer : Clare Crines

Rich Hall : Hoedown

The Garage, Glasgow

18th March 2017

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A macabre dance led by a pie-eyed piper. A congregation of mostly over 30’s, loads of over 50’s, squeezed in flimsy pews to witness and partake at the Devil’s Altar! It was a sharp, sardonic, cynical celebration of stupidity. The intimacy of the venue and his ability to articulate into local context, any and all wryly observed comments on the current global political and cultural situation. First, an hour of cheers and laughter, moments of realisation, and contexts spun and shuttled, packing laughter into the room like threads shuttled in a loom.  He has to have spent the intermission scouring google earth and facebook , weaving further threads of precise and perceptive improvisation to rattle off a great big musical tapestry.

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In the second set, Rob Childs, who has backed Rich on UK tours for 17 years, along with Mark Hewitt on drums and James Morgan on Bass claimed a place in the Scottish songbook for the memorable “Fur on a stick” and the mental “Collie Dogs”.  Brian and Scott from the front row were like fodder to the fiddler, and at least one of them has a new nickname forever and ever, and ever.  Rich Hall, whether you think of him as a panel show regular, a documentary presenter, a cunt of a singer, or the king of stand up, his passionate finale, “Give me back my Whisky” could be a contender for the post independence National Anthem.
What price, pure poetry?

Reviewer : Cai Storrie

An Interview with Gary Little

 

This weekend Gary Little will be headlining the Big Show

@ Monkey Barrel Comedy, Edinburgh

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THE MUMBLE : Hi Gary, where are ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking
GARY : Glasgow

THE MUMBLE : You’ve done the Monkey Barrel before, how do you find the audiences
GARY : Great crowd

THE MUMBLE : When did you realise you were funny
GARY : At school I was the guy that made my pals laugh, and the girls hated!

THE MUMBLE : What inspires you to write
GARY : I’m someone who likes to tell stories, usually about myself. I’m fortunate that a lot of shit things have happened in my life, and people seem to like listening to these things

event__578f552f52e68_304x190THE MUMBLE : What’s your favorite joke (by someone else)
GARY : I can’t think of anything specific just now

THE MUMBLE : Ok, instead of your favorite joke, how abour your favorite comedians
GARY : That’s as hard! Billy Connolly and Chic Murray are just 2 of them

THE MUMBLE : You’re not afraid to admit you’ve served time – in fact it formed the basis of your 2009 Fringe show – where did you find the humour in incarceration
GARY : Prison is like a big school for adults, so there’s plenty of humour there.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve also done a number of comedy workshops for the prisons – can you tell us about the experience
GARY : I went in to give young offenders the opportunity to get some confidence. To feel ok about expressing themselves in front of their peers

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Gary Little
GARY : Hopefully just getting more work. Along with Julia Sutherland(comic) I’ve just had a 4 part radio show (Jail Mates) broadcast on Radio Scotland. Radio 4 might be interested in commissioning a second series. That would be nice

Karin Nixon

Liberte

Glasgow

16th March

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The Mumble likes to look at everything really. to get the full panorama of the cultural landscape; so when faced with the vast panoply of stars at this year’s Glasgow International, we thought first up to try somebody new. I was lucky enough to catch born & bred Weegie, Karin Nixon’s first ever full length comedy show in the intimate but busy confines of the Liberte basement bar. Prior to this night, her normal shows have been 5 minutes at comedy open mic nights, so it was understandable who entire routine was etched in giant prompt cards at her feet. However, this really didn’t effect the flow of a set in which her comedic, analytical mind seems to handle pretty well any situation life may throw at her – she sees the comedy in everything, so to speak. Perhaps that is down to the circuitous route she has taken towards the comedy stage; from doctor’s receptionist through post grad primary teaching, with a massive love of Coronation Street tossed in for the darker hours. Of her transition from wee snippet sets to hour long comedy, Karin told the Mumble; ‘Two days before GICF deadline last October made decision to put on solo show (having only been doing 5-10 minutes). Madness – but March was miles away. Luckily had built stash of writing. Cut lots of it up – put on bed – rearranged it and Hey Presto – Show! First performance was on show night – 16th March.’

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IMG_20170316_191456322.jpgSpending an hour with Karin is rather akin to having that mad auntie round for afternoon tea, who rattles on with hypnotizing monologues at break-neck speed, taking time out only to share out the oven-fresh brownies she’d baked that morning. Karin had instead put plates full of sweets about the tables – but you get the idea. As she rumbled through her set, I soon came to discover that Karin is a gentle soul, empathetic to elastic bands & coffee lids, to her all existence is personified into her little pals. Also, not many comedians take an interval during their hour-long show but Karin did, branding it a ‘ten minute comfort & beverage break’ adding to the joyous informality of it all. Whilst getting our drinks, we were also invited by Karin to write on a slip of paper what they thought Braehead shopping centre had forbidden people to do alongside more traditional shopping centre no-nos. After the break, Karin began to read them out; vajazzling & Irish dancing were two of the funny, but incorrect replies. The answer is quite astonishing, &  I urge a future possible Nixon virgin to go along & find the answer for themselves, by which time, I am sure, this very funny comedian would have lost her nerves & become comfortable with her own funniness so much that she has enabled herself with a delivery to match.

Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen

An Interview with Eddy Brimson

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This weekend sees Eddy Brimson headlining the Big Show at the Monkey Barrel Comedy Club in Edinburgh. Last weekend, The Mumble managed to track the fellow down & grab a few moments;

THE MUMBLE : Hi Eddy, so where ya from & where ya at, geographically speaking?

EDDY : People hear the accent and think I’m from London but I’m not. My folks are cockneys but I was born and breed in Hemel Hempstead, which makes me a Haemorrhoid. I now live in Edinburgh and absolutely love the place. I’ve been very fortunate on the travelling front, but you’d go some to beat Edinburgh.

THE MUMBLE : You had a particularly circuitous route into stand-up, can you tell us about it:

EDDY : My Dad worked the folk circuit for 40 odd years. He was a fantastic story and joke teller, and so I owe most of it to him. That said I never thought I’d end up being a comedian. I used to write books about football, mainly factual.

THE MUMBLE : When did you realise you were funny:

EDDY : My mates are all far funnier than I am, but being funny on stage is very different to being funny off it. My Dad taught me how to tell a joke to a crowd.

THE MUMBLE : What makes you laugh personally:

EDDY : You can’t beat real life. All the best stuff happens in front of you. Most of my material is based on real life events. Life is funny, even the bad bits.

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THE MUMBLE : What inspires you to write:

EDDY : I’ve got fish to feed. Those flakes don’t grow in fields … well … you know what I mean.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve toured the world as a comic, including Burma : what was that gig like:

EDDY : Flew out Tuesday morning, did the gig and then straight back to the airport and home. Might as well have driven to Bathgate.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve been up at the Fringe before, how do you find Edinburgh in August:

EDDY : The Festival is both brilliant and brutal. So many talented people beating themselves up for not being noticed.

THE MUMBLE : You’ve made a few films concerning football, where do you own allegiances lie:

I follow Watford and Hemel Hempstead Town. I’ve been to a few games up here but … really!

THE MUMBLE : What is your favorite joke:

Not a joke as such but a great mate and comedian once tweeted from a toilet: Opps no paper, goodbye socks. I’m laughing just typing that. I can be in the most random place, that will come into my head and I laugh like an idiot.

THE MUMBLE : What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Eddy Brimson?

I shall be at the Festival doing a show titled Knee Pads & Lemons. I’m also currently writing my 2nd novel, which is very exciting.

An Interview with Russel Kane

 

Russell Kane is a changed man. For his Right Man, Wrong Age tour, you may encounter someone with a new look, fresh perspectives and a different approach to his comedy. “In the last year I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look, I’ve thrown all my eyeliner in the bin. I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for some other man having a midlife crisis then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman. Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.” Russell K USE - MID RES.jpeg

In fact, Russell can pinpoint the exact moment when he needed to alter his outlook and write a new show. It started with somebody at the door . . . “I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling. I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work. He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’ Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not. He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’. And at that moment, there was Right Man, Wrong Age.”

In the world of stand-up, acts are continually expected to evolve and grow and turn over a significant amount of material every one or two years. For some this burden might prove too much, but for Russell Kane this is a challenge he relishes. “I’ll keep changing, and I don’t really ever want to stand still. I don’t care if it confuses people about where I’m coming from. I’m protean; I don’t want to be recognisable in five years’ time; that’s what keeps my writing going. One day I’m learning Spanish, the next I’m learning survivalism. I might do my maths GCSE next week: who knows?”

For now, though, Russell is focused on making Right Man, Wrong Age the best show it can possibly be. His topic this time around is how we never quite feel the life-stage that we’re in and the age that we’re at, whether we’re 80 or 18. “When you’re 18, you look in the mirror and think ‘I know what I want to do, so why am I trapped in this 18-year-old body?’ while the 80-year-old is still waltzing and dancing around in her head. That’s going to be my jumping off point and from there I’ll do lots of accessible observations as well as the odd thinky bit. But I don’t want to disappear up my own bum with this show, I just want to go on in my suit, like Michael McIntyre or Peter Kay, and just be funny and have lots of big laughs. My only job in life is to be funny.”

Inevitably, his new fatherhood status will have to be addressed in his show. As ever with Russell, he’ll work hard to avoid easy clichés and tired stereotypes as he tackles a subject that has been raised on many a stage by several generations of comedians. “It’s so hack to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in. It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth. But when you’re coming at it from a male point of view, you need to find a way in. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”

If you’ve seen Russell on stage, you’ll know there is a physicality to his act which matches the blizzard of ideas and words. So, how does he wind down after a show? “Nothing exotic, just a glass of red wine. I would like to get to bed earlier, but I need a good movie or, if I’m feeling particularly tired, something like Towie or Take Me Out; something that lobotomises me. I’m always reading good stuff, but now and again you need a burger because you can’t live on quinoa all the time. So I need something mega mainstream to bring me down.”

Normally in the run-up to a touring show, Russell will have almost a month of preview gigs under his belt. This time around, he had to ditch most of those plans to film his BBC series, Stupid Man, Smart Phone, for which he jetted off to various inhospitable parts of the world (the Arctic Circle, North Africa and Costa Rica among them) to see if he could survive purely with the aid of a constantly fully-charged mobile device with a permanent Wi-Fi connection. This is another example of a man who constantly wants to stretch himself, both physically and intellectually, whether it’s going on to Radio 4’s Saturday Review alongside AS Byatt to discuss the new Julian Barnes novel or writing his own next literary work. In 2012, two years after he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Russell published The Humorist, the tale of a tormented comedy critic who discovers the secret blueprint for humour, and he is continually working away on future literary projects.

Kane also has ambitions to tap into the online market with his stand-up. “I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it; I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens. I did a thing recently, which I called The Kaneing, where I looked at a celebrity news story and put it on my Facebook wall. I was worried it might seem a bit embarrassing and desperate, but it got 64,000 views overnight.”

The popularity of Russell Kane is in little doubt, but he’s keen to make the most of his time at the top of the British stand-up tree. His sense of gratitude for the job he’s doing is palpable and he confesses that touring the country and making people laugh is something he will never tire of. “I love it. If I ever have a bad day and feel miserable, I think about the things my family have done for a living. The fact that I can walk into a hotel, lie on the bed, watch a sci-fi movie, go and do an hour’s work on stage is incredible.”

 

Interviewer : Brian Donaldson


Russell will be performing in Scotland on the following dates:

Thursday 9th March – The Garage (as part of the Glasgow Live International Comedy Festival)

Thursday 6th April – Rothes Hall, Glenrothes 

Friday 7th April – The Nevis Centre, Fort William

Saturday 8th April – The Corran Halls, Oban

Sunday 9th April – Gaeity Theatre, Ayr 

 

An Interview With Grant Stott

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THE MUMBLE :  When did you realise that you were actually kinda funny & people were digging your stuff?
GRANT :  Tricky one to answer, I was always a show off at school and was constantly getting in bother for it – once getting the belt for doing Eric and Ernie’s “Bring Me Sunshine” dance as the class line made it’s way into school!!! WTF?!? But I never really got up with a prepared set of words which got laughs until my wedding day.  It was a very important moment for me (oh aye and the getting married bit too) but hearing people laugh at my stories was a huge buzz…but it took years of trying out wee bits here and there and courage plucking to garner the necessary gonads to get up and do my own one man show.
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image1.jpegTHE MUMBLE :  You are a Hibee fan of course – well you’d need a good sense of humour to be one – so did you & your family get a photo taken with the cup
GRANT :  You serious? I got my hands on the Cup THAT night! I was lucky enough to get invited back to the Club for the post match party with my Dad and we spent the night getting photos with the Cup, the team and the Cup again.
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THE MUMBLE : Which comedians both past & present have tickled your own funny bone?
GRANT :  Billy Connolly is the obvious one – but I remember watching his “Audience With..” programme when it first went out in the 80s and for the first time heard stories about things that I could ABSOLUTELY relate to…Late Call….The Carry Out and Looking For A Party and of course, the drunk singer in the corner!
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Timage2.JPGHE MUMBLE :  You are just about to take your hit Fringe show Tales From Behind The Mic on tour around Scotland. Can you tell us a little about it.
GRANT :  It’s really a show that has genuinely been 27 years in the making.  I tell (mostly) true stories of my journey from leaving school to DJ at a roller disco to joining the police to getting in trouble for DJ’ing while still in the Police and eventually moving into radio and some of the many funny things that have happened to me on (and off) air.  I’ve kept archive audio from callers that did – and didn’t – make it on air and I use them along with tweets and Facebook posts from listeners who can often be a little less than kind when commenting on you.  I also take a moment to explain how my internet sensation “That’s Fife” came about.
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THE MUMBLE :  How long does it take to create a show like Tales From Behind The Mic?
GRANT :  Apart from being 27 years in the making, the decision was made to do it in March last year and I spent the following few weeks writing the script, collecting the stories, putting them in order and working with Ryan Dewar who took them all and helped bring them to life on the screen by some very clever video creations.  We rehearsed for about a two week period in July with Andy Gary casting his directorial eye over the proceedings.  Did a one off preview at Radio Forth for the staff the week before we opened, which was invaluable and gave us lots to change before we finally opened the following week!!
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THE MUMBLE :  What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Grant Stott?
GRANT :  Well, the tour which will take in about 13 nights over a two month period starts at the end of February, the same week I’m back at the Kings in Edinburgh to appear in Allan Stewart’s Big Big Variety Show.  I’ll finish the tour back at the Kings in Edinburgh myself for one night only in May and then in the summer will team up with Andy Gary for a brand new project for the Edinburgh Fringe.  The year will finish as it started; in Panto at The Kings in Cinderella!