Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Simon Amstell and Fotc M&G

More fun nights out at gigs occurred. So here is my re-capping of them:

On Sunday night me and my friend went down to the soho theatre to see Simon Amstell's "warm up" show. It wasn't a new material warm up show, but more of a damn-I-need-to-remember-my-material-for-a-DVD warm up show. Which I knew but I'm not sure everyone did, more on that later.
We got to the venue with about 5 minutes to spare and the only two visible seats were right down in the front row ¬.¬ so we spent the time before thinking "oh I really hope he doesn't pick on us". And half way through the show he did pick out my friend because he is really skinny and that's how Simon likes them haha!

I thought Simon's stories were really good and funny and I loved it when he was telling them but there was something in his set I couldn't quite click with and I'm not sure what it was. What I've decided since the show is his links between each story and occasionally he went of on a tangent and I'm not sure I followed them. For example, he kept referencing some philosophy books during one story and I wasn't sure what he was talking about, and I'm not entirely sure the audience got them either.
When Simon was trying to remember something and it went a bit quiet a strange sort of tension came over, which Simon picked up on and kept reminding us that this was a warm up. A couple of people then reminded him (in a friendly way) that we had still paid £17 for it.

I'm also thinking this is going to be a short DVD, he performed for about 1hour 15 and a bit of it was him scratching his head.

In conclusion, (can you tell I'm writing a lot of essays at the moment so have to conclude everything I write) the show was enjoyable and he has some great stories, I especially loved the one about his cat. I just hope his tangeants/leads to stories were having a bit of an off day. ;)

And then on Monday I went back to see the Flight of the Conchords. I wrote a very detailed account of the last fotc show I went to so won't be doing it again.
Arj opened for us this time and I thought he was great (he'll be up in Edinburgh this summer!). It was fun watching him try to maneuver around all the instruments on stage, which he did trip over a couple of times.

The setlist was a lot shorter this time around and they didn't mess up in the songs. It was really nice hearing them full but some of my fave bits were when things went a bit wrong on stage.
Even though the setlist had been cut we did get some gems which I hadn't heard live yet such as Inner City Pressure, Hiphoppotamus and Epileptic Dogs. The only one I'm still yet to hear, which I really want is Carol Brown.

A couple of my favourite lines from show were: "it's like Ethiopia in my stomach" when talking about famine and when talking about acid trips "Don't take too much acid though, otherwise you'll get fingered by Tyrannosaurus Rex".

So that was my briefer outline of the show. We then decided to hang around afterwards which is where we saw Richard Curtis, Bill Neighy, Rob Brydon and the Inbetweeners. That was the excitement we had whilst waiting.
After a couple of hours outside it wasn't looking good for a Meet and Greet, the crowd had windled down to about 10.
But then Arj Barker came out with his glass of wine and said he really wasn't sure when they were going to come out as there were a lot of old friends there. He then decided he was going to hang with us until they came out as we were more interesting and it was like an awkward work party inside as it was a "well lit room", he also said he was wanting to get back to the hotel and sleep as he was still slightly jetlagged. Everyone was just taking photos of him and he was just possing for them by himself, so we wondered over and asked for a photo:

Other people got things signed and photos taken and he asked me about the Ukulele, so I asked him to sign it which he was worried about as he didn't want to mess it up (no pressure!).

The taxi that went in about half hour before, then came out with the crew in it and drove past us whilst Arj tried to wave it down and get in, which was pretty funny thinking they had left him with us. He then jumped into another car and left us saying he really had no idea where the guys were.

A few minutes later they just walked out from behind the gates, people went over to Jemaine so I headed for Nigel (the New Zealand orchestra) and took my uke out again. He then started to tune it and play a song which made Jemaine shout out "start singing as well Nigel" Bret then walked over to us and noticed my jumper and asked me where I got it from and if they were still selling them so he could go and get one himself. Him and Nigel then started singing and remembering the tune together whilst handing each other the uke when one remembered a chord. I just stood in the middle of them laughing and not sure what was going on. I then started to think "this is beyond awesome, but I do need to get my last train in half hour and I have to go slightly across town" so in the video, I start asking questions to try and hurry up the impromptu jam session but they ignored them and carried on playing, and after watching the clip , man did I embarrass myself with the unanswered questions >.<

Bret eventually signed it and I walked over to Jemaine and once he was free I asked him to sign it as well. When he saw me he said "oh hey, you've got another great jumper on I see" (in Manchester he kept saying he really liked my jumper, so I'm taking that as him remembering me =P)

Once he signed it, I realised Nigel hadn't so I went back over which led him playing it some more and saying he really liked this uke and it was lovely to play.

i did spend the whole day unsure of whether to take it or not, as I wasn't sure if I would meet them and if I wanted loads of writing over it. If you can't tell I'm BEYOND happy I did take it.

Thursday, 13 May 2010


Here’s my experience of going to see the wonderful Flight of the Conchords in Manchester. I got into the city at about 3pm and met up with a friend I met through their forum (is it wrong that all the good people are from the interwebs =P) we decided to head down to venue as there was a pub next to it so we could sit and drink. We got there and the pub looked strange, small and closed, this meant we decided to sit on the grass outside instead. We got talking to a guy who had been there since 2pm, hoping to meet the guys and said he knew what car they’d be in. It turned out the pub wasn’t closed we were just being special and when their car turned up (the guy ran to the door as soon as he saw it) everyone in the pub ran over as well so what I thought would just be 5 of us turned into about 15. They were lovely and made sure everyone was seen to. I never know what to say so I just asked for a picture and said I was really looking forward to the show. They then headed in and we sat around again until the show started.

We got into the venue and I somehow managed to get row C centre seat so was beyond chuffed. They opened the doors at 6.30pm and the show didn’t start until 8pm and the guys weren’t on stage until 8.45pm, so a lot of sitting watching people/trying to work out if it was try that Cameron was our PM. Eugene Mirman (he’s in the show as their landlord) was the support act and I hadn’t seen his stuff before but thought he was brilliant. He did a lot of “I saw a stupid sign, I made some of my own” which were really funny but (not sure how to explain it) I prefer stupid long stories so they sort of dragged again. He showed this video of him reporting about the climate conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWYGs4qQfK4

We then had to wait 25 minutes until the guys came on, so more sitting, watching, tweeting. Before the set they showed a clip from the New Zealand tourist office trying to get people to come to NZ. They came on playing Too Many Dicks wearing robot heads which flashed whilst pulling some crazy moves. The rest of the set went like this:

Too Many Dicks

Most Beautiful Girl

Hurt Feelings


Ladies of the World



Think about it

Korean song

I'm not crying


Foux da fa fa


Demon Woman

Encore: Business Time

Bus Driver Song

Bret you got it going on (teaser - Bret said he gets embarrassed by it so Jemiane started to sing it

We're both in love with a sexy lady


Looking at their other set lists, they really do shake them up, which is great and they also took requests before playing Albi.

Should also point out that they’re joined on stage with Nigel, who is the New Zealand Orchestra. There should be 3 members but 1 missed their flight and as there’s only 1 a month he won’t make it and the other one got here but forgot her Tuba.

Here are some highlights:

- Woo is a new song and bloody brilliant, Jemaine sings it but he kept forgetting the lyrics so he kept saying “oh... nothing” before trying to remember it. Nigel played the recorder and when he put it back he hit it against his cello which made Jemaine stop playing, turn to him and just stare.

- Korean Song - it started with Jemaine saying he was going to take a nap and that Bret should take control for a moment, so Bret decided to try out his new stuff which turned out to be the Korean song from Prime Minister episode. They said they hadn’t played it before and it was accompanied by a new video the guys filmed. I loved it, it always make me laugh in the episodes and I couldn’t stop laughing during it. Bret kept trying to get us to sing a long but it wasn’t quite working so they’re not sure how it went down. Really hope they carry on playing it.

- Albi - Jemaine sang Albi’s parts in a Mancunian accent. Enough said.

- Hurt Feelings - Bret got a bit wrong and everyone started to laugh so they responded with “hey stop hurting my feelings by laughing, are you not getting the message of this song?”

- Think about it - before the song there were some brilliant bits discussing saving whales and how they should do it a long with impressions.

- I thought the crowd were really good, I read reports of the previous Manch show and it said there were a lot of hecklers. But there was only a few this evening. The first one was just after Jemaine said he was going for a nap and a woman in a very strong Mancunian accent shouted “I’ll join ya” which meant the guys couldn’t stop laughing and they then questioned her intentions did she mean that she thought it was boring show or that she found Jemaine attractive and wanted to lie next to him. She said the second which led a guy to shout (VERY loudly) “JEMAINE YOU SEXY BASTARD”. I’m pretty sure Jemaine blushed at this point and responded with “thank you for being clear with what you mean”. The third thing shouted got a Shut Up response, so there was no more afterwards.

- Between the songs, the guys told stories from being on tour, these included being stuck in a lift, getting muffins and a groupie with a fish, among others.

- Bret broke the news who our new PM was which led to a large amount of boos and several “You should do it” and Jemaine took up the offer and said Nigel should be treasurer and in the cabinet as he can hold things. I love that a lot of people found out who our PM was from the conchords, another great memory for the show.

- they get dressed into tight, sequin outfits for Demon Woman and they changed by ripping off their trousers (stripper style). After the song they went off for the encore. Bret and Nigel came back fully clothed but Jemaine came on trying to but his trousers back together and Bret saying he should just get some normal trousers. Jemaine has also out his t-shirt on wrong, he had missed one of the sleeves so his arm was through the neck opening and as it was a v-neck shirt it kept falling down during Bus Driver song until half of his chest was on show. Got to love guys who fail at dressing.

- During Sugalumps Bret jumped into the audience and found a guy with crutches and grabbed them and started singing “his crutch is on my crotch” and then he went over to a lady in a wheelchair and it looked like he was going to give her a lapdance but he changed his mind and decided to wheel her towards him.

Me and my friend weren’t sitting next to each other so we decided to meet outside the pub and even though we had met the guys already we ended up staying again (mainly because we were with others who hadn’t met them yet). Eugene came out and worked the crowd and took pictures with everyone, he was so naturally funny when responding to everyone I could have just listened to him all night.

Then the guys came out again, there were an awful lot of people there and I decided to hang at the back until it quietened down. The guys where in much better spirits after the show than before (always to be expected) and I liked meeting them when there was only a couple of people there but they gave better poses and were a lot more relaxed after the show, so I’m happy (and bloody greedy) I got to experience both times. I got Jemaine to sign my tea-towel and when I got to Bret he was signing a load of people’s tickets/albums with just Bret McKenzie but when I handed over the tea towel he said he really loved them and signed his name before pausing asking if it was for me (hell yeha it is) and then writing a little message.

The next day we walked around Manchester and I brought a Ukulele.

Sorry for the really long post but it was such an amazing night and I can’t wait for Monday and London. I’m tempted to take my Ukulele down but is 2 shows and 3 meetings a bit too greedy and stalkery?

And also sorry for the stupid change in font sizes, can't work out how to stop it and when I change the size the space between the lines are huge.