A z u 3 a i: R
SlANl) Ul’ l()UB
PLAYUK COMEDY TOUR Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sun 14 Oct.
UK Play seemed to suffer from an image dilemma. Was it music, was it comedy, do the two sit well together? Daytime videos and night-time sit-com archives served two completely different audiences and poor viewing figures didn’t help matters. Occasional sponsoring and promoting of live comedy, and not forgetting those ill-fated Festival taxi ads, raised their association with comedy, but only just.
The BBC-backed channel’s revamp last year to become PIayUK involved a concerted move towards a younger comedy audience. Now predominantly an ‘entertainment’ channel, it’s out to raise its profile and impress a channel-hopping demographic. And it’s enlisted the help of some of the country’s leading young
comedians. Embarking on a six-week national tour of live dates, its impressive roster includes the likes of Terry Alderton, Jeff Green, the Cuban Brothers and
Its only date in Scotland will have Jeff Green, Phil Kay, Ross Noble and Adam Bloom lining up to make one of the most impressive bills you’re likely to see in Scotland this side of August. Touring around with the same people for six weeks, playing different venues every night — maybe the divide between comedy and music isn’t so wide after all. ‘I just did a tour in Australia with four comics,’ recalls Jeff Green, ‘and we were on little chartered aeroplanes because obviously from places like Mount Isa to Alice Springs, there wasn’t any scheduled airline. So we had to charter an aeroplane, our bags had to come later, we all had to get weighed and it was really terrifying. I assumed it was just like being in a rock band, but probably with not as good sandwiches. And whereas they have groupies, we have
MUSKJAl SlANl) tll’ BILL BAILEY Touring Fri 12 Oct—Tue 16 Oct.
As a Bill Barley fan. l'm dreading the day when the long—haired funnyman and lover of l)l’()(jt()f;f$l‘.'(} rock feels (:()rr‘-p(:-l|e(l to t'xrrte a really mediocre novel. Having rapidly conquered the worlds of stage and screen. Bailey has hitherto avoided traversing that trouhled literary road so eagerly trampled dos/n hy his shou‘rhr/ colleagues. And such restraint. | feel. deseryes recognition.
So. nou'r that I've got that particular hurden off my hosorir. let us turn our attention to Barley"s numerous acliieyerr‘ents. like so many iirusrcally gifted youngsters grossing up in the ms. Bailey spent hrs l()l’ll‘£lll‘/(3 years heing cl; ssically trained while si'nirltaneously de‘~.'elopirig a dangerous fascination '.‘.’lllt the likes of Yes. 'the l'ioyrl' and Genesis r.-xhen Peter (Sahriel auras still appearing on stage dressed as a hae'r=orrhordr. l()l|()‘.'/|ll(j a spell at the tendon Coliege of Music. these early rr‘usrcal dahhlings found expression in cult musical comedy duo. The Buhher Bishops. Going solo in 1994. Barley scored a huge l ringe success with the
Jeff’s enough education to perform
blokes in anoraks, going “I saw you on Channel 5, can I ’ave your autograph." Slightly different.’ Proof, if proof were needed, that comedy still isn’t the
new rock and roll. But at least this does mark a return
for Jeff Green to our shores. His national tour at the beginning of this year had no Scottish dates, and his appearances on Paramount’s Shoot The Messenger and a forthcoming Radio 2 show means the cherubic one has been curtailing his live work. ‘TV work is great but it doesn’t give you the adrenaline buzz that live work does. It’s a sort of necessary evil because you need to do TV for people to know who you are, and then you need people to know who you are to sell tickets when you go out on the road.’
Heading out on the road with so many acclaimed peers, is there any chance their comic fraternity will fray? ‘We hate each other. I reckon the whole thing will disintegrate around about the Watford gap and we’ll have four separate cars.’ (Maureen Ellis)
Bailey takes the cream of prog comedy on the road
rock ll‘tlf;l(l£tl/1)()(I/\’ l(l()-‘.'.’l’lll()ll‘.'.’llll Sean lock». and ".‘Jlllllllltj a Perrier A‘J/(tl'tl nomination two years later for his first one man shox'x Bill Bailey's Cosmic Jam.
these days. Barley has an increasing reputation as one of the hardest ‘.‘.()l'klllt] men in comedy. As well as hrs own BBC series Is If B/// Bru/ey'ﬂ he regularly appears in l(}|(,“."if3l()ll specials and game f;ll()‘.'/f; like r'rfer/er I'v/l/nd 'Ihe
Bu//coc/<s, and will he returning to our
screens promptly in the new series of
Channel 35:; hrilliantly lll‘.’(}lll|‘.'(} sitcom B/ack Books.
l-laying missed orrt on this year's l‘ringe. Bailey's new hack on the road and. for all h,s tell", credits. a we Brrv Barley show "emarns a splendid prospect (:()llll)".:ltt} deadpar‘. ohseryateons with surreai nonser‘se and staggering masrcal .';"trrr>srt§.. Ba:ley has created a unirrue act that has '.'.ron nrrn a glohal fanhase. spanning (1".'(1'l".".'.r'l(?l(? from ldrnhurgh and londor‘. to Australia and the far Fast. IAi'an Badclrffer
STANDth l‘N MASSE,. ALLAN MILLER’S RECORD BREAKERS The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 16 Oct.
You're short on ideas for a show, so what do you do? Drudge up some dated gags? Feign illness and do a hunk? Or in Allan Miller's case. you contact every comedy chum you've got. arrange them all to turn up on the same night and organise stand-up comedy's first world record attempt. ()riginal. clever and guaranteed to pack the house out wrth eager \.'/itnesses.
But that was last year. and its organisation suffered at the expense of time constraints. This year it's going to he official. Guinness has heen notified. criteria have heen set. names have heen put fonvard. audiences lll\.’ll(}(l. and Allan Miller is un<lerstandahly exerted: ‘lt's quite a different thing than you would normally get ~ it's got a different dynamic than \J/atching
Miller: funniest ever night?
somehody do tx‘renty minutes. Hopefully it you don't like one person. then the next will he along in tune rrrrnutes time. We've got some decent stand ups ‘.'.’e'ye got some newer people. and some higger narnesf
Miller has his sights set on a total of ~10 comedians on the hill. With each performing for at least two rn.nutes in a two hour set compered hy Miller, the only stumhlrng hlock may he the criteria ‘-.'.’lll(1ll stipulates that every act must record a laugh. And the pressure is on.
that Miller's guirkrly unrgue \.'lf3l()lt rs inspired is a giyen. and in a husrness plagued hy its puhlrc laundry ‘.'.'ashrng and in fighting. could this attempt he seen as a rally call to heal the dryisiye ‘.‘.’()tlll(lf§ in Scottish comedy? ‘lhere's certain people who don't get on with each other] explains Miller. ‘hut v-xe'll just put it aside for one evening il \‘.’l” he like playing foothall \'.’llll the HHSSNOE; during the \.'-.rar. It'll he like the 'l’ipes ()f l’eace': it'll haye Paul McCartney in the middle.’ ilvlaureen l llrsr
.: is r >:: THE LIST 71