George Square Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 14 Dec

Dave Gorman is a man with little fear. He’s travelled the world searching for his namesakes and spent a month of his life living it to his horoscope’s letter. He’s a Piscean, if you’re interested. Yet, his nerve started to desert him after he got shot of his trademark sideburns on Frank Skinner’s sofa.

‘I had about 100 emails in the week after I shaved them off and it got quite scary,’ Gorman recalls. ‘It felt like a boy band had just split up; they were all saying: “You’ve got to grow them back; that’s what you look like; we like you because you look like that; you’ve got to.” But if I grew them back then, it’ll be because some teenagers have told me to and then my appearance becomes a professional choice.’

Dave Gorman’s chosen form of comedy has been a refreshing shift from the one-man-and-his-mic norm. His shows are, if you pardon the term, concepts. Albeit, concepts triggered by spending too much time in the pub boring his mates rigid with his trivial pursuits. And, despite his self-confessed technophobia he even uses overhead projectors to hilarious effect.

‘On paper, none of them might work. With a stage show or a book, it can fail and it’s just me that

suffers. With TV, the harder thing is to persuade others to let me take that chance. That’s the argument we

have to have every time.’

For his return to Edinburgh since his Dave Gorman- seeking Perrier-nominated show, he has dipped further into his back catalogue to resurrect his Reasons to be Cheerful routine. It’s a line by line dissection of the Ian Dury song, essentially four minutes of pure pop stretched into a conceptual (sorry) 90 minutes of fun.

‘Like most things I do, I didn’t choose to have a show about it, it happened to me. Surprise surprise, I was in the pub and this song was on the jukebox and l was

COMIC PROFILE DES CLARKE Local boy in the photograph

Des Clarke is a young slip of a boy. Practically a skeletal little waif of a lad. with huge puppy-dog eyes. lashes that w0uld make Betty Boop turn green and a coy. boyish charm. Only radio. being radio. doesn't communicate his appearance to the masses. ‘I think I've got a fat voice.’ states Clarke.

THE LIST 12 Dec 2002—2 Jan 2003

Gorman feels the burns

going on and on and on about it to the annoyance of my friends. They were going: “Shut the fuck up or do a

show about it.”’ Gorman did a show about it.

‘because people always expect me to be fat. Inside my thin person there must be a massive heifer of a bloke trying to get out. People also think I'm in my late 208. My voice puts years and about 12 stone onto me.‘ Presenting the Beat 106 breakfast show must be taking its toll on the 21 - year-old Glaswegian. In his seven months in the job. he‘s interviewed Moby. Robbie. Geoffrey (Rainbow). Jerry (Sadowitz) and Rolf Harris. And for his troubles. he gets up at 4am every morning when looking your best doesn't really enter into the equation. ‘lt‘s like in Wayne 3 World when they go to see Handsome Dave; it's like a weird version of that. People expect a massive WWF sumo wrestler with a gruff voice and a pie in his hand. and I walk out with a can of Red Bull.‘ Starting work at this ungodly hour hasn‘t capped the meteoric rise of Clarke‘s stand-up career. Starting out on the circuit a little over two years ago, it's quite astonishing that he's about to joint-headline two Hogmanay

Though even he must have had reservations about following his horoscope for 40 days, just to see whether astrology was science fact or hocus pocus. He proved, almost conclusively, that Mystic Meg et al may not be the raving speculators they first appear. ‘Having read about 20 a day for 40 days, I think I overdosed and even though I’d proved that it was the right thing to do, I couldn’t face them ever again.’ Dave Gorman’s star though remains in the ascendant. (Brian Donaldson)

gigs at the Queen's Hall, alongsrde fellow Scots Craig Hill and Frankie Boyle. Nevertheless. Clarke is unfazed playing such a grand venue. “It's easier to start laughter in a big audience.‘ says Clarke. ‘Well, we'll see. If I'm speaking to you the day after I died on my arse. I'll be saying: “You know that quote about the big audience thing? Well, nah, it was shit."'

Des Clarke's act is anything but shit. He's a blistering cacophony of comic neurosis. whose fusion of speed and erratic nonsense is incredible. And he can now be experienced by an even wider audience the second date at the Queen's Hall will be signed for the deaf. “That's the gig I‘ve been looking forward to for so long. Unless there‘s a 12-handed BSL interpreter. this guy isn't going to be able to keep up. But I think it will be really funny watching him try.‘ (Maureen Ellis)

I Des Clarke plays the Queen '3 Hall. Edinburgh, Fri 27 8 Mon 30 Dec, and gigs regular/y around Scot/and. Check listings for more information.

Joking aside

Where the laughter matters

‘I I'T'S HOPE. MlCl IN I_ MOORI pencils Scotland II\.1(}I“S(IIZII". ii: the new ,ear.’ scoffed. Onl, I would seem that ‘.'.'IlII(} his; last minute appearance at the Traxerse was cancelled, Micrae‘. Moore (II(I intleetl appear .n Edinburgh last month at the Cameo (:ineina. I:‘.i<ler‘tr_. our finger slipped off the wise momentarily. but it :s 't<)'.'.’ ou' new pent (luty to report an, future Moore Sightings as {illfl '.'.'he". they happen. Antl that's a promise.

LAST ISSUE WE REPORTED the curious mystery of Noel Fielding’s vocals on a pop track. The answer to our quandary came in the form of Noel’s agent Jo, who informs us that our reports were not without foundation. Noel recorded the record ‘Midfielding‘ two years ago with Midfield General (aka Damien Harris), and while the vocals were his, the animation was not. So whose deft hand created the video?

A NEW COME-DY COMPI llIlON is winging its via. to Coo-hand early next year. lite tanglan Horse Nev; Act of the Year QC’L-Ii co'np rolls into (Elasgr on :3. l ‘. and 18 January at Craic C the Sac. Ple‘.’IOUSI\, open CHI". to London-based comics. the contest is looking for the pest stand-up newcomers to (:c'npete in the local heats. Anyone interested in taking part SllOtlkI call 07768 58‘188l or email ther details to nex'xact20-(Xi C laughing!lor'se.( Rules {ll‘(l more lIlI()I'l‘i£_1IIOII are {I‘.'£IIIEII)I(} on the website .'.”.'.1laughing horsecouk

Dave Spikey

IN A BIZARRE CASE OF LIFE imitating art, Dave Spikey - co-creator of 5-times British Comedy Award nominated show Phoenix Nights - decided to pop into local radio station Chorley FM. The station, affectionater named after the series’ fictitious radio enterprise, has now closed down, but organisers hope to put it on the (t’)internet full time from next year, as well as applying for a FM licence. Spikey simply described his visit as ‘surreal‘.