20 June 2011

The Yak, Episode 2

"We tame the chat beast, you drink the milk"

Marbles, everyone's favourite Canadian-Cornish comedy duo consisting of Dave Waller and Ryan Millar, have a brand new undertaking on the go, and it's real/surreal televisual entertainment. It's called The Yak, and it's a talk show.

We already had Episode 1, and it was rock-solid. Episode 2 is this Wednesday, 22 June at The Miller, and it should be a proper doozy.

The Yak is a real-style talkshow; it has opening credits, hosts, cameras, guests, a commercial break, music and all of the other trappings of talkshowery. Dig it.

The difference is that the guests are the cream of London's character comics. They grace our sofa with their oddest creations and we shoot the breeze, then chew the fat.

Afterwards, we have a proper chin-wag.

As if that wasn't enough entertainment for your Wednesday evening, it's followed by a full two-man improv show from Marbles: compelling improvised oddness will unfold right in front of you and your bestest friends.

The Yak, Episode 2 features:

  • Fraser Millward
  • Andrew Gentilli
  • Chrus Werren
  • Musical Guest: Morgan James & Dan Roberts


16 June 2011

Hate Violence, Love Vancouver

(Rich Lam/Getty Images)

The Canucks were outplayed at home and lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Boston Bruins 4-0. Not even a goal to cheer for in the last game. How depressing.

I wish that was the most depressing thing about Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Unfortunately, in a stunning and sustained display of douchebaggery, a bunch of fucking tools burned and looted the downtown.

The world, understandably shocked, turned on Vancouver. A riot over a hockey game? Again? Every single person I know is embarrassed and depressed.

But those same people - and all the people that make Vancouver such a great city - are turning it around.

From the hashtag #thisismyvancouver - a collection of things people love about the city - to quickly erected sites dedicated to helping police track down the thugs (Brock Anton I'm looking at you) people are coming out to show that these actions don't represent us.

Of course, the greatest indication of how Vancouverites feel about their city is the facebook group (Post Riot Clean-up: Let's help Vancouver; in the space of half a day 15,000 people signed up to pitch in and get the city ship-shape again - many of them in their Canucks jerseys. This show of community spirit and constructive defiance, well #thisismyVancouver.

The city is showing that, despite the non-representative actions of a bunch of complete assholes, Vancouver is a city capable of love amongst the ruins. Let's make that the image that endures after this mess.


10 June 2011

A Date with Curt Hatred


After numerous scheduling SNAFUs, I finally had a date with the legendary Curt Hatred. I'd never met (or even seen) him before; this isn't surprising, for he's a shadowy figure. What is surprising is how magnetic he is in person.

A bon vivant, raconteur and something of a gadabout. Curt Hatred is also a sexual philosopher, battery farmer, performance art reconstructionist and scout leader. Among other things.

My encounter was both brief and delightful; he's simultaneously more and less than human. He was the inspiration guiding a
pataphysical intervention at The Miller pub. It was entirely improvised.

On the surface, it would have appeared as a show in which Michael Brunström directed a group of improvisers in a longform-via-shortform improv format. It was that, and it was good.

Various narrative threads were explored. A refrigerated love story touched down on a tropical island, via vigilant veganism and religious symbolism. It made sense in a way that transcended ordinary sense. In fact, maybe I do understand pataphysics after all.

And hiding backstage rifling through handbags and leaving half-eaten cheese sandwiches, was Curt himself. I'm grateful for the chance to be in the room with the man, and on the basis of this, will seek out his back catalogue of b-sides.


08 June 2011

Amphibious Ice Cream & Weekly Celebrations

London is a land of opportunity, but only if you're paying attention.

Just last week, I missed the UK's National Ice Cream Week. Which means I missed the opportunity to swim out into the middle of the Thames and get myself a Flake 99 from a floating ice cream truck.

First of all: this is an awesome idea. Not the swimming in the Thames, but the ice cream vanboat. But now that the week is over, I may have literally 'missed the boat'.

And not that much earlier, I missed out on National Sandwich Week. Clearly, I have a problem.

I realize I need to be hyper-vigilant if I want to celebrate all of these great weeks that seem to happen so often here.

So I'm getting myself focused for next week: it's Carers Week, National Crime Writing Week, and National Eye Health Week.

And this time I've got the weekend to prepare, so I will be ready.

Of course, I don't yet know how I'll celebrate these special occasions, but I assure you it will involve a lot of ice cream sandwiches.