Thursday, April 13, 2006

(The Lovely) Boo Hewerdine at Komedia

A rare weeknight "date" this week was a trip to see Boo Hewerdine live at Komedia on Tuesday. I was pretty excited, as I've loved Boo for ages, but only ever seen him perform with Eddi Reader (3 times) and not his solo set. It was a fairly intimate occaision in the basement space, which does feel more "divey" (not in a bad way) than the revamped upstairs. This and the enthusiastically sponateous nature of the gig made it feel like an impromptu student jam, but with hugely talented musicians.

The support act was a very friendly scottish lady called Astrid Williamson with a pretty tight band, but the music was a bit busy for my taste. After a small break, Boo sauntered onto stage with two other musicians - the drummer from The Bible, who had apparently been roped in at the last minute as he lives in Brighton - and another guitarist (with some kind of intriguing short-necked guitar in tow) who Boo had enlisted after meeting him a couple of weeks ago in West Chiltington. They seemed very relaxed in each other's company, and the fact that they immediately sat down and remained so throughout the gig was rather endearing. Most of the songs were familiar, but often played in a different style than on the albums. I've always found Boo's music incredibly affecting, but seeing/hearing him perform live was magical. He's got the kind of voice that speaks to your soul - forceful and tender at the same time. I found myself "tingling" on several occaisions, especially when he floated into that gentle, breathy falsetto that he does so well.

Ant and I made fools of ourselves by being the only ones to get up and dance to "59 Yards" - the most upbeat Boo song. I also gave it my all when the audience was invited to join in on the chorus of "Patience of Angels". I've always loved singing this song anyway and to have the chance to sing with the man himself was amazing. The sardonic banter in between the songs was very amusing and added to the convivial atmosphere of the night. I came away feeling very upbeat and inspired, an effect that lasted for the rest of the week, putting me firmly into holiday mode. I'm looking forward to a quiet moment when I can kick back and enjoy the new album, Harmonograph, which Boo kindly signed for me afterwards.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Unlikely Sex Symbol

I'd never considered Sybil Fawlty a sex symbol, so when Ant & I decided to 'do' the Fawltys for a 'comedy characters' theme party last night, I had resigned myself to being a frump. I usually like to try and give my fancy dress outings an element of foxiness (Princess Leia, Sally Bowles, Wild West prostitute are some examples), but this was just too good an opportunity to pass up. Ant has a definte touch of Basil about him anyway and we couldn't think of any other more fitting comdedy couples.

I trawled the charity shops of Chichester, and good old eBay, and found myself a hideous peach coloured Windsmoor high-collared blouse, pearls, a suitably severe suit, and of course the necessary wig. Ant already owns a tweed jacket, so only needed to find a cravat, some too-short trousers and bad 70s shoes. Walking down to Mat's in Hanover in costume last night was quite amusing, as passing people weren't quite sure if we were in fancy dress or not! Most of the other party-goers clocked our ensemble straight away, especially when I did my best Sybil laugh and pretended to kick Basil in the shins. Many of the other costumes were lost on me, not being au-fait with a lot of contemporary comedy shows, but most people had made the effort which was pleasing.

What surprised me most about being Sybil was the amount of attention I was getting from the guys. I wasn't feeling particularly hot in my beige tights and bouffant wig, but I was propositioned by several lads who apparently found the look arousing. My response was to screech "BASIL!", to which Ant usually came scuttling in to rescue me, in character of course. I can't imagine what it is about Sybil that is so alluring - perhaps it's the dominatrix thing, or some kind of oedipal fixation, or maybe the blokes in question just all happened to be unhinged, but I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to inadvertantly project some foxiness after all.

Photographic evidence will be available on Flickr shortly.