Monday, January 30, 2006

"Salman Rushdie's arsehole"

Went to see some Manchester comedy on Saturday night as part of Sarah's friend Sarah's birthday. Well, the comedy was at the Manchester Comedy Store - in fact the three stand-ups were a Geordie (Paul Tonkinson), New Zealander (Jared Christmas) and a Canadian (Tom Stade). No matter: children, what I wanted to talk to you about today was the strange series of scenes which unfolded before my lagered eyes during the show's interval.

When the compere called for a break, all the people I knew dashed out for pints, and I was left sitting with birthday girl Sarah and two of her friends from university, both called Rachael. Neither of the Rachaels had produced any kind of laughter during the performance, which, if you ask me, was a pretty extraordinary feat of humourlessness. Sarah, who, remember, had organised the evening, turned to ask if they were enjoying it (and it was pretty decent stuff actually).
"No, we're not," said Rachael 1.
"Not really our cup of tea," said Rachael 2. There was a pause.
"How much do we owe you for the tickets?" said Rachael 1. Cruel.

I decided I should leave such hideousness and climbed over a seat to get away and piss. On my way to the toilet, I went past a small stage which held a singer-guitarist who was singing some lame ballad. Standing directly in front of the stage, with his back to the singer, was this wiry-but-hard-looking skinhead, dancing and singing, inexplicably, The Sugarhill Gang's Rapper's Delight over the top of the strummings behind him. "I said a-hip hop hip to the hippy hippy to the hip hip hop and you don't stop..." he crooned.

The singer finished the tune to a largely indifferent room. "You're supposed to clap at the end of the song," he prompted the crowd, with a slight note of anger in his voice. He then did little to help things by launching into an ill-advised rendition of David Gray's Sail Away With Me.

Outside the toilets was another shaven-headed goonda. A girl was lifting up his shirt and explaining patiently why she thought he probably didn't need a hernia operation.

Following some satisfying toilet relief, I walked back past the troubadour. The skinhead was still at it, but had been joined by an almost identical-looking friend. "Salman Rushdie's arsehole!" shouted the first skinhead to the audience. No one replied, presumably out of a combination of fear and drunken apathy. "None of them get it," he complained to his friend. I went back to my seat to watch the second half.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bloody hell Parkhouse up here and you didn't get in touch! Grrr.

Hope you enjoyed the 'comedy' - if that's what it passed for. Who was compering? I have a mate on the circuit - Jason Manford - who is piss funny and has compered there before.

Anonymous said...

PS the above comment is me - Tom Murphy. ;-)

Will said...

Hi Murphy,

Yeah sorry about that, but I'm in Manchester loads, so it should be you phoning me...

MC was John Fothergill, who actually was a Manc. I didn't mention him because it would spoil the, er, joke.