Monday, 29 August 2011

What a Weekend!

Where to begin?

So, on Friday night after the show we had the final of The Great Big Sketch Off, a huge success, it was won by Swagger Jagger, a team that included our very own Matt Ralph, with Max Olesker (on crutches since The Wrestling), Tom Hensby and Paul Dunn (who gained a black eye in the process). Well done to all the teams though, it was a great night.

We got home about 2am and were up four hours later to get a Taxi to the airport. We'd all just about managed to shower and get out of the house and into the cab in time... only to find it wouldn't start. The driver slumped over the wheel head in hands and said we'd have to get a black cab (it was raining) unless we wanted to give him a push to start it? The next thing we know the gimps are all out of the car (except David) and pushing it over a box juntction. It was like something out of Little Miss Sunshine... except in the rain. And in Scotland. Anyway, it worked, and we were off!

We got our flight and met up with the ever reliable Matt Tizzle, our London-based diabetic tech hero, at the airport and got in a hire car. That's where the troubles began. Chris our agent was valiantly driving us from Luton to Reading but we ran into traffic, like, a LOT of traffic. We only had about an hour to get there for our sound-check. In the end we missed that by some margin and only arrived at the Festival - we had to drive right up to our stage - with five minutes to go.

We quickly got mic-ed up and before we knew it we were on stage in front of around two and a half thousand people singing about Bestiality. The mad rush meant we didn't have time to get nervous and the adrenaline meant our half hour set felt like it was over in about five minutes. The crowd were amazing, really responsive and loud and the largest we had played so it felt amazing.

We got off stage and just had time to check out our dressing room. Being possibly the least rock n' roll group to have ever played Reading Festival, our rider as you can see is less about champagne, lap-dancers and heroin... and more about lemon and ginger tea... and a curlywurly. That's the way we roll.

We grabbed some delicious non-battered food (a novelty this month) in the artists' catering tent and then we were back on the road to the airport. Chris by now was giving Lewis Hamilton a run for his money and he got us to the airport in good time, we certainly met our part of the bargain. Easyjet... less so.

The flight was delayed by an hour, which made things pretty tight back in Edinburgh as we had our own show to do that night. We just about made it in time though and stumbled through a red-bull fuelled performance on Saturday night. We got home and ate dominos into the wee small hours and then collapsed.

The next day went a lot smoother in all fairness. We got up early and got into the hire car Chris had sorted as we were driving to and from Leeds. It started, which was nice. We made really good time and the journey was much more relaxed. Too much so for Richard, who fell asleep almost immediately only to be woken at regular intervals by Matt screaming into his ear. Good times.

We sampled the limited delights of most service stations along the A1(M), played travel games, listened to the football and thought up new ways to wind Richard up.

We got to Leeds Festival in time and sound-checked properly and made some changes to the previous day's running order. We got to catch the end of one of our favourite comedians, Mark Watson's set and sneak a look at the crowd. It was huge.


Mark, as you'd expect, went down a storm and made us feel suitably petrified of messing up and ruining everyone's afternoon. Thankfully though, it went well and the crowd were very nice to us. Also, by finishing both days with our Strip sketch, we worked out that Lee had showed his penis to over five thousand people this weekend. That's a lovely statistic to take away from the experience if nothing else.

We stopped by the catering tent to grab some much needed fruit and vegetables then it was back on the road again. We got back to Edinburgh in good time and turned in a respectable performance in the circumstances, despite Richard's voice being all but gone.

At this stage the sensible thing to do would have been to get home to bed. But of course we ended up in Brookes bar till gone three, expect David who fell asleep on a sofa in the Library bar and was duly taken home.

I'm not quite sure how we did it looking back, but it was a hell of a weekend. Thanks to Chris for all his driving, and a huge thanks to the audiences at Reading and Leeds, you were incredible.

Right. One more show to go and then that's Edinburgh done for another year, and we can all go to bed.

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