Comedy at the Union Chapel


Yesterday the best girlfriend ever and myself entered our minuscule all terrain vehicle and dared flooded roads, badger attacks and overprotective pheasants to drive to the English equivalent of Ankh-Morpork. There her eminence had secured us two tickets to see three comedians and my high priest of musical comedy, the ever so brilliant Bill Bailey in -of all places- a church. Not any church, though. A rather impressive example of victorian gothic architecture in Islington, the Union Chapel is as impressive as it gets. They even ask you whether you want your Hobgoblin at room temperature or cold. Bloody brilliant! Before we finally got to see Bailey, we sat through 2 hours of ‘stand up’ (which in my vocabulary unfortunately still stands for some bloke on a stage trying to get through as many four letter words as possible) and was pleasantly surprised.

It didn’t start well, though, as the MC of the evening was the rather  execrable Charlie Baker, who obviously believes that the word ‘knockers’ is still funny. Before the gig the best girlfriend ever mused that if this is going down in a consecrated church, they are probably unlikely to be allowed to swear. Boy was she wrong.  Rufus Hound who was obviously out on stage to deliberately shock a lefty liberal audience waiting for Bailey to appear. I do think he almost got there. Always in the verge of being misogynistic, he nevertheless managed to convey the tragic aspects of male masturbation, the idiocy of ritual circumcision and the importance of oral sex in the world in such disarmingly honest tones that even the best girlfriend ever was delighted.

I am though not sure why the mother of the two ca 10 year old girls thought it would be a good idea to bring her daughters to the gig. I am sure there will be trauma. And questions (‘Mummy? What is cocksucking? Does it involve poultry?’).

Pat Cahill was even better: his songs about tumour ridden Jack Russels (‘this dog is not in any visible pain. I’ve sang it eight times and I’ll sing it again’) and routine about booze combinations were outstanding. Have a look:


What Bridget Christie was doing on stage I have no idea. Lost and forlorn, she was neither funny nor witty and the poor women knew it.

Bill Bailey? Well, he is obviously getting more angry with politicians these days (deservedly so), doesn’t particularly like Nick Clegg and fails to see the point of Danish tv. And continues to invite the most sophisticated hecklers (“PLAY AN ALTERED SCALE!!”).

Brillant night. If somebody wound have warned me about Bridget Christie in advance I might have been able to get another Hobgoblin, but you can’t have anything in life.

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