Sunday, 5 September 2010

Socks tour - first 90 minute show shock horror

With Edinburgh (ie the Fringe) less than a week behind us, I've just got the first tour date under my belt and it was a good one, involving a brief return to Edinburgh (ie the city which is, need I remind you, eternal and must not be used as a byeword for August's working holiday as so many London comics do).

(The above clip is from our Edinburgh run, with a piece of material which stayed in the show for a week before I realised it wasn't working. We still managed to overrun every night even after it was cut)

And the first touring show, Aberdeen's Lemon Tree, was a revelation in that it was the Socks' first attempt to play a 90 minute show. Before now they've simply taken the hour long Edinburgh show and toured that, but tonight we played two 45 minute sets with an interval. This was made up of the recent On The Telly show as the first half (minus Biopic and Dingaling, neither of which made the cut) and Goes To Hollywood as the second half (with Xmas Paedo routine held over from On The Telly, no Casablanca, no Swine Flu, no Australian films, no cross-channel TV).

And it worked brilliantly. The slightly better songs of Hollywood (Earth Song, Facebook, the 3 Songs and Sweary Poppins) build marvellously after the OK songs of Telly (Vuvuzela, Always A B, and Walk On Wild Side which appears in Telly but originated in Hollywood)... and I suddenly realise how interesting this isn't, sorry.

The revelation was the interval, during which I was able to sell t-shirts and comics. Every single comic went (I foolishly only brought 6 on the train) and all but 2 t-shirts (only one one of each size, the others will have to go to the website). If that pattern is repeated, with the Socks remembering to plug the t-shirts before the break, we could have found a new way to make money. Before now, any chance to sell t-shirts has been after the show, by which time I'm so busy clearing up and the crowd are so busy going home that there's rarely been a chance to do anything with merchandise. (Picture me rubbing my hands together like a Dickensian moneylender, you have the picture).

With typical prescience I'd left my travel planning late (I blame Edinburgh) so the train had become cheaper than the plane (£160.70 return, if you're interested) which meant 9 and a half hours up on Friday, 10 and a quarter hours back on Saturday, during which I read The Picture of Dorian Gray, two Sherlock Holmes stories (Red Headed League & Bohemian Scandal), an Edgar Allan Poe story, a good bit of Romeo & Juliet, and the start of a couple of other books, all on the iPod thanks to Classics2Go, plus the Guardian and Private Eye cover to cover. There are worse ways to spend two days. Two days which are more than paid for by a well attended (over 100) gig on a doorsplit. Plus shirts.

Monday sees the first of two London shows, at the Leicester Square Theatre, and a potential attendee has already been told it's sold out (though my email from the venue suggests there are 10 seats left, so hopefully everyone will get in and be happy). It'll be a second attempt at the 90 minute show, so let's hope the crowd haven't seen Hollywood already, fingers crossed.

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Leicester Square Theatre tickets

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