Thursday, 31 January 2019

Don't Lets Be Beastly To The Leavers - new video


Brand new from the Socks - Don't Let's Be Beastly To The Leavers. A fun new song, recorded and shot today, I do hope everyone enjoys it.

The song itself, obviously, is based on the Noel Coward classic and channels the same satirical message. Having written the lyrics Wednesday evening, I then had to go to the storage unit to rescue my keyboard in order to record it. This is the first song where I've played all of the music for a while, having relied on karaoke tracks for a lot of recent tunes, especially ones that aren't part of the stage show. Possible the last song I played with no assistance was Avengers Reel from the Superheroes show. Anyway, any bum notes, they're all me, played in the key of C then transposed down to B flat so I could sing it.

The video was a tight thing too. My camera has a fault by which the power cable doesn't seem to be working. It's had this glitch on and off over recent years but usually, eg last week when I used it, it fritzed back onto working properly and it charged up. This video was shot in one take, with the camera showing 8 minutes of battery life remaining, and transferred to the laptop on the same bit of juice. I'm now looking at a DV camera that's dead to the world. A problem I'll remember about when it's time for the next video.

And I know there's an error in the subtitles (apart from the indecision about whether to write Lets or Let's, and doing both), which I didn't spot until it was too late. Live with it.

UPDATE: By Mon Feb 4 this has had 3200 views on Facebook, + 820 views of its square version. This compares to 2500 views of Fyre Festival. On Youtube it's only mustered 193 views.

Let's see how many Leavers this drags out of my Facebook woodwork. Chances are there aren't any left. But I did get one slightly hostile comment on last week's Fyre Festival video:

boredoftheworld wrote:

I love the Socks. For years I've subjected everyone I know to clips. A trip to the UK with my wife to see the Socks is at the top of my bucket list. I've up-voted every Socks clip but this one... this one was oversimplified pandering that serves no one. Take a few shots but an all out assault only alienates people with differing political opinions. It's the overreaching that turns something funny into something annoying. Everyone on earth already knows all the trendy people hate brexit, there's no point virtue signaling about it anymore.

As I say, I'm not expecting him to have this among his favourites either.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are previewing and touring throughout 2019.

Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
June 8 - Harlequin, Reigate
July 8 - OSO Barnes Fringe
July 19 - Kings Arms, Greater Manchester Fringe
July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 9.30pm

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Dumfries



I knew my one off gig at the Big Burns Supper in Dumfries was going to be a loss leader, but I never guessed quite how expensive it was going to end up being. This was what the screen of my laptop looked like after I’ve taken advantage of the offer of putting bags in the hold on my Easy jet flight home on Monday afternoon. Not thinking how vulnerable my laptop might be inside my suitcase, it having been fine every journey before. I let it go in the hold, and when I got back home I found the lid was slightly dented and the screen looked like this. On Wednesday I have to get a new laptop or get the screen fixed.

The Big Burns Supper event I was to be part of was a bit of a mystery to me. Was it a festival like the ones they have in a field, or more like those Fringes that take place across a town? A bit of both, it transpired, with my show taking place in a converted packing container which made an efficient little black box theatre. Unfortunately it was right next to the main tent with bands and music on. So, as I discovered when I went to watch a magic show in there on Saturday night, it suffered total noise bleed the like of which you’ve never heard. 

Playing on Sunday afternoon in Dumfries meant that I had to fly up on Saturday and back on Monday, which made a one hour gig take up three days. But I thought I could use the getaway experience as an excuse to get some writing done. I managed a couple of gags and a couple of blogs I’m afraid. But the budget worked out a lot better than it might have done. With a Holiday Inn costing only £25 a night, flights at a little over £20 each way, £25 for a hire car for 2 days, and £25 for parking, it might not have been. Impossible to break even on this gig. As it happens, with about 20 punters in the container, I might not quite have managed it. But at least it eased me into the year’s performances, and was a good gig.


It turned out to be my second show of the year, having headlines Mark Olver’s Belly Laughs charity show at Spike Island the previous Tuesday, sharing a bill with an impressive array of 7 other really good acts, all Bristol based. Truly the Bristol wave of comedy has gone from strength to strength while I’ve not been paying attention.

In Dumfries I ended up seeing almost as many shows as I saw last year in Edinburgh, watching the magic show on Saturday then a one man dramatic monologue about a murder in Cyprus, both battling with noise bleed, then after my show I stuck around for James Cary’s show about comedy and religion. I even bought his book, which is very good, and we chatted for a bit as our shows crossed over.

The Socks gave them an edited version of Superheroes (removing The Brother subplot, Avengers Reel, FF and Thanos) with Magic and Earth Song inserted. I thought this would work as a sort of Best Of, and it went down really well, but I’d have been more satisfied if I’d just given them Superheroes in its entirety. All good though, and both of this year’s shows have helped me back on the Socks horse. 

It’s been a funny old January and no mistake. The funeral and clearing out the house in  Kibworth, coupled with trying to work from home and having fewer schools lined up than this time last year, has made it a low earning and hard going few weeks. I’ve been putting lots of stuff on eBay, generating very little money, making it seem like a time wasting cry fo help as much as anything constructive. I hope to get the year back into its stride when February comes. 



The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre return with a brand new show in 2019. Stay tuned.

Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
June 8 - Harlequin, Reigate
July 8 - OSO Barnes Fringe
July 19 - Kings Arms, Greater Manchester Fringe

July 20 - Bedford Fringe
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Dreams

I very rarely write down dreams, I'm not even sure how often I remember them. But on the Monday night after coming back from my travels to Dumfries, I jotted down this epic. Apologies for it being in gibberish.

Indian news presenter, poss Samira Ahmed who interviewed me on Front Row, has to get stuff from car, when she returns she's turned into Mum. I have to reverse small car and find parking space then meet up with mum when I have, there is to-ing and fro-ing by text. Mum has fetched stuff from my office in garage, I have had to bring car round. Star spotting I see Ringo Starr and follow Joe Cocker thru crowded bar, that’s where I meet Mum. Mum needs loo in a department store, we rush up and down corridors following woman who works there, end up in office where Dad and boss are watching Rugby match with two sons and fellow workers and betting on it. Dad drinking coke and burping, 50s unshaven, telling me how he’s now doing 3 spots a week guesting on local radio, The boss tells me they’ve based the year’s Christmas card on Bob’s office chair.

In earlier dream I introduce Simon Pegg to David Tennant, then have to get boring guy away from Paul Weller who’s trying to do a crossword in the corner of the pub.

Other dreams in sequence feature famous people.  

There was a feeling that they were all famous and I wasn’t but felt I should be.

Tuesday dream: At a location based on Kibworth Primary school hall there were speeches and some sort of charity presentations going on, I had to go round the back of the building to get to where the portakabins used to be to avoid going through the hall.

The celebrity studded dream was sparked by going through security at Glasgow airport alongside Paul Weller. Biggest star spotting of the year so far. The crossword puzzle comes from a guy on the plane who was doing one next to me. The office chair may relate to the one from my office which we took to the recycling a week or so ago. The appearance of Mum and Dad is not that surprising as they've been in our thoughts a lot this month. These dreams were of course fragments of long dreams, most of which I'd forgotten by the time I started writing them.

Wednesday dream: Donald Trump was visiting our small flat, he was landlord or something, and for some reason he goes and hides in the shower, or takes a shower. We've been wondering where he's got to then he emerges, soaking wet, weraing some pyjamas he's grabbed, and screaming that there was only cold water and he's had a cold shower and is very unhappy about it. Hev's Mum & Anet have been watching or listening in on the shower incident and are in fits of laughter. The carpet of our room is blue and wet and mouldy, the whole place (again not based on our actual flat it has a long, low layout, like an apartment in an American film) is decrepit. Trump gets dressed and leaves, we leave him to walk the long way down to the street below. He is followed out a bit later by his wife, not Melania but an older woman with red curly hair who seems amused by the affair.

Dream Diary Monday Feb 4:

I had to help organise stand up gig that was part of a wedding, when I arrived they had no idea and were trying to get sound out of lamp stand plugged the wrong way into a speaker (this refers to lighting I used to make Socks videos, and sound system we had to set up at Spike Island gig).

Then a small female comedian called (forgotten name, Spig or Mig or Blink, made up name) who look like Pog off TV, turned up nose but with orange hair, starts doing routine but audience leaves during it.

Previous dream ( 2 nights ago) had various Doctor Who’s. The part of Tom Baker was being played by Geoffrey Rush.


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Fyre Festival - new video from the Socks


A totally brand new video from the Socks, Fyre Festival, written and shot this week. And it's the first I've managed to shoot in Clevedon, since losing the studio last year.

I filmed this by comandeering the lounge and setting up my green screen across the entrance to the kitchen. So it's shot entirely using daylight, but I think it's worked (apart from the height of the chair I used, meaning that unfortunately you can see my head). Not as convenient as the old studio set up, but not impossible. Little by little I'm finding ways of keeping the creative juices flowing.

Not that I've written much of any use for the new show yet, which debuts in little over a fortnight, but the cogs are slowly starting to grind back into action after what has been, I think anybody would have to concede, a very unusual and disturbing few months.

Fyre Festival is on Youtube as a subtitled version and a vanilla version (I prefer the subtitled, which is also edited down a bit to lose less good lines) and is getting good viewings on Facebook, already over the 2000 mark, the first in a while to take off so quickly.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre return with a brand new show in 2019. Stay tuned.

Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Perfumes & Hollywood - new Socks videos


Perfumes, a new video from the Scottish Falsetto Socks, enjoy. I say new, but in fact it's a routine we did ages ago, that I fancied refilming. And the same goes for this one, Hollywood Babbling...


This has never been performed by the Socks before, but has an even older provenance, having begun life in a strip called Hollywood Babbling that I wrote and drew in UT comic, way way back in the day.

Having lost the studio at the end of last year, and thus the easy ability to very quickly shoot a video against the green screen that was permanently set up there, I was struggling to get my Socks' creative gears running. So I took advantage of last week's visit to Kibworth to set up a temporary studio in the back room and very quickly rattle off these two videos, plus some plugs for the forthcoming Socks shows in Leicester and Glasgow:


Leicester plug 1, 2, 3 and Glasgow plug 1.

The lighting for these worked out rather well, using the angled light from the corner of the room as they top light, and my old anglepoise lamp as the lowlight. That's the light I used to use as a kid, still coming in handy all these years later.

The plug videos have gone onto Facebook and Twitter in a framed version, made using Keynote. I make these notes largely for my own benefit.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre return with a brand new show in 2019. Stay tuned.
Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Motherlode - all my old diaries found


As the clearing out of Windmill Gardens continued this weekend, I uncovered in the furthest depths of Private (the storage space along the sides of the house that I christened thus as a kid) what can only be described as The Motherlode.

All of my comic art, drawn from age 4 to 18, with such comics as my Planet Of The Apes series, that ran to over 20 issues, and such long forgotten titles as Top, Showcase and Pop People. And most significantly of all - my diaries.

I had long thought these lost, in a loft clearance long ago, but here they are, an undreamt of find. From my very first diary in June 1974 through to volume 8, I have volumes 9 to 11 at home, and finally volume 12, the one where I ultimately got too busy with life to spend all day illustrating it.

The pages from these will find their way on the My 1970s Diary blog, but to celebrate the big find, here is my very first Picture Diary page. The plan was, as you can see, to do a comic strip of my life. Over on the other blog you'll see how those plans changed over the coming months.


As well as these treats, I've found comics that I thought were worth putting on eBay (at time of writing, a Planet Of The Apes No 1 and a Daredevil 181 have got no bids, so what do I know?) and heaps more that, I'm afraid, will be heading to the charity shop. I fear there's no market for every Buster comic from 1974.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Doctor Who VHS mountain + mags & toys on eBay


Having struck lucky with a couple of the books I put up on eBay the other day, I suddenly thought I'd hit on the perfect way to clear an entire box out of my storage unit - my priceless collection of Doctor Who VHS videos. Well, priceless turns out to be the word, but not in the way I thought.

Not a single one has received a bid, even at a starting price of 50p. It seems these treasures, from 25 to 30 years ago, aren't wanted, and are destined to be cast into The Recycling Pit Of Terror. Ironically cast there by the very people who spent the last 30 years bemoaning the fact that the BBC threw away so many tapes just a few years before.

Should there be a keen VHS collector out there with holes to fill in their complete set, here's the list of what is on eBay for the next week (and in Somerset landfill a week hence)...

An Unearthly Child 
The Hartnell Year & Dr Who & The Daleks movie 
The Daleks (two tapes) 
Tomb Of The Cybermen 
The Seeds Of Death 
The Mind Robber 
The Dominators 
Spearhead From Space 
Terror Of The Autons 
The Daemons 
Day Of The Daleks 
The Time Warrior 
Death To The Daleks 
Planet Of The Spiders 
Terror Of The Zygons 
Masque Of Mandragora 
The Talons Of Weng Chiang 
The Power Of Kroll 
City Of Death 
Shada + script book 
The Curse Of Fatal Death 


Also some toys on ebay:

Remote Controlled Davros + 2 Battling Daleks 
Eccleston, Jack & Rose figures 
Tennant, Martha & Cyberman figures 
Weeping Angel & Werewolf figures 

And I've also relisted some Doctor Who Adventures and Radio Times:


DWA No 1 and gifts 
DWA 4 + Tardis clock
DWA 15 + fingers
DWA 19, 20 & 21 with gifts
DWA 25 + Cyberman camera 
DWA 33 + gifts 
DWA 34 + spinners 


Radio Times + Dalek cover 1999 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/292921552431
Radio Times + Dalek cover 2005
Radio Times + Doctor Who fold out cover 2006 https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/292921559045


Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre return with a brand new show in 2019. Stay tuned.
Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 


Tuesday, 15 January 2019

A pile of annuals on eBay


In 1979 I left the family home for the first time, to go to art college. And, though I've been back a lot since, some things I left there that September day remained exactly where I'd put them. So it was that, in the clearing out of Mum's house, I've found many many comics, and annuals, on shelves, untouched for four decades.

Today a boxfull of them went on eBay, in various batches. If no-one wants them, I guess it'll be a case of lucky old charity shop. Again.

These are, I have to say, the contents of just one packing box, a hundred more of which need filleting and flogging if I'm ever to get any breathing space back in that storage unit of mine. Though I don't have high hopes of most of them selling, after the failure of any Doctor Who Adventures magazines to find a buyer when I tried flogging those last month. Still, hope springs eternal. So, if you fancy a bargain, bid now. Here they all are...

Oor Wullie & The Broons Annuals 1969 - 1975 (above)



The Trigan Empire collection from 1978, and bidding is starting at a tenner! Bag the bargain of the century, comic collector


An immaculate Dennis The Menace annual, and his best mate. 1962 and 1970, collectors item classics.


Beryl The Peril annuals 1963 and 1965 - WOW!



Great Scott! You could get the 1961 SUPERMAN Annual for £1.50!!!!!!! Bid now on eBay before anyone else spots this steal!


Valiant Book Of Mystery & Magic from 1976


4 amazing Smash Annuals - 1972, 72, 75 and 76.


Buster book 1966, in remarkably good nick considering this is an ultra rare paperback comic annual. Lovely.


VALIANT annuals 1971, 1972 and 1976 - all three together. If that don't throw Captain Hurricane into a Ragin' Fury, nothing will! Bid now or miss out big time.


Kork-ing! Two classic Dandy annuals, 1971 & 73

Hurricane annuals, 1970 & 71

Beano annual 1972 and Sparky 1974 - together again for the first time. Double Bubble! Etc. on Ebay, buy now.


A slice of 1974, with two sides. The Look In annual, and the NME annual - or, if you will, the Hot Rock Guide. Crazy name, even crazier front cover design. Hmmm, eye-catching. Nice.


Elvisly yours - 1958 Film Show annual in smashing condition, yours for a song. Currently on sale down at the end of Lonely Street on eBay


Eagle, TV21, Wham AND Pow? Together in one hideously underpriced bundle? Is someone cleaning out a house or what? On eBay now, don't miss


My First Encyclopedia (from 1959) could be your first killer bargain of 2019. On eBay now!

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries & art centres. email for details. Facebook, Twitter. Promo video here


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre return with a brand new show in 2019. Stay tuned.
Feb 15/16 - Kayal Leicester 
Mar 20/21 - Dram Glasgow 
April 5 - Chorley Little Theatre 90 min (Superheroes)
May 24 - Victoria Halifax Roll Up 7pm
June 1 & 2 - Brighton Komedia
July 30 - Aug 25 - Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe 
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