Friday 29 January 2010

Annotations - new from the Socks

A new vid for Friday, from the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. A look at the YouTube feature they call Annotations.

Tour starting now, see dates here
And buy the tshirt at

Socks news - tour selling well, extra gigs, t-shirts etc

Hi Sock fans,

The Scottish Falsetto Socks April 5 show at Leics Square Theatre London is already 32% sold, so get booking quick.

The tour starts tomorrow with our show in Omagh, Northern Ireland, then really kicks in in a couple of weeks in Preston, Bury & Aberystwyth. See the full list of dates here

The Socks have booked their slot at the Edinburgh Fringe in August. Our brand new show, ...On The Telly, will be at the Gilded Balloon every night at 9pm. So we'd better get writing that, oughtn't we?

There's an extra chance for South West fans to catch us in Minehead on Sunday 7th Feb playing support at Cafe Mambo (Google Mirth Control Minehead for details) and our latest video, iPad, is here:

And don't forget Socks t-shirts, bags, mugs, baseball caps, pants etc are now on sale at

Have a good weekend everyone.


The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Thursday 28 January 2010

Thursday night jottings

A random Thursday night, we have Question Time on the telly, showing just how toothless TV debate can be. Everyone says how much they'd like Tony Blair to be punished for taking us to war illegally, knowing it'll never happen. And the same goes for every other subject. We all know what we'd like, we all like getting to say it on Question Time, we all know it's never made a ha'porth of difference. (Not all of us know what a ha'porth was. 'Snot important)

And equally my view on what's been on telly earlier tonight couldn't be less relevant. So here we go. Thursday is comedy night. Don't know why, but it is, and here is what we watched

The Daily Show from last night (on Virgin Catch Up, how does anyone live without it?)
The Persuasionists (not all of it)
A really bad Eastenders
Tonight's Daily Show
Mock The Week
Rab C Nesbitt for a few mins then gave up and listened to...
Count Arthur Strong on iPlayer
Bellamy's Britain
Big Bang Theory

The Daily Shows had their moments, which are always part of a show whose general standard is so high it's hard to criticise. Though I have to say we occasionally give up on the interview segment at the end. The day before yesterday's Bill Gates piece was a pretty poor bit of propaganda timed to distract from Apple's week. But the Daily Show is the best satirical TV in the world at the moment, so its lows are pretty damn high.

Eastenders, on the other hand. When it's good it's... well it's dated because of the whole video thing, but it does some touching and ambitious things sometimes. Not tonight it didn't. It was Archie's funeral and the writing was so On The Nose I'm just glad it wasn't Sam Mitchell's nose they chose to be on. It would have given.

Mock The Week is getting over the lack of Frankie Boyle, just, and Rab C Nesbitt is way better than The Persuasionists but not enough to keep me watching. I fancied a laugh, sorry, so Count Arthur won. It is a very old fashioned comedy, based largely on inconsequential malapropisms, but there has not been an episode that has had me in tears of laughter by the end. Tonight's Doncaster song was tremendous.

Bellamy's Britain got into its stride following last week's quiet start and, though I may well have been excessively warmed up by Count Arthur, had me laughing out loud, particularly at those moments where they have to cut away from someone clearly about to corpse.

But as always it's the Big Bang Theory that tops the lot. Tonight it was the episode where the 3 boys go meteor watching and get high while Sheldon has to take Penny to hospital. In a style that possibly hasn't advanced much since I Love Lucy (which Penny regularly evokes), this studio audience comedy shows that the form will long survive as long as it is done by smart writers and performers who know the game.

Which begs the question of where The Persuasionists went wrong. I actually chose to watch it on Catch Up, having not watched it live last night. And parts of it weren't bad. Some lines were inspired, if a little reliant on the Thesaurus. But the whole tenor is wrong, the air is juvenile, the style is old fashioned, the characterisations are cartoony, the acting is perfunctory, and I need to devote more time and study to learning from where, how, when, how and in what detail the whole show has gone so terribly wrong from its first minute. Couldn't finish tonight's episode, got as far as about 15 to 18 minutes, it was so so painful.

iPad - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre look at the new Apple iPad. We say new. Obviously this is yesterday's news. Which, in computer terms, makes it last year's news. By the time you finish watching it, it will be history. Enjoy.

69 Events I just RSVP'd "Maybe" to on Facebook

I just RSVP's Maybe, cos you don't want to seem rude. Many of these events are in foreign countries and most clash with each other. Which is worse? To get peoples hopes up or to dash them cruelly? I'm sorry, I'm not in a dashing mood. Anyway, I told them we might be here doing this: - so I'm sure they'll understand.

You may be attending Devizes Comedy Night.
You may be attending Greg Davies - Firing Cheeseballs at a Dog...
You may be attending My Life As A Footnote.
You may be attending My Life As A Footnote.
You may be attending The 9th Vince Atta Show! Thursday 28th Jan.
You may be attending CAG Starts Boston Chapter.
You may be attending New Moon: Vampires and Werewolves Valentines Disco (ALL AGES).
You may be attending MAXWELLS FULLMOONERS - The ReMOONion.
You may be attending The Carnival of Kitsch.
You may be attending Miss Galaxy Eco Fashion show.
You may be attending Sara Pascoe @ The Soho Theatre.
You may be attending Good Ship Comedy Club 1st Feb.
You may be attending C69 Reloaded presents GREG DAVIES.
You may be attending The Dark & Freeman: Signing at Ace Comics.
You may be attending My First Gig.
You may be attending The Victoria's Secret.
You may be attending Progressive London - "A Progressive Agenda to stop the right in 2010."
You may be attending Knock2bag Comedy At The Tabernacle, Notting Hill.
You may be attending Knock2bag Comedy, Shepherds Bush.
You may be attending Clown Chowder 2: Electric Boogaloo.
You may be attending SPLEEN Charles Baudelaire: Gedichte in Prosa.
You may be attending NOTLD:R on FridayNight-FrightNght.
You may be attending The Huddersfield Laughter Lounge.
You may be attending Laughing Lasses Comedy Club.
You may be attending Strong & Wrong's Lockside Lock-in.
You may be attending Ordinary Lads 2010.
You may be attending Fluffy!! Rides again.
You may be attending BristolCon '10.
You may be attending Michael Jackson: World Greatest Entertainer.
You may be attending Bob Slayer R&R Hitchike + EES Live (2000 to 2010) available through Pledge.
You may be attending Erotic Awards.
You may be attending C69 COMEDY Presents DELETE THE BANJAX.
You may be attending The Freddie Valentine Variety Show.
You may be attending The Segue Sisters @ The Comedy Song Club.
You may be attending "Why I'm Here" new book by Lucy English and Sally Mundy.
You may be attending My book 'Wordwatching' is out.
You may be attending Out of Bounds Comedy with Nick Revell.
You may be attending The Shape of Things.
You may be attending Loveboat Cabaret.
You may be attending Jarred Christmas - Captain Curious.
You may be attending Free Comic Book Day.
You may be attending Idiot's of Ants - This is War!
You may be attending Relax Everyone, Carl Donnelly is Back!
You may be attending Dogetts Comedy (Jan) Lee Nelson + Steve Day + Bob Slayer (MC).
You may be attending The Frog and Bucket @ The Orwell.
You may be attending Brendon Burns Live Dates 2010.
You may be attending The Huddersfield Laughter Lounge.
You may be attending Knock2bag Comedy, East.
You may be attending Peacock and Gamble.
You may be attending Fergus Craig Still Watches Neighbours.
You may be attending Uberfest 2010.
You may be attending Works in Progress in Camden.
You may be attending Australia Tour.
You may be attending Zoe Lyons - Miss Machismo.
You may be attending Wilson Dixon's American Dream.
You may be attending Frisky and Mannish's School of Pop.
You may be attending Leicester Comedy Festival London Previews.
You may be attending Rob Rouse - My Family and The Dog That Scared Jesus.
You may be attending LONDON BURLESQUE WEEK 2010 *Pre-Festival Teaser.
You may be attending Bottle Rocket Comedy Club - February.
You may be attending ANTI-VALENTINE COMEDY DOUBLE BILL: Rosie Wilby & Helen Arney.

Wednesday 27 January 2010

The Great British Comic, some thoughts

My latest thoughts on the Great British Comic:

A periodical paper comic sold on a newsstand will never, I think, happen again. Looking at the state of newspapers and magazines and the progress of online publishing, I can only see online continuing to beat paper.

In the past four days I have been approached about turning my comic strip content into 3 different online formats - an iPhone app, a new tech being developed for strips, and a Comic Book Reader things. None of these involved me earning any money, and one was going to actually cost me money to get into. However stuttering the uptake of these things is, I see them becoming established.

I've also just been watching the launch of the ultra-absorbent Apple iPad ($499 for Regular, costs more for Ultra, Maxi & Nightime - insert own iTampon gags here). However daft its name might be, it is the size of a comic.

So, there's my thought on the format for any comic, it will be online and you'll earn bugger all from it.

However the book is a different thing. Books are big, books make good presents, books are taken seriously, everyone loves books and, thanks to Amazon and print on demand, books have never been bigger and easier to get into publishing.

So I see the future of comic strip art as being in books.

The only criteria, then, for the content is that it needs to be good. And lots of people have to want it and therefore buy it.

And those are my thoughts on comics. Now, lets' all go out and write them. If they're good enough we'll be rich.

Kev F's Comic Art Masterclass

I'm promoting my Comic Art Masterclass with a new photo of me in action surrounded by comics created by the kids:

I teach pupils all there is to know about making comic strips and manga. I can work with two groups in a school day, up to 30 in each group, any age from 7 (year 3/ Primary 4 Scotland) upwards. By the end of each session the group has produced a comic containing a strip by every single one of them, a copy of which they take home, plus I've drawn a caricature of every one of them (I can even draw all the staff if there's time).

You can see examples of my workshops, and videos of me in action on the websites listed below.

I'm taking bookings through 2009 into 2010 and would love to be able to come to your school. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours in anticipation

Kev F Sutherland
01275 872111 / 07931 810858

Examples and videos:
Video clip of masterclass:
Video of Kev F on BBC 1's One Show:
Examples of pupils' comics:
More videos of Kev F doing comics stuff:


Sunday 24 January 2010

Rock & Chips & comedy & drama

I know it doesn't reflect well on John Sullivan & the BBC's Rock & Chips that I'm typing this before it's finished, but it's actually enjoyable in the most harmless way and I'm rather pleased to see it.

When the actors were doing publicity for it, some idiot had supplied the broadcasters with clips from the show which hadn't been "filmised" (I'm assured this is the technical term, the more impressive-sounding "field-removed video" not actually being what they do these days). So the clips shown on BBC Breakfast made Rock & Chips look like it was on plain video, a format used only be Eastenders and the news. And it looked cheap. Plus I could have sworn I heard studio audience laughter (in fact it was the presenters and the cast, covering their awkwardness).

So I started watching Rock & Chips, the prequel to Only Fools & Horses, expecting car crash TV. I've never had the closest of relationships with Only Fools in the first place. I missed it when it started (and I know that, at the time, it was poorly received both critically and viewer-wise) and only sporadically watched it over the years. It had always been the less cool of the BBC's comedy offerings, grabbing the ratings (after a slow start) but being overshadowed in the eyes of we smart young things by The Young Ones, Blackadder et al, but I was quick enough to concede it was actually funny. I'd been a childhood fan of Sullivan's first sitcom, Citizen Smith, and his follow up had his trademark loveable characters and snappy dialogue. And Del Boy falling through a bar, who didn't love Del Boy falling through a bar.

I had two problems with Only Fools as the years went by. Firstly my Mum & Dad liked it, which I'd long held as a yardstick by which I could measure something I needn't bother with myself (they liked Jim Davidson, I mean, come on). But worse, when I dipped in to Only Fools, usually around Christmas time, often with the parents, it seemed to have stopped being a sitcom and become a comedy drama. It still had the audience laughter, but it was mostly shot on location, and had long since lost the small studio set that had characterised its early years. Indeed most of the episodes I can remember seeing in the 90s saw the Trotters on holiday in Spain or America or somewhere. Whatever, regardless of what I thought of them, they were popular and good luck to them.

So Rock & Chips is a prequel to a comedy soap opera I hardly watched and mostly didn't like, which had grown from a sitcom which I admired but was longer ago than anyone can remember, how awful was this going to be?

Turns out, I'm enjoying it. As I type we are just getting the 'Smith' routine, which I guarantee will be in the clips of the year. We just had the 'Minge' line, oh dearie me I am laughing out loud.

Which rather contradicts what I was about to say about R&C not being funny. In fact there have been three or four scenes which stood out as being written by Funny John Sullivan. The rest of the show has concentrated on being a comedy drama, not dissimilar in tone to the early Film 4s that Channel 4 launched with (I was probably watching Ptang Yang Kipperbang and Wish You Were Here instead of Only Fools back in 1984 now I think of it).

I began Rock & Chips being critical of the casting for not looking like the grown-up equivalents, but the characters have been & gone and grown on me, and in their own rights. Okay Del's Dad should be more hopeless and repulsive, and Trigger should be more glaiket (no English equivalent, sorry), but Grandad's a match, and Del Boy, played by one of the leads from The Inbetweeners, is shaping up to be a strong central character (though in this episode I don't think he's had one good line). The greatest strength though is the two characters at the heart of the drama, who've also been, surprisingly, in the funniest scenes, Freddie Robdell (played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, as his own dad) and Joanie, Del Boy's mum.

Like Goodnight Sweetheart before it, Rock & Chips has set up a strong premise for a will-they won't they comedy drama, seemingly effortlessly realised a period setting, and lined up a row of parts in which at least a dozen actors could shine.

Okay, so it's just the BBC's equivalent to Heartbeat, and its core audience is, quite possibly, my parents (and if I've got another complaint it's that, so far, it's steered a wide berth around the racism and sexism of 1960 - we've had three key balch characters and not one of them has suffered a casual racial slur. This is the single most unrealistic part of the whole show) but given a series, and team writers, it could be a big hit for the BBC.

A nice start to TV's year, which will be making a lot of people in TV centre very happy. Lovely jubbly.

Kev F

The Sitcom Trials - video cavalcade

In case anyone missed the 10th anniversary season of The Sitcom Trials last autumn, and can't bear to wait for the announcement of the new season, a reminder that you can find all the videos by clicking below. These include interviews with many of the show's TV industry judges as well as clips from every single sitcom in the last season, and choice cuts from the last TV series and various archived Sitcom Trials classics.

Tuesday 19 January 2010

Dr Who End Of Time pts 2 & 3 - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

At long last the Socks deliver their version of David Tennant's final Dr Who story. Part 2:

And part 3, in the style of Bernard Cribbins:

Sunday 17 January 2010

How boring is my music?

Do I Have An Old Man's Record Collection?

For purposes of furniture rearrangement, we had to choose 72 CDs to go into a unit. The 72 most-likely-to-get-played CDs. Given that we both have iPods and we recently bought a GigaJuke onto which we can load billions of songs (possibly an exxaggeration, don't know, hardly loaded anything so far) this is a decorative display thing (the remaindered CD going on shelves outside of the living room) and may be the last time we make such a choice. So, here are the 72 CDs I chose. Hev will very likely go through and replace most of them with her idea of "most likely to etc", so make of these what you will...

( 2 CDs wouldn't fit the oddly shaped shelves, they were Sgt Pepper and Viva La Vida by Coldplay, nor any double CDs. And we kept classical, compilation & Christmas CDs separate too)

Abba - Definitive Collection
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say...
Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
B52s - Planet Claire
B52s - Cosmic Thing
Beatles - Revolver
Blur - Parklife
Blondie - Parallel Lines
Bjork - Debut
David Bowie - Best of 69-74
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
The Cardigans - Life
Carpenters - Greatest Hits
Elvis Costello - Best Of
Daft Punk - Discovery
The Darkness - Permission To Land
Ian Dury - New Boots & Panties
Eagles - Hotel California
The Fratellis - Costello Music
Dean Friedman - Well Well Said The Rocking Chair
ELO - Very Best Of
Fatboy Slim - You've Come A Long Way
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
Frank Chickens - Best Of
Franz Ferdinand
Gnarls Barkley - St Elsewhere
Gorillaz - Demon Days
Green Day - American Idiot
Rupert Holmes - Widescreen
Human League - Dare
Michael Jackson - The Essential
Jamiroquai - High Times
Kaiser Chiefs - Employment
Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly Angry Mob
Killers - Sam's Town
Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
Les Negresses Vertes - Mlah
Manic Street Preachers - Greatest Hits
Manu Chau - Esperanza
Massive Attack - Protection
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
Monkees - Greatest Hits
Nirvana - Nevermind
Oasis - Definitely Maybe
Oasis - What's The Story Morning Glory
Outkast - Love Below / Speakerboxx
Pet Shop Boys - Very
PiL - Greatest Hits so far
Pulp - Different Class
Queen - A Day At The Races
REM - Automatic For The People
The Rutles
Saturday Night Fever OST
Scissor Sisters
Sparks - In The Swing
Steely Dan - Can't Buy A Thirll
Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic
Steely Dan - AJA
The Stone Roses
Stranglers - Hits
The Strokes - Is This It?
10CC - Very Best Of
Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
Tears For Fears - seeds Of Love
They Might Be Giants - Flood
The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing
Wings - Greatest
Stevie Wonder - Talking Book

Saturday 16 January 2010

Dr Who End Of Time - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

New from the Socks, David Tennant's final two parter, part 1. Don't know why it's taken so long to get round to, do please enjoy.




Jan 30 Omagh Strule Arts 7pm £4

Feb 18 Preston Continental (+Ali dbl bill)

Feb 19 Bury Met (+ Ali dbl bill) 8pm £8

Feb 20 Aberystwyth Arts Centre 8pm £8

Feb 25 – Farnham Maltings (+Ali dbl bill) 8pm £10

Mar 2-Swindon Arts Centre (+ Ali dbl bill ) 8pm £10

Mar 6 - Ropewalk- Barton on Humber (+ Ali dbl bill) 7.30 £8

Mar 10 – Burnley Mechanics (poss Ali tbc) 8pm £8

Mar 13 Madcap Milton Keynes tbc

Mar 18 Lighthouse Poole (+ Ali support) £10 7.30pm

Mar 19 – New Cut Arts Suffolk (+Ali dbl bill)

Mar 20 Theatr Harlech (+Ali dbl bill) 7.30 £7.50

April 3 Bath Widcombe Social Club tbc

April 5 London Leicester Square Theatre £10 8pm

April 9 Barnfield Theatre Exeter tbc

April 10 Chorley Theatre 7.30 £8

Apr 16 – Harrogate Theatre (+ Ali dbl bill) £10 8pm

Apr 23 –Loughborough Town Hall (+ Ali dbl bill) £10 8pm

April 30 Stafford Gatehouse (+Ali dbl bill) tbc

May 1 & May 2 - Brighton Komedia 6pm £10

May 20- Blackwood Miners (+ Ali dbl bill) tbc

June 16 - Southend Fringe, The Sunrooms

June 25 - Helmsley (+ Ali dbl bill) tbc

Friday 15 January 2010

Captain Clevedon - ancient Kev F classic

I found this on Rok comics, an online comics service. You were supposed to be able to download these strips to your phone, but I'm not sure if you can. Do give it a go someone..

Thursday 14 January 2010

Hot Rod Cow - Games by Kev F Sutherland

Hot Rod Cow. A comic strip written and drawn by Kev F Sutherland. This episode, Games. Click to see each page clearly (click again to enlarge)

©2010 Kev F Sutherland

Hot Rod Cow - Jelly by Kev F Sutherland

Hot Rod Cow. A comic strip written and drawn by Kev F Sutherland. This episode, Jelly. Click to see each page clearly (click again to enlarge)

©2010 Kev F Sutherland

Hot Rod Cow - Translation by Kev F Sutherland

Hot Rod Cow. A comic strip written and drawn by Kev F Sutherland. This episode, Translation. Click to see each page clearly (click again to enlarge)

©2010 Kev F Sutherland

Sunday 10 January 2010

The Socks Wee Shoppie - new

Well would you look at this, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre have their own Wee Shoppie.

With its own logo apparently. This is on and we've never used it before, so if anyone finds any problems with it do let us know. You should be able to buy t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, badges and possibly some other novelty items.

You get to select the size, shape, thickness, colour etc (and that's just the mugs, ho ho) and it's all despatched at lightning speed, anywhere in the world. Without - and here's the most important part - without me having to print them, stick them in an envelope and personally queue up at the post office which has, up till now, been the only way anyone could get a Socks t-shirt.

Right now everything comes with the Socks 2008/9 design. So buy them now if you want them. The 2010 design will be along soon.

Happy shopping.

Films Made Scottish, Twitter round up

One of the most fun things with Twitter is these hashtag games, not unlike the Sitcom Trials Pitch Fest, where people all over the word make up gags, usually wordplays. As I went to bed last night I pitched a couple of gags into a game called Films Made Scottish, and awoke to find some stoaters. Here are some of my faves (a couple of mine have made the cut)

Rear Windae
Free Wullie
Aye, Robot
Bridie of Frankenstein
Robert the Bruce Almighty
The Shortcake Redemption
Kilt Bill
Men Who stare at Oats
Little Miss Sunshine on Leith
Callander girls
Carry On Up the Close
Chick Young at heart
1 Day of Summer
Blade scunner
Sabrina the Teenage Mum
'Lo Lita
Debbie does Haggis
Sponge Bob Square Breeks
Mighty Corstorphine Power Rangers
Desperately Seeking Susan Boyle
My Big Fat Greenock Wedding

Weans World
Tennents Superbad
Deer Munter
Meet Me in St Andrews
A Clockwork Orange Walk
The Silence of the Lums
Citizen Pat Kane
Lilo & Stitch This
Ned Man Walking
Indiana Jones & the Temple of We're All Doomed!
Tay Story
Con Ayr
The Dirk Knight
Midnight Crofter
The Boab Identity
There's Something About Maryhill
Monster's Bawbag
Up Ye!

Last Tango In Partick
Charlie & the Tablet Factory
Man On Giro
Glaikit & Mair Glaikit
It's a Wonderful Fife
Throw Ma Broon Aff A Train
Bay City Rollerball
Priscilla Queen of the South
Glengarry Glenrothes
The Karate Loon
A Clapshot In The Dark
Crieff Encounter
The Tron
The Eternal Sunshine on Leith of the Spotless Mind

Krankie & Johnny
Perth Girls Are Easy
Burns Night of the Living Dead
How The Wet Wet Wet Was Won
A poke o chips Now
Sgian Dubh The Right Thing
Reservoir Dugs
Blood Pudding Simple
Back To The Choochter
Irn-Bru Man
Full Metal Jaiket
anything by Jacques Tattie
Carry-Oot Up The Khyber
Fort William The Bronx
The Chronicles of Nairn
Boxing Helensburgh
Uncle Buckfast
The Big Neep
White Heathers
The Gallus Menagerie
Tartan Fink
Renfrew Over the Cuckoos Nest
The Man With Two Bairns

... and "older tweets are no longer available". So that was fun while it lasted.

The Award Winning* Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's show Superheroes is on Youtube, complete and free, for you to watch NOW! 

*Winners of the Bath Comedy Festival Lovehoney Best Joke Award 2018


July 11 - Neath Comedy Festival

Friday 8 January 2010

Youtube not as good as it was

A small and trivial (and drunken) complaint, but Youtube used to be great and now it ain't.

You used to type in one video, and some random suggestions would come up that took you anywhere. I've had many a night surfing video to video never knowing what wild suggestion would come next.

Now it's gone all corporate and branded. If you choose a pop video by one artist, all you get is videos by that same artist. No. Wrong.

And if you try and find something on a subject or theme, you get the nearest branded group or programme that comes close, and no variety.

Viz tonight's choice. I want to see international (ie from other countries) versions of Strictly Come Dancing (as mentioned on BBC2 show I just watched). I type in the right words and I get nothing but UK's Strictly and , frustratingly, something by me. Not what I was looking for.

Here's what I got, in strict (ho ho) order of Youtubeness:

1) Strictly Come Dancing 2007 Time To Say Goodbye
2) Katherine Jenkins Strictly Come Dancing gossip
3) The Showbiz 411 on RATM, Joe McElderry, Strictly Come Dancing Final,
4) Come Dancing '80 Peter Maxwell dancing a Paso Doble solo
5) Come Dancing '80 Michael Stylianos & Lorna Lee Showdance
6) JCI London - Strictly come Hungarian Dancing
7) Claire King visits training project in Lesotho, Africa
8) IDTA Foxtrot International Award 4
9) Spring Fair International 09 Richard Hollis - BBC Worldwide
10) Sitcom Trials Grand Final Dec 1 2009 - AND THAT'S ME!!

Yes, ME! Ten selections, one of them me, none of which gives me a link to International Strictly Come....

I mentioned I'd been drinking. Maybe this will all seems reasonable in the morning.

Thursday 7 January 2010

Ferocity The Snowman

It's still snowing, so what could be more appropriate...

... than digging out one of our old Christmas videos that seems to get away with not being too Christmassy, cos that would be bad luck. Obviously. Enjoy.

Wednesday 6 January 2010

What to call the Edinburgh show?

So, the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are planning to put a show on at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, their fourth in a row. What should they call it?

The first year was easy, the name of the show was the name of the act (hereinafter abbreviated to SFSPT).

Year two I thought it was obvious, simple and clever to call the show The Return Of The SFSPT - but that was not ideal. Because that show title, beginning with an R instead of an S, ended up listed in different places on different websites and in different bits of programmes (Chortle, for example, grouped us with the comedy acts whose names began with an R).

So for year three I went with the formula we have to stick with, SFSPT followed by additional bit of title. For year 3 it was SFSPT Goes To Hollywood, and that gave us a theme.

This year I am toying with ideas based around the Socks coming up with a kids show, but is this title too tricksy: "The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's Kids Show (Not Suitable For Children)". Might that do us more harm than good? Might we get kids coming along, only to be told it's for over 12s only? Or might we end up with a show that's actually perfectly suitable for kids, and be criticised for not being grown up enough? Ooh I'm torn.

This reminds me of the dilemma our band got into at school, a situation most bands will have experienced. We'd gone through a selection of cheesy teenage rock band names, each lasting the length of one gig. We'd been Mercury, we'd been Rio, and for the longest time we'd been Walter Tottle & The Expanding Liberals With A Member of The Royal Family The Corgis & A Shaggy Dog With Special Guest Star Gertrude Gruntingthuttock (see us here:

That name was never going to get us on Top Of The Pops, so we needed a better name. Each of the 5 members of the band went away and wrote down some names to choose from. But each of us got carried away and came back with around 200 names. That meant we were confronted with a list of a thousand names.

And no band name stands up to that much scrutiny. Start ploughing through a list of a thousand and it is a blur of nonsense. If they'd spent more than a minute considering their names, would bands have ended up settling for names like The Beatles (a cheesy pun), Oasis (a name we'd genuinely rejected in favour of Rio 10 years before the Gallaghers used it), U2, REM, Arctic Monkeys? But once you've opted for them, and the audience have got over their first acceptance of them, they never think about them again. (With the exception of Dogs Die In Hot Cars and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly which remain two of earth's most hopelessly unwieldy band names). The Hopelessly Unwieldy - good name for a band.

Which brings us back to the Socks 2010 show. Does it matter what we call it? Should I open the floor to our army of Socks fans to come up with a name? Yeah, why not. Worth a punt, for the day. I don't promise to use them, but come one come all, suggest a title for the Socks show, surprise me. Add it as Facebook comment, or Twitter with hashtag #SFSPT

PS: By the way, our band ended up calling itself Private Party. Out of 1000 suggestions we chose Private Party. The single worst name you could have for a fledgling rock band. A fledgling rock band whose gigs take place in rooms above pubs. Rooms above pubs where, if you stick up a sign reading "Upstairs: Private Party" no-one will come. Because they think it's a private... we didn't last long after that.

Bring on those titles.

Sunday 3 January 2010

105 Facebook Invitations I just ignored

With apologies to everyone, and thanks for the invite, but without even looking at them I just ignored the following Facebook invitations. (I'm now thinking maybe I should have joined a couple of them, damn)

You ignored an invitation to join the group City Socials.
You ignored an invitation to join the group RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE FOR CHRISTMAS NO.1.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Save Gary Mckinnon From Extradition! 700,000+ Supporters.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Vince Atta Show! Tuesdays 14.00 Salford City Radio 94.4fm.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Ben Green comedy stuff.
You ignored an invitation to join the group free audio recording.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Dystopian Fuchsia.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Bucket.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Castle Galleries, Exeter.
You ignored an invitation to join the group INNOCENT THE FILM ...A FANTASTIC INVESTMENT.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Let's Find Mim.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Party At Mr Griffins.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Facebook Comic Con | Make It So Marketing.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Off with their Heads! Comedy at Kings Place.
You ignored an invitation to join the group I hold my breath during underwater scenes in movies.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Self Publisher Association.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Largest Facebook group.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Lanes Weekend Comedy.
You ignored an invitation to join the group IF 300 PEOPLE JOIN I WILL TRAVEL BACK IN TIME AND HIGH FIVE A T-REX.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Digital Photo Frames: WORST IDEA EVER!
You ignored an invitation to join the group An Arbitrary Number of People Demanding That Some Sort Of Action Be Taken.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Anil Desai Official Fan page.
You ignored an invitation to join the group McNeil And Pamphilon.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Youth of the Nation Festival 2010.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Support and Reinstate Professor David Nutt: We want an evidence based drugs policy.
You ignored an invitation to join the group VISUAL ARTIST DANIEL CROSIER.
You ignored an invitation to join the group FIFTY CENT`S.
You ignored an invitation to join the group When I Was Your Age We Played The Snes!
You ignored an invitation to join the group If 1m people join, girlfriend will let me turn our house into a pirate ship.
You ignored an invitation to join the group When I Was Your Age We Only Had 4 Channels.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Petition against Tony Blairs Nomination for President of the European Union.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Film & Festivals Magazine.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Comedy IS art.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Laughing Lasses.
You ignored an invitation to join the group I Support the Postal Workers!
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Official SantaCon UK.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Change Facebook News Feed BACK TO NORMAL!
You ignored an invitation to join the group Guitar Hero Nights!
You ignored an invitation to join the group I love Lucca Comics and Games!
You ignored an invitation to join the group Facebook Comic Con | Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Facebook Comic Con | Tiina Raisanen.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Operation Bath Duck.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Daily Mail should retract Jan Moir's hateful, homophobic article.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Charm Offensive Theatre Company.
You ignored an invitation to join the group ROSEMARY ASHE MUSICAL THEATRE MASTERCLASS.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The John Peel Appretiation Society.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Guild Works Publications.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Pattern Fight Performance.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Short Film - Happily Never After.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Pink*.
You ignored an invitation to join the group WHERE EVILS DARE @
You ignored an invitation to join the group Geek-Girl comic book.
You ignored an invitation to join the group I wanna see Phantom FM Sinead's scar.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Shameena Dance Troupe.
You ignored an invitation to join the group 31 Days Of Night 2: The New Batch.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Hi-Ex! Hell Trek 2010.
You ignored an invitation to join the group DEbassER.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Laughter Lines Comedy Club.
You ignored an invitation to join the group A Chorus Line 2010 - Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Laugh at BNP.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Cengiz Ozek Shadow Theatre (Karagöz).
You ignored an invitation to join the group Istanbul International Puppet Festival.
You ignored an invitation to join the group الدراما التونسية.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Feed a Child with a Click.
You ignored an invitation to join the group I am a fan of The Perishers cartoon strip.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Blackout Europe: Telecoms Package dangers to open EU internet.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Jesus Hates Zombies & other Stephen Lindsay Comics.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Ivor Dembina's Group.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Ben Ennis,Comedy Journal.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Not Part Of - When Matinee Comes.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Viral Agency.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Artwork of Keith J. Murphey.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Gonzo Moose Theatre.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Unsupervised Detention.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Support The Grenadier Guards In Afghanistan on Op Herrick 11.
You ignored an invitation to join the group From the pages of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula': HARKER.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Erotic Photography.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Atheist's Guide To Christmas.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Save the Ramshorn Theatre from closure.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Astral Gypsy.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Dial M for Merlot.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Gilded Balloon 09!!!
You ignored an invitation to join the group Please Sponsor Me To Raise Money For Weston Hospicecare!
You ignored an invitation to join the group Rest in peace Sean Rigg.
You ignored an invitation to join the group SOUND & ROSES.
You ignored an invitation to join the group 1,000,000 needed to keep Banksy in Bristol longer.
You ignored an invitation to join the group uçan eller kuklaevi.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Petition against Codex Alimentarius.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Elliz Clothing™.
You ignored an invitation to join the group I Guess That's Why They Call It The News.
You ignored an invitation to join the group THE GRANNIES SHOW.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Deadbeat Hero ~ The Doug Stanhope Group.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Ryan O'Donoghue - Comedian.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Across the Pond Theatre Company.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Carpet Bomb Comics.
You ignored an invitation to join the group world peace day.
You ignored an invitation to join the group People who think their mother is the most annoying creature on the planet.
You ignored an invitation to join the group 'PLAY IT BY EAR'.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Facebook Comic Con | Baden Mellonie.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Facebook Comic Con | Daniel Vest.
You ignored an invitation to join the group The Artful Doodler.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Quizspotting.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Support Lance Corporal Joe Glenton.
You ignored an invitation to join the group Comedian's Car Syndrome.
You ignored an invitation to join the group A Bananaman film is urgently needed!!

Saturday 2 January 2010

Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s

I've been so busy I've not managed to have a moan about Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s on Radio 2. And now it's another year all of a sudden, but secure in the knowledge no-one will have sorted it out yet, can I now register my disappointment in the above show.

I am a big fan of Radio 2's Sounds Of The 60s, presented by Brian Matthews since what seems like time immemorial (but is possibly insert research here - oh, I said that out loud). Whenever I have an early morning gig, which I do, I'm not rock & roll all the time, I get to hear Brian (or SOS as it's probably known) of a Saturday morning from 8am to 10am and I find the show a perfect Radio 2 production. It informs, educates and entertains (as Lord Reith wanted), but more than that it flatters the intelligence of the listener. And in two important ways. Firstly it thinks you, the listener, might be interested in popular music you haven't heard before, presented with information attached (every song has a story and Brian never lets you go without a quick one). And secondly it invites you, the listener, to suggest the music.

As a result the show is intelligent and interactive, entertaining and educational. And fun and not boring and stimulating and some of the records are horrendous, but presented in such a context that you know you're never more than 4 minutes away from something you'll prefer.

Which brings us to Johnnie Walker's Sounds of the 70s, which is the opposite. He plays his choice of records which has already, after only a few weeks, become repetitive. I've already heard Fleetwood Mac's The bloody Chain twice. And he disdains what most of his 30, 40 & 50 something listeners would call popular music. Having already spoken out against the Bay City Rollers & the Wombles, disco struggles to get a look in and novelty records can forget it.

As I remember the 70s as a hodge podge of one hit wonders, novelties, wild trends and obscurities, I was reminded tonight of how feeble the record choice of Sounds of the 70s is by a programme featuring music I mostly didn't care for, BBC 4's Guitar Heroes. It featured guitar based acts from the 70s that I'd heard before but not on Sounds of the 70s, like The Runaways and Chris Spedding and Focus and Davy Graham & Nils Lofgren & Ted Nugent & Ralph McTell. I wouldn't like them all, but it struck me that they'd not been on SO70. (The ones that had were The Faces and The Who, who I feel I've heard a bit much).

Looking back at the previous GH episodes, I'm pretty sure these acts have appeared on that TV show but not on on Johnnie Walker's (I would assume definitive) radio show: Johnny Thunders, Robin Trower, Horslips, Nazareth - and this is only guitar heroes, which he favours anyway. Extrapolate this non-scientific survey into the fields of bubblegum pop, or teenybop, or singer-songwriters, or funk, or krautrock, or philly disco, or comedy records, or folk, or glam, or prog rock or punk or two tone or Top Of The Pops cover albums or Eurovision or... it can become a very long list.

So, I'd love to dwell but Casualty's getting exciting. All I'm saying is I'd like Johnnie Walker's Sound of the 70s to be more like Brian Matthew's Sounds of the 60s.

God help us if anyone dreams up Sound of the 80s. They wouldn't. Would they?

Friday 1 January 2010

Dr Who End Of Time? What was all that?

Just watched Dr Who The End Of Time part two. What the bloody hell was that all about? Last 15 minutes great, first hour total nonsense.

Must have been fun directing Timothy Dalton. You'll do one scene sitting down in a blank room and spouting nonsense. Then another standing in a blank room and spouting nonsense. Then a third standing in a white room and spouting nonsense. A couple of times you may have to stick your arm out and wiggle your fingers. Can you do that for me luvvie?

Sigh, I am no doubt in a minority. I just wish there'd been a plot that made some sense at some point.

Oh and Mickey's married to Martha?

So, putting aside the big problem that this story was being watched by all the grans and kids and families hanging round for the holidays, who've never watched Dr Who before and needed it explaining to them, could someone explain it to me?

The Master has been psychotically mad since the age of 8 because the Timelords went back and planted a drumming noise in his head that they could then connect to with a White Point Diamond (sounds like a type of cider) which would enable them to jump from the middle of the Time War (whatever that was in the end) taking their whole planet with them? And the Master couldn't hear this drumming for the first 20 odd years of his Dr Who appearances, then started hearing them again last year?

And President Rassilon throws this Diamond White thing into a holgram floating above a table and it shoots to Earth then they follow it? Taking their whole bloody planet with them?

Then the Dr shoots some machine or other and they go back. The end? What? What the bloody hell was all that about?

And then he gets killed by some radiation, invisible, silent and totally disappointing. Then they milk the goodbyes and... oh hang on, new trailer!

So, what about 2010?

In none of my reviews of the year have I made much mention of the outside world. No politics, no wars, no bankers bonuses or the like. Maybe I didn't care, or maybe I feel like I've seen it all before. Certainly I've done an awful lot of nostalgicising (yes that is a word) this winter, and compared the current days to the 1970s when I was growing up. When I was a kid we had TV full of Dr Who, Come Dancing, Noel Edmonds, Bruce Forsyth, ok I've made that gag before, but my point still stands. And equally for the whole politics thing.

28 years ago I was seeing a new year in preparing for Ronald Reagan to take over as President and having lived a year and a half under Thatcher. I was only just learning about politics, and to all intents and purposes this seemed like the end of the world was nigh. Nuclear destruction was inevitable, only a revolution would save us from a police state, yada yada. And lo, guess what didn't happen? Pretty much everything we expected. What did happen? The fall of the Iron Curtain, the end of the Troubles, and the rise of middle-east based Terrorism? Who predicted those? 28 years ago who predicted the bloody Falklands war?

So, if we're looking ahead to the tens, the only thing we can safely predict is that the thing that will happen will be unpredictable. Another thing that seems highly likely is that if I personally predict something, the opposite seems to be what happens. That said, I did predict the "Master Race" line in Dr Who and the use of the Queen Vic statue in Eastenders on Xmas Day, so if I'm on a roll, can I also predict I am about to inherit an unexpected fortune from a rich relative whose existence has, until now, been a really really well kept secret.

On the basis that if I predict it it won't happen, here are some predictions for 2010:

- China will invade a bit of Russia. Pointless bare-faced greedy land grab that leads to a major world war.
- UK General Election will be won by Conservatives, landslide. BNP get two seats. Labour lose all of Scotland.
- Simon Cowell manages to copyright another TV format from the 1970s, as he has done with New Faces & Opportunity Knocks, and makes even more money. Maybe he revives Love Thy Neighbour
- The new Dr Who is rubbish and everyone stops watching it
- Britain picks a fight with a small country that doesn't deserve it and kills lots of people
- I don't win the lottery, I don't inherit a fortune, and nothing I create makes a surprising amount of money... okay this is getting too much like tempting fate, however convolutedly I try and do it.

On with the year, fingers crossed everyone.

Review of 09 (what, still?)

Ok, last ditch attempt to remember 2009 before I move on and get stuck into... how do we abreviate 2010. I say "Oh-ten", but how do I write that? 010 looks way too binary. 10 looks like an item on a list more than a date. And 2010 is just a waste of typing.

I began these as Tweets, like so:

#reviewof2009 Michael Jackson's funeral was on TV in Wetherspoons pub in Embra & Janey Godley was talking about his paedo rep. Got material.

#reviewof2009 Tried Guinness World Record for jokes in 1 hour (failed). My fave new gag was "Brace Brace" (must write more one-liners in 10)

#reviewof2009 Best new Socks songs were Swine Flu & Facebook song, also pleased with new Xmas numbers & Sweary Poppins.

#reviewof2009 Fave new Socks sketches were Word Association, the Western, and Star Wars. Also loved recycled Michael Jackson & Cross Channel

#reviewof2009 My Comic Art Masterclasses started being taken seriously, with module in Media Studies course & talking at Boys Writing Conf.

#reviewof2009 Too many good Socks gigs to single out, high points Edinburgh, Glasgow & Leicester runs, tour sellouts and Bristol one-off

#reviewof2009 Oh yeah. Did The Sitcom Trials again for first time in three years. Almost forgot about that.

#reviewof2009 Best Xmas card was the one I drew for the Smiths. An 8 page full colour superhero strip. I'm brilliant (and reasonably priced)

#reviewof2009 Low points: flooded flat and noisy neighbours, all sorted now. High points: the rest of the year, it was a good one.

And then I realised I was filling up Twitter, which can only have so much space left, so here are the few other things I can remember:

The other and biggest low point was that Captain, our darling cat, 19 years old, died. Hev saw him through all the hard times, spending the last few weeks having to give him injections, she was truly truly magnificent and, understandably, the saddest of all when he finally gave up. She was with him at the vets, I was away at work. All very sad and cast a shadow over the rest of the year. He is very much missed in our household. In the last month of 2009 has place has been filled slightly by Tadpole, our name for the cat from next door, who has adopted us. We don't feed him, but he comes in and makes himself comfortable. He's no Captain, but he is company.

I really ought to get a new car. I drive so many miles no car can take the strain, but my Peugeot 206 which is about to celebrate its 5th birthday, has really had more than it should have to suffer. we are over the 150,000 mile mark. Is that a bit much? This year the AA have been called out in Leicestershire, South Wales, and nearer home - one time when I was on my way back from the garage to get my driving licence for the courtesy car, and one more embarrassing time on the M5 two miles from home when I ran out of petrol. But with new heating systems, and fans, and cam shafts, and that thing like a dynamo that recharges the battery, and tyres, and exhaust pipe, it's almost like having a new car. Certainly cost as much. Worst damage to the car - Kilmarnock, where someone has jumped on my bonnet while it was parked overnight outside hotel. By exit from pub.

Okay, now for predictions...
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