Wednesday 29 February 2012

"Puppets charming our socks off" - Adelaide Advertiser photo piece

Good morning world, rabbits rabbits rabbits (the laptop and blogger think it's still Feb 29th, but here in Adelaide it's 9am on the morning of March 1st) and we've just woken to find this smashing photo and article in today's Adelaide Advertiser.

TWO hands, two socks and two pairs of googly eyes have found one Adelaide Fringe act an international following.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is here for the first time, backed by a YouTube following and appearances on British TV.

"In a day and age when performers have videos and back projections and remote control technical gizmos, it seems amazing to me a couple of socks sticking their heads through a little tartan set can be so popular," founder and sole performer Kev F Sutherland said.

"It must have something to do with what they say."

The socks have been charming audiences at the Garden of Unearthly Delights. They previously "`duetted" with entertainers and politicians.

"If there are any famous Australians who wish to appear with the socks they would love it," said Sutherland who added his act was "not a kids' show".

Before the puppets' debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2007 the Scottish performer had a stand-up career.

"I can't tell you how humiliating it is to discover your socks are funnier than you," he said.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Strippers & a Groggy Squirrel review

There's an awful lot of strippers and burlesque at the Adelaide Fringe, so the Scottish Falsetto Socks have given it a go...

Groggy Squirrel Review

It wasn't until they caught with us on Twitter, with the very nice:
@squirrel_comedy - @GFIcomedy @adelaide_fringe OMG The @falsettosocks are in Australia?!!! But not listed in the @micomfestival guide? PLEASE come to Melb!!!!
... that I remembered that Groggy Squirrel had given the Socks a rave review back in Edinburgh 2008. As you can see it's a totally different show we're doing at the moment (whatever did happen to Kraftwerk, Mods & Rockers and King Lear?) but it's the same Socks, and this is a treat to read again.

Return of The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - Lisa Clark

Do you want a truly joyous experience of non-stop fun and silliness that will have you whooping with laughter at the Fringe Festival? Go see The Return of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre. It will keep you giggling long afterwards, every time you think about it. There was a small amount of swearing, mostly ‘shit’ and there were some adult references like ‘Kraftwerk’ and ‘Emo’, but take they kids, the ones near me were almost wetting themselves with excitement thoughout!

The sock puppets bounced in to Aretha’s ‘Respect’ – “sock it to me, sock it to me…..”, introduced themselves and launched into their theme song “I’m a sock” where they crammed in every rhyme and almost rhyme to sock in the English language and rocking guitar solo. They played several instruments and the instruments all had the same name “Vicki the technician”. I was really impressed with not only the intellectual level of the show but the puppets’ awareness of the audience and ability to ad lib throughout.

The show played like the sock puppets were putting on an old fashioned two man – sock – vaudeville show. There were copious wordplay jokes, and wild costume changes (with comical backstage commentary to keep everyone amused while the puppets were off stage) including a mod and rocker outfit for the historical re-enactment of the Mods & Rockers brawl on Brighton Beach in 1964. And where would vaudeville be without a running gag. The sock puppets astonished me by introducing the Abbott & Costello ‘Who’s on first’ routine, I thought “Oh, they’re going to do that one, ah well that’s OK its pretty good”. But no, no, no the sock puppets took the gag and completely deconstructed it and it reappeared in surprising places throughout the rest of the show.

After a surprising guest appearance by cardboard cut out Kraftwerk and other silly shenanigans, that included “Mad dogs and Englishmen smoke out in the midday rain” and an excerpt from a planned Christmas special, the last part of the show consisted of a surprisingly detailed and wonderfully ridiculous version of King Lear, using other puppets and soft toys who have appeared earlier in the show. Even the subplots were enacted! King Lear’s daughters were called Gonorrea, Ronald Regan and Cor-Delia Smith (Goneril, Regan & Cordelia). The battle using all the puppets and soft toys has to be seen to be believed! This show was like Shakespeare in that it had something for everyone, High jokes, low jokes and stuff for the kids.

Finally after the puppets took their bows the amazing puppeteer came out to receive his well deserved cheers and wild applause. It must be exhausting work. Kev F Sutherland is a truly renaissance man, comedian, comic strip creator, writer, teacher (and though there is no mention in his CV) puppeteer extraordinaire. Seriously your festival will be made complete with a visit to the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets!

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

Brihony - rock star technician

Every night in Adelaide, the Scottish Falsetto Socks are entertaining the good people of the Garden of Unearthly Delights in a venue called Il Campanile. And all of the shows in that venue do so with the help of our sterling technician Brihony. What we discovered after a few days was that Brihony is not only a fab techie, and also coincidentally a trained Personal Trainer, but she's also a rock star. And tonight for the first time we've seen just how good a rock star, with the appearance of her new video on YouTube. Check this out...

I know! Can you believe that? That's Brihony who does the sound for the Socks, rocking out as the singer and songwriter of Last Mistress. She's got a record deal and is paired with a producer in LA. And she's doing our sound. Mental.

Tonight's show was another good one. Still not the biggest of audiences, but an appreciative one. And earlier in the day the Socks had a photoshoot and interview for the Adelaide Advertiser which went nicely, so I'm looking forward to seeing how, and when, that comes out.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - with Brihony out of Last Mistress on sound - are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

Monday 27 February 2012

Adelaide Waiting - new vid from the Scottish Falsetto Socks

Brand new from the Scottish Falsetto Socks, a take on a particular aspect of Adelaide life which, apparently, even other Australians find a bit odd.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre played at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 Feb 17 - March 18th 2012, picking up the rave reviews below. They continue to tour nationally and internationally, watch here, Facebook or Twitter for the latest.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

"Head-slappingly funny" - The Socks latest Adelaide review

A lovely review of the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre in Adelaide has come from Festival Freak. Sadly he doesn't give stars, cos it sounds like we'd get a good few here...

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre @ The Campanile

7:45pm, Tue 21 Feb 2012

Having a show titled “Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre” gives a pretty clear indication of what to expect – high-pitched theatrical Scottish puppetry of a socky persuasion, one might think.

That’s spot-on-the-money, as it turns out.

The chortles start prior to even entering the venue – the pre-show music is a falsetto re-working of Cee Lo Green’s classic, and cunningly titled “Sock You”. The puppet booth (or rather, frame) is clad in tartan, and as soon as the manky socks that are the Falsetto Sock Puppets appear, you can tell that there’s some genuine laughs in store.

The two sock puppets – understandably – have a real rapport, and are blessed with not being able to talk over each other. But they form a classic double-act – straight-mansock on the left, joker on the right. There’s some truly terrible (in a good way) puns and lots of word-play; costume changes are frequent and mocked. The donning of a guitar (or piano!) for the odd musical interlude is always a delight, with the waggly arms of the puppets a perfect complement to the googly eyes.

Surprisingly, the show isn’t terribly profane… until the incredible take on Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, which manages to up the cuss-content to suitably-Scottish levels. But the writing is strong enough to hold the show up without having to resort to the joy inherent in foul-mouthed puppets; the word association bit is gloriously silly (when it should be groaningly sad), the saw-a-puppet-in-half magic trick is head-slappingly silly, and the analysis of the lyrics in Michael Jackson’s number one song Thriller Beat It Billie Jean Heal The World (“we really haven’t researched this at all”) is also a silly delight. Even the “entire” Star Wars encore, consisting of a mere two scenes, manages to turn a foolish idea into a silly romp.

See the common word there? Silly.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre is just silly good fun. There’s absolutely nothing serious about it – but sometimes, that’s more than enough to carry a show. If your neurons need a break, but you still want to laugh, you could certainly do a lot worse than the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppets.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

Hallo Ian - a special mention

A couple of days ago we put out a shout for suggestions of Australian Ians who we could slot into the Socks' Halloween sketch, having found that the Brit names were too unfamiliar.

Since then we've dropped the sketch from the Adelaide show, which is quite full enough. But thanks to everyone who came up with suggestions. And an extra special mention to David Jobling who has very much got the bit between his teeth and come up with an avalanche of suggestions. Here they are in their full glory...

@djobling writes: Ian Clunies-Ross 1899–1959 Bathurst, NSW. Scientist worked with animals.
Ian Chappell (correct spelling)
There was a bloke on radio in Adelaide (psuedo famous) called Barry Ian - part of the Baz and Pilko team... back in the 1980s
well probably too obvious but Ian "Molly" Meldrum... Fell off a ladder which shook the world of most Australian babyboomers.
Ian McBryde is a jazz musician and poet so famous among a certain set..
Maybe Ian 'Turps' Turpie of television fame is more your style - he went out with Olivia Newton-John in the 1960s #AussieIans
Ian Mudie another #AussieIan another poet another obscure one I guess..
Ian 'Thorpedo' Thorpe was and is a swimmer... too obvious..?
Ian Moss #AussieIans nothing to do with BARF a rock legend..
Ian Fairweather one was #Aussieians friend to Humphrey B. Bear (a tv kids show) the other a famous painter (tricky!!)
IAN HENSCHKE is a local ABC journalist (famous enough? M'be not) #AussieIans
Ian Chubb is Australia's Chief Scientist (totally not famous in the bogan set)
Monsignor Ian Dempsey #AussieIans is an Adelaide famous church dude accussed of molesting another church dude. (Dudes!)

Many thanks David, and well done Australia for having so many Ians.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"We can see your willy" - the kids speak

Hands up everyone who's been on stage in a bandstand in a park in Adelaide with the entire front of the stage being invaded by 7-10 year old kids shouting "we can see your willy!" and, even more inaccurately, "we can see your boobs"? Over and over again?

Just me and the Socks then. Amazingly, this appearance in the bandstand in Rundle Park (aka the Garden of Unearthly Delights) was our best promotional gig yet. Managing to get some comedy across while dealing with an army of screaming toddlers did us many favours and I had loads of people afterwards saying how much they'd enjoyed it. The usual "funniest thing I've ever seen" came out a few times, which is always a delight to hear. Sadly nobody was filming it, and I haven't even seen any photos yet, but to give you a taste of the atmosphere, here's Rob (Abandoman) doing the same venue a couple of days ago...

The Adelaide Fringe has essentially only just started, with Friday night being the launch night, so it's all to play for in building up those audiences. The park is empty in daytime so there's no flyering to be done in the way one does in Edinburgh, but we'll find those punters don't you worry. Now, I feel a Socks video in the pipeline, better go and squeeze it out. Laters.

Check out our posters, they're all over Adelaide. Not all at ankle height.*

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

* NB For no obvious reason this image was just deleted from Tinypic so I had to re-upload it. I will probably never know why.

Saturday 25 February 2012

When the locals say it's hot...

Before we start, can I just say I've walked past this sign every day and have yet to see any ducks.

Budgies, yes. Parakeets, beautiful black and white things that look like crows with highlights (where's Bill Oddie when you need him?), and punk pigeons (pigeons with mohicans, there's a lot of those). But no ducks as yet. Or maybe it's just an advert for a Partridge Family reunion? That said it's hardly been weather for ducks, though that may well change (see below). For yesterday was the hottest day yet, at a sunny 39 degrees. When the locals, Adelaidians, Syndeyidneyians and Melbournournians alike, all tell you this weather's a bit extreme, then you can excuse yourself that you're not just being a whingeing pom.

And allow me to be far from whingey because last night's gig was a corker. Following the disappointment of Friday's gig when the Socks had had not only low numbers but also an annoying talking, singing and sock-throwing contingent in the crowd, tonight (Saturday) was spot-on. A good sized crowd, the Socks did everything right and the audience laughed when they did so. That's the way to do it, as I believe some of our predecessors may have put it, and let's see if we can't keep this up.

After the show I celebrated by relaxing, while our flat-mates and fellow performers were out doing two extra gigs apiece (have I mentioned we're sharing with Rob "Abandoman" Broderick, and Tom "Ian D Montfort" Binns and his wife Liesl? Well we are and very lovely they are too) and I did my first Youtoobling of the month. Youtoobling, you'll recall, is watching videos on Youtube, making links, enjoying what you conjure up next. My starting point last night was a slot on ABC1 TV here called Rage which starts at midnight and just plays pop videos, but really well curated ones. We'd all sat round in the flat the other night watching vids selected by Geoff Barrow of Portishead, and they make up a good few of the list I ended up watching and Tweeting. Enjoy them below.

Meantime we'll prepare for another big day. And the weather here in Adelaide..?

A thunderstorm eh? That should be fun, bring it on. Here's the Youtoobling results from the Adelaide jury...

Sleigh Bells, Comeback Kid
White Rabbits, Heavy Metal
Santigold, Big Mouth
Tom Tom Club, Genius of Love
Arcade Fire, Sprawl II
Ben Folds 5, Rocking The Suburbs
The Members, Sound of the Suburbs
Hard Fi, Living For The Weekend
The Carpenters, Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
The Carpenters, Goodbye To Love
Beth Jeans Houghton, Sweet Tooth Bird
Snow Patrol, In The End
Wings, Goodnight Tonight
Mike Nesmith, Rio
Carole Bayer Sager, You're Moving Out Today
A particularly well-announciated version of Moving Out Today via @WhitneyScarlett1
Billy Joel, Movin' Out live 1978
Eminem, Say Goodbye to Hollywood
Abandoman, What's In Your Pocket?

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video
The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

Friday 24 February 2012

What is this thing you call Bogan?

What's that you say? A sellout? A sellout you say..?

Nah, that's just me indulging in a little nostalgia from the Scottish Falsetto Socks video vault, remembering those glorious Edinburgh nights when we'd start the run with three sellouts in a row, and keep doing it every other night. This year in Adelaide we're not quite there yet, and still having to work hard to get ourselves known, seen and heard of.

As a byproduct of not having very big audiences yet, last night the Socks encountered their first Bogans. This is a dreadful pejorative term coined in the 80s which is a little similar to our own Chavs or Neds, but it can only be the right word to describe a group of drunks who not only threw their own socks onto the stage during the show and resolutely failed to understand a single part of the show (during the Cookery/Gardening/Superman routine they took to cheering every time Superman appeared and booing when the other characters appeared which meant nobody could hear any of the punchlines), but even took to singing during the show. Okay it was only one woman singing, and she didn't start until we were doing the Hollywood Musicals songs in the last quarter of the show. But once she'd started chipping in with her rendition of Chim Chiminy, over the top of whatever else the Socks were trying to do, there was no stopping her. The killer Star Wars routine, the most reliable end to a show we've ever had, was not helped by this woman singing the Star Wars theme tune at random times throughout it, including over the top of the lightsaber duel which, if you can't hear it, makes a whole lot less sense.

(If you've never seen the Scottish Falsetto Socks before, this is how things usually go...)

The reason we had these wholly unhelpful elements in the audience - who have just this moment reminded me of a Fosters advert from the 80s which I can't find on YouTube, the one where Paul Hogan goes to the opera and starts joining in? - is because this weekend is when The Adelaide Fringe starts in earnest, the first week being effectively a preview week when only the Garden of Unearthly Delights is open, and it is absolutely packed. This means that, after a certain hour of the evening, the organisers restrict access to Rundle Park (aka the Garden) unless you have a ticket for a show. This results in punters buying tickets for shows, regardless of what show they're going to see. Many will buy tickets for shows then not even go and see them, just so they can get through the gate and drink standing up (which is illegal elsewhere in Adelaide. No really). So there is a chance an unfortunate comedy show can end up with some audience members who have no idea what they're watching, are definitely not long established Socks fans, and can make it hard going for the majority of the crowd.

There is, of course, a solution to this. If we sellout our show in advance, so that every ticket holder is deliberately there to see us, we can get on with the business of making them laugh. So we're working on that. Already ticket sales for tonight, Saturday, are at a delightfully healthy level, with 9 hours till showtime. Let's make this a great big biggie.

And the temperature today..?

39 degrees? No worries. (And I take it as a consolation that the Captcha I had to type in in order to upload that screen grab was "easy as pie". I'm sure it will be).

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Thursday 23 February 2012

Ian who? Translating into Strine

The Socks had fun last night trying to translate one of our favourite routines into Australian (and don't worry, we weren't actually trying to talk Strine). The routine is our Halloween routine which has always knocked em dead at home, it's even gone down well in Denmark and Holland. But, as you can see from this Edinburgh performance, some of the references might not be that international...

So we put out the shout on Twitter yesterday to find some Australian Ians to drop into the routine. Thanks to the Twitterati who responded. Easily the most obscure suggestion was:

@DJobling Ian Clunies-Ross 1899–1959 Bathurst, NSW. Scientist worked with animals.

Thanks David, we didn't try that one out on them. Other popular suggestions were Ian Chappell (cricketer from the 70s) and Ian Smith (Harold Bishop in Neighbours). So we tried those out last night, along with Ian Kiernan (Clean Up Australia campaigner), Ian Baker-Finch (golfer), and politician Ian McDonald (there's two of them, one who called the Green Party Nazis and one who fiddled his expenses). And the response?

Nuttin'. We got better laughs from saying Ian Paisley and Ian Duncan-Smith then acknowledging the fact that no-one had the faintest idea what we're talking about. So what did we learn from that exercise? a) Sometimes you don't have to fix it cos it ain't broke. And b) some people on Wikipedia sound way famouser than they actually are.

Burke's Backyard gets a laugh and, when you come along, keep your ears open for a mention of Elizabeth. Kills every time.

Now if you'll excuse us, the set got damaged last night when someone fell ass over tit off the back of the stage at the end of the show, so we're getting busy with some sellotape and kebab skewers - you don't know how this is done and don't pretend you do. Oh and today's temperature? 37 degrees. This can only be fun.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

Campanile - Scottish Falsetto Socks in Adelaide

The Socks speak live from inside their Adelaide Fringe venue, Il Campanile in the Garden Of Unearthly Delights...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Scottish Falsetto Socks on TV & Radio

Hello, we are the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
- and so am I
- and so is he, and we're in Adelaide performing every night at the Garden of Unearthly Delights as part of the Adelaide Fringe. We're up for TV and radio interviews and look forward to making the good people of South Australia laugh outside our venue as well as in it. Here are some examples of how brilliant we are on the telly & the wireless:

Here's us on the BBC's Culture Show with Sue Perkins, and on Radio Adelaide with Jon Murch...

Now here we are on BBC Radio 4 with Dean "Lucky Stars" Friedman, and on BBC 1's One Show with Gyles Brandreth...

And being interviewed by Radio 1's Scott Mills, on Danish TV, on local TV in England, and even by celebrity former politician and wife Neil & Christine Hamilton...

That's the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre - capital S, capital F, capital S, capital F, capital where were we, F? P? Whatever write it all down in caps, that'll be easiest. Available for interview. Contact our agent the brilliant Sharon on her Aus Mobile – 0448 784 562, or her Facebook or Twitter. Tweet us @falsettosocks, or email We'll be there.

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre 7.45 every night till March 19th at the Garden of Unearthly Delights, details and tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

Burlesque - The Socks in Adelaide

The Scottish Falsetto Socks are in Adelaide and they've made their first video from The Garden of Unearthly Delights. Enjoy...

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

"Roll up, roll up!" The Socks first Adelaide Review

The first review for the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre's show at the Garden of Unearthly Delights has come in from the Adelaide Advertiser:


ROLL up, roll up, for the smash-hit sock-sess of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Marvel as the puppeteer transforms a pair of dull, grey, lifeless socks into vaudeville comedy stars.

They single-handedly romp through the genres, pitching in for magic and musicals, skits and sketches.

Like Laurel and Hardy, or Abbott and Costello ("Who's on first?") they bounce jokes off one another and argue over simple misunderstandings. The sidekick stole the show with a solo performance, Always a Bastard to Me.

Unfortunately the characters sound identical, so the voice of one runs into the other and the falsetto voice wears a bit thin over an hour, so the mime to the hit song by "the people's paedophile" brought welcome relief.

Watch out for the Scottish slang - the word play elicits tears of laughter for those in the know.

Okay, so it gives away a couple of punchlines and seems to have a problem with falsetto characters having high voices, but it's not a bad review at all. It's 3-and-a-half stars, which is less than we're used to (we've never had half a star before, that's novel) so let's see what effect either way this has on sales. Yesterday was a day off cos the Gardens were closed, and today we bounce back refreshed with some nicely repaired props (did we mention a couple of them melted during Sunday night's show, the one when the reviewer was in?) and an increased desire to prove the Socks are the best show in town.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide every night at 7.45 until March 18th. Tickets here.

Four & a half thumbs-up review from The Punch
"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Side-splitting laughs" - FIVEaa review
"Delightfully silly and thoroughly enjoyable" - The Heckler
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - Socks video

Sunday 19 February 2012

Greetings from Sunny Adelaide

And here you see me and one of the boys on our balcony taking advantage of the cool of the morning in Adelaide to do some work.

Amongst other chores for today we have some props to repair. I'm not saying it's hot, but the duct tape holding some of the Socks props together has melted, causing a guitar to fall off and two costumes to disintegrate during last night's show. As you'll see from yesterday's blog, it's hot for me on stage but the audience are most than used to the heat and have been coming in increasing numbers and being beautiful. In fact when I ask them if they were finding it particularly hot, their reply is "Noy". I assume that's good.

One demerit for me; the Socks were supposed to do another appearance on the Fringe Caravan stage in Rundle Mall yesterday and, through my own incompetence, I hadn't got it in my diary. And, because roaming phone rates in Australia are so expensive (£1.50 per min to receive a call, 40p to receive a text) nobody is phoning anyone until we get dedicated Australian phones (that's right T-Mobile, rather than use you overseas it's cheaper to buy another phone) so I didn't learn my mistake until later. Until, in fact, just before last night's gig which put me in a bit of a sour mood. However the audience noticed nothing of that and we had another corker of a show, self-destructing props notwithstanding.

And on the plus side, while I was busy missing a good promotional opportunity in Rundle Mall, Hev and I had travelled to Port Adelaide to see the sights of the original ancient first settlement in this area. The Maritime Museum was our first much-needed injection of culture since we got here, and marvellous it was too. A couple of art galleries, some nice artsy craftsy shops, old buildings and another fun bus ride - I must get on to tell you how fascinating and diverse domestic architecture is here - and that afternoon did us a power of good, if not actuvely putting more bums on seats (though we had plenty of bums, and lovely bums they were too, so I'm not complaining. But I shall be triple-checking my diary from now on.) Here's a couple of snaps from Port Adelaide.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Feeling hot hot hot - Socks in Adelaide Day 2

And here we see the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre in a shopping mall...

That's the boys in Rundle Mall Adelaide, doing a slot in the Fringe Caravan, watched by shoppers with children and, I'm delighted to say, getting some good laughs. It's a promotional stage for the shows in the Adelaide Fringe / Garden of Unearthly Delights* and we're all under strict orders to keep things kid friendly. Apparently last year a stand up comedian said a sweary word and it made the papers.

It's difficult, though, to know what counts as a sweary word in Australia or Adelaide. Bugger. for example, slipped by unnoticed, as did bloody, but we cut out a couple of cocks from the opening song. Crap similarly elicited no response. There was only one word which, afterwards, we were told we should avoid when we play that stage again. And that word is..?


That's right. Amsterdam's major airport is the most offensive word we could think of to say to the good people of Adelaide. (If you've not heard the Socks routine which mentions Schipol, here it is performed live in Camden a couple of weeks ago.)

And Camden, and indeed England, Britain or the Northern Hemisphere, couldn't feel further away right at this moment. Adelaide is hot. Sooooo hot. I went to Abu Dhabi last year, and that was technically hotter except that nobody spends any time outdoors in Abu Dhabi most of the time so you're usually dressed to be indoors in icy air conditioning. Here in Adelaide we're outside a lot. Walking to and from the venue - and don't get me started on how long it takes to cross the bloody roads - then most importantly promoting and performing in the Garden.

Our venue is great and though it got hot for me I'm sure the audience were more than used to it. Me, I sweated so much I was blinded for the last 10 minutes of the show. I think the fact that I was sweating SPF30 sunscreen into my eyes probably didn't help.

The audience however more than made up for it. Not quite a full house yet, but well up on the first night and making a marvellous noise throughout. I even signed my first Socks autographs of the run last night, which is always lovely.

As an extra boost I've discovered that the sales figures I've been seeing on screen, and which has me a bit disappointed after Friday night, don't in fact tell the whole story. They only show me the tickets sold through the Adelaide Fringe box office. The tickets sold through the Garden's own box office don't appear on my screen which means we're doing even better than I thought, which is very nice to know.

This is one regard in which Adelaide has echoes of Edinburgh in the past. In 2007 Edinburgh had two box office systems like that, until one crashed and they had to amalgamate. Another echo of Edin past was that all the drinks in the Garden are served in glass. Glass bottles, glass glasses, all tinkly smashable glass. And as far as I could see none of it was getting smashed because, well I guess people just know how to behave. In Edinburgh every outside venue I can think of has served all drinks in plastic cups for years now.

We have yet to make a Socks video here (new camera to get used to as much as anything else) and haven't experienced much of Adelaide itself except a few shops (the exchange rate makes everything feel unnervingly expensive), work, sleep and a bit of jetlag. Oh and I bought my first thongs yesterday (that's Australian for flip flops) and am nursing the resultant blisters between my toes. But I'm sure we'll find plenty to enjoy once we settle in. Meanwhile the crowds are lovely, the Socks are doing good shows, and I guess you can grow to enjoy losing half your body weight in sweat every night, I think of it as exercise.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre are on at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Adelaide at 7.45pm every night until March 18th. Tickets here.

"Roll up roll up" - Adelaide Advertiser review
"Head-slappingly funny" - Festival Freak review
Adelaide Waiting - new Socks video

* The Garden of Unearthly Delights, which is the main venue in Adelaide and where the Socks are playing, starts its programme of events a week earlier than the full-blown Fringe, which makes it a little bit like the Edinburgh Fringe is relative to the Edinburgh Festival.

Friday 17 February 2012

We've arrived and to prove it we're here

The Scottish Falsetto Socks, and Hev and I are now firmly esconsed in the bosom of Adelaide and by golly we're knackered. It's 11pm Adelaide time (half past lunchtime back home) and we've managed a not half bad first gig (though the audience was not quite big enough, a result of us not being around to get TV publicity the last couple of days or to appear in last night's launch event, and not being able to start flyering until this afternoon) at 7.45. I'm now back in the apartment watching a movie called The Great Race from 1965 (our choice of TV is not great). This movie was the inspiration for Wacky Races - who knew Dastardly & Muttley were based on Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk?

We started flying at 21.55 Wednesday, flew for 27 hours, crossed a dozen times zones and then doubled back on ourselves (London to Singapore to Sydney then back to Adelaide) and all I can keep thinking is how come The Doctor, or at least his companions, don't get jet jag all the time? Set off at midnight and arrive at midday, that's got to have some effect hasn't it?

I amaze myself in that I took not one but two books to read. My recent experience on buses and trains suggested to me I'd get a lot of reading done. I clearly forgot about the TV screen in the headrest, the supply of on-demand movies and the fact that these were two night-flights in a row, where the whole plane's lights go out and who wants to be the one keeping everyone awake with their personal seat light? So I saw a lot of movies and TV shows. Here, for the record, are the reviews I jotted down as we went:

Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy - 3/5. Could not quite figure out what was happening a lot of the time. Certainly didn't know why I should care. None of the characters had characters.

Parks & Recreation (TV) - 2/5. Features an actor from fave sitcom Party Down so came off worse in comparison. Seeing a random episode of a sitcom out of context is probably not fair.

Captain America - 4/5. Best film of the flights. Very good characters, lots of references only film buffs could get, witty, richly detailed, and satisfying. As good as Iron Man and Spider-Man, way better than Thor (which I thought very poorly written) or the Hulk (neither of which one should dwell on).

Puss In Boots - 4/5. Another very good comedy. Not quite up there with Shrek but full of good stuff well done.

Days Of Our Lives (Queen documentary) - 3/5. Learnt stuff I didn't know, saw clips I hadn't seen.

Cowboys & Aliens - 2/5. Very poor. No sympathetic characters, dreadful aliens with no raison d'etre or original design, and a story it was hard to keep gripped by. Took the worst cliches of both genres and added nothing to either.

Tintin - 2 and a half/5. Zero characterisation. The only indication that the central character is of the slightest interest to us is by showing newspaper cuttings of his previous adventures. Does he have a family? A life? Any motivations, concerns, dilemmas or secrets? No. He has ginger hair and a dog. The rest of the characters manage to have even fewer dimensions, and then some dramatic set-pieces take place, involve them all at various times. Not a drama, just a string of things that happen. And everyone looks like soulless dolls, but that's the least of its problems.

Johnny English - 1/5. I used to see James Bond parodies from the sixties and give them the benefit of the doubt because they were "so sixties". But chances are viewers at the time were watching them thinking "this is a bit rubbish". In 2012 - not only 50 years after James Bond but nearly 25 years after Austin Powers - this really doesn't pass muster.

Friends With Benefits (TV) - 2/5. Might not be a bad series if you got into it, but a random episode is all a bit meh. Features another actor from Party Down, making it all the more frustrating that they're not doing something that good now.

2 Broke Girls (TV pilot) - 1/5. In the spirit of The Sitcom Trials, I gave this a good ten minutes before turning it off in despair. If it gets a series, gawd elp us orl.

Lead Balloon (TV) - 4/5. It was reassuring to be reminded what good stuff can be done in half an hour of comedy where not a lot appears to happen. It was the episode with the funeral, the shoddy windmill and the upside down TV set. I do hope it won a Bafta.

Those were my movie reviews having been incarcerated in the slightly Room 101-ish situation of being in an aeroplane seat for 27 hours staring at a TV set (I read Private Eye and drew some sketches in my Moleskine, I'm not brain dead). Now I must concentrate on making people in Adelaide laugh and ensuring more of them come to the show, to which end it's time for bed (my body clock think it's 8am, and if there wasn't a beeter time to try and nod off, I can't then when there is).

G'night. Or should I say g'day.

Kev F & the Socks Adelaide

Thursday 16 February 2012

Flying to Australia

As you read this, all going well, Hev & I (and the Scottish Falsetto Socks) should be flying to Australia. No internet, no plug points, and no obvious opportunity for the blood to circulate in my legs for 27 hours, so this blog post is one I prepared earlier.

A month of the Adelaide Fringe lies ahead and, more than is usually the case in my ill-thought-through and haphazard life, I have absolutely no idea what the next 30 days hold. Hev's biggest fear has to be eight-legged creepy crawlies and I have been given to believe those will be a major concern we have to look forward to. My biggest fear would be the audiences not coming (though advance bookings are looking good fingers crossed) and us not making enough money (I have no reason to believe this could be the case, but that doesn't stop you worrying).

Of course whatever there is to worry about will be something totally unexpected. Will it be the flat share? (I don't think we've shared a flat with anyone else since the early 80s! I've shared flats myself in Edinburgh, but for Hev sharing with me has been challenge enough). Will it be whatever's going on in our flat while we're away? (The shadow of Edinburgh 2009 will long hover over us, when on the day after we arrived at the Fringe, for what was intended to be Hev's first month-long stay away, we were rung up to be told our flat had been totally flooded by a leak from upstairs. There have been two small leaks in the last few months and we are not completely confident there won't be more.) Will it be the flights? (I tweeted a gag on the subject I was quite pleased with earlier: I hope I don't get sat next to a self-centred philosophical horn player, I hate getting deep vain trombonists.) Will we get lost? Will we get sunstroke?

Well, if there turns out to be internet in this apartment we're sharing with 3 other people, I'll look forward to having a mither on Friday at the earliest. Probably about the heat.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

History of Leicester - Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Live at the Leicester Comedy Festival, the Scottish Falsetto Socks do the complete history of Leicestershire from the Romans, via the Anglo Saxons and the Civil War to Daniel Lambert and the celebs of the 20th Century.

A couple of bits of this, Civil War and Anglo Saxons, are already out there on YouTube. As before, some references in this bit will make no sense to anyone who's never lived in the county of Leicestershire. Suffice to say it won't be getting a public outing in Adelaide. Enjoy.

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