Friday 31 March 2023

Socks make an advert


The Scottish Falsetto Socks have made their debut as stars of an advertising campaign, soon to be coming to a screen near you. (Update: they're now available, here). Courtesy of Conservatory Insulation Specialists, Earth's funniest footwear are soon to be seen extolling the virtues of conservatory roof insulation in a series of comedy sketches in their inimitable style.

Produced by singer songwriter Dean Friedman, who you'll know from his hit singles including Lucky Stars, Ariel, Lydia, McDonalds Girl and many more, and who has also written the jingle for the adverts, the short funny films look at different things conservatory roof insulation can do for your home.


For example in Once In A Blue Moon (top image, where you'll see one Sock is reading a copy of Prince Harry's Spare, with an interesting back cover image) they find how conservatory roof insulation can enable you to use your conservatory all year round. In Blinded By The Light (image above, where one Sock sports a fetching pair of shades) they solve the problem of the conservatory that lets in too much light. And in Room For The Whole Family (image below) they look at how you can gain an extra useable room in one simple move.

Dean Friedman, whose other work has included designing the video game Eat A Bug, writing the influential Complete Guide To Synthesisers, Sequencers & Drum Machines, and providing the music for movies and TV shows including Boon, Eerie Indiana, and I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle, has co-written, directed and produced the new adverts, ensuring they're of a higher finished quality than that to which viewers of the Socks' YouTube videos might have become accustomed.


The adverts for Conservatory Insulation Specialists will be appearing soon. In the meantime, both the Scottish Falsetto Socks and Dean Friedman are on tour in the UK, so don't miss them.


Scottish Falsetto Socks: Eurovision Sock Contest, On Tour Now:

31 Mar New Continental, Preston

1 April Ropewalk Barton

7 April - Rondo Bath 

14 April - Chorley New Theatre

26 April - Harlequin Redhill

5 May - Cornerstone Oxon

12 May - Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

18/6 Ludlow Fringe
28/7 Bedford Fringe (Shakespeare)
31/10 Canterbury Festival

Socks Youtube Channel: youtube.com/@falsettosocks

Dean Friedman Tour Dates:

April  2023

22

Dublin

Arthur's Jazz & Blues Pub    with special guest 'Colm Gavin'

ON SALE

23

Belfast

Oh Yeah Music Centre   

ON SALE

26

Shrewsbury

St Mary's

ON SALE

27

Bath

Mission Theatre                  with special guest 'Nia Nicholls'

ON SALE

28

Pentyrch (nr Cardiff)

Acapela Studios

ON SALE

29

Birmingham

MAC

ON SALE

30

Liverpool

Capstone Theatre

ON SALE

May 2023

4

Sheffield

Crookes Social Club        with special guest 'Boothby Graffoe'

ON SALE

5

Worcester

Huntingdon Hall                      JUST ADDED! 

ON SALE

7

East Hagbourne

Fleur de Lys

ON SALE

8

Henley-on-Thames

The Crooked Billet

ON SALE

9

Tunbridge Wells

Trinity Theatre                       

ON SALE

10

Thornden

Thornden Hall                     

ON SALE

12

Rayleigh

The Mill                                   

ON SALE

13

London (Ealing)

Questors Playhouse Theatre  

ON SALE

Thursday 30 March 2023

The Day The King Died With A Full Bladder - comics by kids


Three days, five schools, two themes. Vikings, Shakespeare, and whatever you fancy were the themes. Can you spot who came up with which?


The British Library had me back at Leeds Playhouse to day a second day of Shakespeare themed comic classes. I worked with three groups, from three different schools, but only for an hour each. So we did a differently structured class to my usual, concentrating on the Shakespearian adaptation angle. Two of the groups designed the covers themselves (or rather I took stuff they'd drawn and assembled it into a cover) and I just drew one. The image on the left is the flipchart drawing that I did, summing up the theme of the day.


Christ Church Lichfield was a first timer for me, and I'm delighted they had me in. Two lovely groups of year 4s to work with, and a couple of corking front cover ideas emerged from the process.


Malvern Parish haven't had me for a few years, so this was a pleasantly welcome return gig. They wanted their year 3 and 4s to have comics that went with their class topic of Vikings, and by golly that's what they got. 

The celebrities that the four regular classes chose to appear in my demonstration strip were Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Roald Dahl.

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy 
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon
Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy 

Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu  - Etsy 
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 

Eurovision French edition - édition en français
Eurovision Spanish edition - Libro para colorear
Eurovision German edition - Popstar Malbuch
Eurovision Italian edition - il libro da colorare 
Eurovision Swedish edition - Popstjärna Målarbok
Eurovision Colouring Best Of British - Amazon

Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon - Lulu  - Etsy 
Punk Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
80s Pop Star Colouring Amazon
80s Superstars - Amazon
90s Pop Star Colouring Lulu - Etsy
2020s Pop Star Colouring Amazon
Scottish Pop Star Colouring - Amazon
Rom Com Colouring - Amazon

NB: Etsy editions are signed and posted by me, and generally cheaper


Wednesday 29 March 2023

Live and indirect - Socks on tour and Zoom


 Here's what the audience were looking at in a comedy club in Glasgow as the Socks made one of their two appearances at this year's Glasgow Comedy Festival, courtesy of Jimi Longmuir, who added us to a comedy bill via Zoom. I think it went quite well. Judge for yourself.

The Socks have been back in business big time through March. As posted elsewhere, they made a series of five adverts with Dean Friedman, which should be unveiled to the public soon. Not only were these great fun, but they also paid well, which is quite a bonus.

Not that their live gigs are doing badly. So far the Eurovision tour has been going great guns, audience and doorsplit wise. We started off with a gig at Paisley library (March 1st), which had a small audience but was paid for as part of the Will Eisner week classes.

Eastgate Theatre Peebles (March 3rd) saw a good crowd, and was a good chance to play somewhere close to Edinburgh this year, since we'll be missing the Fringe. March 15th was Aberystwyth Arts, another good full house. And we've just completed two nights in a row, at the Continental in Preston and Ropery Hall in Barton On Humber. Two excellent sellout gigs, with more to come. 

I've produced a handful of these tour-promoting videos, which I hope will draw a little attention to those shows that need it.

Scottish Falsetto Socks: Eurovision Sock Contest, On Tour Now:


31 Mar New Continental, Preston

1 April Ropewalk Barton

7 April - Rondo Bath 

14 April - Chorley New Theatre

26 April - Harlequin Redhill

5 May - Cornerstone Oxon

12 May - Old Joint Stock, Birmingham

18/6 Ludlow Fringe
28/7 Bedford Fringe (Shakespeare)
31/10 Canterbury Festival


Tuesday 28 March 2023

Toilet Terminator - comics by kids

A splendid grab bag of comics, produced over three days visiting schools with my Comic Art Masterclasses, in Berkshire, Surrey, and Worcestershire.

Horris Hill in Berks remains one of the poshest schools I visit regularly. This was the place where, when I asked the kids what they wanted to be, one said "I want to be a Conservative Prime Minister." For all I know he is by now. Kids are never too posh to find toilets funny.

The last time I went to Camberley was to play a Socks gig where someone phoned the promoter afterwards to complain that my Michael Jackson routine used the word "paedophile" (which, she said, I dropped like a bomb into a sentence, which is a quote I've kept meaning to put on a poster). This time a teaching assistant complained that I'd said a pupil looked a bit miserable when he was being take out of the class early. Which he did. That notwithstanding, the classes came up with two lovely comic titles, with a nice excuse to get carried away drawing them, (I draw these covers live, in class, while the kids are drawing their characters, so I have about 10 minutes to do them in. I colour them later at leisure.)

Woodrush Primary in Worcestershire is another I've been to before, and always a delight to return to. The pupils were Year 8s, though you'd be hard pressed to guess that from the titles they came up with.


The celebrities these 6 groups came up with to star in my demonstration strip were Dawyne 'The Rock' Johnson, Donald Trump, Ariana Grande, Lionel Messi, Shawn Mendes, and Walter White off of Breaking Bad.

My Books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy 
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon
Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy 

Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu  - Etsy 
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 

Eurovision French edition - édition en français
Eurovision Spanish edition - Libro para colorear
Eurovision German edition - Popstar Malbuch
Eurovision Italian edition - il libro da colorare 
Eurovision Swedish edition - Popstjärna Målarbok
Eurovision Colouring Best Of British - Amazon

Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon - Lulu  - Etsy 
Punk Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
80s Pop Star Colouring Amazon
80s Superstars - Amazon
90s Pop Star Colouring Lulu
2020s Pop Star Colouring Amazon
Scottish Pop Star Colouring - Amazon
Rom Com Colouring - Amazon

NB: Etsy editions are signed and posted by me, and generally cheaper

Monday 27 March 2023

Eurovision Colouring Books - in 5 languages


I know, this might be the most ridiculous thing I've wasted my time with since I started doing these stupid colouring books (every second of which has been spent not writing the supposedly more lucrative crime novels). But I've translated the second Eurovision Colouring Book, the one with all the winning countries and all their winning entries, into five languages. Madness. Here they all are.

Sweden: Popstjärna Målarbok, Svensk upplaga amzn.eu/d/5sbS4HO

Spain:  Eurovisión Libro para colorear https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1447787714



As you can see, I've re-artworked all the front covers, to highlight the local country and one of their winners. What you can't see is that I've done all the internal translations using Google Translate, which may make them laughable to anyone who reads them. I have no way of knowing.



While two books (the Swedish and Spanish) popped up very quickly on Amazon, the others haven't made it there yet, so are only obtainable via Lulu. What difference this makes to any sales, if any sales are going to happen at all, we shall see.



The only way I've had of publicising them is through Facebook and Twitter. And, again, I have no idea of how that'll go. So let's just see if any get shifted in the month and a bit before the Eurovision Song Contest itself, shall we?



The colouring book thing is fun to do, and I'm always wanting to do more of them. But I really most knuckle down to finishing the crime novels before I fritter all my time away on this nonsense.


My books and where to get them:

Findlay Macbeth - Amazon  - Etsy 
Prince Of Denmark Street - Amazon - Etsy 
Midsummer Nights Dream Team  - Amazon Etsy 
Shakespeare Omnibus Collection (all 3 books) - Amazon
Tales From The Bible - Amazon -  Etsy 

Eurovision Colouring Vol 1 Amazon -  Lulu  - Etsy 
Eurovision Colouring Vol 2 - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 

Eurovision French edition - édition en français
Eurovision Spanish edition - Libro para colorear
Eurovision German edition - Popstar Malbuch
Eurovision Italian edition - il libro da colorare 
Eurovision Swedish edition - Popstjärna Målarbok
Eurovision Colouring Best Of British - Amazon

Doctor Who Colouring - Amazon - Lulu  - Etsy 
Punk Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
60s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
70s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon  - Lulu  - Etsy 
80s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon
80s Superstars - Amazon
90s Pop Star Colouring - Lulu
2020s Pop Star Colouring - Amazon
Scottish Pop Star Colouring - Amazon
Rom Com Colouring - Amazon

NB: Etsy editions are signed and posted by me, and generally cheaper



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