I am chaotic. I am messy. I am confused.
I have too many things in my pockets.
When we started using ink pens at school, I was soon banned because I made everything inky.
I like the idea of order, but I fail to create it.
My bedroom is a scrapyard of books, magazines, notes and and cultural ephemera, most of which I’ll probably fail to get through before I die, but which I still can’t permit to leave my floorboards. I am too impulsive.
A few years ago, on the way to the birthplace of Adam Smith, I saw my ticket sales for that night. Dismal. That was that I realised, it was time to stop, time to find a new occupation, maybe even produce the shows of the young bucks that had allure. I was spent as a force to be watched. I wrote a miserable blog post accepting defeat. Then the next day, after my 10 hour journey to Blackheath, with a busy and happy audience, I thought I would keep going.
My act of resignation was another fit of pique. Everything is very immediate, I find calm tricky.
The energy that creates my ridiculous shows at Hammersmith Apollo with astronauts and lazers, swearing one moment, on stage smiling and showing off the next, is the same that has me kicking plant pots and punching chests of drawers when I can’t find my laptop or my toothpaste or my mind.
As I approached Northampton for a lunch break on the way to Bromsgrove, I received an email telling me that I had low sales in Birmingham. So low they were below last year’s show in King’s Lynn (it is just the one king who has the lynn isn’t it? Or is it Kings’ Lynn, surely not Kings Lynn?).
My first reaction was – “right, that’s it, I am never going to Birmingham again. To hell with that city. And if we ever do another uncaged monkeys tour, I’ll deliberately skip Birmingham. Sorry Birmingham, you couldn’t be bothered to turn up for me on my own, so I won’t let you see Professor Cox.” If you missed the tour, I would unveil Professor Cox like John Merrick, and the audience of doctors and surgeons and shopkeepers and stylists, would gasp as I pointed out his parts.
This is stage one – the obstreperous child smashes toys then gathers the splinters and blames the glue for not being able to put them back together.
My second reaction was – “oh well, that’s it. the bubble has burst. Despite healthy sales and sell outs in first month of the tour, now I am found out. What job can I do? How will I feed my family. That’s me fucked.” That reaction has taken longer to shift. I thought of canceling the gig, as that option was on the table, or possibly the chair, they were non-specific about the location of the option, but they knew they had it somewhere…
But then I thought, “to hell with you and your ego. They may not be many, but some might have even gone so far as to look forward to tomorrow’s show, so lose money and get on with it. This is SHOWBIZ ARCHIE RICE! Rise Up Calvero. Do you not see that plaque on your desk that says, “what would Bobby Davro do?” I remain wobbly and worried. I continue to be cross that my allure is so limited in some of the Midlands, but get on with it. And don’t blame the audience that are there, it’s the few million that haven’t turned up who are at fault. I will hire a jeep and drive around the suburbs of Birmingham at 5am, honking my horn and bellowing, “and where the fuck were you?”
Oh, and the answer to the title question is – I am touring. (Oddly or predictably, after writing this I had a funny old confused gig at Bromsgrove, well, at least the first half was. in the second half I broke out the chutzpah)
I am at the Glee in Birmingham on 27th March, then Leeds, Salford, Newcastle, Glasgow, Chorley, Horsham and a town near you – Details HERE
and Mark Steel is joining Michael Legge and me at the comedy cafe in london this Tuesday