Richard Ayoade and Adam Buxton

The last week of September was pretty insane.  There were a couple of days where I clocked in 11 hours at work and when I wasn’t in the office, I was asleep.  It always is madness at the start of semester, so goodness knows why I arranged two things to do in London.  I’m clearly a masochist.

The first event was seeing Adam Buxton interviewing Richard Ayoade for a Guardian Live event where they discussed Richard’s new book The Grip of Film by Gordy LaSure.  Richard is a fairly introspective and reticent interviewee, but it feels like Adam and him have a genuine friendship so it made the evening a very intimate and relaxed chat.  I’m a huge fan of Richard’s films

I hadn’t heard of the venue before – the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster, a church-like building with very dramatic mood lighting.  Whilst is was a beautiful looking building, we did suffer from sitting in pews for 90 minutes.  Husband lost feeling in his legs, my butt was in a lot of pain, and Tim’s spine turned into the spine of a much older man.  Pews are not build for comfort.

In those 90 minutes, Richard and Adam chatted about his book, his films, and other random nonsense – fans of Adam’s Podcast would have recognised this as a classic Dr Buckles ramble chat.  There was also a lot of talk about film, and I was pleased to hear Richard’s cinematic journey was much like my own.  He didn’t watch films as a child – neither did I – so hasn’t seen a lot of the ‘classics’ that almost everyone has seen, a good example being Jurassic Park.

There has been a lot of historical Ayoade/Buxton crossover, with episodes of Gadget Man, Travel Man, Adam’s own podcast, and most recently The Crystal Maze so Richard did seem quite comfortable, but he did seem to tense up a bit when it came to the audience Q&A, particularly as the first question was a bit mean spirited for comedic value.  The rest were really good questions however, which I genuinely wasn’t expecting.  The audience clearly had a lot of respect for the talented filmmaker.

And at the end, a bonus book signing which I felt terribly conflicted about.  It was clear Richard wasn’t looking forward to a queue of needy strangers… but I did want my book signed.  I thought long and hard about what to say to him.  As a fellow introvert, I could feel his discomfort and I didn’t want to add to it so simply told him I really enjoyed listening to the talk, and he promised to pass this on to Adam as well.  I couldn’t have empathised with him more.

I’m looking forward to reading his book – his first book, Ayoade on Ayoade was surreally delightful and this one promises the same.  It will have to sustain me until his next outing as a writer or director.

Adam and Joe – Live at the BFI



I was not a very worldly teenager.  I hadn’t travelled, wasn’t too hot on pop culture or current events, tended to watch whatever my parents watched on TV.  You could almost say a bit sheltered.   So when I saw Adam Buxton dressed as a Klingon singing a terrible song about Star Trek: The Next Generation, I had no idea what to think.  It was so weird to watch intentionally bad TV – Takeover TV was my first real experience of subversive media and I loved it.  

Over the years, I became obsessed with the Adam and Joe Show, and their various stints on radio.  So much of their 6 Music show has become ingrained in my life – there are certain links which made me laugh so much that I can picture where I was when I heard them the first time, like squirrelling away in the old filing cabinets at work, or stuck in traffic in Guildford.

We’ve seen Adam Buxton a bunch of times over the past few years (as documented on the blog), including a visit to BUG last week which I haven’t blogged about as yet.  But Joe has always been just out of reach for me – despite the fact he’s done plenty of filmic events over the years, I’ve never seen him (except in Forbidden Planet about 12 years ago.  He was buying comics.  I was giddy).

Adam and Joe together though?  I thought it an impossible dream.  I could never imagined that I’d go to a live recording of a podcast, and one that celebrated 20 years of their professional partnership.  But it actually happened, and I had a hysteria-caused sore throat to prove it.

A&J_2

There were two shows on Thursday night, and I am very grateful to Tim for getting us tickets for the first (although if there wasn’t such a thing as a last train home, I would have tried to go to both).  It overran by quite an extensive amount which I’m torn about – the audience was privy to some naturally hilarious conversation between the two of them, but when Adam skipped us ahead in his slideshow to get to the end, we saw how much we’d missed out on.  Hopefully, the podcast will feature enough of the bits we missed.

We did get to see some very nostalgic clips though – like People Place which was brilliantly bonkers – and some amazing animations made for the evening, including this one which was filled with in-jokes and my favourite from the night:

Whilst it took Joe a few minutes to get comfortable in front of the sold-out crowd, they were both on excellent form and got adorable giggles at Joe’s mime act and Adam’s impression of the Queen.  I similarly got the giggles, and by the end of the evening, I had cried the make-up off my face.

Plus, I got an Adam and Joe tote bag, which is something I never thought I’d own.  The teen version of me would be incredibly jealous.

That’s not “pass the mustard”

Louis Theroux

About a year ago, I was stood next to a red carpet, repeating the phrase “it’s a documentary about Scientology” to disinterested tourists who smiled, nodded, and drifted away.  I don’t routinely visit red carpets, but had accompanied Husband and Tim who had tickets to the premiere of Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie.  I did not.

I had lingered after they’d gone in, hoping to get the chance to speak to Louis.  He chatted to the press for a bit before briefly talking to fans who forced themselves upon him, but it wasn’t to be for me.  If you look at the photos from the London premiere, you’ll be able to spot me looking glum in the background, trying to decide if I had time to stop by Tatty Devine on my sad walk back to Waterloo.

Things have now come full circle, with me attending a screening of the film in the Royal Festival Hall alone, without my two compadres.  Circumstances conspired against me, as both Husband and Tim had more exciting things going on, but I couldn’t give up the chance to see the film, plus a Q&A with Louis and director John Dower hosted by Untold Blisses favourite, Adam Buxton.

I had low expectations of the film – I’d read a number of reviews which pointed out that the film doesn’t really add anything to the conversation – but I actually really enjoyed it.  I’m fascinated by the craziness in the Scientology cult, and have adored Louis since his very first Weird Weekends so I couldn’t not enjoy it.  It did feel different to his other documentaries, and the feature-length aspect of it meant that some parts of the story came across as a bit labourious but it there were still brilliant moments to be found.

And some moments were downright disturbing, like the joy Marty Rathbun seemed to get out of roleplaying with “David Miscavige”, and the stalking that the ‘church’ does of Louis and his crew.  It is a fascinating examination of how closed-off they are – I think Louis more than anyone would be willing to show balance but they clearly don’t want to engage with an audience.  It’s a clever perspective for Louis to have – this was just a film about how he couldn’t make a film.

Adam Buxton leading the Q&A at the end was a delight.  The closeness of his friendship with Louis allowed him to be more candid and less scripted, even at one point accidentally comparing Louis to Miscavige and Jimmy Saville.  It was a hilariously awkward moment.

I was a bit disappointed that there were no Scientologist outbursts – I had read reports of that happening in earlier screenings, and I was kind of tempted to meet one (I have knowingly met one – Jason Dohring who has the most intense eyes I have ever seen in my life).  There was a really odd moment at one stage where a whole host of men in white shirts traipsed out all at the same time which freaked me out a little, but it could have been just a coincidence.  I was a tad on edge after that.

Next up – the documentary they told Louis they were making about him.  Can’t wait for that to be released.

Wow Balloons – BUG 49

BUG49Husband and I were on our own for BUG 49 as Tim had a hipster party to attend.  Dr Buckles was on sparkling form however, and showed a great selection of videos.  My favourites:


I haven’t heard of Stealing Sheep before, but this song led to us staying up late to listen to their album.  A ridiculously brilliant video as well.


I debated about putting this video by Raleigh Ritchie on here, only because I thought it was a bit lazy and contrived, but I really like the song.


Adam Buxton was grooving away to this song by Ogris Debris as the very stylish video played.  I really loved the visual style for this video.


The viral videos used in this music video by The Shoes are hypnotically funny.  Anyone who uses James Van Der Beek in their video wins in my books.


I know of Tame Impala but didn’t know what kind of music the band was.  I actually really liked this song, and the video was beautifully filmed.  Although it makes me a little nervous for my upcoming flight.

Friday was the first of my two visits to the BFI that weekend.  I should have just slept there overnight to save money on the train ticket.

You are applauding the unravelling of a man’s mind

Greenwich Comedy Fesitval

I’ve had a very funny weekend. Fortunately, it was intentionally funny, starting with Bill Bailey on Friday night. The tickets found their way into my possession very last minute and completely by chance, but I am so glad we said yes because Bill was hilarious. So hilarious that the woman sat next to me couldn’t control herself.

He was playing at the Princes Hall in Aldershot – not a venue I’m familiar with despite the fact it’s about 10 minutes away from my house. The best thing about this was the fact it was local – Bill started off asking whether Aldershot had recently gone through some kind of nuclear accident, and then mocked a story in the local paper. Within 10 minutes, I had cried my eye make-up off.

It was listed as a warm-up gig, however it was a solid two hours of brilliant absurdity – it felt like a ‘proper’ gig. He skipped from subject to subject, from almost killing his father-in-law in Norway to Skyping in Estonia, peppered with his trademark songs.

And with it being so nearby, we were home in time for an early night, ready for more comedy the following day at the Greenwich Comedy Festival.

Greenwich Comedy Fesitval2The comedy festival market has been seriously lacking since Laughs in the Parks folded a few years ago (I say this with no evidence, other than I haven’t seen a festival lately…). We had tickets for Saturday afternoon, but the festival itself ran for 5 days in the grounds of the National Maritime Museum, conveniently on the same road as Tim who we collected on the way from North Greenwich station.

Husband and I headed straight for the food stalls as we were starving, ignoring the demands to “GET A MAGNERS NOW” – we feasted on venison burger and really nice chips (they were frustratingly out of sweet potato fries. Middle class problems). The tent itself was oddly dark and initially insanely warm. I felt quite bad for not listening to the first two acts – compere John Robins and Richard Herring – as the heat was making me feel so sleepy.

Both John and Richard seemed to talk about genitals in quite a bit of detail, but I was amused by Richard’s exponential mathematic problems. It was perhaps a little too early for Richard’s brand of comedy but it did make me giggle.

Sara Pascoe was up next, and I LOVED HER. Her comedy ticked all of my boxes, especially equating people telling her to have a baby to her telling them they should go on QI (“you should really go on QI before it’s too late and they stop showing it”). I definitely want to see in her own show. I also knew where she got her dress and shoes from – she is me, in comedian form.

Greenwich Comedy Festival3

Finally, Adam Buxton bounded on stage (although we had already seen him setting up his laptop, which I was mesmerised by). I haven’t seen Adam doing his stand-up for a while, and he has a noticeably different energy to when we see him at the BFI. Most of the things were saw were new to us, so that was a bonus. His videos, keynote presentations, and YouTube comments were insanely haphazard. I love Dr Buckles.

The festival itself could have done with a touch less branding. It was bordering on the ridiculous and needed to be dialled down a bit. It was a very pleasant afternoon though, and I’m sad I didn’t see more acts. Maybe next year. If it doesn’t go under like Laughs in the Park.

They’d Better Be Building a Kitchen – Bug 48

Bug48

Another photo of Dr Buckles on his bike signals another Bug review. I’ll need to think of more creative ways to photograph his lovely cycling pre-credits sequence.

As with the last Bug, I didn’t love all of the songs, but I have become obsessed with one of them at least:

Robin Schulz’s Sugar is insanely catchy. I cannot get it out of my head. The video is a cute take-off of the Taylor Swift cop video and amused me for a few minutes, but it’s the song that’s most memorable. I was worried Robin Schulz was a douchey DJ dude, but he’s European so that’s impossible. I’ve just discovered that Nathan Barnatt who stars in this video was also in a Yelle video for Que Veux-Tu which is one of the best songs ever.

Data Ft Benny Sings – Don’t Sing is a good concept for a video. I loved the moment when I suddenly understood what was going on.

The video for Darwin Deez’s Kill Your Attitude had me rolling my eyes a bit – a female video character lead and all she’s concerned about is the washing up and dirty laundry? Really? But it’s a catchy song – I hadn’t heard of Darwin Deez before so I think I’m going to investigate further.

I loved the video for Lights by Hurts, mainly because it reminded me a little of a club I used to go to when I was younger. The choreography is great, and I’m just a teensiest bit in love with Theo Hutchcraft because of it. I’ve heard their song “Wonderful Life” on XFM and Lights continues along the same vein, so another band for the list.

Bug was the first of two shows that we’ll see Adam at this month – we’re off to the Greenwich Comedy Festival next weekend to see him again. He ended Bug with a very funny Bob Dylan video which I would guess he’ll show again at the festival, but we shall see.

Stop Looking at the Monkey – Bug 47

Bug 47This blog will be peppered with photos of Dr Buckles on his bike if I keep going to see Bug.  And I plan to keep going as watching music videos for a couple of hours is a very pleasurable way to spend an evening.

I didn’t enjoy as much of the music in this show, but some of the videos were fantastic.  There now follows a list of my favourites.


Such a great narrative from Hot Chip’s Need You Know.  I was mesmerised during it, trying to unravel the different threads.  Plus, I didn’t realise Hot Chip members looked like that – I don’t know who I thought they were.


This is possibly the most amazing video I have ever seen.  It took four months make and I immediately want to reposition the pins on my pinboard at work.  Wow.  Genuine astonishment from me.

I was going to post Róisín Murphy’s video for Evil Eye but I can’t seem to find it on YouTube.  The style in her video was gorgeous – a lovely bit of 1980s feathered hair and sexy porch.  To be clear, I mean the porch in a house.  I’ll wait for it to appear on YouTube to make some more notes.


Adam ended the evening with this adorably surreal dance off starring Jus Reign and Timothy DeLaGhetto.  They are both very talented men to dance with such banal looks on their faces.  I’m probably too old to appreciate a Vine star but this old lady did have a bit of a giggle.

I’ll leave my favourite video from the evening for a separate post because it nearly made Tim poop himself so I think it rightfully deserves it’s own post.

Also, Jonathan Ross was there which is nothing to do with the rest of this post, but that marks two Adam Buxton gigs that I’ve seen Jonathan at now.

Space Comma – Bug 46

Bug 46

As Tim pointed out to me, I haven’t actually been to a ‘proper’ Bug.  My very first last year was hosted by Doc Brown so apparently doesn’t count but hurrah, I have now lost my Adam Buxton Bug virginity with a visit to Bug 46 on Friday night.

We were mesmerised by Dr Buckle’s pre-show video of a trip around Norwich on his bike, before the man himself appeared on stage singing “That’s not my Name” – they call him short man, they call him big face, but that’s not his name.

He spoke for a few minutes on how things in the music scene have changed since he hosted Bug 14 months ago, and showed us some amazing photos of him and Joe from their younger days before launching into the videos, and the first was one of my favourites from the evening.

Somebody New by Joywave has been in my head for the last 24 hours and it’s such a great video – I love the skateboard videogame glitches!  I listened to Tongues earlier today as well (which I’m fairly certain I’ve heard before) and loved it.  Their album will be mine when it’s released.

My next fav followed straight after Joywave:

I actually had a bit of a weepy moment watching this video – it was so perfect!  The song was pretty awesome too – Black and White by The Staves.  The director, Jack Whitely, was in the audience and told us that the video was loosely based on a true story.  It made me want to go home and immediately eighties-myself up.  Another album on my wishlist.

The video for Crushed Pleats by Dralms was hypnotising, although some of it did freak me out a little.

Innocent by Hundred Waters was insanely cute.

And I am so happy that Sleater-Kinney‘s A New Wave was shown. I’m on a real Sleater-Kinney kick at the moment – my last two blog posts have used their song lyrics – and it was so great to see Buxton rocking out behind his laptop.  I couldn’t not dance in my seat as well.

The last video that caught my eye was Cruisr – All Over

I defy anyone to watch this and not try to identify as many films as they can.  Amazing animation by Chris Carboni.

In addition to Adam’s now legendary YouTube comment reading, he also treated us to a couple of videos that have amused him as well as a preview of one of Lianne La Havas‘s new songs, recorded on his iPhone when he interviewed her last year.  It sounded glorious and whilst it’s not my usual taste, I fell in love with her a little bit.

It was a really great selection of videos and the audience was much better more respectful than the last time.  Plus, Adam looked amazing – super hot.

Next Bug please!

We need to talk about Adam

Duchess TheatreThis is the third time I have seen my two favourite Adam’s in a very short space of time – the first was during a comedy season at the Union Chapel, the second at the Bush of the Shepherds, and the past week at two separate, but equally funny gigs. Adam Buxton was doing a five night run of Kernel Panic at the Duchess Theatre, and we were lucky enough to get third row tickets for his final night – although it did feel as though Adam directed quite a lot of the comedy at us because we were so close.  The description on the Invisible Dot page says it best:

Adam Buxton looks within the soul of his laptop and considers how we present ourselves in the net age (he shows stuff he’s made and reads out web comments).

Which admittedly doesn’t sound that funny but I spent most of it in phenomenal pain with tears rolling down my face. Because I was laughing.  Just to be clear. He opened with the classic Moby, Moby, Moby, Moby, Michael Stipe video which I desperately want as a ringtone, but I know it would only make me giggle hysterically every time my phone rang.  His then showed us around the contents of his laptop, quickly deleting things he’d ‘accidentally’ left on there (like erotic dreams about Joe Cornish), and giving us a glimpse into his home life with adorable video projects that he’d attempted with his children. His subtitling of The Bridge‘s opening credits was amazing, and I cannot wait for him to upload that.  Blaming everything bad on UKIP also tickled me, with Adam occasionally crying out “Jesus Christ, Nigel Farage!”. It was an absolute treat to see Adam and his bright blue shoes, and I felt really sad when the hour was over as I could quite happily have sat there for another hour more listening to his demented TED talk. The bonus for me was seeing CELEBRITIES leaving the theatre at the end, including Jonathan Ross, Jane Goldman, Sophie Ellis-Bexter, Richard Jones from the Feeling, and Johnny Borrell from Razorlight.  I don’t ever spot famous people when I’m in London so this made my night! Radio Theatre Slightly lighter on the famous people but no less exciting was last Friday’s trip to the BBC Radio Theatre for a recording of The Guns of Adam Riches.  I had been to a recording for one episode of the first season, and hearing Tim‘s hoots of laughter on the second episode is part of the reason why I find it so fun to listen to.  I’m expecting to hear many more hoots for the second episode of season 2 as well, because we were in hysterics at the mishaps of Lord Sean of Bean. We had the audience participation that we’ve grown to love and fear in equal amounts, the brilliant array of surreal pop culture references, and even Adam as Sean yelling at a fictional baby to stay in character whilst they prepared the mics for another take – it was insane comedy genius.  It is a bit different going to a recording as you get to see Adam as himself as well as his characters, plus it’s fun watching them retake.  Can’t wait till it airs. Radio Theatre They’ve changed the waiting area at the Radio Theatre a little since the last time I went, adding a BBC shop which I LOVED as I used to run one in my youth, and some fun bits of BBC history.  We watched the news being filmed for a bit before we were called in, and I bought a BBC Three pen as that’ll be worth a FORTUNE when that channel gets taken offline (ha!).  It’s quite a comfortable place to hang about in now.

BUG 41

BFI

I have been trying to get tickets for Adam Buxton’s BUG for such a long time.  I’ve either been out of the country, away for work, or the tickets have sold out before I got to them, and for a while it felt like I was destined to never see BUG live.  So when my BFF emailed a couple of months ago asking if I wanted him to get tickets for BUG 41, I quickly scrambled to say YES PLEASE.  And success – tickets were bought.

And then we found out Adam Buxton wasn’t going to be hosting.  OH FOR GOD’S SAKE!

The BFI announced a couple of weeks later that they’d drafted in Doc Brown who I think I knew from somewhere (a panel show maybe?) and I hoped that he’d be doing the show with a similar humour to Dr Buckles.

After a spicy dinner at the new Wahaca in Waterloo, we made our way through the rain to the BFI and found our seats in NFT 1 amongst the many bearded men.

Doc Brown (also known as Ben Bailey Smith) alluded to the fact he couldn’t rip off Buxton’s YouTube comments review, so came up with his own thing – Singalonga Shitbags.  I giggled insanely at his lyrics to instrumental music in films such as Jurassic Park, Last of the Mohicans, and Face Off, and I would quite happily pay to see him doing two hours of this.  He showed a clip from a Bollywood film called Singham which garnered cheers from the audience, and his comment on Oneohtrix Point Never amused me greatly (“That’s his name, because hipster is out of control”).

The purpose of the evening was music videos though, and I was actually looking forward to seeing music from bands and artists I previously hadn’t heard from before.  In particular, I have become a little obsessed by Rudimental‘s Not Giving In and I’m going to spend the weekend looking into them.

Some of the videos were a little pretentious and I did roll my eyes on a couple of occasions.  Ben interviewed Josh Cole who directed the above video, plus a whole bunch of others, and what I mainly got from the interview and videos was dude needs to calm down with the helicopter use.

I really loved the Elbow video Ben showed – I thought it was really beautiful despite not being a Elbow fan

I also really loved the Grace Jones vibe from Julio Bashmore‘s Peppermint ft Jessie Ware

We got to see videos for Burning House, Fidlar, Louis Mattrs, and The Last Skeptik amongst others.  And this is probably the only time you’ll read those names on my blog as I am far too untrendy for this music.  But that’s partly why I enjoyed BUG – I wouldn’t come across these short films in my day-to-day life, so it was really good to be exposed to something new.

The audience did feel a little cliquey – not sure if this happens at other BUGs, but it seemed as though everyone behind us was connected to one of the music video directors.  Unfortunately, this did mean that a couple of people WOULD NOT SHUT THE HELL UP.  It was an odd atmosphere, partly because of the Chatty Cathys at the back and because people were constantly in and out of their seats – it kind of felt like a gig or something.  It was a bit difficult to fully appreciate the videos with those distractions.

Overall, I did enjoy my first BUG, and I don’t think it’ll be my last.  Hopefully my calendar will be clear for the next show.