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.

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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.

Baby, you are going to miss that plane

BFIThe BFI is brilliant.  As part of their Love season, they showed Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight one after the other and I think I ended up paying about £5 for each film.  Ace!

The Trilogy are three of my favourite films, but I haven’t ever seen them all in one go.  I absolutely want to do this every week now, as it’s the best way to see them – Jesse and Céline aging 18 years in a matter of hours, their relationship developing.  I completely fell in love with them both again, any cynicism I have over “romantic” films just melting away.

1995 Ethan Hawke is a dreamboat.  I was only a teenager back then, but he was definitely the type of man that awkward, spotty, teenage-me would have a mad crush over.  The leather jacket, the floppy hair, the silly beard – I can feel myself swooning just typing those words.  And the way he looked at Julie Delpy.  Holy crap!  There is such an intensity in his eyes and it’s effortlessly easy to suspend your disbelief, to actually believe that Ethan and Julie are a couple.

I’m swooning again.

Although I have a soft spot in my heart for Before Sunrise, Before Sunset was always my favourite and for two moments in particular.

  • When Jesse sees Céline in the bookstore at the beginning.  His shock, joy, relief, pain – it’s all there in a brief second and it’s glorious.
  • When Jesse says “I know” at the end.  Hands down, my favourite line in cinema EVER.  He knew from the moment he saw Céline.  He knew.

I’m fangirling all over Ethan Hawke here, but Julie Delpy has just as much of my love.  She plays Céline with just the right amount of anger and passion, and I feel everything she does in Before Midnight.  If Husband and I ever lose our minds have children, I am sure we’d be having the same conversations that they have, from the car to the dinner table to the hotel.  It’s reassuring, and so comforting to see what I think of as a real relationship in film.

The BFI showed them just right as well – I was bemoaning the fact that there were gaps between the three films, and that we got booted out of the screen at the end of each, but it gave me and Tim a chance to get out, grab some coffee, and dissect our favourite scenes with contented little sighs at the beautiful love story that was unfolding on screen.

It was a perfect Saturday evening on the South Bank.

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.

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!

It was a unicorn, and the horn broke off, so now it’s a zebra

Oxo Tower3

My birthday this year was very South Bank centric.  Husband took me shopping first of all to buy part one of my present (to follow in a separate post) from a shop at the Oxo Tower, which is my new favourite place.  We had coffee at the Cafe Nero there which was almost empty, despite the stream of people rushing by, and then we peered in to all the shop windows.  Our next location took us from the second floor up the eighth, and to the OXO Tower Brasserie for my birthday lunch.  We weren’t given the option for a seat on the terrace – not sure if they thought it was going to rain but no one was sat outside – but we did have a table right by the window so that was a close second.

I had roasted cod with caramelised onion chorizo chutney, padron pepper butter beans, and rosemary salted chips (yes, I am copying this directly from the menu) and husband had black peppered tuna, goat’s curd, English asparagus, black olive tapenade, sauce vierge, with a Feta fennel pomegranate salad (which he managed to get over the table).  We felt very fancy, table spillage aside.  It was such a relaxing meal, and we really love watching the world go by outside.  Desert came all too quickly – chocolate cake with raspberry compote and coconut sorbet for me and Green tea cake, yuzu curd, kaffir lime leaf ice cream for Husband – and our time at the table sadly came to an end.  Boo!

Back at river level again, we walked up to the Tate Modern and over the Millennium Bridge to walk back on the other side.  Husband refused to let me go down the Millennium Funicular which I am still aggrieved about, and then we crossed back over to the South Bank again.  They were having a wedding weekend and there were brides (and presumably grooms) everywhere.  There was an inflatable church, wedding olympics (hard to explain) and many other wedding themed things.  We wandered for a while with time to kill, as we waited for our next activity – Boyhood at the BFI.

We saw the film in The Studio, which is my new favourite screen in the whole world.  It seats 38 people comfortably, and has the loveliest carpet.  These things are important.

I completely fell in love with the film itself, and Richard Linklater has established himself in my heart as a favourite writer/director.  I’ve noticed with some of the films I’ve seen recently that I have some trepidation, almost hoping that nothing happens (Obvious Child for one) and it was the same for Boyhood.  I would have cringed if Linklater had introduced significant drama so I’m very glad Mason’s life was allowed to dictate the plot.  Husband and I were thinking the same thing all the way through the film – we were searching for a historical inaccuracy before remembering that there wouldn’t be.  It was just so beautiful, and watching Ellar Coltrane grow up was so emotionally satisfying.  I cried when he graduated high school (of course) and I can only hope that we visit him again in another few years.

This is the third time I’ve been to the BFI this month, and we’re going back to the South Bank next weekend for our wedding anniversary.  It’s starting to become an obsession – if I love the South Bank so much, I should just marry it.

My actual birthday was on Sunday, and we did blissfully very little.  We went into a nearby town for a coffee and wander about, and I got a birthday cupcake from Maison Blanc.  I then spent the afternoon taking photos of my presents and trying not to fall asleep.  Ooof, I’m old!

Just out, doing some light stalking

Obvious ChildI read Jezebel.  I know, shocking right?  So I have been well aware of the buzz around Obvious Child.  It was definitely on my “to see” list but I expected to wait a really long time to see it.  However after my visit to the BFI a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that they were not only showing the film but holding a Q&A with the writer/director Gillian Robespierre, writer Karen Maine and star Jenny Slate.  I immediately texted Tim and we booked the heck out of it.  And last night we saw it.

I have been thinking about this film pretty much since the minute it ended.  Something about it really touched me and I desperately want to see it again.  This film is important, which is not to say that it has an agenda as Gillian pointed out in the Q&A, but it is important.  It shows a real woman making a real decision without judgment or disastrous consequences.  We’ve been fed these silly nonsense rom-coms for such a long time and it was a welcome relief to watch a film so unapologetic in its portrayal of women, of relationships, of life in general.

I had reservations before I went in because I thought it might be a bit heavy handed, but actually this film isn’t about abortion at all.  It’s about Donna, a stand-up comedian who is having a bit of a hard time at the beginning of the film.  Then she meets Max, played by Jake Lacy who will forever be known as Plop to me because of his character in the American Office.  I adored Max with his slip on shoes and cute scarf, but it was so nice that he wasn’t just one thing – he was just as funny as Donna and although you could tell that they weren’t each other’s type, you rooted for them anyway.  And then she gets pregnant, and then she decides to have an abortion.  That’s it – no big dramatic decision making, no family trying to convince her otherwise.  This isn’t Knocked Up or Juno, and thank god for that.  Donna makes a decision that women make every day, and you really get the sense at the end of the film that her world hasn’t collapsed.

The Q&A at the end of the film was great, and there were some lovely insightful questions asked.  Tim noted that it’s probably the only film Q&A he’s been to where audience members cried on two separate occasions, and I got teary myself when Jenny Slate told of the awful things people have been tweeting her.  People are horrible.  Fortunately, there were no stupid protests this evening – just a lot of love from a very blissful, sated audience.

One thing Gillian said that struck me was that she wrote a film about a woman, not about a decision, and everyone was keen to stress that this is just one experience.  The film isn’t saying all women should have abortions or that abortions are super fun, and I think that’s what has disappointed me so much about reviews and comments.  I always read other opinions after I see a film – love it or hate it.  Trying to validate my own feelings I guess.  Reading the Guardian’s review this morning, it was so sad to see the comments descend into an abortion debate with people citing Roe V. Wade or religious beliefs.  Inevitable I suppose, but such a shame – why can’t they just appreciate this warm, moving, funny film.  The truly amazing chemistry between Jenny Slate and Plop/Jake Lacy, the touching scene between Jenny and Polly Draper.  I could gush about this film all night.

I was also really surprised by Jenny Slate.  There was one scene in the film where she completely broke my heart.  It was so subtle, so beautiful, and something I wasn’t expecting from the woman behind Mona-Lisa Saperstein.  She was incredibly charming in the Q&A and extraordinarily pretty as you can see from my photo above.  I have developed such a crush on her, so much so that when she favourited a tweet of mine last night after the film, I got so giddy I almost missed my stop.

See this film.  See this film because if you don’t, we have no one to blame but ourselves when they continue to make films ‘for women’ which are utter crap.  And that will truly make me sad.

You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on my feet

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Last night, I attended a screening of Beyond Clueless at the BFI, a Kickstarted film made by the blogger Ultra Culture, also known as Charlie Lyne.  It’s a “a dizzying journey into the mind, body and soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of over 200 modern coming-of-age classics.”  A bit of a no brainer – I was, am, and probably always will be obsessed with teen cinema to the point that I’ve attended most of the Prince Charles Cinema’s teen film PJ parties over the past couple of years.  A documentary, claiming to be “the first major study”, of a genre I love – yes please.

However, I didn’t see much of a study.  There was certainly a heck of a lot of clips, and kudos to Charlie for his research as it definitely was thorough.  His montages of high school settings, swimming pool splashy splashy, and sexual awakenings contained a phenomenal amount of source material and there were a huge number of films I didn’t recognise – the citation list in the credits was intimidating.  The editing was also to a very high standard which was something I really enjoyed.

But no one gets awards simply for watching a lot of films (I should know; I did two film degrees back in the day).  You have to make a point, you have to find meaning or a something linking the films together.  You can’t just show endless shots of teens ‘being destructive’ and not tell the viewer what you think this means.  The narration by Fairuza Balk was at times completely superfluous as it wasn’t adding anything to the visuals.

Every so often, Charlie would start towards some kind of critical analysis, and I’d silently beg for him to go further but it didn’t seem to happen.  One of the films he focused on was 13 Going on 30, a film which I shamefully love.  A reading of the film that I had never considered was that Mark Ruffalo’s Matty is only interested in the teenaged Jennifer Garner’s Jenna, and that Jenna decides to give up her successful career in order to be with Matty.  Holy crap!  I have been watching this film so blindly, my feminist self hadn’t really acknowledged this.  Charlie noted it, but then didn’t take it any further – why is a grown man only attracted to a teenage persona?  Why does she have to give up everything?  Are there any parallels to Never Been Kissed?

He also focused on the weirdest films – how someone can skip over Donnie Darko or Romeo + Juliet, choosing instead to examine Slap Her, She’s French or The Girl Next Door is utterly baffling.  I understand that these are probably the films that he knows, that he’s comfortable with, but that is not what one should expect from a documentary film maker.  He really needed to push himself further, otherwise the only thing this documentary becomes is “A list of Charlie Lyne’s favourite films”.  90% of the films he featured told the stories of heteronormative white boys – no mention in the narration of how gender, race, or sexuality can affect or influence a storyline.  Only a sideways dig about the fear of being gay by a couple of straight boys in Eurotrip (ugh) and Jeepers Creepers.

If I had brought the narration to my dissertation supervisor 10 years ago (sidenote – 10 years ago?  Really?), she would have congratulated me on my research, and then gone through paragraph by paragraph saying “and what does this mean?”.  Handed in, it might have scraped a lower second class degree.  The film was a visual representation of IMDB with a couple of user comments from the forums thrown in as an aside.

The soundtrack was brilliant however, and we watched the film with Summer Camp playing live.  I bought a CD after the show and told Jeremy Warmsley how much I enjoyed the set.  I’ll definitely be downloading the soundtrack – it was perfect.

I don’t want to be so critical, or take away from the astonishing achievement that Charlie has made here – this is yet another good example of what Kickstarter should be used for.  This man started out as a blogger, moved on to writing for the Guardian and now has made a film that’s shown at SXSW and the BFI.  That is amazing, and let’s be honest, something that the films I’ve written will likely never achieve (sadface).

But one quote struck me from the narration, and seemed to sum up the whole doc for me – Charlie is “searching for answers to a question he doesn’t understand”.  Which is a shame when so much could be said about this much maligned genre.

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.