Tag Archives: Bloodhound Gang

Filthy rock group tales of the comedian who took a cheese grater to his face

Adrienne Truscott and her one-woman bottomless show

Adrienne Truscott had a multi-award-winning show

Comedian Bob Slayer had a good time at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

He ran his Bob’s Bookshop venue for the first time and Adrienne Truscott’s show there won both the main Malcolm Hardee Award and what I think we have to call the Perrier/Edinburgh/IF/Fosters Comedy Panel Award in the smallest venue ever to win that award.

This year, there was no Malcolm Hardee ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ Award, because we did not think anyone was suitable. Instead, we called the pre-made trophy the ‘Pound of Flesh’ Award.

Yesterday, on what turned into a 9-hour drive down from Edinburgh to London, comedian Bob Slayer told me: “I’ve never seen the point of you giving that Million Quid Award anyway. It’s basically the same as the Fosters Comedy Award. So you’re just trying to cover the mainstream and I don’t think that’s what your awards are about.”

I agreed.

The Malcolm Hardee Awards, with ‘Million’ award in middle

The Malcolm Hardee Awards, with ‘Million’ award in middle

“So what sort of award could we have instead of the Million Quid Award?” I asked,

“Just something more interesting,” Bob suggested. “Everyone knows who’s going to make a million quid. That prick Xxxxxx Yyyyyy probably already has.”

“Perhaps the Bob Slayer Award for best impression of Bob Slayer?” I suggested.

“Maybe you should have The Increasingly Prestigious Award,” Bob suggested.

“Don’t forget,” I said, “that the Million Quid awards have been pre-made until 2017 with a giant pound sign on them. That’s why we called it the Pound Of Flesh Award this year.”

Bob, surprisingly, thought that this year’s winners of the Malcolm Hardee Pound Of Flesh Award did not do anything particularly exceptional. Comedy performer Gareth Ellis got repeatedly punched in the face by his comedy partner Richard Rose and they then pretended Gareth has been attacked in the street just on the off-chance they could get a few lines of publicity for their show.

“That’s commendably excessive,” I suggested to Bob.

Gareth Ellis (left) & Richard Rose accept the Pound of Flesh Award

Gareth Ellis (left) & Richard Rose accept the Pound of Flesh (Photograph by Keir O’Donnell)

“Punching yourself in the face,” said Bob, “is just a very obvious idea. We’ve all done that. Once I was late for work and was facing the sack when I was 21 and working at Racal Mobical. I was putting electrical component parts into bags. I was late for work, so I took a cheese-grater to my face because I’d run out of all the normal excuses that my grandmother had died – you can only do that three or four times before they start getting suspicious. So I took a cheese-grater to my face and said I’d been run over by a…”

“Giant mouse?” I suggested.

“A truck,” said Bob.

“How long did your face take to mend from the cheese-grater?” I asked.

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The perfect way to scrape the flesh off your late face

“The normal time after you cheese-grate your face,” said Bob. “I did my cheeks, nose, forehead and then I thought I must do my arms and hands, because I remembered when I was a kid I fell off my bike and I’d damaged the back of my hands, so I knew that was realistic. I told them I had been run over by a truck, but they asked me Was this a brewery delivery lorry? Because you stink of booze. And I got fired anyway.

“Then, a few days later, I got thrown out of the flat I was living in, because I hadn’t told anybody that I’d used the cheese-grater and, when they found out, they decided that was the last straw. They found blood on the cheese-grater whilst grating cheese and the vegetarian girl got annoyed and I got ejected.”

“You should use that in a show sometime,” I suggested. “The stories in your Edinburgh Fringe show this year seemed to have more structure.”

“Last year,” Bob told me, “I was so busy running the Hive venue that I struggled with my own show. Well, I thought that was the reason, but I think I was just going through a pupation and my inability to turn into a storytelling comedian. But, this year, it accidentally became a real show on Day Three.”

“Why do you want to be a storytelling comedian?” I asked.

“Because I’ve got lots of stories,” replied Bob, not unreasonably.

“Your image so far has maybe been you behaving OTT,” I said.

“One day,” said Bob, “I will have an audience cheer and be happy that I’ve done a turd on stage. But I can also spin the audience into beautiful stories in all sorts of directions. I think I’ve developed a range of skills and sensitivity this year.”

“Beautiful stories,” I mused, “like the Bloodhound Gang one.”

The Bloodhound Gang - a group of beautiful people

The Bloodhound Gang – inciters of urine/beer plastic glasses

“It is a beautiful story,” insisted Bob. “OK, it ends up with shit and puke and piss everywhere, but it is a beautiful story about friendship and freedom and life and vitality and happiness and a bunch of idiots.”

“How long have you been doing comedy now?” I asked.

“Well,” said Bob, “I first did it on stage with the Bloodhound Gang whenever the public smoking ban came in (2007). They went for a cigarette halfway through the gig and pushed me on stage, saying Our tour manager will entertain you, after blaming me for the fact that nobody could leave the venue to have a cigarette – there were no pass outs.

“They built up this hatred towards me, then they went for a cigarette and the whole room hated me for 8 or 10 minutes and showed their hate by throwing pints of beer at me.”

“Pint glasses?” I asked.

“Plastics,” replied Bob. “The Bloodhound Gang did it again the next night and I tried to speak to the audience and tried to make them laugh and, if anything, it made it worse and they hated me more by throwing pints in glasses but, this time, the rain was salty because they were pissing in them.

“Then on Day Three I hid, because I didn’t want to be pushed out on stage, but the band found me and gaffer-taped me to a chair and put me on stage and said: Our tour manager will entertain you. 

“They had been getting the audience to hate me, but the sight of a man gaffer-taped to a chair, weeping gently and muttering I hate the Bloodhound Gang… Well, the sympathy was, all-of-a-sudden with me and they laughed and I just said: Do you want to hear what wankers the Bloodhound Gand are?

“So, while the Bloodhound Gang was having a cigarette, I was telling the audience stories of what they’d got up to and there was laughter and it was fun and the band came back and we all sang a chorus of The Bloodhound Gang Are Wankers.

“Though, in fact, they’re not wankers. They’re beautiful people. We carried on the tour and we carried on doing that every night. Other bands might have thought Oh, he’s upstaged us or He’s slagged us off. But not them. I really learned a lot from them. They were beautiful clowns, for all their nonsense.

“I did tell a story in my show this year of them shitting and puking and pissing on each other on stage – that’s just where they took it. But they could have taken it anywhere, because they had a real clown sensibility. They were great performers.”

“So you told stories about them this year because…” I said.

Bob Slayer holds his hand, if not his head, high

Bob Slayer – creator of OTT stories and urban legends

“It just happened,” replied Bob. “Obviously, they got into trouble recently after wiping their bum on a Russian flag in Ukraine.

“My show had been going to be about all sorts of bands I toured with – Snoop Dogg, Iggy Pop – but the Bloodhound Gang were the most topical because they were arrested in Russia.

“On Day Three of my show, there was a Russian girl in the audience and I was trying to persuade her that they weren’t political activists; they were just idiots. So I told lots of stories to demonstrate they were idiots, culminating in the aforementioned shit and piss and puke story. And I stumbled on that as being my show.”

“So next year,” I asked, “you will have to be even more…”

“I’m thinking,” said Bob, “that next year I will be a musical act. I did whatever it was I did before… And I’ve bullied a Welshman on stage… I’ve done a game show… Done storytelling… Next year I have to do a musical show, don’t I?… Then the year after I will be an escapologist.”

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Odd inventions at the Edinburgh Fringe plus gangsters and a bit of name-calling

I got woken by heartburn this morning around 4.00am and started mini-puking around 6.20am. I think it must have been from the chicken curry I had with Janey Godley and her daughter Ashley Storrie last night at a restaurant in Edinburgh.

‘Janey Godley’ might or might not be her real name, depending on your viewpoint, as anyone who has read her autobiography Handstands In the Dark will know.

Perception is everything at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Bob scarred himself by falling down his own trapdoor

Bob scarred himself by falling down his own trapdoor

As I was walking along Chambers Street yesterday, on my way to comedian Bob Slayer’s solo comedy show Bob Slayer: Worldwide Bawbag, a middle-aged couple passed me. The woman asked the man:

“Who are we going to see?”

“I can’t remember his name,” replied the man. “He’s on one of those Never Mind The Buzzcocks type shows.”

“Oh,” the woman said, “so he’s not a proper comedian.”

Whoever they were talking about, I suspect he is a ‘proper’ comedian, but I see their point.

Is Bob Slayer a proper comedian? It depends on your perception. He likes to take risks, which is always a good start. People tend not to twig that ‘Bob Slayer’ is not his real name. It is a sporting pun.

Perception is everything.

When I arrived at the corner of South College Street yesterday afternoon, I perceived Bob Slayer chasing a girl in a red dress down Nicolson Street. She had, perhaps rather foolishly, refused to take one of the flyers for his show.

Bob Slayer failing to attract women in Edinburgh yesterday

Bob Slayer failing to attract women in Edinburgh yesterday

A few minutes later, as I sat in Bob’s Bookshop, waiting for him to come back and start his show, I chatted with one of the other members of the audience.

“Where do you come from?” I asked.

“Edinburgh.” he said in an English accent.

“How long have you lived here?”

“About a year.”

“Why did you move up here?”

“Because my friend got a job as an anaesthetist – teaching anaesthesia at the vet school here.”

“So you moved up here to do what?”

“I’m training as a cyclist,” he told me. “And I’m an inventor.”

“What do you invent?”

Greg Dickens in Bob’s Bookshop yesterday

Extraordinary inventor Greg Dickens in Bob’s Bookshop…

“In the last year,” he told me, “I’ve been working on prosthetic joints, pieces for an engine – hopefully for Jaguar – a driving tool for the AA and make-up and hopefully chocolate for the Third World.”

“What’s your name?”

“Greg Dickens.”

“You have a website?”

“I do. gregdickens.org.uk.”

“Org?” I said, “That implies you don’t make any money.”

“It means I don’t make any money through the website,” laughed Greg.

When Bob Slayer arrived in the room, he had a scar on his arm.

“How did you get that?” I asked.

“I fell down my own trapdoor,” Bob replied.

Bob’s Bookshop has a trapdoor in the floor, as if it were all part of a pantomime.

Bob Slayer yesterday demonstrated how the Bloodhound Gang urinated on each other

Bob Slayer yesterday demonstrated how the Bloodhound Gang urinated on each other

I told Bob: “This man designs chocolate.”

“What sort of chocolate do you design?” Bob asked Greg.

“Chocolate for hot countries, so it doesn’t melt,” Greg told him.

“So,” suggested Bob, “you looked at the Malteser and said They want it to melt in the mouth not in the hand in Africa.”

“Yeah,” said Greg Dickens. “Testing finishes in a few months time.”

Bob (of course) did not have any script for his show, but managed to stumble onto a rounded show starting with how, as a rock music manager, he had turned down the Arctic Monkeys.

This then developed into extensive, increasingly OTT and surreal tales of touring with the Bloodhound Gang, who are currently stranded in a Russian hotel for pissing on a Russian flag in the Ukraine. When they arrived on Russian soil, they were reportedly pelted with eggs at the airport, thrown by Cossacks.

After Bob’s show, I rushed to The Hive venue to see Matt Price Is Not In The Program: Turkeygate, Tinky Winky & The Mafia.

Matt Price with his agent, who appears in his show’s story

Matt Price & agent Sarah Higgins, who appears in his story

Matt Price only had ten days to prepare his show – because the performance slot only became available after Chris Dangerfield cancelled his show at the last moment due to alleged threats (see my blog of a week ago).

Matt was worried that he had not had enough time to prepare the show. But, because it is all true – about his encounters with the Turkish Mafia on a very recent, abandoned series of gigs of Turkey – I told him there was no problem forgetting the stories and he did not need a script.

He still had to decide, though, whether to name some of the men in the story on stage. He did. (The main name had already been reported in a Chortle news story on Matt’s problems.)

I thought I already knew what had happened, but he has rounded it into a slick (in the best meaning of the word), entertaining and funny show. He was worried it was too serious a subject for comedy. But he is not telling a funny story; he is telling a story funny.

Unexpectedly (for me) it all started with him being persuaded to ghost write the autobiography of a well-known London gangster (whom he did not name, though I have been in the chap’s sex dungeon) and it ended with Matt saying he was going to write a book about the psychology of gangsters.

As I left the gig and walked up to the Royal Mile to get a taxi, someone said to his friend as he passed me: “The trouble is there are too many old people alive right now.”

I was not sure if I should take this personally.

I needed the taxi to get to Hearts FC’s Tynecastle Stadium, where their manager Gary Locke was facing a comedy This Is Your Trial show with comedians Norman Lovett as judge, Janey Godley as prosecutor and Bob Slayer as defence. The charge seemed mostly to be about Gary Locke’s hairstyle.

Janey Godley, Norman Lovett & Bob Slayer at Hearts FC yesterday

Janey Godley, Norman Lovett and Bob Slayer at Hearts FC

Despite having Bob Slayer as his defence counsel, Gary was found Not Guilty. Even more bizarre, I thought, was the fact that Janey – a woman not without experience in matters of crime, the court system and let’s not even mention gangsters – was cast as the Prosecution. But I guess she has taken the saying Know Your Enemy to heart. As a prosecutor, she was both aggressive and highly, highly funny (mostly ad-libbed).

Which brings us back to the Indian meal and its after-effects.

When I was up with heartburn and would-be vomiting early this morning, I looked up the website www.gregdickens.org.uk

It does not exist.

Then I remembered that Greg Dickens, the man in Bob Slayer’s show, had said he had just come from an improvisation show.

I should have realised what he meant when he said he was “an inventor”.

You must never believe anything anyone says during the Edinburgh Fringe. It is all smoke and mirrors. It is all perception.

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