Tag Archives: outback

Researching Bob Slayer’s comedy show in the Australian outback with a goat

Jimbo, Gary the Goat and Bob Slayer on a research trip

I spent most of yesterday driving from London to Plymouth in Devon and then to Penzance in Cornwall.

Who knew Penzance was that far away? Not me. And why are some of the road signs in Cornwall printed in Cornish? Who speaks Cornish? It is bad enough Tesco supermarkets in South Wales have signs in Welsh in areas where people don’t speak Welsh.

My friend and I are staying in a very nice 4-star seafront hotel in Penzance.

She complained to the hotel that the room was too cold; I took my sweater off because it was so hot. Mind you, she had been sleep-deprived the night before. (I had nothing to do with that.)

Hot water came out of the cold tap and cold water came out of the hot tap; then hot water came out of the hot tap and hot water came out of the cold tap.

Then the ends of the taps saying HOT and COLD fell off.

My friend was by now getting hysterical with laughter.

There was a slight creaking from the wall. She put her dressing gown over the wall-mounted trouser press.

“Was the trouser press creaking?” I asked.

“No,” she replied.

Meanwhile, from Australia…

British comedian Eric sent me an e-mail saying:

Just three days until the Adelaide Fringe kicks off and I have just found out that my opening night is sold out! And ‘Little E’ had her first bogey today. (I am so proud.)

Little E is his newish-born daughter Erica.

I found it rather worrying that the Adelaide Fringe starts in three days, because British comedian Bob Slayer is supposed to be performing there and, yesterday, I got an e-mail from him in the outback.

When last heard from, Bob had disappeared in the desert on his way to the Adelaide Fringe. He was stuck in Coober Pedy, the opal mining centre of the world, accompanied by Australian comic Jimbo and by Jimbo’s amiable animal mate Gary the Goat. They had encountered a Czech opal miner who might or might not have a daughter he is trying to marry off.

Yesterday’s e-mail told me all three have now reappeared in Roxby Downs – a town, Bob tells me, which was built to house the miners of what is set to become the largest mine in the world – the Olympic Dam mine. This is what he told me:


Extremely well-paid employees are pulling copper, gold and uranium out of the ground in vast quantities. Instead of Coober Pedy’s beat-up trucks and utility vehicles, Roxby streets are lined with 4x4s that have never seen anything other than tarmac. The streets are lined with green manicured grass and there is not a real local in site.

We go into the smart environs of Roxby Downs Community Club and I am pleasantly surprised when they are happy for us to put on a gig the following night. They initially have concerns about being able to drum up a crowd, but the presence of Gary the Goat swings it. We have a feed and then, after seeing how expensive the motel is, we decide to sleep rough on the football oval. I doubt the motel would be very happy with Gary anyway. In the morning, we are woken by the sprinklers and then, before we can have a shower, we are moved on by the parkies. 

The three of us go for a swim in the outdoor swimming pool at the community leisure centre but then staff change their mind about Gary the Goat because someone has complained. If they had thrown us out because Jimbo and I had turned their pool cloudy then I would understand. But Gary the Goat was happily chewing grass and being patted by the local kids while we had a swim. 

The nice staff at the pool tell us that the complaint comes from a lady with a dog. It seems that if her little poodle isn’t allowed into the pool area then why should a goat be? Well little vegetarian goat droppings are very different to dog shit. People are odd complaining about someone else’s happiness. When we take Gary out of the pool area, a little girl cries because she wanted to pat Gary some more.

We decide to go for breakfast before doing some promotion. The cafe is next to the school and Gary the Goat somehow gets into a classroom. Woops! There follows a heated lecture from the principal who tells us that Gary is a danger to the children. While she is telling us this a dozen toddlers, who are now leaving morning playgroup, are taking it in turns to pat Gary. 

A council lady turns up. She is nice but says we have to take Gary the Goat to the park. We explain that we have already been thrown out of there. We take Gary away and more children cry. Two of the mothers get angry with the principal. We are causing a bit of a scene. 

In the middle of all this commotion, the kinder garden teacher tells us that her husband Julian runs the local radio station and would like to interview Gary the Goat. As we leave the radio station, two girls turn up from the Roxby Downs Monitor and we give them an exclusive on the Gary situation. When they leave a man from the Roxby Downs Sun turns up and we give him an exclusive as well!

In the evening, at the gig, our gorilla promotions seem to have worked as over 100 paying punters turn up to see just who are these people with the goat. We have a great show and a good old knees-up afterwards.

We now have more than enough money to afford the Roxby Downs motel but we sleep on the football oval, this time by choice!


That was yesterday. When I woke up this morning, there was another e-mail from Bob – a Press Release saying he has been doing preparation and research in the outback for his Adelaide Fringe show Bob Slayer Will Outdrink Australia, including a visit to Wineries in McLaren Vale “where I spent the last couple of days working on the new vintage for Alpha Box & Dice winery who paid me in my weight in wine!”

I looked up the Alpha Box & Dice website. Their slogan is: “Where all your dreams come true”.

According to Bob’s Press Release, there will be two shows each day at the Austral venue in Adelaide:

5:45 – Early show (first drink of the day) – a solo show.

Midnight – Late show (still drinking) – includes special guests.

Bob describes himself in the Press Release as a “hilariously drunk and deranged rock & roll tour manager turned Edinburgh Fringe award winning comedian. Wilder than the acts he has looked after (Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Grinspoon, Bloodhound Gang, Regurgitator, Electric Eel Shock etc).

“I have been to Australia once before, maybe five years ago,” he says, “when I was tour manager of Nashville Pussy (from the USA). This time I wanted to take in the real Australia.”

Apparently his escapades are being filmed for a future documentary and “reported on a highly-regarded UK Comedy Blog.

I am beginning to worry about Bob’s views. Is this blog highly-regarded? I feel it should be less respectable.

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Filed under Australia, Comedy, Drink

Comedian Bob Slayer finds a mate in the Australian Outback: Gary the Goat

Bob Slayer’s mates in Australia: Gary the Goat and Jimbo

After references in my blog yesterday to sightings of British comedian Bob Slayer in Perth and to him going AWOL in Australia, he has re-surfaced in the Outback, 800 km from Adelaide.

Last night, I got this message from him:


I have finally managed to escape Perth, the city that did not agree with my digestive tract… I went to out-drink the town and it crushed me like a beetle.

I did two shows – they went “gang busters” (a local saying for ‘they went rather spiffing’) – then I went a bit mental in the hot sun with a few ales inside me – Did you know how strict the licensing laws are over here? Crazy. I really thought I could  steer this into an adventure but I just sailed the ship up a muddy creek of epic shit proportions.

I did have a bit of a Perth send-off, though: a hastily-arranged free gig to make up for the cancelled ones. Ten minutes before show-time I was sat in a bar with no microphone or stage and five locals, thinking Why did I set this up?

But, ten minutes later, people started arriving and they kept coming. Around 100 of them came to see me off – or to make sure I did in fact leave Perth. A great 90 minute show and $500 in the hat….

OK, maybe I will come back one day. But right now I am all about the Outback. The real life. Where men are hairy and made of leather.


At this point, I should mention Gary the Goat.

In my blog yesterday, Eric made an unexplained reference to Bob Slayer and a goat.

Comedian Jimbo Bazoobi bills himself as “Australia’s crudest comedian” and, allegedly, used to be “Sydney’s most popular children’s party clown throughout the 1990s”. Also, according to Jimbo, goats have often been part of his performances and, last year, he traded a case of beer for Gary the Goat. Now they are “friends for life”. They have performed at almost 200 rural towns across Australia and have released a CD called Goats Need Love Too!

The very thought of Bob Slayer travelling unsupervised with Jimbo and Gary the Goat is almost too much for my fantasy brain to cope with. It sounds like the basis for a particularly weird Tim Burton movie.

But it has now happened. Bob tells me:


I set off for the Outback with a man and his goat in an old beat-up $400 Ford something-or-other.

We decided to drive through the night. We have to make regular stops for Gary to piss and poo. Jimbo also grabs a bit of scrub bush at every opportunity so that Gary the Goat has something other than the car seat to chew on while he is sat in the back. He is a happy travelling companion who surprisingly does not smell. Well… not as bad as Jimbo. The pair have clearly bonded and Jimbo cannot stop telling me about how much his life has improved since he got a goat.

Shortly after sun-up, I take over driving the goat transporter. Within five minutes of getting behind the wheel, a giant rat jumps across the road in front of us. There is a Blam!! The car does a jump and Skippy is not going to bounce any more. There is an old Outback saying – You are not a real Aussie until you have killed your first roo – Well hello Australia; Bob Slayer is now one of you.

I want to dig a hole by the side of the road and bury him but Jimbo, although not insensitive to the welfare of animals – as he has displayed in his love for Gary the Goat – points out that we pass a road-kill kangaroo probably every couple of kilometers and we would need to do a lot of digging to respect them all.

At midday, with the temperature in the 40s, we pull into Coober Pedy, the opal mining centre of the world. Less than 2,000 people live here. That is half the capacity of the London Apollo. Half of these folks live underground cos it is so hot. The landscape of mines and caves has been used in Priscilla, Queen of The Desert, Mad Max, Pitch Black and a bunch of other films.

My first impression is: What a hot and dusty shithole!

We have no gig booked but, after an hour of walking around town with Gary the Goat, we have a gig set up for tomorrow evening in the Opal – a place to stay underground, beer and a good feed. This seems to be how they roll out here. If they like you then they take you in.

We had a sleep and then spent the evening putting up posters in the town’s four shops, two servos, two pubs and four-and-a-half restaurants. We meet the local cops, who are coming down for a knees-up tomorrow. We also meet a Czech opal miner called Vic who has been over here for 30 years. He has invited us for a kangaroo Bar-B-Q tomorrow. I did not ask if it was a bring-your-own. Jimbo suspects that the Czech opal miner might have a daughter he is trying to marry off.

Gary the Goat has just done a little bleat outside our cave. He is the most low-maintenance travelling partner you could ever imagine. So long as you give him a bit of old tree and a splash of water every now and then he is happy. He is sleeping on top of Jimbo’s car.


I fear we may hear no more of Bob Slayer and he will disappear from the known world, living in a menage-a-quatre in a cave with Jimbo, a Czech opal miner’s daughter and Gary the Goat.

My sympathy is with the goat.

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Filed under Australia, Comedy

Suspicious Italian lawyers and a warning to Australian comedy lovers

Yesterday, I took a trip to Lake Como in Italy or, rather, to the town of Como, which has easy access to Switzerland across the lake and seems to have a suspiciously high number of “studio legale” – solicitors’ offices.

Apart from that, my day seemed to be mostly taken up with traffic jams.

I did, though, get an e-mail from comedian Bob Slayer back in the UK, who tells me he is preparing to go to Perth Fringe World in Australia and is looking forward to a month in the sun.

“After Perth,” he tells me, “I will be doing a comedy tour of mining and rural towns around the outback all the way to the Adelaide Fringe. I will be travelling in a Ute that runs on cooking oil… with a goat called Gary and a comic called Jimbo who drinks his own wee.”

Confusingly, there are two comics called Jimbo.

This is the one whose website bills him as “Australia’s crudest comedian”.

Only a soul as hardy as this could even contemplate the terrifying thought of traversing the outback with a Bob Slayer who will have easy access to beer and be in the home country of Priscilla Queen of The Desert.

Bob has promised, dear reader, to be one of this blog’s ‘foreign correspondents’. I fear reports on his escapades Down Under may well make Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas seem like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.

You have been warned.

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Filed under Australia, Comedy, Italy