hayes

The Beck theatre is a nice little place in Hayes. Hayes is one street full of kebeb shops and indian restaurants. I m sure there are some nice places but I only ever see the kebab shops and the theatre. It is run by by nice volunteer people who wear blue sashes that say ” I’m here to help”. I saw one sat in row two enjoying the show and ignoring the noisy   members of the audience that were pissing me off.. It is a Sunday thing. My punters like to get pissed on Sundays it would appear. We all had a great time. I got a grunt of disapproval from the millennial working the lights but apart from that it was a good night. Got home at 12 and tried the new Chinese rice cooker   steamed the fucking house down. My place now smells like Vietnam.

My misses has change our bottom sheet to a furry one. At least it is a bit warmer. Cold is a problem in the bedroom when you sleep with a menopausal woman. me and the dog feel like polar bears! we have 6 air-conditioning fans going and she’s still hot. The dog and I have to wake up in the night and go and drink chicken soup.

Three days off now to concentrate on the charity…got in the office today to find the heating broke…bloody freezing!!  The wife would love it!

The third night

The Wolverhampton grand theatre is magnificent, well run by people that understand show business and all that goes with it.

I like Wolverhampton. I’ve been coming here for years, hello always been impressed with the peoples ability to get on with one another in a very mixed community.

I arrived at 12 o’clock today and checked into the Novotel. A French hotel. The receptionist was charming and efficient. She was not a millennial. She was a grownup with brains and manners.  I had a steak for lunch cooked by a Yemeni chef go I had the great pleasure of meeting whist practising my Arabic.

The gig was sensational and we sold 104 books for the charity.

My agent, Chris Davis, Took us for an Indian meal afterwards. It was great… He paid.

It’s now midnight and I’m in my comfortable bed in warm room……. Good night Ovaltinies

Night two

Where do I begin?  Ffter a night off after Kings Lynn  I set off from home near Southampton to Southend to do the second sell out show at the Cliffs Pavilion.  I have done this room a lot and there is no room for error. The Essex crowds are on the ball ,don’t you worry about that!

I stupidly checked kev and I into the hotel opposite as we were driving to Wolverhampton for sell out show number three the next day. What a mistake. The hotel is the West cliff Hotel. I stayed here 20 years ago . It was crap. I imagined they must have got their act together since then…Wrong. I was greeted by a big boned girl at reception who after an hour or so noticed me. I checked in. I noticed that she was miserable.

I went to the bar…it was open but no staff. I waited and waited and waited…. I then went back to reception and said there is no one at the bar. I was told to go and wait..”someone will come”   They didn’t so I went back. Buy now she was dealing with another pissed off punter.  I said there is still no one…she snarled at me she was dealing with someone else and couldn’t be two places at once…well  something about  her made me doubt that !

I returned to the bar and me  and another bloke waited. Eventually a nice girl came and I asked for a cup of tea. She pored it  out and said ” I will have to go and get some milk” and disappeared…so did I. I went to the theatre.

The show was great. I sold 78 books for Care after Combat..

we returned to the hotel and had a pint at the bar. A nice night porter made us a ham sandwhich. Kev had another pint as I headed off to my room. The lift was designed so the receptionist would never have to go in it. My room was freezing…really freezing  I slept in my pants socks and puffer jacket. I awoke at 8 and went for breakfast. A nice Philapino lady told me I had to make my own tea, my own toast and help m self to the solid eggs in the Ban Marie    I asked her what she did?

I asked for two poached eggs and helped myself to some bacon covered in that horrible white Phlegm stuff…..right, off up the M1  for some sanity

Tour Day by day

The first gig was in Kings Lynn. I managed to leave early the next day as I heard an elderly gentleman was driving his Range Rover around in the area. The Gig was fine with, as usua,l me losing my way!!!

The Hotel that I normally stay was full so we opted for the Dukes head opposite. It is an old hotel on the square facing the Corn Exchange…It is also fucking appallingly bad!

Kev and I arrived at 10 past ten after the gig. The young lady with the piercings at reception told us we would have to pay two quid for overnight parking. We checked in and asked for something to eat. She said with great joy, that was nothing as the kitchen shut an hour ago. She said there are nuts in the room.. I asked if there was an indian restaurant nearby..she  dived onto here computer. What seemed like a week later she said there are several..which one did we want? Feeling too gentlemanly to say how the fuck would we know? we said the one that stays open the latest. She suggested one and we asked for her to call a cab. The cab promptly turned up and the Eastern European driver took us to Argos!  That was how he understood the woman on reception. We corrected him and he took us to one that was open for takeaway only. Well, not wanting to make the hotel smell  any worse, we asked him to take us to another one. he did , it was open. Kev and I were the only ones in the place. We had a beer and I had a tandoori chicken that was older than me.  We asked for a cab and the nice man said the hotel is walking distance…he must have been a sherpa. It was freezing and miles. Kevin was attacked by a rat on the way. We each went to our unspeakable rooms and I slept on Fred Flintstones bed complete with Granite pillow.

Breakfast was taken    Poached eggs(they can’t leave them to go hard) served by a millennial girl with more piercings and a nice woman with tattoos

set of for home….. the gig was sold out and so is the next one..Southend  with  1636 people in.

tour

looking forward to the tour? I am     just booking hotels    fucking millennial no brained young girls at receptions are un believably daft!

 

see you all there!!

happy new year

As you get older Xmas gets harder to do. the kids are not kids anymore and drink like you used to! so you try and keep up…wrong!!   I have a last pasty tonight then off to the betty Ford clinic for a two year detox!!!…no I will be putting together some more things to moan about for my new tour that starts at Kings Lynn on the 16th jan. The world has become soooooo pc now with people queuing up to play their cards…you know what I mean. He upset me, I’m black, I’m brown, I’m gay, I’m a female, I’m fat. etc   where will it end? I have worked out that to call someone a name like Knob Head is ok but describing them as female is insulting…what utter bollocks.  There are one or two out there that are full time card players who  go though their sad life waiting to be offended…well come and see me and I’ll sort if for yer!

The charity is having a sortee across Dartmoor. If you are up for it it will cost you £100 to sign up and you have to raise 200 quid more..at least. there will be two teams;  one yomping and one tabbing!    it is 15 miles a day with an overnight “in the field”   it is the weekend 24 may     call Sam at 0300 343 0255  if you are up for it…we’re only taking 120! so skates on!

 

Have a happy New year….see you in some theatre some where.

Merry Xmas

Happy Holiday….is that the correct thing to say?  well, Happy Christmas.  It has been an up and down year for me. The shows have been sold out and people have laughed their heads off.  The Charity has been a struggle. HMG have a very tight string on their purse. You could never accuse them of throwing money around.

My small team of workers have struggled through. I am so proud of them. Without their dedication Care after Combat  would have fallen by the wayside. The people who work for the charity are not driven by money that are driven by the desire to help their old muckers who have screwed up. We continue to reduce re-offending…a good thing for all of us.

Dr Nick Murdoch and I are putting together a division that deals with drug and alcohol misuse in prisons.  It is an exciting project…one that I know all about!  Jane Jones is evaluating a pilot with the NHS who are REALLY delivering a much needed service for veterans in the criminal justice system. We are working closer with our mates in Walking with the Wounded…particularly their Project NOVA.

the two Wales office continue to deliver….they are superb guys.

Steve Scott and Sam are getting to grips with the southern area while stave doubles up as Prison liaison officer.

Politics plays a big part…without HMG we would lose access to the prisons  and our blokes.

This next year will be the making of Care after Combat….up until now we have been scraping the surface. We now , with our partners ,will move forward delivering the full package for the veteran in the CJS.

On a personal note I look forward to a new tour in the spring…it will be moaning!!!! and theres plenty to moan about, don’t you worry about thattttttttt.

 

Take care of each other…..

 

 

 

 

Torquay

Torquay.

 

The last time we moored there we were the furthest mooring away from the entrance to the marina.  We couldn’t park there this time as Kevins and Stukie’s  lungs would not hold out during the 10 minute walk to the gate. The harbour masters found this mooring closer to the entrance to the marina.  It was a bit tight and I put a small scrape along the side of the hull, nothing serious, just a bit of a scratch where a chunk of the wooden walkway leapt out and attacked the boat.  Kevin was busy protecting the side of the boat that wasn’t in danger.  Stucky  was up the front  making sure I didn’t ram anything. I got it wrong!

 

It turned out that the small scratch could be rubbed out, but I took the opportunity of repairing a small chunk that  had bin taking out the bow  by the previous owner.

 

We decided we would stick the roof up.  it is a canvas top erected by stainless steel rods.  The three of us did not have a clue.  Eventually we got it  up and I almost heard round of applause from the surrounding boats.  It must’ve looked like a scene from the generation game  or possibly, last of the summer wine.  We took it down the day we sailed, as we kept banging our heads on the poles.

 

On the Friday I was to do a gig in Falmouth.  My agent Chris Davies  had been really concerned about this gig.  They hadn’t sold many tickets.  He called the many times but got no sense from them.  It was a small 400 seater venue, we had only sold 200 tickets.  The gig for the following evening in Torquay had sold 900.  Something was wrong.  I immediately cancelled our plan to sail to Falmouth  as this is a 150 mile round trip and would use  too much fuel.  200 people would not be enough to cover the costs.  No problem we would hire a car and drive there.

I called up a local car hire company called Enterprise  and booked a Mercedes.  The man on the phone was very helpful and kept saying “perfect”

 

Friday at 11 o’clock Kevin and I got a taxi to the enterprise office.  We waited in the queue and heard a young lady talking to the people in front of us.  She said,” perfect” every other word.

We eventually got her attention,  and I filled in the form.  I presented her with my driving license and my VISA  card.  She said that she could not accept the card as it was a debit card and not a credit card. She told me I could have a cheaper car with a debit card.  Perfect… I asked which one could I have? and she told me she didn’t have any…” perfect my arse”

 

Kevin and I  set off walking back to Torquay.  We then flagged down a nice old taxi driver who took us to Thrifty, the car hire company  at the Torquay railway station.

 

Thank heavens it was a grown-up  behind the counter.  He promptly gave us a BMW M4.

 

We drove back to the boat, loaded up with merchandise, and set off for the 2 ½ hour journey to Falmouth.

 

On arrival we noticed the car park was full, with no parking space saved for us. So, it would seem no one had read the contract.  But, it was no big deal and we made our way to the theatre.  It didn’t look like a theatre it looked like a community centre.  There was nothing to say who was on, in fact, there was nothing to say it was a theatre.

I entered the building and spoke to the pleasant elderly lady at the box office. I asked who was on she told me it was me and that I had been there the year before…I hadn’t. The place was crawling with families and kids taking advantage of the garden and the restaurant that was run by millennials.

I went on stage and was greeted by  more millenials ginger woman with iron in her face another guy and a man in shorts who constantly had his head in an I phone. The lights were aimed all over the place and the PA system was as if Hawkwind were on their way.

 

I asked to see the lighting…my guess is that the guy had not done it before.  The lady with the metal bits explained that she was the events manager. The bloke in the shorts produced a radio mike and I said “one two”   It was surprisingly not rotten.

 

I would use no lights and leave the lights on that the cleaners use.

 

I went and bought Kev and I a burger in the Bar. There were lots of people eating. The waitress aged 12  behind the bar had to ask her friend if they were still serving food. The fire alarm went off for 10 minutes and nobody did a thing! A man in the restaurant asked me what I was doing in Falmouth?

I went out to the car and got changed in the carpark. It was becoming obvious that this lot couldn’t give a fuck!

I walked up the stage stairs at 1935 and commenced as the audience drifted in from the bar.

Two and a half hours later  we went back to Torquay and had a bowl of soup on the boat.

 

The place should be closed as a waste of money.  or sack the morons that run it and get some grown-ups who know about theatre. Or plod on with tribute acts who know no better.

 

It will be, and has been, reported as my fault.   Never again

Summer’s here

 

 

Captains log star date   Wednesday   first week of August

It was all planned.

 

In May I took delivery of a 2004 Princess 61 Motor vessel.  She was old, but she had plenty of room.  I needed a new office, as I cannot run my business of being a comedian from the charity’s office in Fareham.  What better place to have an office then on the high seas?  It can even move from one place to another should the need require.

The plan was for Kevin, my faithful roadie, and Stuckey my faithful old ex roadie, to join me on a trip to Southampton to Torquay.  I would be doing two gigs in the West Country. Falmouth in Cornwall, and Torquay in Devon. This would save hotel bills sleeping on the boat.  The trip to Torquay by boat is about 125 miles.

That is a lot of fuel, so we had to fill up on the Monday before we set off.  That was the plan, however….

The weather over the weekend had been terrible and the seas were rough.  I delayed the trip by 12 hours, we would pick up fuel Tuesday morning and set off at 16 kn.  This ,I have worked out, is the most fuel efficient speed.

Kevin was driving down from his home in Blackpool.  Stuckey, coming from Watford, got there first and we went to the Cove,  a tasty little bar restaurant at Shamrock quay marina.

Kevin had been unwell the previous month and was diagnosed with a dickie heart, and knackered lungs.  He only weighs 16 fluid ounces and only eats when fed by me.  He is however a great mate.

Me and Stuckey sat in the Cove restaurant, an unusually for him he ordered a rose wine, I had 1 too.  We then bumped into our friend Tiggy and a girlfriend, we joined them for a drink and ordered a bottle of rosé wine.  This turned into two bottles. This surprised me, as Stuckey does not drink.  After the second bottle, he started singing. Kevin arrived and tiggy’s boyfriend Pete.  More bottles were ordered.  A good time was had by all.

I noticed something was wrong when we ordered our food.  Kevin was incapable of eating, not only that but is false teeth fell out in the attempt.  I now had Stuckey singing at the top of his voice and Kevin drooling and talking incoherently.  His eyes were rolling around and he looked grey and horrible…. Nothing new there then, however, the fact that he had been to the doctors and was told he  was fucked  set the alarm bells going.  We called an ambulance.  They were fantastic, and carted Kevin off to Southampton Gen.  I finished his dinner, and stucky finished his wine.

After a whiskey or two on Pete and Tiggy’s boat Stuky and I fell into bed.  I was awoken at 06:30 by one of the marina staff.  He handed me a number.  I dialled it.  Kevin answered.  He asked me what he was doing in hospital.  He seemed okay and told me he had  booked a taxi to come back.

This is not the way to start the summer season.

Kevin arrived looking like the Turin shroud.  We slipped from the mooring at 0900 took on a thousand litres of fuel.,and set a course for Torquay.

Halfway across Christchurch bay the hangovers started settling in.  it was decided that we will divert to Weymouth for the night. This we did and tied up alongside this is beautiful and quaint little seaside town.  The harbourmaster and his team were fantastic and got is alongside safely. Vowing never ever to drink again we set off in search of bloody Mary’s.

An early night after the usual game of dominoes and we woke fully refreshed the following morning. The weather  had calmed down a bit and we set off to round the dreaded Bill of Portland and set a course East towards Torquay.

Three hours late we arrived…it Pissed down!

Legends Show tickets now on sale!

Care after Combat are thrilled to announce a one-off comedy spectacular billed as Legends; featuring comedy geniuses Jim DavidsonJethro and special guests Bobby DavroMick Miller and Mike Osman.

Individually, they have all been on the stand-up scene for decades and will combine on the Eventim Apollo stage in London this December. It’s going to be an absolute humdinger of an evening and one not to be missed!

The show is in aid of Care after Combat, a UK-based charity which provides professional assistance for the well-being of veterans and their family. It’s aim is to support veterans with alcohol and substance misuse problems and reduce the numbers of re-offending veterans in the criminal justice system.

To buy your tickets visit -> http://bit.ly/2J0GpiB

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VIP Aftershow Party tickets are also available for £125.00, which gives you access to party with me, Jethro and all our friends after the show.  Available from info@careaftercombat.org or call 03003430255 to book.