Rocket Steps. The art of communication.

On Tour – Colchester & Hexham

Croydon, Continued.
So I come stage, not a great one but still full of buzz, and walk upstairs backstage to the ‘artists bar’ because I deserve it, surely, and walk straight into Lloyd Langford and Rhod Gilbert. They were surprised and confused, I hadn’t put two and two together and came out with “Are you on tonight?” to break the silence. Blah, blah, blah. awkwardness. I walked back downstairs. Blah, blah, blah, anecdote, new act competition back in 2002 in York with me and Matt Reed where Rhod closed. Go and see Rhod, he’s on tour at the moment as too, and doing quite well.

Day 15 – Colchester
We were allowed to leave Croydon eventually and went to Colchester which is full of students. The Mercury Theatre venue was octagonally nice, and in lue of the whole town being over occupied for accomodation we  holed up in it for the better part of the day taking advantage of free tea, coffee and wifi. The wifi was free but controlled by a networking jedi master called Colin. If you are a child of the laptop generation, know that Colin does not just give out the WEP key, Colin has memorised it, and also requires you to configure your browser to access the local network using a password, so that any internet signal you access is regulated by the jedi master to block out all questionable content. Some may balk at Colin and his overly secure old school ways, but I know my data-pipe onions enough to know that Colin is hardcore, and to be  respected, standing like a bronze collosus over the mouth of the web-harbour preventing the fragile and  innocent minds of the surfers at the Mercury Theatre from seeing adverts for naughty casinos and f***book.
Good gig, not my best though.
With no accom left in Colchester, we made our way via Peterborough to…

Day 15 & 16 – Hexham
We had time to take in some history and did hadrians wall, which was visally gorgeous if you’re into that kind of thing, which I am. Big vistas, rolling hills and ancient countryside – full of old people, stones and sheep. Steffan Peddie runs a gig at the Queens Hall Arts centre, as did Warren Speed and Neil Magee before him, dating back to the middle ages. I’ve played the venue loads of time but not the main theatre until tonight. It was bloody great too, and I got to sign some autographs with the pen I bought back in newport. Nice.

On Tour – Exeter, Newport, Blackpool

Day 9 – Exeter.
Exeter is a very pleasant place, though the phone masts are all controlled by ninjas who give you a full signal everywhere except under a tree. The Barnfield theatre was very cosy venue and the show went great. Charlie was doing some radio interviews so we trotted off to BBC radio Devon, which was staffed by man running three shows and didn’t even know we were supposed to be there, he let us in then ran off to do his show, his live show, at the same time. If this is the kind of effect BBC cuts are having on local services, it’s a great shame.

Day 10.
I can’t remember day ten.

Day 11 – Newport.
Newport has the second largest tidal range in europe. That means the tide goes really low, but then comes up really high at night like a cold watery surprise. Charlie found some plates in a junk shop match plates he already has, so it going for the set. I bought a pen. The nice techy chap at the venue looked like the man of the go compare advert, but without the wiggly moustache.

Day 12 – Blackpool
I drove the BMW through a busy pedestrian precinct to get to the loading bay parking, possibly one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done in a car in a seaside town on a Sunday. I went looking for a Jacket Potato for lunch while Charlie had a salad. We found a food court in the local shopping centre, but it only sold fish and chips – even the noodle bar. The Blackpool Grand was a huge venue to fill and Blackpool is a very competitive town for shows. Saying that I had a good one and met the show manager, who really enjoyed the show and said the sound guys was laughing too, and if the sound guy is laughing, you know you’re doing something right

Day 13 – Break
Went home to the missus. Washed, re-packed and cooked a fish curry.

Day 14 – Croydon
Oh London, that there London. I was getting to like you but you make it so hard. You’re like a really fit bird in contour pants. From afar you seem really attractive, but then up close its all squashed up rolls of fat packed into a small space, making it impossible to get around you without breaking a sweat and taking ages. Not seen the theatre yet, but a nice man did come and ‘help’ me by telling me to park somewhere else. There is not parking in Croydon. Bring it on.

Here’s an abridged review of the show from the South Wales Post:

“This was a quite extraordinary tour de force by Ross, who used every ounce of energy at his disposal to re-create Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings utilising physical prowess, a multitude of different voices, music and sounds, not one of which emanated from any other source except himself.

Watching Ross going through his paces was simply amazing, and he even had an enraptured response from people who had no idea what he was doing – which is quite a feat.

Ross was supported in the first part of the show by Danny Pensive, a truly inspired comedian in the mode of John Sparkes’ Siadwel character, whom I could quite happily have watched for longer. Why this man is not a household name is beyond me: gloriously deadpan and very funny, he kept the crowd laughing with subjects ranging from Hopi ear candles and inaccurate advertising on TV.”

Rocket Steps. The art of communication.


Rocket Steps Ltd - The Art of Communication

The Art of Communication

John Cooper, Comedian & Improviser. Public speaking workshops and training for UK businesses. Dealing with public speaking nerves and providing confident focus through unique and entertaining workshops