Tag Archives: John Cooper

Start the year bouncing off the floor.

2013 started with a series on incidents. The back window of  the car shattered in the cold. the wife shattered her ankle playing roller derby and after eight years me and my agent sat down and had a nice frank chat and decided to go our separate ways. Oh and I’ve got a new kitten called Enid.

Eight years is a long time, the longest commitment I’ve ever had to anything outside of family and my own body parts, so leaving my agent felt like a terribly sad but inevitable separation. No contract was ever signed, just a handshake and a gentleman’s agreement in an Edinburgh flat back in 2004, feels like yesterday and a lifetime ago. That’s all the was needed.  He helped me get established on the circuit and I used my visual nouse to make his new business look all shiny and sexy. The early days were great and fun. Today I’m married with mortgage, and a very different comic.  People change, and we both had. I’m a little bit sentimental, it’s sad not to be part of it anymore. No arguments about money, no showbiz tantrums.  Oh actually no – there was that incident with that one club that probably didn’t do me any favours. it wasn’t a tantrum, just me and my principals being jostled about.

The recession appears to be slowly encroaching on the comedy industry. Not all of it, just some. There are a lot more chancers and mercenary knocking about, loads of good new act and perhaps not enough stage time for everyone.

I worry, I’m a doubter. I suffer from a habit comics have that I’ll only ever hear bad opinions and silence, not the the good one and laughter. If there’s a room of people laughing because of what I’ve written and said, I’ll focus on the knarly faced old cock who’s not smiling or responding to any stimulus of life. I nearly sold out my Leicester venue this year, but felt the need to mentioned to everyone how much better it was than in 2007 when no-one turned up (I’m doing it now!).

I think doubting is good. If I only ever heard good feedback I’d very quickly become a massively egotistical intolerable dick. Comedy is full if dicks, it’s just is. I worry, but not about decreased stage time, or less gigs or badly run gig or chancers, mainly because I’m a bit different, and an bit odd, so I don’t feel like I’m competing with a million other comics, oh and also because even though Danny Pensive might appear innocent and nieve, I’m probably still a slightly egotistical dick.

The Scottish Leg

Day 9 – Aberdeen
On the road to Aberdeen we stop at Glamis castle to take in a brown sign and some Scottish culture. It’s a lovely building, not what you’d classically call a castle.A few photos then on to our destination.
I’m beginning to loathe touch screen technology with a passion. We are in apartment which has a kitchenette and two fancy modern hobs which I can be buggered if I can get working. I have to press down hard on the glass surface to get them to come on so I can cook some actual real food instead of the crap I’ve been eating all week. What a useless piece of tosh. When Charlie finally gets it working I make spicy meatballs. This calms me down, but then when I go to turn the hobs off the glass buttons are *****ing hot!!! Well done whoever made that, we’re going backwards I tell you. Buttons are good, remember buttons? That you can press? They make a reassuring clicking noise.
Anyway, Aberdeen music hall is massive and wonderful, and tonight is a big crowd, five hundred or so. The tech’s are big personalities and doing the sound test is evidence of the size. Big acoustic’s for a big room, so on the night I deliver my set ever so slightly slower and get a great response, It’s a good feeling.

Day 10 – Dundee
My life could have been very different, in the early ninetie’s I was interviewed for a placement at Dundee art college, and I really wanted to get in as it was well known in comic book circles as a place where some of the better 2000ad artists graduated from. I went through quite an intimidating visual assessment of my work, and I could see the other candidates were really good. It didn’t happen and this is the first time I’ve visited since.

Strathcaro cafe services is the oddest services I’ve ever been in, the whole building is held together by screws and sellotape, they industrial size bags of cat litter, toys, plants and there is a full size model horse in the window. Signs are all hand painted and say things like ‘We have a choice of soups’. Onwards.

The Caird hall is even bigger than Aderdeen, genuinely huge, and for our purposes partitioned for the show. It’s a good show, if hard work filling such an enormous space. Charlie has a great one. Afterwards we drink in ‘The Pillars’ a proper Scottich pub, in the opposite room a band is playing called ‘Salty Dog’ and we are convinced we are being followed by increasingly bad renditions of Alanis Morrisette songs. The hotel has two different weddings going, with kilts aplenty. I could sleep for a week.

Day 11 – Livingston
Halfway between Edinburgh and Glasgow is Livingston, a small town with one of the biggest Asda’s I’ve ever seen. Scarily big – and the whole town are in there. I’ve been trying not to shop at the big corporate’s, but it’s really hard not to when you’re on the road. Not knowing where to get stuff or where places are, it’s a mixture of comfort and dissapointment to see a chain store.
The venue is in a residential area, which feels odd, then we see it…

That can’t be right? Fortunetly we follow the narrow road a bit further.

I look out the window of the next hotel, they are all blurring together. An ice cream van passes by playing the theme tune from ‘the third man’. There was an ice cream van where I lived as a kid that did the same. Spooky.