Broken Biscuits No.10.

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We love Antenna. Clearly, as we’ve done four (count ’em) shows there now and there’s plenty more to come. As we had but an hour to transform the room, things were a little (lot) hectic but we got there somehow and it was packed to the rafters. Seriously, it was. Thanks to everyone who pitched in, bought merch, turned up on another vile weather day, and drank the bar dry. Palace, you did us proud!

Our magnificent compere Tim Suturist was drier than a manzanilla sherry in the desert; in direct contrast to the elements outside. And Jenny Vegas treated everyone to their own personal Valentine Lovescope; in direct contrast to her own car crash of a love life. How she got conned into giving a Boyzone tribute act one is anyone’s guess. Except hers. The lady protests too much, methinks.

Awanyu were nothing short of extraordinary. As if gossamer vocals that soared, swooped and almost shattered over a beautifully subtle acoustic wash weren’t enough, our man certainly knew how to make an entrance. The lamé cape and feathered headdress, removed to a live Eric Satie intro, will not be forgotten in a hurry. Think a male Kate Bush, or Antony & the Johnsons gatecrashing Bowie’s theatre period and you’ll still be miles off.

How to describe the sublimely batty Vivienne Westnorwood? Perhaps, in keeping with the headdress theme, that she rocked up in one fashioned COMPLETELY FROM JAMMY DODGERS!!! Or that she’s so livid about getting on a bit, she managed to punk up the proverbial menopause with a banjo that begged to hold a note. Or that… it really doesn’t matter: this is one kooky lady that had the audience in stitches and is probably still bewildered by the whole thing. Vivienne, we salute you!

As is customary, a mention should be given to Idle Eye. Bless him, he did try to keep up, and some new material was aired. But the real stars of his pitifully short set were his guests – Callum Hughes and Jenny Vegas – who breathed a little life into the twitching carcass of his world view. There is a crowdfunder doing the rounds to send him on a holiday: let’s make it a long one.

There’s going to be a little breather until BB11 in April; to write, to do admin and maybe even go away for a few days. Cabin fever and burnout are the deciding factors, coupled with an ennui that will not heel: I don’t make the rules. Finally, a word out to Mr Donald Ross Skinner. Sadly, he couldn’t be with us for personal reasons and he was sorely missed. Don, hang in there buddy – we miss you, we love you and our thoughts are with you right now xx

Broken Biscuits No.10.

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Yes, it’s hot on the heels of Komedia Brighton but you need to know pronto. This very Saturday, BB10 returns to Antenna Studios at Palace, because that’s where it was spawned. And for this show, it’s super local (with the allowable exception of Jenny Vegas, who’s only there for the free crisps) and super cool. We’ve got Vivienne Westnorwood for starters, and she doesn’t travel through postcodes unless there’s a very good reason. And then there’s Peyo Santalla, who so happens to have my flatmate in his band, and will dazzle the collective Palace crowd with some stuff he will have already badgered you into coming down for. I am merely the conduit, the weaver if you will, for some serious SE19 action. Do not judge us: we are on a higher plain.

If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, we’ve also got the magnificently bleak Tim Suturist as compere, after he’s finished flogging you quality veg at the market. It really doesn’t get any better than this (even though you think it might). And Idle Eye will try out some new material. Because it’s about time. I thank you x

Broken Biscuits No.6.

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And they just get better and better. Always lovely to do a gig in the manor but oh, Crystal Palace, you surpassed yourselves! Have a biscuit. Let’s break it down, because that’s what you know and love:

Sadly, Michael Legge couldn’t be with us for this one, but the unstoppable Jenny Vegas kindly agreed to take another day off her Bernard Matthews tour of Norfolk to join us once again. And this time, we got the full Manky Shanka, yes we did! God only knows how she manages to walk to Jobcentre Plus every morning.

Jenny Lockyer‘s hilarious, delicate and beautifully delivered songs ranged from a five-year-old’s wry observation of her mother’s appalling driving skills, to the quite brilliant Agnetta Askeholmen doing a ditty about a little dolphin and a magic fish; and anything in between. She’ll be joining us again in Bognor so if you missed this, for God’s sake get a train ticket now. Mmm, Southern.

Joe Duggan kicked off the evening leaving no stone unturned. I’ve tried to give a flavour of just how varied and powerful his work can be in the below edit, but to get the full hit you really need to be there in the flesh. He is blessed with not only the words, but also a voice that soothes on the one hand and kicks off with the other. An extraordinary talent.

Idle Eye went sonictastic for this one. Samples, vocal fx and not one but two wonderful guest speakers (Callum Hughes and Penny Capper) helped disguise shoddy writing and bullshit delivery from the main man. I’m seriously beginning to wonder why I continue to put on this utter no-mark; he’s a sad epitome of a waning talent, clinging onto the coat-tails of a rising star. Pathetic.

Next up, we’re back in lovely, lovely Hastings – 20th November at the newly restored Palace. Right on the seafront, right on the money. We’ll deliver, I swear to God. And if we don’t, Donald’s contact details follow below. Usually replies within 24 hours:

donaldrossskinner@notsurewhatsgoingonhere.co.uk

Broken Biscuits No.6.

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I know I bang on about the respective BB line-ups a fair bit, but bloody hell, look at this one! This will be our third at leafy Crystal Palace’s fabulous Antenna Studios and sixth overall, so we’re pulling out all the stops:

Michael Legge, probably the most incandescent, sweary ambassador of our time, vegan killjoy and godlike comedy genius, will be treading the boards and slapping on the greasepaint. As if that isn’t enough, Jenny Lockyer, whose delightfully surreal characters have had me & Don (quite literally) wetting ourselves over the past few weeks, is up there too. Most probably with a guitar, to accompany her brilliant mind. And the magnificent Joe Duggan, without doubt Crystal Palace’s finest wordsmith, will try to pull us all back from the madness: tall order!

We’ve had the chat with Dan Laidler about Windy, who is fast becoming the unsung hero of these BB events, and we have it on good authority that more episodes are on their way. In the meantime, even if you’ve seen them before, give it up for what we already have . As our world slowly shrinks and the demons begin to take hold of the Free West, it’s comforting to know that a little black and white windmill and a Spanish tractor driver can make a difference.

That’s it for now. Hope to see some of you there on the 29th, but for those who can’t make it, we have two more shows before the year is out: 20th November at the newly restored Palace in Hastings, and finally at Bognor Regis’s fantastic SeaFiSh on the 15th December. Don said that if you come to both, he’ll play World Shut Your Mouth to your Nan on Christmas Eve at a venue of your choice. Naked…x

Broken Biscuits No.3.

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Three under the belt now and it’s going from strength to strength. BB3 was fantastic! Gary From Leeds stepped up to the plate at the very last minute and was bloody hilarious; Marijne and Paul from Salad got back together for the first time in 18 years and belted out a set that had us all doubting it; Franck Alba and Nina Walsh’s beautifully subtle electronica was a joy to be immersed in, and Idle Eye was…pretty good, actually. And yes, we got hold of a projector somehow, so Dan Laidler’s Windy’s Farm had its second outing in public and went down a storm. If you don’t believe me, have a look at some of the edited highlights below. Thanks so much to everyone who came, to everyone who performed or helped out, and to all those who made a cash money donation. These are the things that help keep the arts going at a time when we need them the most. See you in Brighton x

Broken Biscuits No.3.

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Just to let you know that BB returns to Antenna Studios in Crystal Palace on Sat 16th July, and once again the line-up is superb. The unfathomably prolific Franck Alba will be knocking out a few tunes like only he can; Joe Duggan, possibly the Palace’s finest wordsmith, will make you laugh, cry and think, most often all at once; Marijne and Paul (engine room of ’90s indie darlings Salad) are reunited at long last, so expect effortless, lyrical pop for those with something upstairs; and yes, DRS and I will pretend we’re not pissed as we try to hold it all together. And if we can get a projector, we’ll be continuing the newly-found tradition of screening Dan Laidler‘s superb animated mini-series Windy’s Farm. If we can’t, we’ll sing a little ditty or something. Like you like.

Tomorrow, we head out West for the Wonder Fields Festival just outside Exeter. We’ll be doing a few posts on Sunday, probably around midday. In a tent. And we’re meant to dress up as Aztecs or something but that ain’t gonna happen. One of the very rare occasions that common sense and human dignity shall prevail. No one needs to see that x

Broken Biscuits No.1.

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What a brilliant night! Top notch entertainment across the board, lovely audience, amazing space and my own birth mother giving out free crisps to all and sundry. And we smashed the £150 bar deposit within a few minutes of opening! There’s a selection of highlights below, but more will be going up on the Facebook page any day now (please ‘like’ it or whatever it is you people do to pages). I’ve been told I have to monetise my content better, but as I don’t know what that means, I’m putting it up here instead. The next BB will be in July, same place, same time etc… and I’ll do my best to match the quality here, gonna be a tough call. Thanks to everyone who came, to everyone who performed, and to everyone who drank me back into the black: I am not worthy x