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BLAM August 2006

A word in your ear...

For Sale: quantity of flyers (unused) - ideal for 400th birthdays or as Izal substitute

HA HA HA HA HA AH AHA HAHA HAHA HHAHA HA HAHAHAHAH *falls off chair and swallows own tongue*. More astute members of our gentle readership may recall that every year around Xmas time when we run out of ideas and are a bit hungover we fill up this page with something called Mystic Mark, in which our foreign based consultant makes up a complete load of hogswill about your horoscopes based upon the loose notion that he has some sort of psychic powers. How absolutely GOBSMACKED we were, then, to discover that the self same column should last month hint that just possibly the amazing gourmet spread of entertainment being brought to the town in quasi celebration of an entirely made up event some supposed 400 years ago and featuring such huge talents as Craig David, Soul II Soul and Fun Loving Criminals might JUST, and we mean JUST be a total fucking waste of money and a huge white elephant with "Disaster waiting to happen" written on the side of it in forty foot high neon letters. Imagine our astonishment, nay incredulity, nay open mouthed disbelief, nay, nay and thrice nay, "fuck-me-who-would-have-thought-it"ness last week when it was quietly whispered that the whole thing was off. Gosh, I was nearly as surprised when I found out Boy George wasn't that interested in girls. So, what we now have is a town littered with glossy, fucking expensive brochures and huge fucking banners advertising an event that no fucker ever wanted featuring acts that nobody fucking cared about……and now isn't going to fucking happen. Fucking gold star a-one B-R-I-L-L-I-A-N-T.
Finally, we can proudly say that this is truly a proper celebration of everything that has made Tunbridge Wells what it is today. I am sure you are all truly proud of this remarkable achievement in spending huge swathes of your money on a complete fucking balls up. I for one will be doubling my rate contributions this year to fully get behind one of the most comical councils in the UK. If we all get behind them, perhaps next year they could increase their funding for non-existent events and allow some really big names not to show up. Who wouldn't pay good money to cancel McFly? Or what about a non-appearance by James Blunt? Fuck it, let's go the whole hog and not have Take That in a double non-appearance with Celine Dion!
Finally, whilst we are venting our spleens, may we just remind you, next time you come to vote, that you might want to remember that the following is - word for fucking word - the statement issued by Cllr James Scholes on behalf of TWBC: "Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is delighted to see so much happening to celebrate the 400th centenary. We wish the organisers all the very best and hope that Spafest will bring many new events to the town and give people some great memories of this special anniversary year." Those of you who know your history will know that this is the same James Scholes who's party fought tooth and nail to prevent improvements being made to The Forum when it was owned by TWBC on the grounds, and you couldn't make this up if you were the Daily Mail, that it would be a mis-use of the local ratepayers money.
Quantatively speaking, James, would that be as much of a waste as spunking away several thousands on brochures advertising a non-event, or less? Would the need for you to supply hot water into a public building be more or less important than your need to give people a 400th anniversary to remember by pumping money into a badly thought out disaster waiting to happen? Would the need to have several big stars you vaguely know off the telly not meet your wife cos the whole fucking shebang's fucking cancelled be as much of a waste of local ratepayers money as, for instance, the legal requirement placed upon TWBC to provide disabled access to its own buildings which you and your fellow councillors singularly failed to do all the time you owned the property? Just wondering, like.
Little bit of politics there, do you think I got away with it? My name's Ben Elton, goodnight!


Blam is owned and produced by The Forum. We are poor starving musicians and artists who don't even have a garret so there is very little point in coming after us for money just because we accused you of being a donkey basher, but if you are really intent on litigation, then you sue us via

The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU

But nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood. We would like to apologise that due to a server error, photos in this issue of the magazine are the first images that came up when you typed the name of the band into google image search. Blame the heat.


Comedy Forum
Thursday 3rd

Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the first Thursday of every month.

FOUR TOP CLASS ACTS, THE FIRST THURSDAY IN EVERY MONTH, ONLY FIVE POUNDS,
NEW LUXURIOUS TOILET FACILITIES.

For the past 5 years, on the first Thursday of every month, the Forum has played host tofour top acts from the stand-up comedy circuit. Acts that have gone on to become staples of Channel 4 (and Ceebeebies!) include; JIMMY CARR, ROB ROUSE, NINA CONTI, ELECTRIC (Big Cook, Little Cook) FORECAST and MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE. Here's your chance to see the stars of comedy before they start presenting rubbish 'Top 100 Drain Hole Covers in Southborough' stylee programmes.

SOL BERNSTEIN
"One part Alf Garnett, two parts Mel Brooks and three part like nothing else you have heard. Bernstein is a great new comic creation in the making" - The Guardian
"an instantly winning creation" - The Independent
It's true! After 25 years of semi retirement, playing nursing homes, Sol Bernstein is back where he belongs, in smoky ex-public toilets performing to drunks.

The legend that is Sol Bernstein escaped the Pogroms in Russia, the Nazis in Germany and eviction from the Big Brother house (series 2), going on to become the World's top all-round entertainer. He's a song and dance man, a comedian, a magician, an actor, an amazing ventriloquist (with his suitcase friend Mr Pinkus) a Jazz musician (Sol was rated as the BEST TRIANGLE player in the USA in the 50's by performers like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington ). Also rated the best impersonator EVER !!
He's performed all over the world at venues including The London Palladium, New York's Carnegie Hall, The Paris Olympia, The Scunthorpe Baths, but it's at night clubs where Sol really comes to life. His charisma, his walking stick, his catch phrase "why don't you put on a tie" his chutzpah, put it all together and you see the magic that is Sol Bernstein.
He's the man who helped the career's of Elvis Presley. Marcel Marceau (and never even got a "Thank you") . Most young performers will mention Sol B as a major influence. A major influence to do what, we aren't sure, but an influence never the less!
"What a catch phrase!!" Harry Hill

Since making his stand-up debut courtesy of Poncho Comedy Club's open-mic night in August 2005 WES PACKER has has quickly evolved into a talented stand-up comedian and a favourite on the Cardiff comedy circuit. Comfortable with 10, 20 and 30 minute slots, Wes is forging a reputation as an exciting and fearless opening act.
With topics including the dangers of dogging, sex with transsexuals and why he should be allowed to smoke in hospitals, Wes has been mistaken by some for a bit of a 'lad', and can usually be found talking about the things that he should be ashamed or embarassed about, but isn't.
2006 is set to see a continuation of this initial success, with Wes looking to expand and fine-tune his material while aiming to reach audiences around the UK and hopefully beyond, including appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer and a number of shows in Dublin toward the end of the year.


4th Wall
Debut Album Launch Party

+ 9-Volt
Saturday 5th

It says here in this 'ere press release that 4th Wall are "to be seen and not just heard", which I believe may be a slight allusion to the tendency of certain members of the band to paint themselves blue and dress like ex-members of the Children's BBC team and other members passion for wearing the odd dress or two. Either that or they are taken part in the Spafest, which means you won't see or hear them, but you will be paying for them. Anyways, they hail from very near The Forum portal (about 230 metres away at the last count) and are one of the things at which you can point with most pride if you are trying to explain to somebody who doesn't come from Tunbridge Wells why it's not all cancelled Craid David events. If you have made the reasonably idiotic mistake of not catching them so far then it's time to have a re-think. Mixing Vocals, harmonies, samples, guitars, bass, live drums and loops together, the band have created something distinctively their own, equal parts Bonzo Do Doo Dah Band, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Buddy Holly and your friendly local wedding reception DJ with Black Box on permanent stand by. It may be pop, it could be rock, it might be a 1940s swing anthem set to a Gary Numan beat, who knows? They have finally completed their long awaited and genuinely rather brilliant debut album "Be Assured" and are heading down the jolly old Forum way to give it a bit of a bashing for your lugholes. 'Be Assured represents a culmination of 3 years of hard work by the band from their memorable live set that has been sculpted and chiseled both on the road and in the studio. 'Be Assured' captures all the energy of the live show only without the blue warpaint and the dresses, although I suppose you could wear those in the comfort of your own home if you wanted. You would be madder than an accountant who thought they could book Soul II Soul for the Lower Cricket Ground if you miss it. Come on, it's better than standing in an empty field wondering when Fun Loving Criminals are coming on! That would make you the king of fucking stupidity, wouldn't it.


Allister
Wednesday 9th

The third album from Chicago melodic punk quartet, Allister, Before the Blackout, is a triumphant shout from the back of the bar, a euphoric realization that, in a world overrun with despair, mediocrity and compromise, honest, energized rock music can still electrify and invigorate the soul.

It isn't just the band's shout-along choruses, foot-stomping beats or fist-in-the-air riffs. And it's not the yearning vocals, which are driven by pain, but motivated by the urge to persevere. The secret of Before the Blackout has more to do with the intangibles - the way a certain passage can leave a smile on your face and an ache in your heart; and how the right combination of notes can generate more power than an industrial generator.

And maybe more than anything, the disc is a defiant declaration from a veteran batch of road warriors who refuse to conform to trends and remain dedicated to touring endlessly and writing songs that remind them of the great rock they grew up on, be it the Ramones, Screeching Weasel or Green Day.
Allister have paradoxically matured as artists and proven that energetic, enthusiastic rock is ageless. More importantly, they've illustrated how raging, confessional songs are the best way to treat depression and dependency since electric shock therapy


the artillery man & the fighting machine
the mockingbird nightmare
meet me in st. louis
haemostatic picnic races
saturday 12th

It being festival season, it's always more difficult at this time of year to get the bigger bands we all know and hate through the doors (just look at the problems Spafest are having), so this month you should take a little time to check out something new that you might not be so familiar with but might enjoy a bit more. First up is a rather excellent night of shenanigans arranged for you by those nice people at Win Win Win Records (www.myspace.com/winwinwin) and featuring not one, two or even three acts, but four really rather fabulous board treaders in the shape of Haemostatic Picnic Races, Meet Me in St Louis, The Mockingbird Nightmare, and The Artilleryman And The Fighting Machine . HPR (good job we have acronyms cos the chances of me spelling Haemostatic right twice in a row are pretty limited!) come across like some hybrid of Fugazi, ATDI, Bloc Party and Snapcase, and mix driving, heavy guitars with intricate picking and Meet Me in St Louis are named after the 1944 film that led to Mr Minneli getting Judy up the duff and resulted in Liza, thereby inadvertantly being responsible for many a theme night at the Pink Coconut Wine Bar (nice cocktails! - lanky fop). I don't know if they are trying to tell us something with that moniker, but actually I rather hope not. Also lording it in the "where the hell did they get that name from" stakes are The Artilleryman and The Fighting Machine who thought it would be wise to name themselves after a track from War of the Worlds by Jeff Wayne. Or maybe it's actually one of the chapter headings in the original book by HG Wells? Either way they are obviously the arty thoughtful types. Rounding off this cornucopia of as yet undiscovered musical gems we have The Mockingbird Nightmare, who I rather like. They come over like they just invented emo-tinged post-hardcore and will appeal to fans of Pilot To Gunner and the much-missed Bear Vs Shark, not to mention Fugazi and The Mars Volta. A very rounded evening of entertainment for your paltry £5, so well done whoever put this together. Four bands all performing on the same day at the same event….perhaps the organisers should have got a local council grant to stage this evening of breaking new bands. If they had, mind you, they might have spunked all the money away on a flashy interactive website that heavily promotes their own name. Then they might have run out of cash and been unable to stage the event. That would be stupid, wouldn't it.


Lethal fixx
Junction 13
Thursday 17th

Even their website comes in leopard skin print option! There seems to be a huge groundswell of RAWK AND FUCKING ROLL going on at the moment, with Towers obviously being a focal point, but Soho Dolls, The Tarzis, Bullet and many more all vying for your attention. You either like this fantastically scuzzed-up tattooed deodorant-free spandex-friendly whiskey-snorting groupie-baiting type of stuff or you don't, in which case you're probably crying into your spilt milk about the Hue and Cry cancellation. Seems like more and more people do at the moment, perhaps it's a reaction against the slightly brittle and over produced sounds of your James Blunts and Coldplays? Anyway, you can probably guess the score - rock and roll party animals with slightly unbelievably stage names make one hell of a racket that may or may not make your bowels want to unleash toxic fumes. Interestingly, as the theme this month seems to be the name of the band, The Fixx were a popular beat combo of the early eighties, m'lud, who enjoyed considerable success in America with their slightly watered down U2isms featured in songs such as "Red Sky at Night". I suspect Lethal Fixx may be too drunk to care. Not sure who the support band is. But it will probably be somebody in a similar vein, rather than, for instance, trying to draw a tenuous link between two completely unrelated bands and then calling the event something ridiculous like "Great Masters of our Time" and trying to pretend that this somehow makes it all alright. Mind you, if you did that, that's always the possibility


Defcon
Braund Reynolds
Friday 18th

Always hitting the nail on the head when it comes to choosing the right records to keep your feet in a permanent state of rhythm, those terribly nice chaps at Defcon have outdone themselves this time around by booking in a headline act in the shape of dance band de jour Braun Reynolds, whose single has been earning rave reviews from those influential folk at Radio 1. Braund Reynolds are Ben Braund and James Reynolds, (see what they did there? Not a hint of a Jeff Wayne or Judy Garland reference). As well as producing tracks the fellas also perform live and have featured in their band, amongst others, Mike Allen on vocals, Jamie Humphries on guitar, ex-Scratch Pervert DJ First Rate on the cut, Republica's drummer and even a four-piece brass section. Not sure what the line up will be for this event, as these sort of details are kept from your humble journalists friends here at Blam, but it should be well worth checking out. And even though we are not completely sure what the line up will be, we suspect that it will include some musicians playing some music or some DJs spinning some tunes, so at least the money you spend on getting in won't just be wasted on printing lots of flyers advertising the event without any of the bands actually turning up. That would be really stupid, wouldn't it.


Cud
plus DE CARABAS + THE YES/NO/MAYBES
Friday 25th

After finding a drum kit in a junk-yard, Carl Puttnam on vocals, Steve Goodwin on drums, Mike Dunphy on guitar and William Potter on bass, formed the band Cud in the English city of Leeds in 1987. Within two years, their quirky humour and complete disregard for self-respect had attracted a large cult following in Leeds, Sheffield, Doncaster and other northern England bastions of style and taste.
Before their demise in 1995, Cud recorded four fully-fledged albums. 'When in Rome, Kill Me' (1989) and 'Leggy Mambo' (1990) were released on Imaginary Records along with 'Elvis Belt', a collection of their early singles. There followed a move to major label A&M and the release of 'Asquarius' (1992) and 'Showbiz' (1994). British DJ Legend John Peel invited the band to record a total of 3 sessions in their time for his radio show. A move to the Imaginary label enabled the band to blossom, creating their own groovy mix of kitsch and noise - the singles 'Hey!Wire' and 'Only (A Prawn in Whitby)' embodied this style, and proved firm favourites with the audience.
The band's first album When in Rome, Kill Me was released on Imaginary in 1989 to
critical acclaim, as were subsequent singles released on Imaginary, and it has subsequently been mooted that Cud would have been enormous if Imaginary had been able to afford to splash out on publicity in the early days. In 1991, Imaginary folded. Cud signed with A&M in 1991, leaving Imaginary to disappear into insolvency. The greater spending power at A&M enabled Cud to make their first foray into the charts with the singles 'Rich & Strange', 'Purple Love Balloon' and 'Neurotica'. All three made it into the British Top 40 charts. After a brief wilderness period, Cud have reformed, much to the excitement of their legions of fans, and will be releasing a double CD of their Greatest Hits entitled 'Rich and Strange - an Anthology' (August 7th on Universal Records) alongside a tour to promote it. Also appearing with the indie legends are those joyful sorcerers of sound De Carabas, and the indecisively named The Yes No Maybes. Craig David, Hue and Cry, Soul II Soul, Fun Lovin Criminals and a host of other huge stars will be gathered together at the bar to watch them.
NB: Has been popstars drinking at the bar possibly not appearing.


Chameleon Records
Saturday 26th

Something a little bit different for The Forum is always a good thing, after all, you don't always want to play cricket on the lower cricket ground do you? No, sometimes you'd like to stand there really still in the quiet with no-one else around you and think "Didn't I see 150,000 glossy flyers for Craig David playing here tonight? Where the fuck is everyone?". Anyway, Chameleon Records are an up and coming label based in Kent primarily focused on Hip Hop, Grime and R&B with artists like Edixion, Danny Who, Emma Drysdale and Tubz forming the Chameleon Collective. The sounds are really nice and summery, some laid back beats as well as some to get you moving, and although this is a small operation they are creating some great new stuff. As well as the Chameleon artist on show, this night will also feature a couple of guest slots from Outacity Committee and Gemini (whose tracks on MySpace were some of the most fantastically offensive music I found this week - check it out yourself at http://www.myspace.com/gemini ). All this music is pretty local to you, although none of it will feature in the special community event celebrating local music which will instead feature The Varlies and a host of other old farts playing tepid uninteresting versions of Neil Young numbers, all with the support of the local taxpayer. Of course, maybe that money would be better spent promoting the new music that is actually being created by local young people. Or would that be me with another one of my Kerrazy ideas?


...and another thing ...

Lots of people saying that we never seem to feature things that aren't going on at the weekends, and I suppose that's a fair comment - we always run out of space. If only we had a massive, totally unjustifiable budget every month to spunk away on creating thousands of glossy brochures and huge banner signs advertising our events. Wow, if we had that then we probably wouldn't bother putting the bands on! Anyway, here are just some of the other tasty treats you can also see at The Forum this month, what with it being holiday time and you having fuck all to do as your friends have all fucked off somewhere a bit nicer. On Thursday 24 August we have a very special Acoustic Lounge featuring all the usual guitar toting local heroes plus some very special guests in the shape of Jazzie B and Hue and Cry (Please note: Jazzie B and Hue and Cry not appearing). Nifty Eagu and the Glo Pilots, Vorderman, The Old Dolphin Brigade and QuadMyre will be doing their thing on Sunday 13 August. Their thing being psychedelic wig outs in the style of Frank Zappa torturing Syd Barrett (RIP). Even though there are already four bands on that night, the organisers have still found time for Craig David to come on at the start of every number and go "eeeeoooo ooooeee aha aha yeah yeah Craig David". Apparently he's not doing much this month. (Please note: Craig David cancelled due to lack of funds).
A very nice night featuring four of the best local bands doing the rounds takes place on Sun 6 August when Pictures of Shanghai, Furniture sound, Chaser, The Jettison and Canterbury will set themselves on fire in order to amuse you. At least two of those bands are well worth leaving your armchair for on their own, so stop waiting for TWBC to announce the imminent of The Beatles (including the two dead ones) at Dunorlan Park and get your arse down here to see some events that are actually happening, whether or not they have a thirty foot banner across the High Street announcing them. There's some nice stuff for those dreary Wednesdays too, with Random Hand/Pixelface/Revenge of the Psychotronic Man/Delve brightening up Weds 2 August and getting together to make the best of an otherwise meaningless day in the calendar which has a peculiarly high rate for suicides. Anybody attending both of these nights wins 40,000 copies of the Spafest brochure that we found lying around in a broom closet at the town hall.

And finally

Normal service will resume in September when we stop laughing really hard about the Spafest debacle and return to poking fun at local musicians just because we can. As the Two Ronnies were likely to say, in a packed programme we will be bringing you……….IV Thieves, Lorraine, White Rose Movement, Engerica, The View, Zebrahead and about 300 other good reasons not to sit around your house bemoaning the fact that Fun Loving Criminals are sitting in their flat in New York right now laughing themselves into stupidity. Which isn't very far for Huey, but you know what I mean. The Forum: We don't always get it right, but we don't spunk away your money on things that ain't going to happen.


Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

Comedy Forum, Thursday 6th July 2006

If your Dad was a reactionary clergyman, you’d probably do your utmost to ensure that your own career path doesn’t reflect his, but sadly, so many of us find similarities to our folks creeping up on us when we least expect it. Our genial chirpy MC Danny Dawes knows this only too well as his dad’s a bishop and he’s a comedian, which seems dissimilar until it becomes apparent that they’re both paid to stand up in front of people and talk utter bollocks. Yeah, I know that’s a lame gag, but it’s one of Dawes’ better ones, because if you get him started on traffic cones it can actually make the prospect of sitting in a motorway jam seem not just appealing in comparison, but thrilling.
For a guy who’s spent the last 8 years entertaining Aussies (not known for their tolerance of whinging poms) it’s astonishing to note how unremarkable and tired his repertoire is. Perhaps that’s why they sent him back, I dunno, but if he expects laughter at little more than the observation that Tunny Wells is slightly posh, then maybe they got sick of convict jokes.
A cheap bumsex gag falls flat and by this time the audience becomes tetchy, as he flounders desperately to connect and generate a giggle. The sweat beads on his brow before he inevitably flips to more reliable drugs material, this time worked around the nativity, which gets him out of the self-dug hole, but still leaves him teetering at the edge. Thank fuck for the diversion of an inebriated loon called James, whose bizarre heckles allow Dawes to direct some ridicule in his direction, which although stylishly executed, is mercifully brief.
After several years of trekking ‘round the country’s comedy kharzis, you’d think that by now, Ria Lina would have either written a new set, or at least refined her older, flimsier material. But no matter. This sassy Asian babe (a Filipino-German with an American accent – of all the rotten luck…) only cracks funnies because she can’t afford a therapist and it’s clear that the problems which inspire her are refusing to go away: fucked-up parents, STDs, mail order brides, marriage, kids, no sex life, the joys of having a bosom like two aspirins on an ironing board, and her lack of success in learning the ukulele. All funny, well-observed and highly caustic stuff, and her endearing manner coupled with a charismatic stage presence would make for a highly workable set if it wasn’t for her reliance on the aforementioned uke as a comfort prop.
Proving that people will buy any old shit on ebay, her ukulele is indeed a very pretty, sparkly little thing (as she is herself), but although she sings sweetly, she can’t really play and the songs that comprise half her material have about the same comic value as a bad case of toothache. A slow blues about carrying a black man’s baby is amiably poignant and mildly witty in a dark way, but funny it most certainly isn’t, and although she subsequently bounces some quick quips off the ever-heckling and increasingly odd James, spending a good five minutes trying to tune up in order for it to still sound exactly the same, begins to get wearisome.
A brief pastiche of “She’ll Be Coming Round The Mountain”, written in the aftermath of non-orgasm and post-coital frustration, “I Was Getting Close To Coming When You Came” , raises the odd polite titter from a few of the girls, and embarrassed cringes from their partners, but for the rest of us…well, let’s just say that she’s not the only one feeling limply disappointed after a promising start.
Not so, the wonderfully filthy Wendy Reed. An unashamedly horsefaced, gawky and awkward northern laddette, Reed is a very physical comic, pulling endless gurning faces Jane Horrocks style, flexing her limbs and pacing the stage with just the right mixture of pisstake and pathos to make her inelegant patter charming rather than cheap.
Sensing a potentially jaded reaction to the “isn’t Tunbridge Wells posh?” cack that’s been bandied about so far, she shrewdly opts to berate the place as a shithole (to strangely enthusiastic applause) and get down to the nitty-gritty of fanny jokes and sexual obsession more widely appreciated in such a young audience, though this does make her appear somewhat shallow in her quest for an easy laugh. But hey, so are we, so that’s OK.
Though certainly a gifted comic actress, Reed ‘s stand-up technique is less natural than one would expect; coming across as forced and over-rehearsed, relying on earthy silliness and bewildered expressions to rescue material that isn’t particularly funny, such as that concerning her imaginary friend Claire the goblin. Because she gabbles like a mad thing, she’s in such a hurry to get the gags out that she doesn’t give herself a chance to react properly to the audience and let her riffs develop when she stumbles across a good one, like her tale of a perverse Elvis impersonator. The end result is comedy pebbledashing, throwing handfuls of perverse one liners and course jibes in the hope that they’ll stick, which does her little justice, despite their enjoyably smutty wit and originality. However, with a chance to slow down and spread her material over half an hour rather than 10 minutes or so, Wendy Reed would be easily capable of getting big laughs rather than gentle titters, so perhaps the experience of her forthcoming Edinburgh Fringe shows will help overcome this and show her in a far more deserving light as one of the circuit’s more promising new talents.
It happens to us all I suppose, the mid-life crisis. I’m still going through mine so I’m trying not to worry, but the age of 35 has hit Ben Norris a little strangely. Well, strangely enough to make him write a rap about how beige and uninteresting his existence is now that he’s got the responsibility of triplets and the trappings of adulthood, anyway. After a decade on the comedy kharzi circuit, Norris is still just as bewildered by life and it’s absurdities as he always was, except that these days he’s got less answers than when he started. Indeed, why is ‘the dogs bollocks’ a compliment? Can one admire a canine scrotum as a thing of beauty?
Stylistically, Norris can only really be sensibly compared to Jimmy Carr, in that he affects a mockingly haughty, sarcastic tone; taking subject cues from the random madness surrounding him, whether it leads to a knob gag or a silly slow-release pun, but I suppose when you’ve had to go from flop-to-pop on demand at an IVF clinic, you learn to take your prompts as and when you get them.
Though the more young and carefree punters fail to fully appreciate the more amusing side of parenthood, relationship breakups , DIY centres and pornography, at least there’s the increasing woozy and garrulous James to fall back on in an emergency, as he’s the only bloke in the room admitting that he owns some. But as Norris explores the seedy world of fat moustachioed men in 1970s skin flicks, comparing it with auditions for Shakespearian drama, James becomes angrily distressed, believing that Norris is somehow casting aspersions on his mother (yeah, I was wondering that too). Not surprisingly, for what could be a unique moment in the career of Ben Norris, he’s temporarily lost for words and every soul in the room feels a tiny twinge of pride, because for whatever TW’s faults, it’s always reassuring to know that whether posh or poor, it produces a far superior breed of nutter.
Paul Mills

Contact us

Our eager, hyperactive, willing to please, forelock-tugging, cap-doffing, can-do, nothing's-too-much trouble, highly trained, elite, ex-SAS and Girl Guides, crack squad of volunteers are waiting like coiled springs, with Sanatogen coursing through their veins, bouncing off the walls for you, and only you !

We always like to hear from new contributors, new bands, new people, people who hate swearing, big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.Because believe you me, it's a right hard slog making up all the lies, half-truths and general bollox that we lovingly/laughingly call BLAM. So If you've recently been moved to tears by the sight of a '74 Rickenbacker 4001, plugged through a Big Muff, whilst being lovingly caressed by a young gunslinger who knows his middle eights from a 'truckers gear shift' then please get in touch. Preferably with a local drugs helpline, in the meantime do not operate any heavy machinery.
You can write to us at
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
Or call the Information line on 08712 777101

We also have a website where you can find out all about what's on, and laugh at the photos of the damp mattressed fainthearts that 'work' here. That's at
www.twforum.co.uk
You can also email us, so do that to:
twforum@globalnet.co.uk
On the website you can book tickets, find out what's coming up, get a map, get a life, identify which ne'er-do-wells have trodden the boards at the ol' shitter, check out our interactive gaming section, or go on our messageboard and start arguing whether we include too many Appalachian Nose-Flute nights in our gig programming. In fact, we beseech, nay implore you to do any of the above which would make a change from downloading hardcore 'chicks with dicks' jpgs as you'd normally do.
Please note that as well as being able to reserve tickets for all Forum shows online, tickets are also available to be purchased from the following retail outlets:
The Longplayer, 3 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 539273
Criminal Records, 6 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 511776


++++++coming soon++++++


LETTERS FROM LONDON - Saturday 2nd Sept
COMEDY FORUM - Thu 7th Sept
LORRAINE- Friday 15th Sept
THE GLITTERATI - Saturday 16th Sept
ENGERICA - Saturday 23rd Sept


Lifted (with permission) from the August edition of BLAM! - All queries regarding libel actions should be directed to them


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