It's that time of year again that we all look forward to, as we ask our resident psychotic (surely "psychic" - Ed) Mystic Mark to gaze deeply into his crystal ball of destiny, swirl the smegma of imagination and provide us all with his cast iron guaranteed visions of the future (conditions may apply). That's right, it's the official Blam Towers "Let's fill up the editorial space whilst we are half drunk with some unamusing horoscope satire" Horoscopes 2007. Yes yes yes, it's our winter almanac.
Capricorn: The sign of the Ram is rising behind you this year; watch out for Derby County fans, and especially football managers in sheepskin jackets. In April you may fall prey to an escaped panther if you go to close to Dunorlan Park on a Wednesday or Thursday. Or perhaps a lemur. The fog in the ball is very bad today. Lucky Number: 0.083. Lucky Rabbit: Thumper
Aries: Plans for the imminent annexation of Poland failed to work out for you last year, but fear not; there's every chance you will be in Moscow by Xmas. Avoid going into any bunkers with a girl named Eva. In September, a vicious rumour about the correct number of testicles in your possession will circulate. Check your trousers. Lucky stone: Joss. Lucky smell: Fresh lint from the navel of Herman Goering.
Scorpio: A fishy sort of year, with a bad smell of crab affecting you throughout June and most of July. In August you will be rushed to hospital for an emergency operation by a surgeon named either Carl or William. It is vital that you ask for a full anaesthetic. Avoid spitting; it's not big or clever and your face might stay like that if the wind changes. Lucky number plate: D452 HKJ. Lucky lucky lucky: You should be so.
Pisces: Pisceans take after their fishy namesakes and are afflicted by very bad short term memory loss. This is a terrible shame as it means we can repeat the same horoscope for them time after time after time and they never remember. I said Pisceans suffer from short term memory loss. That's right, Pisceans. Short term memory loss, like goldfish. Yes, we did do this joke last year. Yes, because they've got short term memory loss. That's right. Pisceans. Yes, short term memory loss. Yes, did it last year as well. Yes, and the year before that. That's right, you don't remember. Because of the short term memory loss. Yes, Pisceans. Lucky Number: 1. Lucky number: 1. That's lucky number: 1.
Cancer: Cancerians are amongst the most gifted of the star signs, and also the most handsome. This may seem unfair to the rest of you, but you should have been born at a better time of year. This year, Cancerians will unfortunately come a bit of a cropper when they are forced to choose between spending the night with Britney, Lindsay and Paris, all of whom are testing out the new Viagra for women, or launching themselves into space to collect a billion pounds in gold bullion from Donald Trump. Luckily, the girls will agree to accompany them, so it all works out alright in the end. Lucky? I should say so.
Aquarius: This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius sang some bunch of scantily clad bints in about 1969. How wrong they were. The age of Aquarius will not dawn until 2358, which is unfortunate for you as you will be dead by then (that's not a prediction, that's an actual scientific fact). In the meantime, Aquarians have little to do with their time except sit around waiting for the grim reaper to call. A good year for you, as this will finally happen on May 11. Lucky Fish: Dorado. Lucky Elephant: The one's that's rude to Dumbo's mum.
Libra: What's that smell? Don't look around, you know it's you. Lucky Anteater: Arthur at Whipsnade Zoo. Lucky date: 17 October 1423.
Gemini: All Geminians are twins (that's another scientific fact). If you haven't seen yours since birth, try asking at the hospital if they have seen anybody who looks a bit like you hanging about a bit for the last few years. In May you will lose something red in colour, and it won't turn up again till April 2009. You won't really miss it. Avoid people in Barbour hunting jackets. Actually, that's got nothing to do with you being a Gemini, that's a general instruction. Lucky Heather: Locklear. Lucky number: 3.1415
Sagittarius: The sign of the archer on horseback is especially significant for you this year, as you will be mortally wounded by a passing bunch of 13th Century Persian militia men on 24th August. They will be very sorry about it, and may offer you a drink from their gourd. Try and avoid breathing too much - it annoys the people around you. Lucky folk creature: The Oorningblaart of Volkstraaten, Oslo. Lucky medical instrument: The endoscope.
Taurus: Taureans are, as a general rule, rather unpleasant little specimens - I stepped in one once and it took me five days to get the smell off my trainers. You, though, you're something else, aintcha? With your airs and graces? So, these horoscopes not good enough for the likes of you, eh? Above all this are yer? Well, a curse be upon you, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your arsehole. That'll teach you who's the boss. Lucky Crab: Tortoiseshell. Lucky Hairline: Scargill.
Leo: Leo's are traditionally bold decision makers, fierce strategists, courageous and noble free thinkers ready to take a risk. You were unfortunately born under the wrong sign. On a Wednesday in March or May (or another month beginning with M, or possibly J. Or A. Could be an N, actually - look the tea leaves are still a bit soggy, alright?) you will receive bad news from a relative about your parentage. Those really are your parents after all. Lucky milk: Homogenised. Lucky rapper: Ice T.
Virgo: Ever touched a member of the opposite sex somewhere smelly? And no, High Brooms doesn't count. We thought not. Virgos make good pets, but remember kids, they're not just for Xmas. Lucky tromp l'oeil: The staircase mural at Trump Towers. Lucky letter: P.
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. Yes yes yes, we know that most of these jokes are the same as last year's. Do you know how many of these editorials we have written now? Well, go online and look before you start criticizing, then. The trouble with you is you're all too ready to throw your five pence in when it comes to spotting the problem, but I don't see you around when we are looking for the solution. Cunt.
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.
This guy is going to be big" The Stage
GEOFF NORCOTT has made a real impact on the national comedy circuit since he first took to the stage in September 2001. His abundance of energy combined with a storming mix of impressions, observations, satire and rap, make him a versatile and original performer. Geoff was recently seen in a new series for BBC 2 called "My Appalling School Report" - about celebrities going back through their old school reports. Geoff, an ex-teacher and now full time comedian, was the perfect choice for the job - having himself written many school reports. Geoff is also a gifted writer and is currently developing ideas for radio and animation, and is writing for MTV.
A high-energy performer, Norcott's strength is his devastatingly accurate parody of the violently misogynist attitude that pervades the rap scene.
Faithfully recreating the genre's hateful lyrics and arrogant stance, he uses the usual weapons in the musical comedian's armoury
if this song was covered by Dr Dre") to drive his point home. But that
message, and the accuracy of his renditions raise this well above the norm.
Geoff has recently completed filming an interview for Edge Publication's 'British Comedy of the 1960's' DVD, discussing the cultural significance of Monty Python. In late 2005 he also appeared on 'Now That's Embarrassing....80's' on Channel 5, offering his own comedic spin on the decade, and has most recently appeared on 'Teachers' TV' offering tongue-in-cheek advice on crowd control to new teachers.
A sleek, professional act, Jonas has clearly studied plenty of other stand-ups to ensure the pace, emphasis and rhythm of his delivery is spot-on.
It's an effective - redolent of the slick comics who dominate the American circuit, but so confident and engaging that it's guaranteed to hit the right buttons. Covering all bases from broad-brush political material, relationships, drinking or simply just being Australian abroad; with a topical line or two help keep the mix fresh. This ex-marketing man's persona is similarly accessible, plays up the selfish, laddish elements of any male's character but keeping it impishly cheeky.Essentially, this is a comic who knows what he's doing.
"Real comedy bite..silly, poignant and twisted gaggery" The Scotsman
Caroline Mabey is a true one-off. On the comedy circuit since November 2005, she has already done over 150 gigs and is resident MC at the 99 Club in London. Combining edginess with eccentric charm, her delivery can be deceptively light and playful but is underscored by a sharp wit and arresting darkness. Her material is imaginative, askew and always surprising and her delightfully mischievous interactions with the audience make her an ideal compere.
She also appears and MC's as the character Helen Heels, a sleazy, Jesus-loving landlady to the stars, who never gets dressed.
DATA.SELECT.PARTY . SEVEN STORY DOWN . NEAT PEOPLE
"An impressive and breezy romp through pastures of uncomplicated new wave pop. Brilliant - NME
"Brings to mind clever-era Pulp" - Independent
WinterKids self released debut, 'I'm not used to you/Fed up' saw the light
of day earlier this year and was eagerly snapped up by
fans via the band's myspace page.
Sold with a unique authenticity certificate and carefully wrapped with a black ribbon and feather, the band proved they weren't scared of going the extra self-promotion mile. And blow me if it didn't pay off! Catching the attention of Steve Lamacq, who named WinterKids his favourite new band.
Hailing from just outside Guildford, WinterKids write music to sing and dance to. Their instant melodies and killer hooks nod both to new wave and the glory years of Brit Pop. Their second single, 'Tape It' is a joyous, 210 second affair that should have everyone smiling down at the front of the stage or bouncing off the walls. B-side, 'Who am I kicking?', which for the first time features the gorgeous Hannah on vocals, brings to mind the fragile sounds of the Scottish pop-school, beautiful Delgados-esque harmonies, underpinned by an infectious angular beat.
The band are currently recording an album at Sawmills, working with ex-Shed
Seven Frazer Smith and John Cornfield who did the Razorlight album. The band
intend to produce 300 copies of the album and sell them to their fans via
Myspace. With the resulting moolah, they intend to buy their airfare to South
by South West in Texas.
"We are not that interested in signing to a big label at this stage, we just want to get our music out there and see what happens. If a bigger label wants to come in and release it for us then great, if not then I am sure we can get enough albums out there ourselves to make a living."
SUNSETS . THE ROX . THE RACE
+ stowaway sterling + inmotion
Crowborough's Stowaway Sterling have an odd name, a bunch of strangely over enthusiastic supporters.....................they haven't got the city-dwelling swagger and pissy stench of tower block doorways that you'll find in the likes of The Rakes or The Others, just a smidgeonette of suburban decay and snotty groove that'll make you tap your foot” - Mr. Mills
City Sunsets consists of four strapping young lads from the land of unicorns and shopping trolleys; Sevenoaks. Their casual attitude to genre (though musical leads follow back to the popular indie scene) gives them a brilliant originality, which comes to life in their ever-improving live performances. The band’s versatile style means the members are often swapping instrument during their set for various songs. City Sunsets are definitely a band who are ready to rise.
"InMotion are a young Jimmy Eat World in the making, crossing their beautiful crisp pop melodies with a definitely British Indie twang." This young group of musicians shows a depth of character rarely seen in modern bands. With Secret Life InMotion show a side of real quality both musically and lyrically. In Time and Static InMotion go for a more heavy approach, giving an exciting kick to their music.
9-Volt . StarScream . One Day Elliott . Fall to Fiction . Chris Drew
Doors open 7:00pm
Easy Kill were once told that making music is much like riding a surf board
its about the feel, the balance, the design, the method, the passion and the
time you put in, and you'll be in an enviroment surrounded by sharks.
Sick of treading water in their hometown of St Agnes in Cornwall, Sean, Vasey and Rich jumped a ride to London in the summer of 2004. Meanwhile Kye was already gigging with his old band all over Londons network of live venues. Fast forward 5 months a North London pub, a disagreement, a chat, a common ground, a lot of drinks, numbers exchanged. Jamming sessions under the arches at Waterloo, in a Streatham basement and on the Aggie surf shop steps set the foundation of the bands sound. With songs coming in thick and fast, the band prepared for their first gig (supporting The Rakes in February 2005). All that was needed was a name.
When everyone is an easy target, easily dispensable, easily replaceable, easily hurt, easily pleased, easily led and easily replicated, then its not an easy time to live in. Everyone is an easy kill, and 'enemy lines are a whole lot closer'...
With influences that range from Fiona Apple to Skunk Ananasie, and a singer that drips with so much sex she jellifies the legs of any boy (or girl) watching( Blimey, is it me, or has got terribly hot in here?!) DOLLS HOUSE are the latest Norwegian import, currently residing in London - Fronted by Camilla Romestrand (who's alright if you like 'that sort of thing' - Ed), with Joz Anderson on guitar, Cenk Askun on bass and Alex Inglis on drums the band "deliver a truly explosive live show"
THE BLOW UPS are a 4 piece band based in the London suburbs made up of Kelly Bateman (vocals/guitar) Arda Payir (bass) Phil Smith (lead guitar) and Cem Andre. Their musical style is as individual as each of them, built from a fusion of rock and punk. Their infectious songs and energetic live performances make them hard to resist for all up to date news and info on the band and to access the forum check out their official site www.theblowups.com
MIRA CALIX .
SUNAO INAMI .
This is the first part in a series of experimental music ventures to hit Tunbridge Wells. Over the course of the next year, The Forum will be hosting some of the finest experimental artists from all over the globe to challeng musical sensibilities and generally rock your socks off... For the first instalment we have lined up: MIRA CALIX As a warp records artist, Calix creates extremely minimal, yet intricate tapestries from a varied palette of sounds (ranging from insects to strings), pushing the boundaries of electronic music to the extreme. www.miracalix.com/
SUNAO INAMI Sunao started working with synthesizers when he was 13 years old. He has a huge knowledge of analog and digital synthesis and is a key figure in the field of wavetable synthesis. After playing in the post-new wave band CONTROLLED VOLTAGE in the early '90s, he built his own Internet servers and started creating improvised electronic music. In 1998, his 1st album was released by the Belgian label, SubRosa.
In 2000, he participated in the Y.M.O. (Yellow Magic Orchestra) remix project
Sunao has toured extensively in the past year, performing in Europe, the U.S. and Taiwan with other musicians and dancers, and around Japan.
He also performs twice monthly in a live studio webcast series entitled "Live from Far East" and has done over 65 such webcast gigs since 2002.
He runs CAVE Studio, his own label "electr-ohm" and the electronica/noise label and shop "C.U.E. Records" in Kobe and appears with the legendary Japanese band AUTO-MOD at Kobe Underground Festival..
POLYNOMIAL Originally an electronica duo obsessed with mathematical equations and breaks, their local counter part will be displaying an erratic style of breaks and melodies embedded in polynomial equations. www.myspace.com/polynomial
In a change
to our normal "let's fuck about with it and tart it up a bit" we
are announcing that the Stable page will HENCEFORTH be taken DIRECTLY from
the first paragraph of the biog/about me section supplied by the acts themselves
on their website or myspace page.
All the page links are provided from The Forum Stable page, so you can now check out most of the bands online and hear what they are up to etc. You might think this is lazy journalism on our part, but actually we are doing it so that the bands can see in print what they look like online. It's a fact, band members - most people only read the first 4 lines of your biog; unless, that is, they really like what they read or what they hear. Some of these descriptions come across well, some like your band is about as interesting as a trench, a lot in between. Message here is; it's worth thinking about what you are posting online for slightly longer than two minutes as this is what people can actually judge you by. All the punctuation and spelling is "as it is".
This is what the bands are saying about themselves:
D-FiNiTiVE are a four piece indie band from Kent, they are playing around Kent and London and are looking to expand further afield. The band was formed at New Years in 2005. However, brothers Jacob and Caleb had been writing and playing for about four years before. They have played locally in their town of Tenterden and around Kent, also playing in London at the Rock Garden in Covent Garden, for the National Battle of the Bands and in Gillingham at the Kent Battle of the Bands. D-FiNiTiVE were recently made KMFM's best unsigned band of 2006, in a huge competition D-FiNiTiVE won the judges over with their strong songs and great performances. The judges couldn't fault the performance in the Final and were looking forward to working with the band over the coming year.
Nathan - guitar, vox, Matt - guitar, vox, Simon - drums, vox,
Spencer - bass, vox. The Fore are THE most exciting and dynamic unsigned band in Britain. The Fore's brand of raw rock and roll sounds like no other band around, blending timeless unforgettable melodies with a pulsating backbeat. It's instinctive, distinctive music; it's dirty Hamburg beat; it just feels right!!
DOCTOR FONDA consist of: Jon Diss - Vocals, Guitar, John
Barrett - Lead Guitar , Kieron Waterhouse- Bass, Rick Everest- Drums
"Doctor Fonda is an alternative four piece formed in late 2004. We play our unique style in and around London and the South East of the U.K. Every member of this act pushes in a different musical direction. We call this audio darwinism. The product of this process is a dynamic and ever changing soundscape".
Curt - guitar & vocals. Jamie - guitar & vocals. Josh - Drums, shouty noises. Tiny - Bass & Dedicated Band Driver. Our likes are:Modern music, Lloyd, He supplies my every need', frank black, geniuses, Mark E. Smith, guitars, old fashioned music, afros, missing gigs for work, people taking pictures of themselves from various angles and putting them on myspace, percussion, lou reed, funny accents, nightclubs in croydon, immaterial, annes walk, cliff richard, school, college, the repetitive and mundane
Formed in the early stages of 2000 eXus incorporates a broad range musical influences into there dynamic brand of energetic music from Punk to Reggae, Hardcore to Techno and everything in-between, with thought provoking and poetic lyrics reaching out to the minds of all who hear them. The band really comes into its own when playing live, promising and energetic spectacle not for the fainthearted, pouring their love for what they do. Fast forward to 2006 the band are now, after releasing 2 EPs in the form of,... "Thought For Destruction ep 2002" "Legends Never Die ep 2005" ....and after having the track Endless Romance licensed to surfing label Ripcurl and playing some high profile gigs including The Forum with the band 'The Filaments' and playing At London Astoria 2 with Enter Shikari. The band are working on their first full length record (Black Poets 'working title')which will feature a host of new and creative tracks alongside some fan favourites.
OUR MYSPACE THEORY
we would like to welcome adam hart from zucchini who is now playing bass for us after the unfortunate split of zucchini. Some of us have been in a pop-punk band called Pennyblack and a rock band called zucchini but have now parted from that to form this new band to collaberate our heavier influences and have Stewart on main vocals. We did a few heavy songs which people really enjoyed including Break Shake which we have carried over to this band. We have a few new songs which we are currently working on and will be going live soon armed with a new E.P. We will not be playing in Hastings much though as we are planning to do this properly and go on a college tour across Europe but you might catch us live once or twice in the town before we leave. We are full of energy and ideas and cant wait to get the show on the road. This is a new beginning and we cant wait to get the show on the road.
They only formed in early 2006 but the look and sound like they have played together for years. Fresh from the studio with Pat Collier (who has worked with Hundred Reasons, and Maximo Park to name but two) the recordings fizz with the confidence of their live act. The line-up of Guy Watson (vocals/guitar), Mike Gibbons (lead guitar), Phil Naidoo (bass) and Julian Gardner (drums) stand ready to extend their reputation further over the coming months, with a stack of new material and the eagerness to play the music they believe in. Onstage they are confident, charismatic and attention demanding. Thought provoking lyrics, melodies you'll be humming for weeks and riffs you won't be able to get out of your head make the songs that grab you by the ears and wont let go. Seeker....you'll wonder how you lived without them.
AND HIS VOICE BECAME is just two people making music, Mark
& Paul. Mark plays acoustic geetar and sings and Paul plays drums. Heard
it all before? Not like this you haven't.
By listening to the best songwriters these isles have to offer (Beth Orton, Damien Rice, Fionn Regan) and a few from further afield (Magnet, Bright Eyes, Howie Day), AHVB have made their own acoustic rock sound. Imagine Muse playing without electricity and you're nearly there.
Their live shows have been called '...phenomenal...' and work well in little acoustic venues and large rock venues alike. And not many bands can say that.
Last year AHVB won the Mick Jagger Unsigned Band of 2005 competition, their debut EP sold out in the blink of an eye, they got chased by record companies, women, their mums and BBC radio.
With so many influences |offlimit| have the vocal representation of Muse that co-insides with slash of Nirvana, lyrical content of The Cure, the catchy riffs and experimental-ness of Radiohead mixing with and the whole lot mixed up to make one phat filled live sound! This is what diverts |offlimit| from alot of other bands coming around at this time....
We want to make music we enjoy playing live and hopefully other people will enjoy it too!
Safe 13 consist of four lads from Bexhill who formed in late 2005. They have been an instant hit with all the local crowds with their energetic perfomances, cathchy and witty lyrics and very talented instrumental skills.
"Safe 13 are a highly original vibrant rock act with songs reflecting teenage Britain. Fat guitar riffs and amazing haircuts abound - when Safe 13 came on, the atmosphere was buzzing they performed and rocked the room."
| Of all the fucking excuses I've heard for not watching
live stand up comedy, I think not wanting to be picked on has got to be
the most crap one yet. But nonetheless it's a strangely common response,
rooted as it is in the dread of public humiliation, even though it's up
there with avoiding rock gigs because you might get moshed on. The poor
virgins worry about being deflowered roughly and picked on for their haircut,
clothing, attractiveness or whatever quality they may have to make the
performer use them as a prop, but it's live comedy and the acts will use
the prompts at hand, which may well be you so if you look a bit odd, then
frankly you should be used to people taking the piss already. Hiding at
the back when there are chairs and tables at the front being avoided like
were made of Polonium only encourages them, and assuming that you're interesting
enough, in the unlikely event that you're caught in the glare of the comic
spotlight, just go with it as everybody will be laughing at something
else in a few seconds anyway. It's not a nightmare to be picked on by
a comic, it's a privilege of sorts, and you're part of the show, so fucking
lighten up. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that being picked on isn't
embarrassing because it is, but the fact is, nobody gives a shit except
you. They're listening to the funny man tell jokes so just laugh along
and you'll feel better about it.
Contrary to popular fears, sitting at the front at a comedy gig is actually a fairly safe place to sit if you don't want to be picked on. You might get a brief acknowledgement from the comic such as a "what's your name?" and he'll move onto someone else, but unless you make a twat of yourself or heckle, you're safer than those sitting several rows behind you. The reason is simple. The comic has to work the room and involving the audience members is part of the process. At the front, nobody except your immediate neighbours and the comic can see your reaction, while a few rows back everybody else can watch you squirm.
Although if you're watching an MC like Canadian stoner trash Vince Fluke, you're worrying over nothing as he's too tied up in his own neuroses to worry about yours. A chirpy wannabe rock star with a backwards cap and transatlantic cool, Fluke loves the sound of his own voice and is a born show-off, flaunting an observational style that's part baggy-trousered trailer trash and part sharply contemptuous Canuck candour. Damn funny and shameless stuff, but sadly, compere duties don't suit his brash bluster as he's more comfortable with outrageous stories and anecdotes, such as hunting for his mother's drugs and finding her dildo, than fuelling his wit through the audience. What little interaction there is is generic and impersonal. Slagging off Bush for example has been a fashionably lazy method of enamouring yourself to an audience for so long now it's tiresome, and Fluke touches upon this for a while, not as social commentary, but seemingly as a half-hearted attempt at killing time until the next nob gag.
A Goth he allegedly met at the bar prompts him into a well rehearsed routine about vampires and menstruation which is his sole chance to find a suitable sickness level and stick to it like glue. Perhaps his steadily increasing lager intake prompts him as the night progresses to venture into the darker gross out topics of undertaker rape and Downs Syndrome, which although effective at raising dumb and awkward guffaws, come across as the ramblings of a shallow observer justifying the coarseness of his humour by playing the role of the attention seeking puerile frat boy with a little too much conviction. But if the (baseball) cap fits, as they say.
Looking like a rough hybrid of Joeyfat's Matt Cole and David Tennant, Australia's Andrew Roper appears rather businesslike in his look and approach to comedy, which falls in well with his popularity on the corporate circuit at the moment: funny, but won't upset the boss.
he can swear and cuss, but Roper has a weary sense of cheerful confidence,
keeping himself dignified and disdainful in a manner which suggests that
the earthy yob persona so endearing in his countrymen is beneath him,
so perhaps he's picked up more habits from living over hear than he realises.
Roper's attempts to find common ground in the death of Steve Irwin flounder, until some rather slickly rehearsed observations on the commonwealth games give him an appreciative platform from which to dryly thumb his nose at society. His slick and easy material is delivered with waspishly casual flair and an exceptionally cool monologue regarding his lack of sex education demonstrates a sense of continuity and timing that's almost masterful. And unlike many of his countrymen, he certainly scrubs up well.
Bournemouth's Gareth Richards is the sort of guy you pray you don't get talking to at a party in case people think he's your friend. It's tough to decide whether this geeky speccy nerd with a bad haircut is his stage persona or if he actually goes through life being this dorky spanner.
While his rather overlong skit regarding interdepartmental rivalry between The History Channel and Biography channel rambles to a rather feeble halt, his observations of nerdy love while working for McDonalds are original and sharp enough to make his bumbling youthful awkwardness work in his favour without pathos. Richards looks hideous and talks clever, a combination which brings out the aggressor in anyone remotely so disposed, making you wonder how he's going to cope with tougher and less forgiving rooms, but hey, the circuit's changing. Ugly is the new fit don't y' know, and there's a market for those who like their humour with a side order of smug sexlessness and acne cream. Richards has the bones for a surprisingly effective character here, so check him out.
Ladies and gentlemen the results of the 2006 Comedy Forum awards for the most annoying opening lines are as follows. In 4th place, "Isn't Tunbridge Wells supposed to be posh?"…in 3rd, "Why's it 'Royal' Tunbridge Wells?"…in 2nd, and slipping down from last year, "So, did this place really used to be a toilet?"…but in first place we have a new winner (cue fanfare) "Hello Tonbridge!" (cue grumbling).
Despite his many faults, genial brummie Stan Stanley (so crap they named him twice) at least catches on quick and leads us on a "Fuck Tonbridge" chant to make up for his thoughtless faux pas. Stanley however is not a thoughtful comic and never has been, preferring to play for shallow laughs not unlike a young Frank Skinner. Funny as a writer, yes, but undisciplined and lazy as a stand up, choosing easy targets like Big Brother and the war on terror, which are rich enough fields to reap, but for fuck's sake, aren't we all in agreement about it by now? At least he doesn't overdo it though as his erratic attention span won't let him linger over anything for long, making him get sidetracked, forget where he's heading and why. Therein lies his difficulty as he relies heavily on sudden flourishes of playful silliness to maintain the flow of laughter (such as putting on shades that make him look like a fly) and it's at these moments that he loses the thread of whatever it is that he's working on, frequently wedging himself in some comic blind alley, so that he can't comfortably return to wherever he deviated from even if he remembers what it is. It leads to situations like the end of this set, when he finds himself with fuck all left to talk about, and for a guy with this much experience, it's a bad habit that he should have grown out of by now.
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
You can also email us, so do that to:
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
COMEDY FORUM - Thursday1st February
NOT YOUR HERO - Saturday 3rd Feb
CLOCKS - Sunday 4th Feb
THE VIOLETS - Friday 9th Feb
LINCHPIN - Saturday 10th Feb
MUCH THE SAME - Friday 16th Feb
Lifted (with permission) from the January edition of BLAM! - All queries regarding libel actions should be directed to them