Up early for the long drive to Machynlleth for my third (I think) Mach Fest. I left at 10am, arrived just after 4, was being interviewed for Radio 4 Extra at 5 and then did my RHLSTP (EATMCF) (except at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival) with Mike Wozniak at 6. This show will be audio only though I filmed our walk from the dressing room to the stage and posed a quick self-fellatio query that should be up on the secret channel for monthly subscribers soon. I was a little bit punch drunk from the experience, but the hour flew by and I think it was an entertaining chat. It will be put up at the end of series 5 in about three weeks. When researching the chat (at the service station on the way here) I was amused that amongst his quite sparse internet coverage is a mention from me in this blog in 2008
I didn't remember much about it, but quizzed him about the penile mishap on the podcast and it involved muesli down the Herring's Eye (external meatus). And I then got to see how Mike's act had developed in the last seven and a half years by going to see his solo show, "Take the Hit". Rather charmingly and in the spirit of Mach Fest it was taking part in a school hall. The Welsh flag hung above the stage. Maybe it's because of Game of Thrones but it suddenly struck me as weird that a modern day country would still have a dragon on its flag. And I noticed consciously for the first time that the dragon is standing on the green part, like he's in a field. Was the Welsh flag designed by a child in a Blue Peter competition? No, there wasn't a little strip of blue at the top to signify the sky.
Don't get me wrong, Wales is the fucking best and the fact that they have a dragon on their flag just proves that.
Even though someone in front of me let off rather badly with a fart that literally stang my eyes I really enjoyed the show. Mike had to deal with some enthusiastic, well-meaning and slightly merry hecklers right from the start. That can be a difficult thing to judge, especially right at the top of a show and I was fearful that the interruptions might cloud the show. But Mike was charming and calm and coped with it cleverly, joking that he was letting the show get away from him and that he'd lost the crowd already. This was all quite fitting in a show with an enjoyable conceit that the show never gets going, as Mike is side-tracked by concerns about his parents-in-law living with him. It's very enjoyable and even though I was weary from my travelling I was glad I had come out to see it, rather than heading back to bed as I had nearly done.
This is such a great comedy festival, with acts and punters all milling side by side in the same small Welsh town. As I arrived in my hotel, the first person I saw coming down the stairs was one of the diehard fans (he also likes RHLSTP) who I take the piss out of on the front row of my podcasts. If you were a lazy stalker then this would be a great festival to come to. But in this case he seemed more perturbed than me that the fourth wall was being so effectively demolished.
The minute I was out of the door I was bumping into comedians. In fact I had already seen a couple of them (the not fat one from Proctor and Gamble and Nish Kumar) at the service station.
It's a long way to come for a comedy festival, but the vibe is so great that it is more than worth the 12 hours that I will be spending in the car this weekend.
Alas I am not going to be able to make the most of all that is on offer as I have to stay in my hotel room and work tomorrow, but I am looking forward to my gig (might still be a few tickets left) and catching up with some of my comedian pals afterwards.
This weeks' Metro column is about Rasputin. Hope you enjoy it.