28th April 2012 doors 7.30 start 8pm tickets £10 (£8 conc)
Boothby Graffoe &Nick Pynn
on the‘Bang! Is This Your Vehicle, Sir?’ tour
Music. Funny stuff.
More music. Interval.
Even more music.
Even more funny stuff.
Encore, possibly combining music and funny stuff.
End. Get kicked out of venue.
Get let back in venue.
Buy CD. Go home. Listen to CD.
Boothby & Nick follow on from the success of their The Return Of Boothby Graffoe 2011 tour by having another jolly trip up and down the country to promote the new studio album ‘Bang! Is This Your Vehicle Sir?’ which is released in February 2012.
‘Boothby Graffoe is a multi-talented, darkly hilarious, grade A British eccentric, who can twist your funny bone one minute, and break your heart the next. A musical comedy act who is more musical than most musicians, and funnier than most comedians.’
– Stewart Lee, foul-mouthed left-wing comedian
‘If I had to compare him to anyone, it would be Spike Milligan.’ – Omid Djalili
‘The world would be a poorer place without his eccentric turn of phrase. Graffoe’s long time collaborator, the unassuming multi-instrumentalist Nick Pynn, accompanies him on-stage: as well as adding subtle texture to the songs, he comes close to stealing the show with folksy musical interludes on violin, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer.’ – The Times
‘Rare among comedy singer-songwriters in that he’s not intensely twee and annoying.’
The Sunday Times, Culture Section (Must Sees & The Critical List)
‘Sings songs that are both beautiful and funny’ – The Guardian
‘…. Nick Pynn. Brighton’s own folk-rock dignitary’s skill, along with comic timing, complimented Graffoe’s exquisitely twisted lyrics perfectly to produce a show as entertaining musically as it was funny. This show was as fun for the performers as it was the audience, long may this fertile collaboration continue.’ – Brighton Argus
‘About as challenging as a warm bath, infused with the radox of whimsy.’ Chortle
A very recent review from the London Evening Standard…
13 March 2012 9:23 AM
Boothby Graffoe – He Really Should Be More Famous
I went to see Boothby Graffoe last night. He was doing a gig in a school theatre about two minutes from my house so it would have seemed rude not to. Not only that, of course, but Graffoe has always been one of the more interesting clowns on the circuit. He really ought to be more famous. Back in the 1990s he picked up a Perrier Award nomination for a brilliantly inventive show in which he co-starred onstage which a collapsing kitchen. He even had interest from American television, but back then he was maybe a little too, as they say, “out there” for the mainstream. At times he would go so comedically off-piste he made Spike Milligan’s surreal flights of fancy seem like Michael McIntyre’s man drawer riffs.
In the last few years Graffoe has put straight headlinging stand-up slightly on the back burner to tour with rock band The Barenaked Ladies and to write for Omid Djalili, who he recently supported on his major UK trek. Graffoe now has a new CD out, Bang! Is This Your Vehicle Sir?
complete with a gushing press release written by superfan Stewart Lee. Hence this rather more modest UK jaunt in his own right. I might not be quite as influential as Stewart Lee but I also urge any lovers of quirky, intelligent, rug-pulling comedy to catch Graffoe. He has now mellowed a little and tamed the wilder fringes of his humour and is highly recommended. Did I mention that he really ought to be more famous?
Where Billy Connolly went from musician to comedian as the banter in his act grew, it is typical of Graffoe’s upside-down approach that he has gone in the other direction. There is still plenty of comedy banter, but it is the strong darkly comic songs that dominate his set. He sings about making meals consisting of dead bodies. He has a lullaby as skewed as Tim Minchin’s equally oddball ode to his offspring. To reveal more would spoil the surprise. Comedy songs that work as both comedy and songs are a tough trick to pull off, but Graffoe does it time and time again.
In his mid-gig chats Graffoe has belatedly become political, bemoaning the state of the nation and wondering what the 999 emergency services would be like if they were privatised like everything else – “If you are being attacked press one…”. He has some pertinent thoughts about the Olympics too, noting that an East London newspaper genuinely carried a headline about a “much-needed velodrome” being built, as if that will solve the economic problems of Stratford. But it is the songs that make up the bulk of his current shows. Sometimes slow burn, sometimes sharp, all consistently clever.
It is also worth mentioning that Graffoe is an exquisitely subtle guitarist and is joined onstage by the equally excellent musician Nick Pynn. Double acts come in all shapes and sizes and this one is definitely worth catching. Graffoe’s laid back style can seem throwaway, but pay attention, there are hidden gems here. Buy the CD or see him on tour even if he is more than a short walk away. It really would be rude not to.
Boothby Graffoe is on tour until 5 May. Details here
Follow Bruce Dessau on Twitter @brucedes