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The Rocket Apes 
17th-Jul-2007 03:36 am

For want of anything better to do this summer, stuck in our hometown again, me and my friend Neil decided to put on a show for the Stafford Festival. Someone we know from school was running the comedy tent this year, so we got him to give us a slot. Considering we only had two weeks to think about it and 3 days to work on it, and we got booted off when we were only 3/4 through our set, I thought it went pretty well! 

UPDATE 27/08/07: video now available.


The festival was a pretty grisly affair, given the flood-level rain we've been having. It did make it feel more like a real festival, though.

 We started out with our backs to the audience. Who are these mysterious fellows?





This is us taking moustaches out from our custom moustache dispensers. I'll spare you the jokes we told! If anyone in the audience found them funny, they found them funny on a very quiet level only. We were having fun, though!


Here, I talk the audience through some of my inventions to benefit mankind, to buy Neil time to get prepared for the next item.


Here's one of the inventions I pitched! Here is the average town in england:

Everyone rides their bikes downhill to work in the factory. This is great! But what happens come hometime? Most people will by then be too lazy to cycle all that way uphill, so most likely they'll just take their cars to work instead for the long drive home. More cars means more pollution.

Instead, we should install gigantic motorized pistons to raise the factory up and lower the houses!

Everyone gets home safely and happily and not a gallon of petrol is spent uneccessarily.  You can have that one for free, planet Earth. 

Neil then comes out on stage as 'The Lord of The Rings'. Meanwhile Hitlercat demonstrates our fabulous prizes we have up for grabs! (secret: Hitlercat is my sister in disguise)


I was singing a Serge Gainsbourg song here. We got the audience to shout out words which I'd have to incorporate into the last verse which had never been heard before in the universe!


The bit where The Lord of The Rings has two dogs eat cheerios off his chest to the tune of 'Abracadabra' by the Steve Miller band didn't prove the laugh riot we were expecting. My mum liked it, though!


I'm making a music video for a guy and I won't have time to colour it, so I'm doing a lot of experiments with black and white design schemes in the run-up to it.  I hope people didn't mind, but seriously, England is just shades of grey anyway; black and white are like two whole extra colours over here. Our hats are meant to be a squid and an octopus, by the way.

I think it's funny how my legs always point inwards in these pictures! According to Richard Williams' Animator's Survival Kit, I'm technically a woman.



I actually thought the gig was going pretty well, but the promoter kicked us off halfway through (happily some people in the audience did call him a wanker for us, though.)  I think maybe 25% of the people there were loving it and the rest didn't know what the fuck to make of us. The kids in the audience were going mental, though!

Sadly, our leaving early meant that we didn't get to bring our friend Maria on for the grand final! She learned to play Earthsong and Heal the World on her guitar for the closing medley... 

We also didn't get to play our game we invented which revolved around someone being blacked up.  It was a variation on the old game where you have three cups and you have to follow the one with the coin under it. So we were going to get three people of equal height, one of whom has a blacked-up face, to run around with bags over their heads with a sheet of canvas at neck height covering their bodies. Then you have to remember which bag the minstrel is under.  We even had someone blacked up waiting in the wings! The game was called 'The Minstrel Cycle.'

Neither did we get to have the closing dance-off, either. We were going to invite people from the audience up on stage to dance to 'Wanna Be Startin' Something', whilst wearing these masks we'd made with no eye-holes in them. There'd be a prize for the best dancer. Here are some of the masks...


Here's some more of my inventions. I actually sent this to my local MP when I was 6. Apparently I got a letter back which was signed by Friends of the Earth trustee Spike Milligan. That's positive reinforcement if ever I had any, but I still think Spike Milligan would have left our set two minutes in to go to the pub.

Billions of tons of water are flushed down all the plugholes in the world with no thought as to where it will all go. I propose we take advantage of this excess water by installing a water wheel under every sink in the UK. The resultant kinetic energy will generate enough electricity to power a small TV for mice. This is very useful if you have a mouse problem, since the mice will be so engrossed by this bold new form of entertainment that they'll forget to eat your food and raid your cupboards.  

Two weeks later, their moral cores shattered by the sudden introduction of western decadent media, they will all have died from drug and gang-related violence.

(I didn't get time to do this next one.)

How many people in the audience are familiar with this experience?


Since the smoking ban came in this month, the very foundation of human social interaction has been overturned in this country! You can't even enjoy a cigarette in your favorite pub anymore! What can we do? 


I propose a special helmet that sucks up all the smoke you create into a tube leading into the ceiling. Kind of a personal extractor fan.


Then it sucks you up into the tube as well and dumps you out in a special concentration camp 5 miles away where you're never heard from again.

Well, that's it... we have video which will be uploaded shortly. Maybe when I watch it back it'll be more clear why they kicked us off!

17th-Jul-2007 01:28 pm (UTC)
Consider yourself friended Squid Boy!
17th-Jul-2007 02:20 pm (UTC)
What an honour!
17th-Jul-2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
"The Minstrel Cycle"? Oh, JESUS.
17th-Jul-2007 05:08 pm (UTC)
There's a picture of my sister, blacked up and raring to go, here: http://www.maudevintage.com/jamesharvey/files/15072007therocketapes/IMAG0176.JPG
17th-Jul-2007 06:03 pm (UTC)

Channing Kennedy would be proud. (And I am) Did you get to play Tape Store's backing track for the Serge song?
17th-Jul-2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Yep, sure did! Portions of it. I forgot to thank him, in fact.

I'm glad you like it, I was sort of inspired by the cat jams ethos of being completely unafraid of failure or even of being not entertaining. And also you said I needed to do more shit. Yeah, so I have you to thank for the fun time we had. As well as everyone else who helped out- it ended up taking a lot of people to facilitate this shambles.
18th-Jul-2007 04:18 pm (UTC)

do you do birthday parties?

and don't worry, your feet may be pointing inwards, but your knees are definately pointing to the sides.
28th-Jul-2007 07:07 am (UTC)
I'd gladly do your birthday pary, sweetheart
28th-Jul-2007 10:17 am (UTC)
I'll remember that promise, darling <3
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