Last night I was lucky enough to visit the Royal Albert Hall for one of the Teenage Cancer Trust gigs curated by bumbling, coarse hero of the north, Noel Gallagher. The night in question was one of comedy, notably pegged as a show by the Goth Detectives; the collective term for Russell Brand and Noel Fielding.
The name came as a result of the pair appearing on a team together on Big Fat Quiz Of The Year a few years ago and they have quite literally run with it.
I had never been to the Albert Hall before. It still holds an air of grandeur even when Brand referred to it as a mausoleum.
The show opened with a plasticine stop-motion animation by Fielding where the pair searched for the cure for cancer before being given a lift to the gig by “golden fleece haired” mod hero Roger Daltrey who then bounded out onto the stage to introduce the pair.
Brand and Fielding work well together in that they both crave chaos and attention. Their show seemed to have some kind of script or plan or intention behind it but that quickly gave way to Russell trying to impregnate everything and Noel saying silly things just to be quirky.
After a brilliant rambling opening gambit they introduced Sean Walsh to the stage.
I first saw Walsh perform at a tiny warm up gig on a boat approximately two years ago. He was a stand out performer then, and has only got better I am pleased to report. His observational comedy is not as stilted and predictable as the likes of McIntyre or Evans, the things he comments on are the awkward ways of the English nature and trying to maintain a modicum of masculinity in today’s society. His physical comedy is parallel to his spoken word, equal parts the mime and the joker.
Russell returned to the stage to carry out a bit of solo stand up which was a clear highlight. It’s good to see despite his recent Hollywood dalliances and bus surfing Olympic appearance his life is still a series of embarrassing events linked together by telling people about those embarrassing events.
I’ve been a fan since his drug addled days on MTV and it’s good to see the lack of opiates in his system has made him wilder and smarter.
This was followed by Noel performing his character Roy Circles from Luxury Comedy. Roy is a chocolate finger PE teacher who I believe was in the army, it was hard to work out.
I tried really hard to enjoy Luxury Comedy but it just wasn’t the Boosh. Maybe that was the point. Maybe I’m too much of a square to get it.
Following a brief eulogy of Neil Armstrong by the moon the first half ended.
The second half of the show began with a short film about the Teenage Cancer Trust and the excellent work they do. They are the only charity who solely work with young people with cancer.
Noel Gallagher then took to the stage accompanied by one of the girls aided by the support of TCT. That has just reminded me to donate actually.
Russell and Noel returned to attempt to solve a goth mystery, as they are after all supposed to be detectives. The suggestion box they placed at the front of the stage before the break was just full of witchy woman witterings and attempts to be funny.
When that failed they pulled a skinhead from the audience and decided to call his stepdad live on stage. Russell joked he was yet to learn his lesson about calling up someone’s relatives for a joke.
Tony Law was the notable highlight of the second half. The vikrate/piking has been on the peripheries for far too long and Fielding’s admiration of his act helped in getting him the slot. As a comedian he is incredible to watch. You never know exactly where his jokes are heading in the best possible way.
His ‘Two elephants in a bar’ skit had me in pieces and despite the scowls of people who obviously wanted something a little more obvious and vacuous he went across well.
This was followed by the return of the Goth Detectives as they gave a student a goth makeover, cutting his ginger bob and forcing him into black leggings. The act would have been slightly more successful if they weren’t faced with a brick wall as a model. The kid just looked miserable, and this was before they spray painted his hair and face.
It was a great evening and excellent for the Teenage Cancer Trust which doesn’t get enough respect or support. The work done to put on these events and raise awareness is incredible. Those involved deserve every kind of accolade.
Personally I would like to thank James for sorting me a ticket, to Jack for finding such a supreme steakhouse and to Sandy for getting the beers.