Everybody's Reading

Friday, 20 November 2015

Jodie Hannis reviews herself at Oxjam Leicester Takeover festival

This is not a review of Oxjam Leicester Takeover 2015. This is a review of me having a really nice time there. Part of this includes telling you about the Haunted House of Comedy and Shock! Tales tent in Orton Square.

It was a lovely tent, big enough for the sound system, artists, comperes, and at some point when vigorously encouraged, enough space for us, the audience, to sit down in it. I had been standing for quite a while at this point so I enjoyed when that happened. It was also a lovely tent because it had been decorated with big pieces of fabric, some classy bunting (not the tacky stuff that looks thin and flimsy) and even some Halloween themed fairy lights. Oh I should mention, it was on 31th October and was Halloween themed because Halloween was that day.

The Halloweening was done extra hard by the comperes for the day whose names were Jenny Hibberd and Dave McGuckin. I wasn’t sure whether to say ‘were’ or ‘are’ just then because ‘were’ makes it sound as if they’re dead now but don’t worry they’re not they’re still alive. Dave did look kind of dead because he’d put lots of white make up on. Jenny had put lots of make up on too but she didn’t look dead she looked like an evil fairy because that’s what she’d dressed up as. I really like them and they’re my friends so you can’t really trust anything I say about them but if you can, you should believe me when I say they’re lovely and very talented.

Jenny is funny and smart and runs an event called House of Verse which happens every month in Leicester. All sorts of artists make art for it and some of my favourite ones did some more art on Saturday. The first thing I saw was a band called Wiseass which made me want to start dancing straight away and I wasn’t even drunk. For only two musicians (Raj and Jamie playing one guitar and one drums) they made quite a bit of noise that was bluesy and funky and rocky. I really hope they put some of their songs on a CD or a record so I can listen to them at home. Or they could just come and play for me in my house, whichever is easiest, I don’t mind. Have a listen here:

I missed another bit of music called Velvet Exit that I wanted to hear because a restaurant that-shall-remain-nameless took an unreasonable amount of time to cook a quesadilla for me. I heard the very last 30 seconds of it and it was so good that it made me even sadder that I’d missed it. But the show must go on and the next person to show themselves was word-man Andrew Lee who I didn’t recognise for quite a while even though he’d been stood right next to me for a few minutes. His costume must’ve been good but then maybe it was supposed to be more of a disguise, either way it worked really well. It also made the words that he was saying extra creepy and some of them were pretty creepy to begin with. His performances sometimes look painfully embodied so the skeleton onesie suited him quite well. He might want to consider wearing it all the time.

Then there was more music from DJ Ninja Bob which was so good, it was one of my favourite bits of the whole day. I think I danced for half an hour without stopping. When the dancing stopped, this was the point when we all sat down for the first time. It was good to sit down after all the dancing because I was tired but I was also quite sweaty. When I stood up a bit later I noticed that I’d left a sweaty bum print which could clearly be seen on the concrete. About 5 or 6 years ago when I was younger and more self-conscious I think I would have been embarrassed about that but I liked it because it was nice to see a visual reminder of how much fun I’d been having about 20 minutes before. It was getting colder though and when I finally stopped sweating and cooled down I got a bit chilly and actually ended up colder than I was before I did the dancing. It’s funny how that happens sometimes. I don’t regret it though, I had a better time with DJ Ninja Bob than I would’ve done if I’d stayed warm at home.

It was Jack Britton who encouraged all the sitting, though I’m sure he didn’t fully appreciate my sticky situation at the time. This guy is really funny and I value his wit very highly. He managed to do a song about holding a woman hostage and it wasn’t inappropriate or offensive. I wouldn’t be able to pull that off and I’m a woman who is blonde and innocent looking. But Jack is also blonde and innocent looking so maybe he’s just better at it than me.

The next poet Stephen Thomas did a poem about being like Jesus and I guess he was quite innocent looking too. But he seemed to only want to look like Jesus for sexual gratification so maybe he’s not that like Jesus. I hope he realised his girlfriend was in the audience too otherwise that would’ve been super awkward. Ishi Khan-Jackson’s boyfriend was also in the audience. She didn’t really talk about him in her set though so maybe she’s a bit more independent and not as needy. She did talk about stealing money from charity though which I enjoyed because the whole thing going on that day was actually a big charity event which I guess she hadn’t realised.

I can’t tell you about all of the acts that happened that day because I’ve run out of space and I’m getting a bit bored of this now. But I’ll tell you about Dan Nicholas and Lewys Holt (he has more names than this but I already said I was running out of space) who did some improvised comedy. I think they were getting onto some good stuff especially when they were doing handstands. Well, Lewys was doing handstands, Dan looked like he was kind of putting all of his body-weight onto his face and neck which is probably a bad way to do it. My suggestion would be that next time they do an interactive handstand class because I would join in with that and I think Dan would learn a lot.

Maybe Dave’s next Comedy and Cocktails would be a good chance to see that. Maybe it wouldn’t but it was a good way of tying the start of this paragraph together with the end of the last one. This will happen Tuesday 1 December 2015 in Manhattan 34 at 8pm. The next House of Verse is a bit before that on Saturday 21 November 2015 at the Music CafĂ© from 7pm. I realise that it just looks like I’m trying to persuade you to come to my friend’s things and give them money because I already told you that we’re friends. That is sort of what I’m doing but I do also think you’ll have a really good time and just want as many people as possible to have a good time and feel nice about themselves.

Next House of Verse: https://www.facebook.com/events/1517285475255475/
Next Comedy and Cocktails: https://www.facebook.com/events/705619712873346/

About the reviewer
Jodie Hannis chases after words at every opportunity. If you have some, chances are, she’d like to hear them. She also occasionally runs away from ones she puts out into the world herself:
http://notsoftly.tumblr.com/

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