Comedian and Never Mind the Buzzcocks star, Phill Jupitus has a unique way of staying sane.
“Basically I do stand-up instead of paying for a therapist. It’s much more profitable for me,” he says.
Jupitus returns to the city for more ‘therapy’ on Sunday for performances in the Galway Comedy Festival, rebranded as the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, which starts today, and runs until Monday, October 27. As well as several stand-up shows, listeners to Galway Bay FM’s mid-morning magazine show, Galway Talks, can hear Jupitus next week as he stands in for Keith Finnegan for an hour a day.
A firm favourite with Galway audiences, the English funny man has been coming here for two decades, since his first gig in the former GPO nightclub in the late 1980s.
That was pre-Celtic Tiger Galway – the city has changed a whole pile since and so too has his stand-up style.
“When you do something as long as I’ve been doing it – I’ve been performing in one shape or another for over 30 years – naturally my style changes. When I was younger it was a lot more surreal, whimsical stuff, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s a lot more talking about life – the comic father . . . the things I talk about are sort of the common concerns of most fathers; fathers and daughters especially, and I think that’s why it resonates with the audience,” he says.
Jupitus is unmistakably English – his accent gives it away – but he says that is an asset abroad, rather than a hindrance.
“I used to do a lot in America, so I know a lot of American speech pattern. I did a gig in New York once, and for the first half of the week I used American speech patterns but then I switched and just did British for the second half of the week and it just went down better.
“I think an audience, particularly an audience overseas, likes to hear something different. And they like to hear indigenous speech pattern. If I hear an American comic say ‘pavement’, I’d be like ‘no, that sounds wrong in your mouth’. It’s always better to sort of stick to who you are.”
Last month, Jupitus did a gig in Sweden that ‘went down a treat’ with 400 Swedes, so he says, “the language barrier thing is a bit of a misnomer”. He says cultural barriers exist, however, as he recalls nearly being arrested for a risqué segment in the Middle East.
“I did a gig in Dubai, and I talked about my daughter, and the guy that organised the gig said after ‘you really sailed close to the wind there’. They really don’t like you talking about sex in the Gulf – genuinely, it was that close to calling the police. I said ‘what, really?’ and he was like ‘No seriously, culturally, you can’t’. You just have to be aware. But the essence of what we do – stand up comedy – is the exchange of ideas for laughter. The thing is, if you mitigate those ideas, and if you water them down, and if you try and tailor those ideas to the audience, or if you try and second guess your audience, I think you’re taking more of a gamble than just doing your own thing. I’d rather fail by being myself than fail trying to be what they want,” he says.
And that’s the thing about being a comedian – you can fall flat on stage, your jokes going down like lead balloons. Jupitus is aware of this – “stand-up is a very, very strange job” – but he doesn’t get nervous before taking to the stage.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Cope take electronic sound into whole host of directions
Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell
Few Irish artists have had their fingerprints on as many contemporary music projects as Dublin & Berlin-based electronic duo The Cope, made up of David Anthony Curley – formerly of Otherkin and currently overseeing operations in The Clinic, a recording studio he founded in Clontarf – and Joe Furlong, a session bassist and musical director who works with the likes of James Vincent McMorrow and Sorcha Richardson.
Their collaboration spawned from a shared affection for a broad range of electronic and dance artists – Caribou, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers and Rüfüs du Sol among them.
It has evolved into an ambient, textured sound that sticks strong to a cohesive, atmospheric production style. The tone and mood of the project is aided by the multi-faceted approach David and Joe have taken.
The Cope expands far beyond digital music releases – it is an audio-visual experience that seeks to champion as many arts streams as it can.
Given the pair’s backgrounds, it is no surprise that collaboration is at the heart of this venture. Their debut EP was launched this Wednesday – and alongside it is a short film split over three parts titled I Am Stretched on Your Grave.
Directed by Jamie Delaney, it highlights their willingness to work with other artists that fit the tone of the work, as well as the physicality of the music The Cope is preparing.
“We didn’t set out thinking it had to have these visuals but when myself and Joe landed on that production style, and wrote those songs that became the EP, we knew then we’d have to have a video that matches the audio,” David reveals.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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Comedian Shane for city show
Shane Clifford, who has been described by podcaster and comedian Blindboy as ‘The best comedian in Ireland, hands down’, will be at the city’s Town Hall Studio next Thursday, December 1, at 8.30pm to perform his new show, AW Class.
It’s being presented by the Lisa Richards Agency who are promising loads of laughter as Tralee man Shane tries and fails to get to grips with rugby fans, posh dogs, sinister yoghurt and retail breakdowns.
Shane who previously worked in Tesco, was 30 when he did his first stand-up show about six years ago. That was after he had quit his job, gone travelling and decided, on a whim, to upload some silly videos to the internet. He dealt with issues such as mental health and masculinity in an original and funny way in these videos and has since gone on to gain a reputation as an original voice on the Irish comedy scene, playing festivals and venues including Whelan’s.
Tickets €15, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Theatre box office.
INO present Donizetti comedy at Town Hall
Irish National Opera will return to Galway next Thursday, December 1, to present Donizetti’s Don Pasquale in the Town Hall Theatre at 8pm.
Donizetti’s sparkling operatic comedy is an intergenerational tug-of-war about love and money. It features Don Pasquale, a grumpy old bachelor; Ernesto, his good-looking young heir; and Norina, an attractive young widow.
This unorthodox love triangle is the basis for a hilarious and touching show that offers an entertaining slant on the threat of being disinherited, a mock marriage and a spendthrift wife.
Sung in Italian with English surtitles, it’s conducted by Teresa Riveiro Böhm and directed by Orpha Phelan, with Graeme Danby as Don Pasquale and Kelli-Ann Masterson as Norina.
Tickets for Don Pasquale are €30/€27, plus €1 booking fee, from tht.ie, 091-569777 or from the Town Hall Box Office.