Thursday, 24 March 2016

SECRET 7 opens to the public on 8th April

Andy Vella, Babek Ganjei, Gavin Turk, Anish Kapoor, Bob & Roberta Smith, Paul Smith, Modern Toss, Nick Rhodes, Tatty Devine, and Harry Pye are just some of the artists who've designed a record sleeve for Secret 7 - which is now in it's 5th year. Secret 7” takes 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and presses each one 100 times to 7” vinyl. We then invite creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style for every 7”. 700 sleeves are exhibited and then sold for £50 apiece. You don’t know who created the sleeve, or even which song it’s for, until you have parted with your cash - the secret lies within. - See more at: Exhibition: 8 April – 1 May 2016, Tuesday to Sunday Sale: 2 May 2016, Bank Holiday Monday Sonos Studio, 21 Club Row, London, E2 7EY.
Secret 7” 2016 is in aid of Amnesty International UK.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Q & A with Ellis & Rose

Last Wednesday I had a great time in Bethnal Green watching rising comedy stars Ellis & Rose I laughed a lot more than I thought I would and came to the conclusion that these talented chaps deserve to do well. Find out more about the cheeky pair by visiting or reading the interview below:
The Rebel magazine: How long have the two of you been working together and putting on nights at Backyard Comedy Club?
Richard Rose: "We met at a party in March 2012, and decided that night (when drunk) to meet up again and attempt to write some sketches. We got together the next week and failed to write a single good sketch. Four years later, we have still failed to write a single good sketch." Gareth Ellis: "We've been running Brainwash Club at The Backyard for about a year and a half now. It isn't lucrative in any way. It will probably end soon."
What would be your dream line-up? Which comedy star would you most like to get? RR: "Dapper Laughs, Roy Chubby Brown, and the most objectionable Wayans Brother."
GE: "I'd like the Chuckle Brothers."
Do you drink before a show to steady your nerves? RR: "No. I drink before a show because I'm an alcoholic." GE: I find that battery acid really gets me going.
How do you cope with all the expenses living in London brings? RR: "I generally drink Prosecco over Champagne. We all have to make sacrifices."
GE: "Richard takes everything I earn. I eat dry bread for every meal."
Do Ellis & Rose love each other like brothers? Do you ever fight?
RR: Have you seen the film 'Dead Ringers', in which Jeremy Irons plays a pair of identical twins gynaecologists? Our relationship is like that. If one of us gets sick, the other falls apart. Also, we're gynaecologists.
GE: "Richard always talks about films no one has ever seen. I hate him when he does that."
Of the two of you - which has been the most lucky in love? RR: "We've both had a few relationships since we started this act, but they all crumbled to dust. Ellis & Rose has outlived all of my romantic partnerships. Make of that what you will." GE: "I'm the more lusty of the pair."
Of the two of you - which has the bigger lust for fame? RR: "If I get famous, I want it to be for something meaningful and impressive, like a mass shooting. Not pratting about on a stage with that goon. I want to be famous for my tragedy, not my comedy." GE: "I want to live in a cave."
What percentage of your material is un p.c.? RR: "We don't think of it in that way; we simply make jokes that we think are funny. The aim is always to be playful and fun, first and foremost. Sometimes we push things into slightly dubious territory, but there's nothing mean-spirited in what we do. Having said that, I do sometimes feel that changing the name of our act from Monty Python's Flying Abortion Clinic was a cowardly move." GE: 82%
Do you have stalkers / obsessive fans RR: "We genuinely did. At the fringe in 2013, there were two Scottish girls, who must have each been about 14, who came to our show every day for about a week. They must have seen us perform roughly ten times, and they would hang around us afterwards, asking very odd questions. At first it was quite sweet, but before long it got kind of creepy. I imagine at the fringe this year they'll turn up on the first day of our show wearing wedding dresses, with twigs and leaves in their hair, each clutching a burlap sack baby. One will have gone blind and the other deaf, and they'll have legally changed their names to Ellisina and Rosie. Ideally I would like to inspire that level of devotion in everyone who sees us perform."
GE: "They were our under-age groupies. Not sexy at all."
Do the two of you write together in an office with one of you typing up what the other says? RR: "We come up with stuff when pissing about together, then I go away and write a script, which he fails to learn and I lose all faith in. It's good to have a system." GE: "I say things and Richard steals them and makes them worse."
What are your favourite things (films, books, cities, artworks) RR: "I love horror films, short books, cheap drinks, salty food and pornography where the people spit on each other (what's this interview for btw?)"
GE: "I DJ on the side. Music is better than comedy. I went into the wrong thing."

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Q & A with Sukie Smith

The new single by Madam, When I Met You is being launched on 26/03/16 and it will be followed by a new album Back to the Sea. The band's singer / song writer Sukie Smith answers a few questions...
The Rebel Magazine: Tell me about your new single "When I Met You" where is the ideal place to hear it? (e.g. On headphones alone at night or in a car whilst driving) Sukie Smith: "Its a dark trawl through an event that happened years ago to my then boyfriend, so badly beaten up, left for dead, found, taken to hospital and the events that happened there, the thinking around it .... the working out of the circumstances that lead to it ....... headphones or car journey seem to suit my music , but so does huge amplification, monstrously loud..... knock yourself out Harry anyway you wanna."
Who are your fellow musicians on the record? "Jeff Townsin -drums , Gareth Moss , bass, Sarah Gill cello/saw,John Robertson plays guitar on the half the album , including this song ..... Adam Franklin from Swerve driver plays on the rest with Frankie frankie from Throw Down Bones on a couple of tracks , then there are a handful of amazing guest musicians,including cuban jazz trumpeter Yelfris Valdes , who I met while we were both involved in workshopping a huge project about concert pianist Phillippa Schuyler , David Michael Curry , I met when Madam supported Thalia Zedek, plays extraordinary viola on the huge end track, go to sax/clarinet/brass girl Charlotte Glasson plays on Murder Park ,composer Marc Teitler plays grand piano on No Ghost , John Mackay plays vaudeville piano on the same track sound artist Michael Begg made beautiful glass harmonica sounds and a fog horn symphony on Back to the Sea , engineer James Aparicio played synth on Not here Yet and we recorded bits of the studio so that's on it too as a musician in its own right I guess : ) I think I play everything else....."
Who are your pop heroes, did you have anyone's poster on your wall? "David Bowie was on my wall..."
Are you at your happiest when you're singing on stage? "Happy? Happy? Harry, have you heard these songs?? hahah ... I fucking love being lost in the middle of a show."
Whose opinions on your work do you take make notice of? "I guess I don't mind what people think ....."
What was the first song you ever wrote? How long did you have to spend trying to write songs until you came up with something you liked? "True true true , the first song i ever wrote was When I met You ........... I didn't understand it , I didn't think it had worth ...... but now we know ..... songs have their time When I met You is ready now ........."
What song do you wish you'd written? "Fancy by Bobbie Gentry."
What is your idea of beauty in nature? "All nature is beautiful , a massive sky with strange colours is hard to beat."
Where would you like to be 10 years from now? "I'm open for adventure .... lets see... I am not sure my imagination is wide enough to think about ten years time...."

Monday, 7 March 2016

Q & A with Dave Cohen

Acclaimed comedy writer Dave Cohen has got a new show, it's called "Music Was My First Love". Dave says: "It's a tale of music, falling out with dad and other folks. An epic journey poem, like The Odyssey, with jokes." The show is being performed 3 times at The Poetry Cafe and each time he'll be joined by a different special guest. Dave is a prolific writer whose responsible for almost all the songs in Horrible Histories and has contributed to magazines such as NME, Radio shows such as Dead Ringers and various TV shows such as Have I Got News For You? Now read on...
The Rebel: Covent Garden's Poetry Cafe is a great venue. How did your 3 shows there come about? Dave Cohen: "I wrote a stand-up poem a few years ago and almost accidentally found it. My God it's perfect. A West end venue, intimate, devoted to poetry... Then I completely forgot about it. I was asking around the comedy circuit for venues to try the new show, and the comedian Andre Vincent said 'it's a poem, why not do it at the Poetry Café? ' Well duh."
(A few years back) Chris Rock said he wouldn't want to go on stage and do his act after Joan Rivers had done hers. Jimmy Tarbuck said the same thing about Victoria Wood. Seeing as your 3 specials guests are all men. Can you name 3 female comics/performers that you couldn't top and would dread to have to come on stage and perform after they'd done their set? "Back in my stand up days absolutely nobody followed Jo Brand, ever. Once I had to go on after her because she was rushing to another gig. You could almost hear the energy following her out the door. Funnily enough only this week I went to a gathering of old mates commemorating ten years since Linda Smith died. She was another regular stormer in the early 90s. I don't see a huge amount of live stuff these days, but judging by her telly appearances I don't think I would like to follow Katherine Ryan."
Your home Town is Leeds. Do you love Leeds? Which parts of Leeds are lovely? "I left Leeds 40 years ago but parts of it have never left me. I used to sing about it in my act - 'Leeds, so good they named it once'. It got hip and trendy about three weeks after I left. It was a cultural desert, then punk happened and it became cool, or swag as they say nowadays. Ooh I could tell you some stories about Leeds - in fact I am doing, at the Poetry Cafe on 24 March, 28 April and 19 May."
Could you describe an average day in the life of Dave Cohen? "I don't think I have had an average day since August 1983 when I quit my day job to do comedy. Although since having kids I've had to plan my days more carefully, around swimming lessons, piano practice and early morning drop offs."
Is teaching courses in how to write Sit Coms a serious business -are there many laughs during your sessions at King's Cross? "I love teaching sitcom writing because, from a totally selfish point of view, it teaches me to become a better sitcom writer. When we're coming up with new ideas we can get so carried away with excitement that we forget the basics. Big laughs, yes, a few, and free biscuits. Never underestimate the importance of free biscuits."
Have you ever read or been to see the Trevor Griffiths play Comedians? If so, were you impressed / what did you come away thinking? "The Comedians was a seminal work from the 70s that laid bare the old school my generation were about to trash. It was fantastic when it came out and inspiring to us, although it hasn't aged well. Which is fine, it was of its time."
In 1987 you toured with Phil Cornwall and Felix Dexter - both men were known for their characters and ability to impersonate whoever they liked? Did you get to know either of them and have any serious chats or did they tend to just talk in silly voices? "We toured that show with Ivor Dembina for two years, and it made us very close. When you spend hours together in cars and overnight in crappy B and B's there's not a lot you don't know about each other. The silly voices were saved for the stage, although Felix would often serenade us as Johnny Mathis, annoyingly. I still miss the old boy. I don't see Phil so much but every time we meet we end up talking in the catchphrases that came out of those days. It was a great experience."
To what extent do you agree with Ivor Dembina on his take on the Israel/Palestine conflict? Could you ever conceive of adding your signature to the list of writers and performers who believe there should be a cultural boycott of Israel? My take on Israel and Palestine is pretty central to the story of the show so I won't say too much here. I think there is a strong case for BDS but the areas where some Palestinians and Israeli Arabs say it would be counterproductive are cultural and academic, as this hurts no-one economically, but plays into the hands of the current Israeli government. In foreign affairs, I would call myself a Tatchellite.
What would be your 8 desert Island discs and what book would you take with you? "Only 8? Oh crikey. Well it would have to be albums I never get bored of... Fulfillingness First Finale by Stevie Wonder, Hissing of Summer Lawns by Joni Mitchell, Who's Next, and Songs of Strength and Heartbreak by The Mighty Wah. King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown by Augustus Pablo. Oh no, only three left. Supertramp - Crime Of The Century. Don't mock me, that is a brilliant album. I really need to take two more Joni albums - Hejira, say, and Court and Spark - but instead for variety I'll throw in Chopin's Nocturnes played by Rubinstein, and Before And After Science by Brian Eno."
On the 19th of May your special guest at The Poetry Cafe is one of the Godfathers of Alternative Comedy: Mr John Dowie. John hasn't performed for quite some time. Did he need much coaxing? "A little. I wrote the sleeve notes for his 2013 CD compilation, and noted that he hadn't performed since 2002, and before that 1991, so set up the idea we're due a Dowie revival."
Some say School Days were the happiest of their life. When was the best time to be Dave Cohen? "There was a period of about a year round 82-83 when I was working as a journalist in South Wales, and all these people I knew who were doing comedy were becoming huge stars. I was a bit depressed then, but made up my mind to give up the journalism and move to London. That was August 83. Been pretty good ever since." -------------------------------------------------- Don't miss the three shows that Dave is doing at The Poetry Cafe (Betterton Street, Covent Garden, 8pm £7) Thursday 24 March special guest ARTHUR SMITH reading his poetry Thursday 28 April special guest JOHN HEGLEY Thursday 19 May special guest JOHN DOWIE reading from his new book For more info: