I’ve been a busy bee this week. The 4th of November will mark the 100th anniversary of the a Lesser Variety Show. The show will take place at Quarry and myself and Aidan have kindly been asked to do a performance there, of which we have been rehearsing for the majority of the week, meaning I’ve had very little time to write about music! Instead, this week we will take some time to reminisce on last year's a Lesser Variety Show, as a little teaser for the upcoming show.
Last year marked the 99th anniversary. This was a special performance as Liam Evans, the organiser, only has three fingers on each hand, meaning that his standard unit of measurement tends to be in three’s or six’s. Imagine this more in the realm of its 300th anniversary then. It was the biggest show to date. An incredible selection of acts came from all corners of this silly cubic planet to celebrate.
First up was Billy Corgan. Honestly, this would’ve been a huge let down, were expectations not already so low. After his bizarre performance at the 78th a Lesser Variety Show, in which he kept reading out fan mail that had obviously been written by himself in crayon with his non-dominant hand (woefully implying his fans were all infants), it was understandable that no one was looking forward to the show. Somehow though, it got worse.
Corgan spent his entire set attempting to play music but vomiting all down the front of his shirt and pants. There was some blood. Rumours were surfacing that the provided food, doner kebab lasagna and bean sauce, had spoilt. Tensions were high, who would be able to save the day?
Luckily, Liam Evans was there to play his first show of the night, with his former band, ‘The Jungle Guys’. They honestly played a great set. ‘Thrift Shop’ was as shocking and important as it’s ever been. ‘Same Love’ moved me to tears. ‘Can’t Hold Us’ had the whole crowd screaming his name back at him. Liam Evans really killed it with this set. It was a shame to see him constantly throwing up throughout the set, but hopefully the catering will be better at this year's event.
I remember that after the Jungle Guys had played, I was so drunk I nearly died. I drank 18 shots of vodka in a row to celebrate the night and they had to perform an exorcism on my body as it convulsed. Then I was completely back to normal.
Following my exorcism there was a great comedy act on. Their name was My Heads. Aidan and I looked on from the crowd, laughing ferociously the whole set. They were both really, really funny. Everyone in the crowd laughed loads and all said they were really impressed that it was not only silly, but genuinely a great show. After the set finished we went up to the duo and said ‘hi’. They just stared at us. It was awesome. After staring for a bit one of them removed his glasses from his face and put them onto mine and said: “I’m you.” We never saw them again, but in their honour, the two of us will be performing this exact performance at this years a Lesser Variety Show.
Amongst the bands and comics, there was also great art too. The artist in question had used his own excrement to paint a mural on the walls that stretched the entire way around the venue. It was breathtaking. I couldn’t stop myself from touching it. It was still wet, and I think I ruined it. The unnamed artist was trying to tell me something and he seemed annoyed, but he kept throwing up bits of doner kebab lasagna, and I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I just assumed it was fine and got really drunk instead.
The next band was Global Woe. I thought they were great, and they were all friends of mine too. They had just released an album and played it in full. I loved it, and I really wanted to support them. I was there through the whole recording process, telling them they were going to be the biggest band in the world. After the gig I sent the album off to every music publication I could think of. I even splattered it all over music forums. Unfortunately, the album was critically panned, and fans hated it too. I’ve never seen such an onslaught of hate for a band. They blamed it on me. They said I kept egging them on to do songs they didn’t like when it was being recorded, and that they hadn’t wanted to do them in the first place. They became a laughing stock and none of them ever spoke to me again. They could be dead for all I know. They also couldn’t stop throwing up during the set.
As the night began to reach its conclusion we were treated to something really special. A live seance. I’ve never been witness to a live seance before, and it was petrifying! It being that close to halloween made it especially spooky. I think the medium may have been a simple charlatan though, as all he really did was make us shut our eyes and then he just robbed us. It was still really spooky. When I opened my eyes all I saw in my hand was my own empty wallet, covered in sick. Spooky stuff!
The headline act was none other than Bob Dylan. This was one of the best headliners an a Lesser Variety Show has ever had. Everyone thought it was really cool. A man pulled out a sniper rifle and tried to assassinate him, but Liam threw himself in the way of the bullet, which was un-surprising, as Liam is an excellent host. Bob Dylan then played through so many of his greatest hits. Even whilst throwing up on himself the entire duration of the set, ‘Mr Tambourine Man’ still sounded unbelievable.
All in all a spectacular event! Wouldn’t want to miss any of that, would you? Of course not! So make sure you come down to the Quarry on November 4th for a spectacular variety show, full of live music, art, dancing, comedy and fireworks! See you there!
If you can recall your fondest a Lesser Variety Show memory, please, tell Aidan Shard on the bar. If your memory is strong enough, he’ll show you his trick that he can do where he makes his arms grow longer than his body!