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40th Anniversary of Miners Strike comedy benefit gigs

Started by lauraxsynthesis, June 22, 2024, 11:31:05 PM

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Thanks to former CaBber Oliver Double, I found out about this exhibition at the library at the University of Kent.

There were coal mines in Kent and Kent miners took part in the strike, but in addition to info of local interest, Scargill, Thatcher etc, there was also a fair amount of stuff in the exhibition from the university's British Stand-Up Comedy Archive and British Cartoon Archive.

There were posters and flyers from benefit gigs, with frequently recurring names including Linda Smith and Jeremy Hardy. One poster is a lovely snapshot of the alternative comedy scene: Rik Mayall, Jim Barclay, Andy de la Tour, Jenny Lecoat, Ben Elton, Pauline Melville, Robert Llewellyn's old group The Joeys...

It did make me sad reflecting on how depoliticised culture is now and how many comedians were engaged in issues then compared to now. The other week on the Here Comes the Guillotine podcast, Frankie Boyle listed the TV comics have taken a stand on the genocide in Gaza and it was like 4 people including himself. Last I heard, Saint Stewart Lee continues to studiously avoid expressing compassion for Palestinians - correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, the Alternative Comedy era was awesome and let's never forget it. 

Pink Gregory

Interesting seeing (presumably) Michael Rosen going by Mike.  Well it's interesting to me.

I've said this many times but I reckon alternative comedy was a blip for well known comedians having/expressing broadly left (as opposed to liberal) politics.  Maybe the only real change from the 80s is that they tend not to be nasty bastards, less music hall showbiz.  Then again it's only really Alexei Sayle who remained that way, and I suppose Smith and Hardy are dead.

Am I making a point, dunno.  Products of our time, we are.

Pink Gregory

where did Andy De La Tour go anyway?  He's all over the Young Ones but I've not seen him in owt after that.

Fambo Number Mive

It feels like there is still some politics in comedy but it seems to be very pro-establishment. I might be wrong but it feels like top comedians are wealthier these days than in the 80s and are more concerned with avoiding paying a slightly higher rate of tax than supporting progressive causes. Or maybe they want to stay part of the establishment and rub shoulders with the stars and don't want to rock the boat.

Is Mark Steel still gigging much?


Quote from: Pink Gregory on June 23, 2024, 09:55:33 AMwhere did Andy De La Tour go anyway?  He's all over the Young Ones but I've not seen him in owt after that.

He's a busy enough boy. I particularly enjoyed when he and Daniel Peacock turned up as gangster father and son in the detective show Strike, and a couple of years back at Shakespeare's Globe sliding down the back wall of the stage with all the kids - amazing feat for a man in his 70s.

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Fambo Number Mive on June 23, 2024, 10:42:50 AMIs Mark Steel still gigging much?

Had was diagnosed with throat cancer recently and it seems like he made it through, so I imagine he isn't at the minute, but before that and pre-covid he was doing regular tours.


Can't think of the last time I saw a notice of a live show, but Mark Steel's What the F*** is Going On podcast is great, and he's still on Radio 4. Also, last I heard, he and Shaparak Khorsandi had rather sweetly fallen in love.