Thom’s Tears as Twonkey Takes Title!

May 19th 2016: Monsieur Hunchback returns to London after a few months on the move testing out ‘minimum wage’ in other countries. We’ve missed Twonkey in Brighton after four consecutive years, and missed the one-off show at the Comedy Museum. Gutted, we were. We get back on the 19th in the hope we could catch Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel at the Wandsworth Fringe. But just 16 minutes after our return on the 19th, our Aunt Bethany, who lives in Farnborough, gave us a call.

Auntie B: Remember last year when you had all those back problems?

Us: Yeah.

Auntie B: And you said the doctor gave you pills that had you buzzing like a fridge?

Us: Yeah.

Auntie B: Got any more, love?

Us: Nah.

Auntie B: You don’t have any stashed away? Your back problems finished the same moment you finished your prescription?

Us: No, Auntie Beth. The problem vanished overnight, but we still had three weeks o’ the pills. And we took em as quick as our gob would allow, then got the sweats and were climbing up the walls for a fortnight shouting ‘God, why have you forsaken us, you fictional bastard!’

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What our Auntie really thinks of us!

She claimed a bad signal and hung up despite us both being on a landline. Anyhow, the whole sad story became clear a few hours later when we caught up on the news. In the most preposterous fashion, Prince’s death from painkillers ended up robbing our Auntie of hers! And Mr. Twonkey was involved! Balls deep.

It all kicked off when when Prince died on April 21st. Anyone who knows their arse from their elbow knows he was the greatest songsmith in the history of fucking history. So, come Apr 21st, the vacancy for Best Living Songwriter was suddenly flung open. To everyone. Only, before we even have the result of the autopsy, no one was going to apply for that post so soon on account of taste. Well, almost no one.

Come May 8th, those miserable pricks Radiohead threw their hat into the ring with their new album. The same night, Mr. Twonkey was closing his Brighton ‘residence’ with a whole new set of songs. Everyone else was keeping their distance, but two heavyweight gloves were now in the sawdust. At least Mr. Twonkey had pre-booked his shows. Radiohead’s album came out of nowhere in a desperate bid for the vacant title. ‘Best Songwriter’ is given on a little silver fish-shaped plaque, which was in a helicopter just floating in the sky on the evening of May 8th. In Farnborough, which is equidistant between Oxford and Brighton. They were keeping their options open, as one group of adjudicators listened to Radiohead three times in a row whilst another were front row for Mr Twonkey  at the Brighton Fringe.

Now, sadly we didn’t make it to the Brighton Fringe. But we’ve heard the story from someone who watched this shit go down. Apparently, every time Mr Twonkey used his iPod for a new song, he had a quick look at Twitter updates to see where that helicopter was. And when it looked like it was on the move – and in the direction of bloody Oxford! – he pulled out the big guns. Thinking on his feet, he claimed Stan Laurel, Lon Chaney and Bess Houdini were staying at the Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and belted out three of his most beloved numbers. Soon that copter was in turnaround, and the title of Best Living Songwriter arrived in Brighton Hooray! And best of all for us Twonkey fans, by Wandsworth he’d kept those songs in the show! Heavenly.

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‘Best Living Songwriter’ Award, May 2016. Humbly accepted.

 

Sadly though, the helicopter was floating above Farnborough for far too long. It was giving the locals the fear. Class A drugs were immediately flushed down the toilet. An hour later, the hash went the same way. When the locals knew it couldn’t be the jellies or the weed, our 80 year-old Uncle Bill, who is more than halfway to Daftsville, flushed his wife’s painkillers down the bog just to be on the safe side. Prompting the first phone call we’ve had from her in 40 years.

Anyway, you know what we’ve just realised? We saw the legend that was Prince 23 times, larger than life but around the same height as Ronnie Corbett. God, they’re probably doing back-to-back right now like a couple of ten year olds. The Wandsworth Fringe was our 24th Twonkey gig!

A Changing of the fucking Guard! And not in the direction of Oxford and all those university scum. Dry your eyes Thom, you miserable prick, you lost!

Prince 1958 – 2016

Reviews of the uber-splendid Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel and new album, Peggy Spaghetti at the Raspberry Waffle House, will be along hopefully before Halloween.

Support Twonkey & Jaybird Productions!

Paul Vickers is planning to bring his play – Jennifer’s Robot Arm – to the Edinburgh Fringe this August! And that, folks, costs money. Especially if you’re holding on to the first rate cast, and not hiring a handful of local students, or rewriting it as a one-man play.

This is in addition to, not in place of, his 2016 show which he will also perform in August!

There is a fund raising Indiegogo page where you can pledge anything from 25 notes to three hunner’ knicker! TWO WEEKS TO GO! So get donating!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/twonkey-s-unique-fundraiser-jennifer-s-robot-arm–2#/

We’ve already told y’all how great this play is.

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The headache for artists funding this way is the huge amount of swag they offer. This one is no different: the goodies are tremendous. Posters, scripts, CDs, DVDs, books, photos, memorabilia. Frankly, you’re getting more than your money’s worth on that alone. Much is, apparently, unique to people who contribute via Indiegogo.

Good luck guys.

Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel

Apologies Twonkeyfans…. Hunchback HQ has been credit crunched, and relocated. We now work on the move with little or no notice, and have cleaned out our Panamanian hidey-hole. With our new reliance on the minimum wage, we’re even thinking of voting for Jezza Corbyn just for extra pocket money. Having a hit-and-run lifestyle like the A Team can make updating a fanblog a bit tricky. Hey, if the A Team blogged like motherfuckers in the Liam Neeson movie, we wouldn’t know. A movie by morons for morons. We’re only talking about the ’80’s vintage here.

And all this travelling, tragically, just as Mr. Twonkey begins an assault in London Town this May. We won’t be around for most of it. We could put a sad face emoticon here and confirm our membership of the emotionally stunted idiocracy, but we’re not gonna.

Although we’ll miss most of the May gigs, we did manage to catch the debut of Twonkey’s Mumbo Jumbo Hotel at the Beckenham Comedy Festival at the end of Feb. Mr. T swung into town to debut 20 minutes of the 2016 show. Here’s photographic proof of the man setting his Hotel up for business. People often say to us ‘you can’t blog for shit, but fuck me, you sure can take a good photo!’ What can we say, it’s a gift! You’ve either got an eye or you haven’t. Contact us for competitive rates.

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So how is the Hotel shaping up? Needless to say, everything is tip top. He kicked off with old favourite The Flying Tailor, before launching into the new show. We’re happy to say you know what to expect. The wheel has not been reinvented, observational comedy it aint. If you have a single romantic bone in your body, a story about filet-o-fish might make you change your junkfood allegiance to Burger King. And this year’s classic new song may very well be entitled ‘Macaroni‘. The show went down a treat with the Beckenham crowd, still reeling from the death of their favourite son, Mr David Jones, but not so much that they didn’t make a few jokes about him. But you have to give our own Mr. Twonkey full marks for playing just 20 minutes of his set 400 miles away from home, and bringing the whole hotel with him!

He’s back in London next month for a whole plethora of dates:

Brighton Fringe: Sweet Dukebox 19:00 hours- 6th to the 8th of May.

Nunhead’s Ivy House: 20:30 hours, London 13th of May

Museum of Comedy: 19:00 hours-London 14th of May.

Wandsworth Fringe London: 22:30 hours on the 20th of May, 20:30 hours on the 21st of May.

Don’t Miss It!

Mr Twonkey… is Selling Out!

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That’s right folks, we’re not even into the last week yet, and Mr. Twonkey is selling out at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe! This year he is charging for entry, and the people at Edinburgh have been ponying up. In advance! And it has caught Team Playboys on the hop. We haven’t had our pants down like this since Big Dave unexpectedly won the UK election in May and we discovered – to our horror – that we didn’t even have any bunting in the house!

We bought plane tickets to Scotland yesterday, and then… and only then… went onto the Edinburgh Fringe website to buy Twonkey tickets. Boy, did we feel like fucking assholes! Sold The Fuck Out! We will be wandering around Edinburgh this Friday night like dickless eunuchs. Having just blown one hundred and thirty nicker on a goddamn flight, the least we could be allowed to do is spunk another six on a ticket! But no. Them bitches are gone! Even Harrison Ford, the butt of Twonkey jokes going back years, including digs this year at Cowboys and Aliens, is laughing his ass off at us:

The reviews have still to appear, as far as we know. So how did this happen? It can only be one thing. How did Madonna Ciccione, a young Michigan lass, get dick action every night in New York City after her arrival in 1978? It’s not like if you were sitting next to her at a bar back then you could pull out a smartphone and Google ‘Madonna Ciccione. Juanita Special Bean Dip’ and know you were in for a good night. No. Let me tell you how she was getting the bone: Word of mouth. That’s right. And what worked for Madonna in 1978 is seemingly working for Mr. Twonkey in 2015. People are hearing about the show. And hearing good things. Then parting with the kinda cash that would get you Pornhub advert-free for a whole month.

We’d like to say two things to these new fans who have spoiled our Friday night:- 1. We hope you didn’t pull a hamstring jumping on that bandwagon so fast, and 2. Enjoy the show, you bastards!

Team Playboys will live to fight another day, and will go see Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop again next week. In the meantime, we can only congratulate His Twonkeyness on the new business model, which appears to be a success. We’re off to cry in our beer.

Stinking Bishop now at the Edinburgh Fringe!

Twonkey’s Stinking BishopSweet Grassmarket, Apex City Hotel, 61 The Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS

Remaining Shows: Aug 12-17, 19-24, 26-30 2015   21.00

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‘I can’t rewrite what’s perfect’ – W.A. Mozart (allegedly)

‘If it aint broke, don’t fix it’ – a Question Of Sport producer on why not one single new idea had infiltrated the show in 46 years.

We reviewed Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop back when it debuted in Brighton in May. It was a five star show then. But given Mr. Twonkey is a man with creative tourrettes, we had to expect some changes to an already magnificent piece of work. The perfect would be rewritten, the unbroken would be fixed.

Don’t worry though, it’s still a five star classic. At least as good, we’d say, as any of the shows that preceeded it. And that includes the award nominated Blue Cadabra, and the award winning Private Restaurant. That’s right folks. The last show – specifically the psychic knickers – won an award at the Prague Fringe Festival in late May. Team Playboys were in attendance at a Prague Awards Show that rivalled Oscar night. And we cried like Gazza at an Onion factory. We have been pretty lazy recently, and will be including some final coverage of Twonkey’s recent travels during this Fringe Period. We caught gigs in London and Prague, and there is a mighty fine recording from last year’s Edinburgh run that you can purchase in a cork-shaped USB stick at this year’s show. The quality is terrific and a permanent record that the show deserves.

Anyway, recent additions to this show include two new songs. Trouble in the Dordogne, the silliest place name in the world, and presumably a collaboration with ex-DOTR bandmate Roger Simian since he was mentioned in the build-up. And Love on Tap, a new song from his play Jennifer’s Robot Arm debuting here. Mr Vickers even hints what we predicted on here months back, that he might end up in a dress playing Pam in the play, possibly at 2016’s Fringe. All roads have been leading here. It’s a fantasy all blokes have, let’s face it.

Stories, songs and gags continue to kick ass. Learn a new way to count oranges. And why you shouldn’t take your eye off Beethoven down the pub. In our favourite bit, Mr. Twonkey claims to have written ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, wondering when he’ll get his share of the massive box office losses. There’s even a gag within the gag. Whoever came up with that pun of a title should have been able to sue them all where they live for every penny, coz that’s all they ever had. Universal Pictures blew $160+ million on a three word fucking pun! And one of those words was ‘and’.

The five tracks that debuted in Brighton are still intact – Mugulverry’s Farm is our current favourite but they’re all great – as well as old favourites like the Ship’s Wheel and Chris Hutchinson. A new puppet appears, a conducktor no less, who debuts his piece for the Chicago Symphony. The keen-eared will notice it’s a mash-up of elements from Oom-Pah’s Moonface Boy (2011). The photo below is from Mr. Twonkey’s triumphant return to The Stand last month after a six year ban, featuring the duck and Mr Hutchinson. He was on his best behaviour this time.

twonkey at the stand

We hope to return to Scotchland for a Week 2 and Week 3 show before the end of this run.

The show is just £6 a ticket, with possibly his best bit of merch yet – the cork USB – on sale for just £5. Get yersels down there right now!

Dates and tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/twonkey-s-stinking-bishop

Hooks, Vine & Sinister (the new album!)

The Cork

One year on, and we’re exactly 12 months closer to being six feet under. But on the bright side, there’s always a new Twonkey show, and a new album… Last year Mr. Twonkey shook it up by putting out Giddy World on a USB stick and included a 13 minute Radio Play at the end. This year, he has another USB release, cork-shaped, and it contains an absolute bounty of material. A new album, Hooks, Vine and Sinister (a compilation of 11 old tracks, and 5 new ones), a splendiferous full length Mp4 video of his last show, Twonkey’s Private Restaurant, an audiobook of his novella, Itchy Grumble, as read by the author itself, and a bonus short comedy video and 3 tracks from his other album of the year (!!!) with The Leg. Phew!

We’ll look at the Twonkey Hits album by Paul Vickers and Friends first:

Hooks vs Hunchbacks 3rd attempt

*****

The New Tracks

Just five, but we’re talking vintage Vickers here. At least two of them would have made this album anyway (the Best Of section) had they been released earlier.

This Is Showbiz – We loved this from the moment we heard the first note back in January. It was played at the end of the performances of his play Jennifer’s Robot Arm (strictly as outro music, not an actual part of the show). Instantly memorable (sung by folk at the bar afterwards on a single hearing), we initially thought this jaunty number could qualify under ‘sinister’ with the line ‘a vacancy where a hearse should be’. But the line turns out to be the more jovial ‘a vacancy where a heart should be’. Actually, that’s still quite bleak now that we think about it. It’s another collaboration with Hamish ‘Hot Beryl’ Hawk and Steven ‘Victor Pope’ Vickers. Catchy as the proverbial fuck.

Mugulvery’s Farm – Wow, another bona fide Vickers classic. One of his best ever vocals, which we can only describe as a drunken Vincent Price showing off his best Barry Gibb falsetto. In a perfect world, this would be a smash hit. Collaborator is ex-DotR bandmate Grant Pringle, who is also behind The Flying Tailor (heard in The Hits section). Quite a one-two whammy. It’s almost 15 years since this pair were in a band together, but they’re still dynamite. Our favourite track.

Raspberry – this one is actually credited as ‘Raspberry 2014‘, and may be an updated version of a much older track, especially as collaborator Andy Currie has been off the scene for a few years now. Likely to date from his Recording The Impossible days. It debuted in London, October 2014. Short techno track with slowed-down vocals. He sounds utterly demented. Not for the first time.

Pencils for a Broom (Looney Tunes) – great little guitar number, the lyrics telling the story laid out in Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop. Energetic as hell to fit the subject matter. Wonderful stuff.

The Architect – this one starts with spoken word and orchestral tones, with the vocal playing over itself before breaking into a proper song It’s remarkably similar in structure to an obscure Duran Duran track called Drive By, which we’d be surprised if anyone involved in this had ever heard. Bloody Philistines. It’s a collaboration with Massimiliano Puddu, who did the Italian bits on Hands Off Mussolini, so we can only assume he’s Italian. And that it was he who personally added or inspired all the dubious lyrics about the Italians inventing everything. Like Joe Mantegna does at the start of Godfather III before Andy Garcia shoots him dead like the lying prick he is. And we wonder… Did Mr. Vickers misread those lyrics when adding the voce? There’s a bizarre line ‘Pleasure was discovered by a monk in a drain in Lazio,’ which we think was supposed to be ‘Pleasure was discovered by a monk in Adrian in Lazio.’

Christ, that poor kid.


The Hits!

Right, onto the ‘compiled’ tracks. Paul has been involved in 13 music albums now (5 x Dawn of the Replicants, 1 x Pluto Monkey, 3 x with The Leg and 4 x Twonkey Soundtracks), not counting the odd extended EP, compilation or two recordings that have musical elements, but are basically comedy albums (1). This release features Eleven of the Best musical selections from the last four Twonkey albums (Oom-Pah!, Nest of Knickers, Gasp! and Giddy World).

Now, we’ll concede Mr Vickers seems to master every discipline he attempts. But is choosing his Best Eleven a step too far? What made him wake up one morning and decide he was Sir Alex Ferguson?

“a real jockeys ale ~ makes yer knees fall in ~ Hot Beryl ~ she’s a stiff lay-day”

This is a selection we couldn’t possibly give anything less than five stars to. But that’s more about the strength (‘in depth’, as all those pundit pricks say every two minutes) of the material he chose from. We would probably change about half of the selection.

Most criminally, there’s no Stan Laurel, nothing less than Paul & Pierre’s absolute masterpiece! It’s not quite like buying the Greatest Hits of Renée and Renato(2) and discovering there’s no Save Your Love, but still…

Anyway, we think we can beat Paul with a simple 4-4-2 (restricting our love of Paul & Pierre to half of the players) and don’t mind laying out our team-sheet here. It’s a squad overflowing in belief. Read it and weep.

Hunchbacks, Mine and Definitive

11 tracks (2 subs)

In goal, it has to be Mother Shipton. If it goes to penalties, she’s gonna guess the right way. Bottom of the World kinda picks her own place at the back. We need to fill central defence with some aerial power, so Sophie The Aeronaut gets a nod as well as The Flying Tailor, who’s great with headers (off tall buildings), and Fizzy Lemonade who sounds like he should be faster than he is.

On the left of midfield, we’ll have Pissed As A Postman to provide good delivery to the forwards. More central will be Lon Chaney (Revisited), but if it becomes a snow / orange ball situation he’ll get the fear and be next to useless. We’d replace him with the weather appropriate Crimp Drizzle. Next to Lon is Lillian Gish, since we reckon that pair of contemporaries might ‘know each other’s moves’ (wink, wink) and avoid the square-peg / round-hole criticism that dogged Gerrard & Lampard (3). And The Night My Lip Swelled Up should add some Keane-esque hard edge to the central stronghold.

Up front has to be Stan Laurel for speed, what with his lean frame from all them fun-runs. If he’s lost some pace by injury time, we will replace lean-for-lean with Easy On The Mayo. And for expert finishing (on at least two albums now), it’s got to be crowd favourite Hot Beryl.

It could be hair dryer time at Twonkey Towers… takes us back to the old mixtape days when you’d consider yourself a musical genius after compiling one, momentarily forgetting that you didn’t actually create a note of it. If that affliction still applies when you’re a grown man, guess what – you’re a DJ!  Whatever the selection, Twonkey’s 2015 release is a thing of utter beauty. Count the days till you can bag your own ‘cork’.

  1. Call ourselves fans? There’s actually TWO musical numbers on the first Twonkey album Fucking Storys, a second hidden at the end of the last track. We’re sure we looked for something in the silence originally and found nothing. So imagine our surprise when listening a few months back, getting distracted and failing to turn it off at the end, only for the CD to come back to life with an additional track… nothing less than an earlier version of The Catshop Catastrophe! We’d been sitting on that badboy for four years, totally oblivious. For the record though, it’s not a patch on the fab Gasp! re-recording.
  2. Gosh, we made the huge mistake of looking up Renée on Wikipedia for spelling purposes. It only turns out that the Italian bombshell was an English cleaning lady with the un-enchanting name of Hilary Gibbon! And she was even replaced by a model for the video, the fat cow!
  3. Dogged, as in ‘followed around’, not the post-George Michael meaning.

Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop blows Brighton away

The Quadrant, Brighton:  May 1st and May 2nd 2015

He’s back! This is our FIFTH annual Twonkey show (his sixth) since we discovered him in what seems both like yesterday and a lifetime ago. We have temporarily put our tired movie-sequel-analogies on hold this year… it’s next year, Twonkey #7, that is the big precarious one when it could all go Mission To Moscow tits up!

Brighton once again gets the show (and accompanying album) a few months ahead of anyone else. But is it any good? Or does it stink to high heaven? Are we going to have to bash the bishop?

We held off on this review, until we found out if anyone received Mr. Twonkey’s celebrity endorsement in the general election. But now, with Big Dave freshly tucked back in at No. 10 barely an hour ago, we can happily shoot our load.

Enough of the suspense. Twonkey’s Stinking Bishop is another 50-odd minutes of classic five star Twonkey buffoonery and great new songs. The crowd loved it, the critics loved it, and most importantly we loved it. The plot, such as it ever is, involved Mr. Twonkey being sacked from his job at Looney Tunes. And, as only he could, Paul Vickers kinda reckons it’s more or less a true story.

All of your favourites are still here. The ship’s wheel with its powers of prediction – now a smaller, plastic travel wheel (in Brighton at least) – is back, hilarious and accurate in equal measure, with a double helping of dirty. The wheel even came with a prize for one lucky punter, a private performance of Dracula in Skipton.

Way back last October, when the Dracula in Skipton: Finger Fantasy routine debuted in London, we said we were too drunk to follow it. Shame, sobriety, an addiction to energy drinks, and a long dark teatime of the soul followed for us.

Well, wouldn’t you know. It wasn’t us, it was him! It feels like a proper narrative, but is so quickfire, absolutely none of it lands, despite Vickers moving his fingers in  perfect harmony with the dialogue. Being delivered directly to the competition winner, right in his/her face, just makes it funnier. Safe in the new knowledge that we’d been tricked, we went straight from the show to the ‘Offie’, laying waste to a six pack of Carly Specials on the train back to London. A few spots of bother, nothing serious.

We forgot to take photos, so knicked this off Twitter (2nd night photo)

We forgot to take photos, so knicked this off Twitter (2nd night photo)

Have you, like us, been wondering what happened to Hugh Grant since hard-hitting witness protection drama Whatever Happened To The Morgans? We reckoned he’d got his recent training in the method all higgeldy-cock, and has been hiding in character post-production. But no. Mr. Twonkey has the answer. Fear not for Hugh, he’s living it large on a gold-plated nuclear sub, banana’d up to the eyeballs.

And every year, without fail, there’s at least one new showstopping tune. This year, it appeared to be the instantly memorable This Is Showbiz, premiered at the end of the play Jennifer’s Robot Arm. But, as in other years, an early-debuted stunner (see Pissed As A Postman) is suddenly trumped by another (see Mother Shipton) come showtime. And it turns out that Mugulvery’s Farm is this year’s smash. It’s a peach.

Watching the debut of the new show, and immediately following it with a viewing of the newly released video of the last one, we can see changes creeping in. The fishnets for instance, fully recognised now as an utter liability, have been promoted to a main prop, guaranteed to cause  unpredictable chaos. At one point, the nets stick Twonkey to a chair amongst the Brighton crowd, which meant he couldn’t get all the way back to the mic for the next number. He just leaned as close as possible, kept calm and carried on. The uplifting spirit of David Cameron’s glorious England.

And the physical comedy is fabulous these days. He tried to lock a pig between two cheese wheels (don’t ask), one handed at that. It was the kinda stunt that a mime would spend hours getting wrong just right. But we have the feeling Twonkey was winging it, his confidence in failure absolute. A full glass of red wine was sitting just millimetres from this calamity, adding to the tension. Alas, the glass turned out to be as real as Nigel Tufnell’s trousersnake.

What a show! Count the days until August from right now.

Mr. Twonkey’s Acid House Circus Tour continues at London’s Soho Theatre on Fri May 22nd and Sat May 23rd.

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Twonkey Product: 2015 is an absolutely jaw-dropping cork-shaped USB stick containing… an album, two videos, an album sampler and an audio book read by the author! Reviews are as imminent as David Milliband’s learjet back to Labour HQ.