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Perfect Movie

I’m not a stand-up comedian. I’ll say that now. I don’t know how to designate an entire set to making people laugh. If people don’t laugh, I can hide behind the literary worth. If people are laughing, I needn’t concern myself with literary worth. I was a bit apprehensive about playing at Richard Sandling’s mega Perfect Movie night. I had done it before with some found haikus from Arnie films. This time I was the headline act. The night was building up to me. So while my friends Gavin James Bower and Stuart Evers and Emma Young hobnobbed with David Vann and Florence of ‘and the Machine’ fame at To Hell With Books, I was shitting myself in the front row while Nathaniel Metcalfe deconstructed the title of the film Precious: based on the book ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Nick Helms read from Chevy Chase’s autobiography and Richard Sandling and James Mullinger had a VHS Deathmatch. Everyone was laughing.

Then it was my time. See, the headline act of Perfect Movie chooses their five favourite movie scenes, including a beginning and an end and acts each one out with help from Rich and the audience.

I chose:

Predator: the opening scene and its macho arm-wrestle, as well as the immortal line ‘CIA got you pushing too many pencils’ is too genius to not do.

Grosse Point Blank: the film is so achingly cool and fun and the scene where Dan Ackroyd calls John Cusack a scab then threatens to fuck him in the bullet hole is always fun.

Do the Right Thing: I’m always a fan of people with halfthought opinions being super righteous on films. The scene where Buggin Out accuses a passerby of gentrification when he scuffs his trainer, backed by a baying crowd, trying to set him off is hilarious.

Sholay: I read the subtitles (and corrected any mistakes) and Rich and another guy played Gabbar Singh and the bandits, trying to wade through pidgin phonetic Hindu to the guffaws of the crowd. We slipped into Welsh, Borat and Apu for the accents but it wasn’t racist, cos we were onstage.

Boogie Nights: So many films end finitely and cheesily but this has the most ‘balls out’ (tee hee) ending ever with Dirk Diggler coaching his cock through a porn scene.

So there you go. No more gigs for a while. Back to the lab to prepare Coconut Unlimited for publication. Hellz yeah.

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Here are four upcoming gigs I am excited about doing:

Wednesday 10 March- Free Word Centre, Farringdon WHAM! BAM! STORY, SLAM! 3000

The FREE short story night at the FREE WORD CENTRE, Wham! Bam! Story Slam! is back for 2010 with a fresh new line-up, some killer short stories and caliente metaphors for your tired cold paws…

This month host Nikesh Shukla (‘prescient musings’ Metro) brings you author NIRPAL SINGH DHALIWAL reading from his new work-in-progress book, SOPHIE CAMERON scathing poetess, NIMER RASHED film-maker and playwright, ANNA McKERROW storyteller and poet and returning, STUART EVERS the raconteur of beautiful heartbreak.

It’s free it’s early it’s story…WORD.


15 March Peter Parker’s RocknRoll Club, West End To Hell With Publishing

We’re hoping to do away with the stuffiness of some traditional readings and bring a celebratory attitude to books so while the event will start at 7.30pm, with readings until around 10.30pm, we’ll have DJ sets until midnight.


award-winning author of Submarine JOE DUNTHORNE
author, film-maker and poet NIKESH SHUKLA
journalist and writer STUART EVERS and
playwright and performance poet INUA ELLAMS


18 March Cross Kings Kings Cross UTTER! FICTION

This March ‘Utter!’ Spoken word welcomes two very different giants of literary fiction, Joe Dunthorne and Stewart Home, one dead visionary, and lets you to vote for the stars of the future in the Paid Gig contest, with a workshop on Saturday March 6th to decide the last contestant…!

7.30pm, Thursday March 18th – Cross Kings, 126 York Way N1 0AX
Tube/Overland: Kings Cross / St Pancras
Facebook event: http://bit.ly/utterfiction
Pre-book £5 tickets at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/72580
On the door: £5 before 7.30pm, £10 lateness tax thereafter


23 March The Green Man Pub, PERFECT MOVIE

Perfect Movie continues from Strength to strength with another exceptional and eclectic line up

This month we welcome back NIKESH SHUKLA to choose his favourite scenes from films. Nikesh Shukla/Yam Boy is an author, film-maker and the resident poet for BBC Asian Network.

As well as regular support from NICK HELM and ROBIN INCE we also have Perfect Movie favourite NATHANIEL METCALFE returning and a first time appearance from comedian, bad boy of feminism and VHS enthusiast JAMES MULLINGER

It should be great fun and it would be awesome to see you there

Doors 7.30, Show 8.00

£6 entry.
ZOMG I’m supporting Robin Ince!


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3 exciting things: Asian Network/Wham Bam/Perfect Movie


I dunno if I told you- I’m now resident poet for Asian Network and every month will be doing a topical poem for the Tommy Sandhu Drivetime show which is exciting. The first one will be on 15 February 2010 at about 4.45pm or so. Tune in.

Also, Thursday night’s Wham! Bam! Story Slam! went swimmingly. Everyone was excellent. But don’t believe me, believe one London’s highest priestesses of literati who did a lovely write up of it here. Her name is Emma Young and she works with To Hell With Publishing so she knows her shit. She called us Brechtian man. I don’t even GET the reference cos she’s so high brow and I’m so eyebrow.

Finally, I’m gigging with a hero of mine, Robin Ince! It’s amazing. I’m not even a stand-up- there’s no way we should ever share a stage, but we are at Richard Sandling’s excellent Perfect Movie night. Robin, along with the always amazing Nick Helm will be doing film-related stand up. I’ll be choosing my five favourite scenes from 5 different films and acting them out for your viewing pleasure. I’m nervous- Robin Ince is a personal hero of mine.

Tuesday 23rd March 2010
Richard Sandling’s Perfect Movie,
The Green Man,
36 Riding House Street,
8pm (7.30pm Doors)
With Nikesh Shukla, Nick Helm, Robin Ince, James Mullinger and Richard Sandling (obviously).

There’s a MASSIVE piece of secret news but you’ll have to wait till next week.

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