I just got back from Hong Kong yesterday, the last leg of a mini China tour with Ian
Coppinger and Brendan Dempsey put together by John Moorehead of Punchline
Comedy Clubs. We arrived in Shanghai on the 7th March and did a gig that night.
Unfortunately I was so jet lagged and excited about being in Shanghai that I left my
guitar in the boot of the taxi that took us to the gig. In a city of over 23 million people
that’s not the smartest thing to do. Still I remembered what the taxi driver looked
like; black hair, small, possibley of chinese decent with very little English. Anyway
the gig went really well even without the guitar. John got me a lend of a guitar for
the next two gigs in Shanghai in the Kerry Hotel, where we also stayed. Then we
took a train to Beijing; 1,318 km in just under 4 hours, the train averaged 300km per
hour and even so it still took us an hour before we saw anything resembling rural life
outside Shanghai. It’s just breathetaking the amount of high rises being built here.
We had 3 days in Beijing and only one gig so there was plenty of sight seeing and
eating. A guide John knew took us out to a part of The Great Wall that was tourist
free. It was near a dam that was built during The Great Leap Forward ( “The Great
Leap Backward” a local called it ) where the water simply dissappeared down through
cracks in the ground leaving the dam useless. On the way back we stopped at a
farmers house to have a dinner. It was the best meal we had in China, really delicious!
Although after seeing the toilet it wasn’t worth thinking about the hygeine standards
in the kitchen.
We then flew to Hong Kong for our last three gigs. John somehow procured another
guitar and we performed to what were the best audiences of the tour. I managed to eat
donkey and snake and just after midnight as St Patrick’s day began in Hong Kong we
went to Delaneys pub to join the English rugby fans as they watched their team get
thrashed by Wales. You couldn’t ask for a better end to the tour really.
Next week I am acting for three days on the RTE/BBC production of “Roy”. I am
a teacher called Mr Stern.
I have just received confirmation that I will be joining
the Who’s Line Is It Anyway crew at the Kilkenny Cat Laughs festival and will be
performing with The Hairy Bowsies both there and at The Forbidden Fruit Festival.
The Hairy Bowsies gigs are going really well; we performed a few weeks ago at the
Fr Ted festival both in The Roisin Dubh and on Inis Mor with Frank Sanazi ( a Hitler
lookalike that changes the lyrics to Frank Sinatra classics) . The Bowsies will be
performing their own show in The Twisted Pepper on the 25th April.