Podcast question of the day: Are Fontaines DC in too much of a hurry?

The album artwork for Fontaines DC’s Skinty Fia

AS album number three arrives so soon, why are the Irish band being as prolific as the early Beatles? Two Big Egos In A Small Car culture podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson discuss Skinty Fia in Episode 89.

Plus: what happens to the BBC when the licence fee ends? Anything else? Sheffield Leadmill update; The Divine Comedy at York Barbican review; Gary Barlow’s show with a difference, and why Mischief and Penn &Teller’s Magic Goes Wrong is wand-erful.

To listen, here is the link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1187561/10570721

Podcast interview special: Heath Common on Kerouac Lives cabaret at Hebden Bridge

Heath Common: Podcast guest discusses Kerouac Lives

TWO Big Egos In A Small Car arts podcasters Graham Chalmers and Charles Hutchinson interview Heath Common, poet, publisher, journalist, presenter and musician, about his Kerouac Lives project.

As part of Independent Venues Week, this cabaret night will celebrate the life, work and impact of legendary Beat writer Jack Kerouac at Wadsworth Community Centre on February 4 at 7.45pm (doors, 6.45pm).

Heath Common will be joined by Simon Warner and John Hardie for an evening of conversation, key readings and a specially composed soundtrack to mark the centenary of the Massachusetts writer’s birth.

Kerouac Lives contends that Jack Kerouac is a voice like no other, transcending his era. “His works become a symbol of change in an increasingly conformist system, leading the iconic Beat movement,” the event blurb states.

“It also inspired the next generation of rebels for decades to come. He was a champion of freedom, individuality, and authenticity.” Tickets are selling fast on 07731 661053 and 07890 205890.

Episode 75 of Two Big Egos In A Small Car concludes with Chalmers & Hutch’s discussion on the impact of the freezing – and potential easing out – of the BBC licence fee.

To listen: head to: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1187561/9967773

The poster for Kerouac Lives

Simon Amstell to head down Spirit Hole at Grand Opera House, York, on autumn tour

Simon Amstell: Playing York, Leeds and Sheffield on Spirit Hole tour

SIMON Amstell will play the Grand Opera House, York, on September 25 on the introspective, abjectly honest comedian, television host, actor, writer and filmmaker’s 38-date Spirit Hole autumn tour.

These shows add up to his first stand-up comedy travels since the 2019 release of his debut bittersweet comedy-drama film, Benjamin, written and directed by Amstell, and his soul-searching 2019 Netflix stand-up special, Set Free.

Agent provocateur Amstell, 41, will deliver a “blissful, spiritual, sensational exploration of love, sex, shame, mushrooms and more” on a tour with further Yorkshire gigs at The Leadmill, Sheffield, on September 12 and Leeds Town Hall on October 1. York tickets are on sale at atgtickets.com/venues/grand-opera-house-york/; York, Sheffield and Leeds at ticketmaster.com.  

Amstell, former saucy host of cult BBC2 pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks, previously played the Grand Opera House in May 2008, October 2009 on his Do Nothing tour and May 2012 on his Numb tour.

Six facts about Simon Amstell

Born: Gants Hill, Ilford, Essex, November 29 1979.

Comedy breakthrough: After making stand-up debut at 13 in the wake of parents’ divorce, complicated childhood and confusion aroused by puberty, he became youngest finalist in BBC New Comedy Awards in 1998.

Presenting roles: Nickolodeon (sacked for being “sarcastic and mean to children”, he says); Popworld, Channel 4; and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, BBC2.

TV series: Grandma’s House, from 2010, playing Simon, a mildly self-obsessed, claustrophobic narcissist, trying desperately to heal his broken family in order to feel something real in his life.

Book: Help, subtitled Comedy. Tragedy. Therapy., published in January 2019, with Amstell’s aim of “telling the truth so it can’t hurt me anymore”, driven by compulsion to reveal his entire self on stage. Loneliness, anxiety, depression feature prominently, but you will “then feel happier than you have ever been”.

Film: Carnage, about veganism, written, directed and narrated by Amstell, set in utopian 2067, where animals live equally among humans. Premiered on BBC in March 2017.