After a poor night’s sleep and a long day with the kids, I had to get in the car and drive to Henley to record a RHLSTP. It was a 56 mile journey, so 112 miles in total and I was going to risk going in the electric car. It was the longest journey I’d yet attempted. The computer claims that it’s possible to go 150+ miles (without air conditioning on) but the target always drops a bit quicker than that in reality.
Would I have to find a charging station? Would I break down on a country lane?
No, it would be fine. I got home with 35 miles still in the tank. It was a victory for electricity.
And it was a thrilling journey there listening to the cricket on the radio. I’d actually been favouring the tennis at home as the cricket seemed to be heading for an inevitable England defeat, but 5 Live were doing the cricket and as I set off there seemed a chance we might somehow catch up.
It turned out to be a tense and almost impossible match where with 4 balls to go defeat was again inevitable, but somehow grit and freaky luck and a stupid rule where boundaries turn out to be more important than wickets lost (what’s that about?) England won it. And just as I was driving into the car park at Henley.
Last year I had done stand up at this posho festival, in the same slot
, also on the day of the Wimbledon final (and this year the loser would have easily won the tournament based on my fair points scored system - two championships today decided by stupid rules) and I had struggled to get a crowd as I was programmed at the same time as Will Young. I hoped that after a couple of successful gigs in the town that things might be better this time and Murray Lachlan Young who was on before me had pulled in a decent crowd.
But I was up against Aled Jones and the Royal Philharmonic this year and my numbers were, if anything, slightly poorer than last time.
The 30 or so people who were in the massive tent seemed to have a good time though and actually with a podcast it didn’t really matter how many people were in anyway. My attention was directed at my guest, Fiona Allen and she was chatty, funny and interesting and the time flew by. Even the musical heckles from an orchestra didn’t throw us off and luckily the fireworks began about 15 minutes after we'd finished.
It's weird that this tour of RHLSTP has sold 1100 tickets in Birmingham but got an audience in the 10s in Henley! Admittedly I don't think the kind of people who can afford to get into this particular festival are my exact demographic, but my appeal and lack of it, continues to confuse me. But for once number of audience members did not affect my fee, so we're laughing.
Thanks to the people who made it, even if one of you pretended to walk out when I was continually rude about the town. They love being slagged off though, the posh whores.
You’ll be able to hear this one pretty soon as we’re putting out a few bonus audio only ones over the next few Fridays.