Tell us about your show, Nobody Likes You When You’re 33.
Thom Bee: Nobody Likes You When You’re 33 is the UK’s only late-night pop-punk talkshow, which for its pilot episode is profiling the very famous band February Heatwave, as they peddle the diaries of their sadly deceased lead singer. And the talkshow is just falling apart around my ears while Andrew looks sad because it’s probably his fault. We feature different improvisers every show to play the band members we interview to keep is chaotic.
Andrew Marsh: It’s the second phase of making an increasingly more niche show every year. By the time we get to 2023 the show will be about stamp collecting.
Where did the idea for the show come from?
TB: Pop-punk is effectively the reason we became friends, long before all this double act nonsense. With last year’s show focussing on our mutual love of wrestling, it just felt right to do a follow up show about the other thing that bonds us. In terms of the format … bollocksed if I know. I feel like we’ve had a thousand iterations before landing on the talk show/fictional band format. And even that seems to be in a state of flux. We just knew we wanted to do a show about what makes us friends and what defined our youth.
AM: We needed a reason to tell people that the working title for Blink 182’s ‘What’s My Age Again’ was ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’. Everyone should know that. But you can’t stretch that over an hour so we had to put some more stuff in.
What is this show bringing to the fringe that audiences won’t find anywhere else?
TB: Andrew’s disturbing ability to neck a 250ml glass of red wine within 2 seconds.
AM: Songs about draft excluders.
TB: I think we also have a lot to offer audiences in terms of sheer chaos. I’m not saying that high-energy, anarchistic shows are a unique side of the fringe, but we definitely find a way to bring our own brand of it forward. We specialise in an audience not knowing if it’s actually going wrong or if it’s just carefully scripted, or where those moments swap and change.
AM: It’s never carefully scripted.
Why did you choose pop punk as a topic to write a show about?
TB: The world is currently on fire, and nostalgia to pop-punk is a comforting factor. Let’s all stop worrying about our adult fears and remember when the height of our angst was that Simple Plan spoke to us on a deeper level. Also, a lot of pop-punk, or at least the stuff we grew up on, is about having fun with your friends and making this stupid art together, and that’s how we view our comedy. There may be two of us on our posters, but everything we do is collaborative and in the name of fun with various other comedians, this industry is much more fun when you start seeing yourself a bit like a band.
AM: Because we wanted to write a show about music we love – luckily for audiences our Romanian Trance phase was fairly short lived.
What about pop punk speaks to you?
TB: I’m just a sucker for angst hidden beneath a catchy power chord hook.
AM: The idea of rock & rolling all night and partying every day without having to listen to Kiss.
Was there anything from pop punk history that really stood out to you as needing to be included in the show?
TB: Anything that happened in the Riding in Vans with Boys documentary. That thing is a goldmine of trivia you never knew you wanted to know.
AM: The fact about ‘What’s My Age Again’s working title that I mentioned above. Oh crap, Thom…we forgot to put it in the show!
What do you think of the recent Blink 182 comeback? Does pop punk in 2019 have the same impact on you as it did at its height?
TB: It’s not the same … but that’s OK. Pop-Punk has evolved to stop being about teen problems and partying and to be more about mental health and how horrible the world is, like Modern Baseball or Gender Roles. Although all those bands prefer to be called “melodic punk” … which is dumb but whatever floats your boat.
AM: I love Blink 182 in any incarnation but it’s time Tom Delonge rejoined the band. Chasing aliens is presumably a lot more difficult and far less lucrative than singing about being probed by them.
How do you feel the angst central to pop punk as a genre applies to today’s political and social climate?
TB: It’ll always have a place in any political and social landscape, because a lot of the pop-punk we love does stem from actual punk, and punk is a reactionary music. Our favourite flavour of it is just a little bit catchier.
What do you hope people will take away from your show?
AM: The idea that everyone wants to get famous but we just want to dance in a basement (or a small conference room at the Novotel in Edinburgh for the month of August at least).
Nobody Likes You When You’re 33 runs until August 25 at Sweet Novotel.
Buy tickets here: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/nobody-likes-you-when-you-re-33/