Tell us about your show, This One’s For The Aliens.
TOFTA is our fourth show, where we have set up an intergalactic PR agency to try and shout out some of the best things about the planet in the form of comedy-rap-jazz. The two songs that didn’t make the cut were the parable of the wasp and the fig and the ballad of Dave from Didcot so you can only imagine the strength of the songs that did make it (well you don’t have to only imagine it, if you wanted to come along you’d find out there’s a cracking number about wombs).
What made you want to write a show for aliens?
Last year our show was about saving the world, so this year we had to go bigger. We also felt like there is a lot of things that feel divisive and disheartening on this earth but we can forget there are a lot of brilliant things in amongst it too.
We wanted to try and shine some light on those. Picking aliens as an audience felt like a fun way of reframing it. But as with all our shows it’s mostly just us singing songs that we hope will leave people feeling more hopeful about the world than when they started the night.
What made you want to include an improvisational element to the show?
Partly we wanted to get audience members’ opinions on things they felt were worth highlighting in the world (our last show included miniature shnauzers and Bill and Ben the flowerpot men). But also it keeps us on our toes, and means that even in a 25 date tour every show feels different.
How did you develop your unique comedy-jazz-rap musical style?
H came from a background of slam poetry so he likes to rhyme at any opportunity, and C came from a background of jazz, specifically a background of background jazz in hotel restaurants, but he’s come back round from the background of background to break ground… essentially most songs start like the answer to this question of being fairly well-intentioned and serious before slowly getting carried away.
Your act teases very serious topics without losing its light-hearted attitude. What’s your secret to striking that balance?
We’ve been best friends for coming up to 15 years now, so it’s never long between moments where we are able to make each other laugh, and there’s always been a natural lightness to what we write and perform. But we’ve really enjoyed pushing ourselves the last couple of years to also tackle more serious stuff and it feels way more rewarding when it comes off (as well as keeping in a song about wombs).
If you could pick any one thing about humanity to present to an alien species to represent the best of us as a civilisation, what would it be?
At the time of writing the show it was the Eurovision song contest, as an example of countries coming together to create something beautiful, even though they rejected our entry for being too political. Right now it would probably be Greta Thunberg.
What do you hope people take away from your show?
We hope they take away hope itself. And if we’re really lucky they’ll also take away a T-shirt that says ‘we’ve all been on a womb’ on it but that will make a lot more sense once they’ve seen the show.
Are there any other shows you’re looking forward to at the Hull Comedy Festival?
We once shared a musical comedy showcase bill with Katie Pritchard who had rewritten Single Ladies to be about a single lettuce which we fully endorse as a pun and concept.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to break into comedy?
Have fun! H would also say invest in a best friend age 13 who turns out to be really good at background jazz music. Also when you come to ordering any womb-based merchandise for your show try not to overdo it.
Harry and Chris are performing The One’s For The Aliens on 10th November.