Sound of Our Revolution | November 2021: Environmentalist Anthems

Contributed by Jonny Collins


Another Month, another arbitrary playlist to listen to before the next Blizzard Comedy stream on the 29th November. This month our theme is Climate Change & Environmentalism.

After the disaster of the Cop 26 and certain world leaders (specifically our own) demonstrating how little they care at best about the inevitable heat death of human life on Earth or at worst actively facilitating it for the sake of profit, whilst Gen Z activists are sneered at for being naïve and ideologically ill-informed for their role in attempting to lobby our leaders into taking decisive action, and not just “We’ll do something, if it doesn’t harm our donors profits.”

While it’s true that we can all do our part to help the environment, such as cutting down meat intake and reducing our carbon footprints – in reality, anything we do, any bottle we put into the recycling bin is negligible compared to the massive amount of impact the biggest corporations and the 1% pump out into the atmosphere on a daily basis, more than your average citizen will make in a year.

We should absolutely be doing our bit but – like with plastic straws – the fact that what we should be doing is the primary target of all environmental campaigns and not corrupt and pollutive industries that don’t care to change their behaviours, shows that all these government led campaigns are nothing more than lip service to make it look like they’re doing something, without actually taking the recommended actions and necessary changes we need to have made about a decade ago to actually have a chance of slowing and halting the one way journey to an inhabitable earth.

Still, at least Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk can colonize Mars, to begin the whole process of planetary destruction all over again.

Pretty depressing when you think about it. So hear are some angry and impassioned songs from the worlds of Punk, Pop & Metal about the plight of the planet, that you can rage and cry to while our government refuses to do anything tangible!

Arguing with Thermometers – Enter Shikari

So let me get this straight
As we witness the ice caps melt
Instead of being spurred into changing our ways
We’re gonna invest into military hardware
To fight for the remaining oil that’s left beneath the ice?
But what happens when it’s all gone?
You haven’t thought this through, have you, boys?”

Kicking off with one of my favourites: leftist Electronic Metalcore turned synthpop Hertfordshire based band Enter Shikari. One of their heavier tracks from 2012’s A Flash Flood of Colour, which in my opinion is one of the best political albums of that whole decade. (Maybe I’ll do a proper review/retrospective of the album for the blog sometime. Maybe I won’t, either way, listen to it, it’s great.)

Arguing with Thermometers is anything but subtle – from the very obvious title attacking climate change deniers who still attempt to argue with the demonstrable fact of climate change, to the breakdown talking about oil in the ice and blood on your hands, to spoken word sections openly criticizing the amount of money still going into fracking and corrupt military action. If you just want an angry song to jump around your room to as we come ever closer to the point of no return (assuming we’ve not already hit it) – this is probably the best song you can get.

4 DEGREES – ANOHNI

“I wanna hear the dogs crying for water
I wanna see fish go belly-up in the sea
All those lemurs and all those tiny creatures
I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees”

4 Degrees is a cynical and depressive anthem about the inevitable results of climate change, with the repeated refrain “It’s only four degrees” referencing a prediction that by 2100 when, averaged over all of earth’s surfaces, temperatures rise by four degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.

I debated whether to include this song, as tonally it’s a bit on the nose, taking the perspective of willfully wanting the world to burn as a way to highlight how truly barbaric being complicit in climate change really is – putting those motivations on the politicians and deniers who actively led us into this situation. While it’s very unlikely that any of these people genuinely want to see the world burn, this is what their actions are doing, and what better way to illustrate that than adding actual purpose to the facts, not just depressingly referencing them.

Ultimately though this is one of the most profound tracks I found in my research, and it would not have sat right if I’d left it off. it’s a surprisingly calming song tonally as well, which is an interesting juxtaposition of the subject matter. Definitely worth a listen.

The Landscape Is Changing – Depeche Mode

“Token gestures, some semblance of intelligence
Can we be blamed for the security of ignorance
‘Cause I don’t care if you’re going nowhere
Just take good care of the world”

I like Depeche Mode. I always forget this fact. I never think about Depeche Mode if I’m not for some reason currently listening to Depeche Mode, but I like them a lot when that happens.

This track is pretty standard stuff, that unique British Electronic New Wave sound is present and accounted for, as well as a trancey vocal style soaring over the top of the relaxed beats, giving a very floaty vibe, which fits the theme of the song very nicely. A bit of an old song now, this lacks the sense of urgency in some of the other songs of the list, but still conveys a sense of finite and fed up sadness at the way the world is going.

The only thing that matters is taking care of the Earth – and we’re not even doing that. When environmental songs from decades ago still speak truth today, that’s a sign that we’ve done precious little despite plenty of warning.

Kyoto Now! – Bad Religion

“You might not think it matters now
But what if you were wrong?
You might not think there’s any wisdom
In a fucked up punk rock song

But the way it is
Can not persist for long
A brutal sun is rising
On a sick horizon”

Bad Religion aren’t exactly full of variety – if you’ve heard and like one song, chances are you’ll like all of them. Kyoto Now! Is the Bad Religion we know and love, stripped down but determined Punk Rock, speaking out against corruption, oppression, capitalism and yes, the destruction of the planet.

“Kyoto Now” is a reference to the US movement of the same name whereby students lobby Universities to commit to reducing their Carbon Dioxide Emission. The song takes a similar call to media empires and governments with a dire warning of the potential consequences of inaction.

They take the “What if you’re wrong?” line, which is kind of lame, but might be the only thing that works.

It reminds me of the argument, “Even if Global Warming/climate change was a hoax – so what? What if we invest lots of money into making greener technology and reducing emissions and carbon footprints? What is the bad outcome here, what is this conspiracy supposed to achieve except for its very transparent goals?” For a conspiracy to be a conspiracy it needs to have a tangible yet secretive motivation – which just does not scan with climate activisim. Yet it’s astounding how many people buy into this narrative.

Anyway, classic Bad Religion, good message, let’s move on.

Time is Ticking Out – The Cranberries

“Looks like we’ve screwed up the ozone layer
I wonder if the politicians care
The dime went down, yeah, if time went down

What about our children then
Is there nothing left for them?
We don’t know, we don’t know”

I regret not getting into The Cranberries until the tragic death of Dolores O’Riordan. Truly one of the most unique bands to come out of their era – with a blend of Irish Folk Rock, Grunge and Post-Punk, they are perhaps one of the best sounding bands to convey topics as dismal and serious as this. Dolores had a very unique voice, soulful, clean, but also powerful and with an edge that came as a part of the Grunge revolution in the early 90s.

This song, aptly titled, is about the rapidly decreasing time we may have on this Earth, and the even shorter amount of time we have to act to ensure survival.

The lyrics above really hit hard. What about the children that will be the ones who have to fight the crisis head on? Those children are our generation’s now. Those in charge in the ’00s will be well over their life expectancy by the time the impact of climate change really hits, but it is very likely our generation will be right in the middle of it. The sadness and helplessness behind this lyric, full of guilt at our fate, off, gets me every time.

What’s even sadder is a large number of our generation have taken a nihilist attitude towards the whole thing, and instead of wanting to help change, instead double down into the worst parts of internet capitalism. The growing NFT trend is slaughtering the planet even faster for the sake of bragging rights over a shit jpeg.

This isn’t exclusive to our generation, of course. Plenty of Boomers and Gen X are facilitating this practice, but your Nan isn’t going out of her way mining Dogecoin to buy a cell in an encrypted spreadsheet they can feel smug about.

Thankfully Gen Z for the most part doesn’t seem to have bought into this too much either. Although Gen Z are even more economically fucked than Millennials, so it’s not like they could even if they wanted to. Which they wouldn’t, because why would they?

Change is Coming – Skyclad

“As we look to new horizons, new worlds to colonise
Will we learn the lessons or dismiss it all as lies?
Now they say that change is coming and it’s not some fantasy
Cos the evidence is mounting and it’s there for all to see
Yes they say that change is coming and it’s not conspiracy
No it’s not just “snake oil science” but a new harsh reality”

As much as I pretend otherwise, I’ll always be a metalhead at heart. I generally don’t have too much Metal on these playlists, partly because it’s objectively the worst genre of music, but largely because a lot of Metal I like doesn’t really tackle tangible real world issues. Certainly not from a perspective that I agree with.

Climate Change however is one of those topics that is thoroughly explored in Metal, with the ties to Armageddon and the end of the world, which lend themselves very well to heavy music.

Skyclad are actually a band I hadn’t heard of before researching for this list. They’ve been around for a while, and are widely considered one of the pioneers of “Folk Metal” – blending the New Wave of British Heavy Metal’s distinctive speed and melodious compositions with traditional folk music. These genres arguably shouldn’t work well together, but actually they really do, providing some much-needed depth to a genre that was stale long before the 90s.

This song’s lyrics are very folk-inspired, favouring a simple rhyme scheme to convey a clear message, rather than the more abstract and all over the place approach you’d expect of a typical Thrash band. The close attention to detail and simple structure really lends itself to topics of this gravity, grounding it in an uncomfortable reality, and not a frightening fantasy.

It’s a great song, and one of the more recent on this list as well, really conveying a message of urgency and defeat, more than the warning nature of songs in the 80s, 90s and 00s. By no means the only Metal track on this list either…

Amazonia – Gojira

“There’s fire in the sky
You’re in the Amazon
The greatest miracle
Is burning to the ground”

Going much heavier now with French Death Metal legends Gojira. To say they are an acquired taste is an understatement, although I actually think with their smoother guitar tones and progressive approach to songwriting, they’re actually a lot more accessible than other bands in their genre.

That’s not to say they haven’t earned their label of Death Metal. Gojira have a sense of impending Doom in their songs, but with a much faster and aggressive beat than one would expect of Doom Metal – taking an almost punk/grindcore edge, except with much longer songs and with more progression.

This song is specifically about the Amazon Rainforest getting demolished and burned to the ground, however it works as a metaphor for climate change as a whole. Partly because just this one ecosystem will have knock-on effects with all life on Earth. The greatest miracle is burning to the ground. This can on the surface mean the Amazon Rainforest, but the phrase “The Greatest Miracle” conjures up imagery of life on Earth as a whole, which will be incredibly threatened by the loss of the rainforest.

Whatever it’s overall meaning, it tackles the issue of climate change on at least a micro if not a macro level, and very much belongs on this list.

Collapse (Post-Amerika) – Rise Against

“When our rivers run dry and our crops cease to grow
When our summers grow longer and winters won’t snow
From the banks of the ocean and the ice in the hills
To the fight in the desert where progress stands still
When we’ve lost our will

That’s how we’ll know
This is not a test, we’ll know
This is cardiac arrest
Of a world too proud to admit our mistakes
We’re crashing into the ground as we all fall from grace

Moving back to some good old Punk now with Rise Against – who, like Bad Religion, seem to have a song for every occasion as far as these playlists go.

Collapse launches right into the grim realities of climate change. No build up, straight into the consequences.

I particularly like the chorus, to have such a great hook as well as successfully sum up the crux of the song in 5 lines is a talent I don’t think Punk bands get enough credit for. We are a world too proud to admit our mistakes, so instead of backing down, we double down, deny reality for as long as possible, then blame everyone else and insist we did all we could, while the poorest face the consequences first.

Make no mistake, climate change can and will destroy all human life on Earth, but it will be the poorest who go first. The rich will be given all the equipment they need to delay the inevitable, and the super-rich will leave the planet behind and start this whole process again on another one.

Climate change isn’t a class issue, but it is a class issue.

Eyes Wide Open – Gotye

“And some people offered up answers
We made out we like we heard, they were only words
They didn’t add up, to a change in the way we were living
And the saddest thing, is all of it could’ve been avoided

But it was like to stop consuming’s, to stop being human
And why’d I make a change if you won’t?
We’re all in the same boat, stayin’ afloat for the moment”

Remember Gotye? Whatever happened to Gotye? God I miss 2011.

Eyes Wide Open was actually the first single from his 2011 album, that ended up being vastly overshadowed by that other one that I can’t remember the name of. I definitely used to know what it was called. But I’m drawing blanks… it’ll come to me, I’m sure.

This is a very unsubtle song written from the perspective of a dystopian future, looking back at the golden period for ecological destruction enabled by our world leaders and largest corporations. This song is calling out the unwillingness across the board to do anything to oppose and fight these changes, and now that I’m writing all this I can see why the second single of the album was the one that charted.

It’s not something you’re going to drunkenly dance and sing along to in a club you’re drastically too old to be in at a “Retro” night in 2026, while you scream at all the freshers how you remember when the song came out and they’re like “Okay grandma” and shift to the other end of the bar.

Tunnel Vision – Kae Tempest

“We won’t stop until we’ve beaten down the planet into pellets
Before the interstellar mission to inflict more terror
It’s killing me, it’s killing me, it’s filling me, I’m vomiting, it’s still in me
Everything is fine really, silly me”

Kae Tempest may be one of my favourite artists I discovered through these playlist through the incredibly talented Yanna A – go check her out on bandcamp: https://yannaavlianos.bandcamp.com/

She gave me this song for another playlist, can’t remember which, but I fell immediately in love. The song actually gives me vibes of some of Enter Shikari’s softer songs, most notably Constellations – and I would kill to see them duet.

This song isn’t exclusively about climate change. You could argue it’s more an anti violence, war, corruption, and the effects our direct actions have on the planet than specifically climate change, but it definitely fits the bill.

The song is in essence calling out the titular “Tunnel Vision” of older generations – only seeing what’s in front of them day by day, and never looking at the bigger picture until it’s too late to do anything about.

The song then goes into detail about everything wrong with the world, taking a very trip-hop approach to flow and beat, making it feel more like spoken word than actual hip-hop, but regardless Kae’s flow is impressive, coherent, and compliments the song perfectly. It ends with a kind of cop out message of loving more, making me feel that this song is more about violence and war than the impact of corrupt capitalism on the environment.

Overall it’s still a wonderful song though. I couldn’t think of anything better to end the playlist on, retaining a sombre tone, but with a bit of uplifting inspirational hope at the end.

Not to undermine the core message of these playlists, but to inspire us to keep fighting. If you’re anything like me, the willingness to fight drains ever more shallow every week.

So why not channel that depleting will to fight into humour by tuning into our next Broadcast Avalanche stream with Team Captains Bobbie Jones and Katie Mitchell, with guests Will Preston, Kathryn Mather, Sophie G Collins & Marie Goulbourne! Tune in on Monday the 29th November at 7:30pm on Twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

And listen to these songs and more from Nuclear Assault, Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn and more on Spotify or YouTube.

Thank you for coming to Blizzard Comedy Live with Erika Ehler!

Contributed by Jonny Collins


Another Month, another night of Blizzard Comedy Live at Gullivers NQ Manchester, but uniquely, this show occurred on the 8th of November 2021 – which is the only Blizzard Comedy show on that date. You had to be there.

Unlike the chaos of last month we had only 4 acts performing longer sets, which was a good call as we finished on time for a change, and at no sacrifice to the hilarity of the night.

Opening we had our token Cishet man of the evening, who despite whatever preconceptions you may have, is actually a damn good joke writer. William Stone is a man we’ve been trying to book since pretty much the inception of the night, and it was well worth the wait.

William Stone

Every time I discover a new one-liner comedian, I’m guilty of being wary of the same rehashed material and formulaic joke structure of ever great one liner comedian of the last 20 years – but William Stone has a very self-referential and aware take on the format, in addition to being a phenomenal writer, and a delivery that is unrivalled even by some of the greatest names in the industry. Covering everything between bullying and cooking to the benefits of being a pigeon and the origins of the band KoRn.

William Stone has a joke for everyone (everyone in the hypothetical sense, not just the 20 odd people in our audience on the night.) and is a superb hybrid of modern humour and classic joke-telling. What a great way to start the night.

Next we had Alex Stringer, who is an act I have never had the pleasure of seeing live before today, and wow have I been missing out. Alex delivers her material with a very cool and low energy style that in the hands of a less capable comedian could kill the vibe of a room – but not her.

Alex Stringer

All of her material is so carefully constructed with some very unique takes on topics comedians have been trying and failing to crack for years – yet still manages to be very accessible in the process. There’s just something about her musings and delivery that make her instantly likable and make audiences instantly comfortable in her company.

Good things coming from her, I’m excited to see where she progresses to from here, and very excited on having her back soon.

Following her we have a favourite of the Blizzard livestreams and long-time advocate of the club Kath Marvelley. Kath is one of the nicest and cheeriest people on the circuit both on and off stage, which makes it all the more hysterical with some of the dark material she comes out with.

Kath Marvelley

Not that all of her material is edgy mind you, she covers a lot of topics from an outsider perspective as an Australian expat to the country, offering a slick and clever takedown of everything from Birdwatchers to the unethical history and deportation practices of the country.

Kath is always a delight to have on our stage, and she did not disappoint this time either! A favourite of our audience, and the kind of comedy I think we all needed after the last 2 years of misery.

And to close off this wonderful show we had headliner Erika Ehler. Erika might just be the most Blizzard headliner we’ve ever had on this show. Depressed and horny thematic material, self-deprecating but also oozing confidence, and lots of references to Space Jam for no apparent reason.

Erika Ehler

Erika is a true natural comedian and funny person – like Alex has a certain coolness to her delivery that means you hang on her every word and can make any topic funny. The kind of voice that you’d thank her for belittling and insulting you.

Erika is utterly ruthless in her material, whether she’s bluntly commenting on mental health struggles, making fun of her vegan environmentalist white ex and anti-vaxxers, she pulls no punches and is not afraid to go dark.

Erika is a refreshing voice in comedy, and has skyrocketed into success since earning a well deserved win of the Chortle Student Comedy Award in 2019, and if you’re not following her already, you absolutely should, as I would put good money on her being the next big thing.

Not just the next Sara Pascoe or Luisa Omielan, but the first and only Erika Ehler. The comedian we didn’t know we were waiting for. An asset to the UK and North American comedy circuits.

And that was our show – a strong line up to follow a strong comeback. Our next show features the incredible Hannah Platt, along with Ryan Kenny, Daniel McKeon, Benny Shakes & Sam Serrano. Tickets are available through our Patreon here, and will be added to the Facebook event soon here.

Blizzard Comedy LIVE, featuring Hannah Platt

We are back on a roll and we have got another belter lined up for December and we recommend you book your space quick!

Tickets will be available soon.

We’ll be at Gullivers from 7pm on Monday 6th December with another round of absolute legends.

Featuring:

Hannah Platt

Hannah Platt is a stand-up comedian, writer and Finalist of the BBC New Comedian of the Year Award in 2019. Merseyside-via-Manchester’s finest misanthrope has already been making her mark as a comic, having been described as ‘A voice of a new generation’ by The Skinny and ‘a voice with something to say’ by Chortle, never shying away from sensitive topics with brutal honesty and quick wit. Recently she has been commissioned to make a Laugh Lesson for BBC3 and written on Newsjack for BBC Radio 4. She prides herself on her ability to take difficult and complex topics and turn them into sharp, refreshing gags

Supported by:

Sam Serrano

The gender fluid King and Queen of comedy, Sam Serrano has spent the past couple of years smashing some of comedy’s most intense competitions, including GYF comedian of the year 2018 (2nd), Comedy Bloomers: LGBT Comedian of the Year 2019 (runner up), Leicester Square New Comedian of the Year 2019 (finalist).

https://www.facebook.com/samuelserranocomedian/

and Ryan Kenny

The “subtle, strange, hilarious” (West Didsbury Comedy Festival) Ryan Kenny has made a name for himself at the Beat the Frog World Series 2020, WDCF New Act 2020 finals and Lancaster New Act 2019 finals. Not only is he a published author, but he’s also an all round lovely person.

https://twitter.com/rjkennyauthor

With:

Daniel McKeon

Daniel is an exciting and fresh voice on the London comedy scene. He has performed comedy, written sketches, and produced podcasts for the past three years. Daniel is a self-deprecating, easy-going storyteller, interested in the weird and vulnerable ways people interact. But mostly, he’s a chill guy.

and Benny Shakes

Benny Shakes is a powerhouse of ‘funny’ built on a foundation of clever joke writing, from the daily struggles of living with a disability to his observations on redneck life. Benny is a relatable and affable comic who ‘raises the roof’ every time. He does several shows online – Benny Shakes Things Up and Below The Belt with Benny.

and our wonderful host

Jonny Collins

Jonny Collins is an aggressively inclusive Non-Binary comedian, Jonny pulls no punches yet makes everyone feel welcome and represented in their thought provoking, and well constructed deconstructions of gender, sexuality and politics. With radical leftist ideals and a fast and furious delivery style, Jonny Collins is a favourite of socialists, anarchists, feminists (of the trans inclusive variety), and queer activists alike.

“”Jonny is a force of nature on stage. A whirlwind of hilarity with a unique viewpoint, they energy and passion personified.” – XS Malarkey

“Jonny Collins is deceptively rapid-fire, with a gag rate that would shame most one-line merchants. They can bring a simmer to a boil with ease, and make a huge mess of your kitchen.” – James Ross (Quantum Leopard)

As always Blizzard Comedy is COMPLETELY FREE AT THE POINT OF ENTRY.

But if you would like to support us you can do that at:
https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy
https://blizzardcomedy.co.uk/support-us/

Or by giving us cash on the night, or donating via PIN/Contactless on our shiny new PDQ machine!

Kathryn Mather and Will Preston v Marie Goulbourne and Sophie Collins | Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche | S02 E08

Live entertainment is back and, maybe not thriving, but getting there. Still, we’ve enjoyed doing Broadcast Avalanche, so we’re keeping it!

We’re broadcast our next episode to our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

If you’ve missed the episodes we’ve streamed so far, you can find them all on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8rtSwsjVr-L8FgLCJ0VOQ

Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the other cool stuff we’re working on right now!

The next episode of Broadcast Avalanche will be broadcast live on Monday 29th November 2021

This month our show features:

Marie Goulbourne

Marie Goulbourne is a comedian and actor. Marie enjoys trains, science fiction and talking about herself in the third person.

and Sophie Collins

Sophie was brought up to see the good in the world and to enjoy bad puns. Then she became an adult and noticed the world was on fire. She got angry, got tired, she got into comedy. The result is a pinch of the apocalypse, a hefty glug of feminism, and an embarrassment of cheap gags.

“well moisturised socialist” – Sophie Powell

with team captain Bobbie-Ann Jones

“One To Watch” – Funny Women 2017

The Student Newspaper 2018- ‘Obvious Talent’

A combination of Dad Jokes and Daddy Issues, Bobbie-Ann Jones is one of the funniest prediabetic queers ever to come from Wolverhampton. She once made her counsellor cry and laugh at the same time, and she’s still proud of it. Is often seen carrying a single chocolate bar in a Sainsburys bag for life and rocking a killer rack.

https://twitter.com/BobbieAnnJones

and

Kathryn Mather

Mather was described as “dark, sharp and largely unprintable” by The Oxford Times, “a revelation” in a 5 star review from the Wee Review, and “very funny with a distinctive comic voice” by Nish Kumar. She won Amused Moose Breakthrough Act 2020, came 3rd place at the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2019, won South East New Comedian 2018 and the Frog and Bucket World Series 2017. She has been tour support for Kiri Pritchard-McLean for the past 2 years, and hosts Zero Hours podcast.

www.KathrynMather.com

and Will Preston

Will Preston is a comedian who has been performing stand up for over 3 years all across the UK and the US. He is a regular at the top comedy clubs on the London scene. Will is now the host of the podcast and video series Gaming For Laughs and also the founder of Comedy Cabin Comedy Club.

“Slick, surprising, and acutely aware” – Objectively Funny

with team captain Katie Mitchell

A rising star of the Midlands comedy circuit, Katie Mitchell’s comedy is alternative yet pervasive. She revels in a mainstream stand-up environment, as well as more specific events like cabaret, burlesque, and music festivals.


As always, our show will be free to watch with a pay-what-you-feel option for contributions which will be split between our acts and team.

If you would like to make a donation, you can PayPal us here: paypal.me/blizzardcomedy

Or you can make regular donations by backing us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

Or you can support us AND get your hands on some delicious merch by checking out our store: https://blizzardcomedy.bigcartel.com/products

Sound of Our Revolution | October 2021: AFAB, Women and Femme Solidarity

I’ve wanted to do a playlist on the theme of Women’s rights and solidarity for a while, and honestly it’s a travesty that I’m only now just getting it.

But while we’re seeing at best naïve useless advice and at worst victim blaming bootlicking from the police and their sympathizers in the aftermath of the much deserved full life prison sentence for the murder of Sarah Everard, it seems like an appropriate time to shine a light on the safety and rights of women even now in 2021.

The fact of the matter is that despite the sentencing of this one criminal, the wider culture of misogyny, entitlement and violence towards women is barely being addressed in government or law enforcement. Make no mistake, the sentence is only as severe as it is because the police are already battling with waning public trust, and anything less than this would’ve been the final nail in the coffin. They’re already pushing it with the way attendees at the vigil earlier this year were treated and abused.

I was naïve growing up – I definitely uttered words along the lines of “Obviously I support what feminism was, but why do we still need it in 2013? Come on everyone, you’re already equal, what more do you want!”

Which grossly misunderstands that Feminism is far more than getting women the right to vote. Just because things were worse 100 years ago, doesn’t mean that we should just be grateful for the way things are now without trying to push for more.

With Incel terrorist attacks on the rise around the world, continued lack of support or accountability for systematic oppression in both the public and private sectors – sure things are very different than they were during the height of Women’s Suffrage, but things are still objectively inherently harder for non-men.

So this playlist is a collection of Riot Grrl, hip-hop and folk from AFABs, Women & Femmes from around the world, from different cultures, different upbringings, different assigned genders, but all sharing their experiences with womanhood, both on an internal level and the external treatment it entails.

Per my last playlist, I consider intersectionality very important when it comes to issues like this – so I have neglected some songs and artists with bio-essentialist lyrics or histories of transphobia. Trans and Cis women share a common goal, and throwing trans women under the bus for the sake of “women’s rights” is the definition of counterproductive. The fight for women’s rights is fighting for ALL women’s rights. Not just the cis, middle class white ones. *cough* Rowling *cough*


Girls Get Angry Too – GIRLI

What’s a girl, what’s a boy?
Why are there gender sections for toys?
And sorry if I’m out of line
But I don’t want Hamleys to decide
If my kid’s a fireman or a bride

Of all the playlists I’ve ever done, this one has had far the most requests and engagement from the community. I have discovered a frankly stressful amount of new artists through this playlist, so those who made it are truly the best of the best.

I was expecting this playlist to be 99% 90s & 00s Punk – however turns out there’s a lot of great Riot Grrl – adjacent hip-hop, particularly in the last decade, and this track is one of them. What a fucking tune. This is an upbeat aggressive anthem all about being a woman and a feminist in the modern day.

From deconstructions of toxic masculinity, to women stereotypes, to the very notion of our outdated gender roles – what better way to open this playlist than with an unapologetic rhythmic rant about everything that sucks about the patriarchy.

Purge the Poison – MARINA Feat. Pussy Riot

I just want a world where I can see the feminine
We only make up one quarter of the government
Like an angel gone to hell, cast the moon under our spell
Ownin’ female power, takin’ back what’s ours

Next we have another newcomer to our playlists in the shape of MARINA. This is more the kind of sound I was expecting from this playlist (not that the other sounds are bad) and, my god, does it deliver.

There’s too many snippets of gold in the lyrics of this track to choose from – and as every good feminist anthem does, it champions intersectionality with a focus on women. Tackling underrepresentation, sexual abuse and grooming from powerful men, beauty ideals, but also America’s whole implementation of democracy and military obsession, and the oppression of minorities. I can see this becoming a Blizzard classic in no time.

It’s Different for Girls – Of Montreal

It’s different for girls
They’re not expected to fight
They’re expected to sit and take some lesser man’s shit

It’s Different for Girls is the definitive feminist song from gender non-comforming frontperson Kevin Barnes. It’s rare to see anyone assigned male tackling issues such as this so publicly in their music – and this is by no means a deep dive into gender theory and history – but it is a good summary of generational misogyny and the damage the patriarchy does particularly to girls of a very young age.

The song title sounds like it could be one that falls into lazy stereotypes and problematic bio-essentialism, but the song avoids that, instead providing us with gems like “For every one psycho chick, there’s ten thousand hateful pricks” deconstructing the “Crazy Bitch” trope by pointing out the gender discrepancy between the qualities that would define a woman by this metric, vs those same metrics present in a large majority of men.

Sisters are Doing it for Themselves – Eurythmics Feat. Aretha Franklin

Now this is a song to celebrate
The conscious liberation of the female state
Mothers, daughters and their daughters too, yeah
Woman to woman
We’re singing with you
The “inferior sex” got a new exterior (yeah)

Come on, did you really think this absolute banger WOULDN’T be on this list

Arguably it’s a bit dated in terms of modern feminist language and talking points, but frankly I don’t care, if this song doesn’t get you dancing and singing along, nothing will.

Woman – Little Simz feat. Cleo Sol

Ain’t nothin’ without a woman, though
Woman to woman, I just wanna see you glow (Glow, glow)

Little Simz is something else. I was torn between this song and ‘Venom’ and while on a purely aesthetic level I enjoy listening to ‘Venom’ more – ‘Woman’ is a love letter to women all over the world who inspire and influence the artist, and is just such a nice show of solidarity and case study into intersectionality between cultures.

This song is perfect for this playlist, and is a wonderful uplifting celebration of women and femininity all around the world, which is something we can never have enough of.

Men Explain Things To Me – Tacocat

“We get it dude
We’ve already heard enough from you
The turning point is overdue”

With that title and that line…do you really need me to explain why it’s on this list?

Rich, White, Straight Men – Kesha

And if you were a lady
Then you own your lady parts
Just like a man goes to a dealership
And then he owns a car
Vroom, vroom
Fuck you (Fuck you)

You all know this one by this point. Absolute Blizzard playlist classic these days. The lines do have slightly bio-essentialist implications at times, but honestly it slaps so hard and “lady parts” is ambiguous enough that I’ll give it a pass.

It’s obviously referring to reproductive rights, which is an issue primarily with AFABs – and I don’t know a single trans woman who doesn’t show solidarity with the cis women on this issue, so yeah, fuck it. Fuck the patriarchy indeed.

Civil War – Peppermint

I’m an army of one, marching alone
Fighting for my life.
In the dark of the night theres nowhere to run, no place left to hide.
I’m a warrior inside, just a stranger made to fight.
These civil war, civil war, civil war, civil war, civil war.

Civil War by the ex Drag Race star is a personal anthem on her own gender identity, oppression and struggles – but has become something of an anthem for transgender women and femmes all around.

The imagery of trying to get somewhere safe at night while being attacked from every angle is also something that can resonate with women of all types. It is dangerous out there for women, particularly Black women – especially Black trans women.

Walking home late a night before coming out was always an anxiety inducing experience, but since coming out it’s only gotten worse. Every incident I’ve experienced being around late a night have been when I have been presenting femme. I was very lucky on one occasion when a man tried to follow me home that I was able to outrun him and have my Dad pick me up in his car. I had all the right lucky variables to be safe in that situation. If any one of them had changed, had I been slower, he faster, if I was further away from home, if my Dad was asleep, things may have been uglier.

All women & femmes will have a story like this, many of which would have ended worse. It really does feel like you’re isolated and on your own in the moment – especially for Trans women who have danger from both men and Terfs to protect themselves against. One murderer being in prison unfortunately is unlikely to change this culture that women have to survive in.

The Opener – Camp Cope

It’s another whole male tour preaching equality
It’s another straight cis man who knows more about this than me
It’s another man telling us we’re missing a frequency
Show ’em Kelly!
It’s another man telling us we can’t fill up the room
It’s another man telling us to book a smaller venue
Nah, hey come on girls, we’re only thinking about you!
Now look how far we’ve come not listening to you
Yeah just get a female opener, that’ll fill the quota

The Opener is an unapologetic takedown of ingrained misogyny in the music industry. There’s hundreds of carbon copy cis white male rock bands in every Western country, yet the members of these bands are completely unable to recognize their privilege, and pretend to be feminist whilst not actually treating women as their equals, more using them as a way to boost their own image whilst belittling them as a novelty.

This list is almost if not entirely comprised of women artists and bands, and this is only a fraction of those suggested to me. There’s hundreds upon thousands of all girl bands who just don’t get the same breaks they deserve, as some marketing executives somewhere thinks they will make more profit off of bland white men.

The music industry is corrupt and full of misogyny, and Camp Cope are not shy about calling it out.

Womanarchist – Bad Cop/Bad Cop

It’s my life to choose
Not bigots or misogynists
Not even alt left liberalists
It’s their fight to lose
I’m a modern anarchist
A punk rock existentialist
Who wants to make the whole world feminist

This song is mostly here from the strength of the pun “Womanarchist” ngl.

Also it’s just a great song, and another example of later on in the song bringing intersectionality into their feminist anthem, which is super lovely to hear. Feminism without intersectionality is basically worthless in 2021, and these aren’t that.

Racist, Sexist Boy – The Linda Lindas

Racist, sexist boy
You are a racist, sexist boy
And you have racist, sexist joys
We rebuild what you destroy
You are a racist, sexist boy

Probably the newest band on this list – I wasn’t going to leave them off. This song is based on a personal experience one of the band members had with a boy who was racist towards her.

Whilst not the longest or most intricate song, it has a really satisfying bassy/grungy sound to it, and the lyrics pack a punch despite being very basic and minimal. It is satisfying hearing such a young band making a mark in the Riot Grrl genre, even opening for Bikini Kill. Very excited to see where these girls go next.


And that’s our list! You can listen to these songs and more from The Von Tramps, Grace Petrie, Against Me! and more here on Spotify and here on YouTube.

You can tune into our next stream show at twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy on the 25th October, 7:30PM with team captains Khalid Winter and Thom Bee, and guests Edy Hurst, Richard Stott, Allie Mackintosh and Laura Monmoth.

Thank you for coming to our first live show back after lockdown!

Contributed by Jonny Collins


Well, we did it. After 20 long months of not being in a small, enclosed room yelling jokes at 20-35 strangers, Blizzard Comedy officially returned with a bang on Monday the 4th October!

And oh what a show it was. Plagued with technical hiccups, performance anxiety and…well…the plague, I’d be lying if I’d said this wasn’t the most emotionally exhausting thing I’ve done all year. Thankfully there were plenty of new faces and the old faces hadn’t seen me for a while so I could get away with recycling the tried and tested material.

I also noticed that I’ve gotten much more confident riffing and bouncing off the room, a feat I put down entirely to 18 odd months of YouTube and Twitch streaming building up my improvisation confidence.

Notice I say confidence and not skills – whether or not this newfound self-esteem was founded or not is up for you to decide.

But even if I am grossly overestimating my own entertainment, our line-up certainly didn’t disappoint!

Opening the show, we had an act who I’ve been excited to see ever since I first booked her back in 2019 for an early 2020 show that was cancelled for some reason; I forget the specifics of why.

Katie Mitchell is the comedic icon I wish I’d had growing up. A bottomless well of whimsy, with immaculately crafted jokes, and a delivery that could sell the weirdest jokes to the rowdiest audiences. Luckily, our audience is not rowdy, and therefore gave her an even bigger reception that she absolutely deserved. A true alternative comedian.

Katie, a slim white woman with dark back-brushed hair and gothic makeup, wearing a black dress with white spots, holding a microphone to her face. She is standing in front of a projection of her photo, pronouns and content warnings on a rainbow background.

It will come of little surprise to anyone who knows me that mine and Katie’s influences are broadly the same, although she is much more polished and hard working than I am and will definitely be looked back on as one of the titans of alternative comedy in the 2020s.

Next up we had Ben Hodge, who has the honour of performing at our last live show before lockdown, and our first afterwards.

Ben, a trans man with short blond hair and beard, wearing glasses and a loose red jumper, holding a microphone to his face in front of a projection of his name, photo, pronouns, social channels and content warnings on a rainbow background.

Ben is an instantly likable and engaging performer, made even more impressive by delivering some of the filthiest material I’ve ever heard in front of his own family. Transmasculine representation in comedy is even lower than Trans-femme representation (which is already basically non-existent), so it is delightful to be able to platform him as one of the biggest up and coming stars of this generation of comedy.

Ending the first section we had Tony Basnett who has been lovingly bestowed the nickname “Face of Blizzard Comedy” thanks to his picture being used in an article about our City Life nomination, next to a paragraph praising us for our commitment to diversity. Tony Basnett is a Cishet White Man.

Tony, a tall slim white man wearing a yellow T shirt, holds a microphone up to his face in front of a projection featuring his photo, pronouns, social channels and content warnings, including – hilariously – “is a prick”.

But unlike a lot of cishet white men, Basnett is actually pretty damn funny. Regulars of the Manchester comedy circuit will recognize him as the resident MC at the shockingly underappreciated Trapdoor Comedy in the upstairs of The Old Monkey – which incidentally gave me some of my first semi-pro work after a long hiatus in 2016/17.

Basnett is an incredible performer, effortlessly hilarious, and full of charm.

After the Interval we were joined by Blizzard Comedy Broadcast Avalanche regular Bobbie Jones for their second time on our stage.

Bobbie, a white femme person with long blond hair and glasses, wearing a black blazer and red T shirt, holding a microphone up to their face and gesturing at the projection behind them of their photo, name, pronouns, social channels and content warnings on a rainbow background.

Bobbie never ceases to impress me with just how fluid between genres and styles they can be. While for the most part a fairly standard yet polished joke teller, they have a knack for blending in bits of absurdism and deadpan borderline tragedy in a set that is by all accounts fucking hysterical. Whether it’s a series of gay one liners, heartfelt anecdotes or poems about being a toaster; audiences are never quite sure what to make of Bobbie, but one thing’s for sure, they always enjoy them.

Following on from Bobbie we had another Blizzard favourite Umby Winters. Umby has got to be one of the most naturally funny people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with, so much so that I forgive them for fucking up the projector angle for the sake of having their eyeshadow better visible.

Umby, a tall slim person with long blond hair wearing a black suit and hat and fabulous make-up, that the audience can see more clearly because the projector is off, but is not hugely visible in this photo because I was right at the back and my camera is bad.

Umby has something of a rockstar energy, which is impressive when they have material about struggling to piss in the shower. They have a command over the room which many comedians envy, and whether they’re telling solid gags or straying into new experimental territory, the audience never loses engagement.

Umby is a stalwart of Northern queer comedy – which whilst specific sounding, is a much broader church than you might realize.

Finishing off the second section we have Tony Wright, who was one of the first acts we ever had on our stage back in April 2019.

Tony was excellent then and has only gotten better since. Like Umby he has an effortless hold on audience attention, but he manages this with a much cooler and calmer persona. Tony has a voice that audiences just want to listen to for hours, both in a literal and metaphorical sense.

Tony, a slim, mixed race man, with long blond hair and stubble, wearing a striped black suit, standing on stand in front of an eager audience in front of a project of his name, pronouns and social channels on a rainbow background.

With a half English/half Somali background, Tony can tackle even fairly mainstream topics with a new angle and in ways that don’t seem hack. Tony has a skill on stage that many comedians can only dream of achieving, and on top of that he is one of the most handsome people I’ve ever worked with in literally any job.

After that we had the iconic (No) Money In The Bank headlining. Truthfully there was no other way we could’ve ended our first show back. Ever since their first appearance in June 2019 they have been instantly recognized as favourites of the club and have been involved both actively and passively with many of our projects since. From guest MCing, to appearing regularly on our panel show, to providing themselves and subjects for an erotica competition.

(You can get the zine featuring that erotica here!)

Thom, a slim white man with long blond hair and glasses wearing a yellow shirt under a black jacket, stands behind Balthazar, a white man wearing a jacker over his bare stomach, holding aloft a wrestling belt. Behind them is a projection of the word BALTHAZAR.

It is very hard to explain NMITB to someone who hasn’t seen them before, but “Aggressively 90s” is probably a good start. Covering topics from Wrestling to Pop-Punk to David Hasselhoff; and ending with three grown men chopping each other in a manor that can only be described as “irresponsible but hot.” Which now that I think of it sums up these boys quite nicely.

What a way to spend our first live show back!

Our next live show features some acts who we’ve been very excited to see for a long time – with headliner Erika Ehler, featuring support from William Stone, Kath Marvelley & Alex Stringer.

You can catch this show on Twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy if you missed it, up until the 25th October! And you can get your very own Blizzard zine featuring content from all these incredible acts.

Laura Monmoth and Richard Stott v Allie Mackintosh and Edy Hurst || Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche, Series 2, Episode 7

We are back on stage, but we’ll be continuing with Blizzard Comedy’s Broadcast Avalanche anyway because we’ve really come to enjoy doing it over the past 18 months!

We broadcast every episode live to our Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/blizzardcomedy

If you’ve missed the episodes we’ve streamed so far, you can find them all on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz8rtSwsjVr-L8FgLCJ0VOQ

Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the other cool stuff we’re working on right now!

This month our show features:

Allie Mackintosh

Sheffield’s fourth best transgender comedian, by process of elimination.

https://twitter.com/AllieTellsJokes

and Edy Hurst

Edy hurst is a charming oddball full to the brim with ideas and joy. Bringing a guitar, loop pedal, and his best smile, he’s been bringing a skewed musical slant to comedy nights across the UK since beginning comedy in 2013.

https://www.edyhurst.co.uk/

with team captain Thom Bee

Thom is a Manchester-based comedian who began performing comedy in Berlin, Germany in 2015. Trained as a circus performer, and working on the UK circus festival circuit as a compere before transitioning to comedy, Thom has a wide-ranging, approachable and likable style.

“A standup fool, rising like a mighty, hungry dragon on Manchester’s comedy scene.” – Flim Nite, Manchester

and

Richard Stott

Actor, voice-over artist and comedian, Richard Stott performed his debut solo show, Right Hand Man, at Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 and was listed in Dave’s Top 10 Funniest Jokes. The show has since appeared on NextUp and comedy fringes and festivals around the country.

“Unexpectedly inspiring and unquestionably funny” – Evening Standard

and Laura Monmoth

Best Show Winner – Morecambe Comedy Festival.
Best New Show Nominee – Leicester Comedy Festival.
Breaking Talent Award-winner – 2018 Birmingham Comedy Festival.

with team captain Khalid Winter

Khalid Winter is a comedian who can be seen performing at some of the top comedy clubs around the UK . After growing up in Manchester he moved to London to study Archaeology, later becoming a professional archaeologist. His comedy draws on his experiences growing up on a council estate in South Manchester, having a mixed-race family, being unemployed as well as his later experiences studying and working as an archaeologist. His comedy contains thoughtful social commentary but always from a personal perspective.

“Winter’s strength is in his eye for a good line. Beautifully written with just the right mix of accuracy, understatement and humour.” Notts Comedy Review

http://www.khalidwinter.com/

Hosted once again by our founder Jonny Collins

Jonny Collins is an aggressively inclusive Non-Binary comedian, Jonny pulls no punches yet makes everyone feel welcome and represented in their thought provoking, and well constructed deconstructions of gender, sexuality and politics. With radical leftist ideals and a fast and furious delivery style, Jonny Collins is a favourite of socialist, anarchists, feminists (of the trans inclusive variety), and queer activists alike.

“Jonny is a force of nature on stage. A whirlwind of hilarity with a unique viewpoint, they energy and passion personified.” – XS Malarkey

“Jonny Collins is deceptively rapid-fire, with a gag rate that would shame most one-line merchants. They can bring a simmer to a boil with ease, and make a huge mess of your kitchen.” – James Ross (Quantum Leopard)

As always, our show will be free to watch with a pay-what-you-feel option for contributions which will be split between our acts and team. If you would like to make a donation, you can PayPal us here: paypal.me/blizzardcomedy

Or you can make regular donations by backing us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

Or you can support us AND get your hands on some delicious merch by checking out our store: https://blizzardcomedy.bigcartel.com/products

Blizzard Comedy LIVE, featuring Erika Ehler

After our first show back after lockdown sold out in three freakin days, we’ve got another belter lined up for November and we recommend you book your space quick!

Tickets are free, but we recommend booking. Tickets are available here.

We’ll be at Gullivers from 7pm on Monday 8th November with another round of absolute legends.

Featuring

Alex Stringer

So You Think You’re Funny semi-finalist 2021
2nd in West Didsbury Comedy Festival New Act of the Year 2020
Beat the Frog World Series 2020 finalist

“Alex is a natural comedic talent and even with 5 months away from stage, she stays hilarious and consistent” – Dane Baptiste
“She is so comfortable and engaging to watch! Way beyond her years” – Brennan Reece

William Stone

William Stone is gathering moss. Stuck somewhere between reality and dreams, offering glimpses into his world through whimsical oneliners and oblique observations.

“One to watch / kill out of jealousy” – Stuart Goldsmith
“Excellent writer of whimsical one-liners” – Steve Bennett, Chortle.

Kath Marvelley

New to the North West UK comedy scene this droll performer wins audiences over with her Australian theatrical flavour. She has a warm storytelling comedy style that leads the audience to unexpected laughs.

“Funny and delightful. Had the audience engrossed.” – Stand Up at The Studio

and headline act

Erika Ehler

Erika’s razor-sharp, dark and visceral writing paired with precise delivery makes her one of the most exciting young comedians on the circuit. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Erika now lives in the UK after completing the Comedy Writing and Performance Program at Salford University.

In 2019, she was crowned winner of the Chortle Student Comedy Award, was the recipient of the Mike Craig Comedy Award, and the Hot Water Roast Battle Champion. Erika has also written for Late Night Mash (Dave), Never Mind The Buzzcock (Sky), Have I Got News For You (BBC1) and Death to 2020 (Netflix).

and our wonderful host

Jonny Collins

“It was like when you see a car crash on the side of the road – you try as hard as you can to look anywhere else but you just can’t seem to tear your eyes away from the horror in front of you. However, as their set went on, I truly warmed to them… By the end of his set, I hated myself for my original judgement” – Kirstie O’Mahony (The Mancunion)

“The new monster-god of comedy.” – Tim Ferguson (Doug Anthony All Stars)

As always Blizzard Comedy is COMPLETELY FREE AT THE POINT OF ENTRY.

But if you would like to support us you can do that at:
https://www.patreon.com/blizzardcomedy

Or by giving us cash on the night, or donating via PIN/Contactless on our shiny new PDQ machine!


Tickets are free, but we recommend booking to guarantee you’ll get a seat.

Book your free ticket here.

“If EVERYONE says putting musicals in your show is a bad idea… make your own mind up.” | Tony Basnett talks Trapdoor, 2000 Trees and roadtrip tunes

How did you get into comedy?

I loved comedy when I was growing up, I got in trouble staying up watching stand up repeatedly. A friend of mine told me I should try it and I was dreadful, I’ll be honest, I think he only did it to prove I wasn’t as funny as I thought!

At Uni I spent most my time gigging across the country with Pat Devine and created a playlist that puts anyone’s driving music to shame (Daphne and Celeste to The Prodigy… there was something for everyone… as long as everyone wanted to hear The Prodigy or Daphne and Celeste).

Give us the rundown on your comedy career so far?

I started gigging and running Trapdoor Comedy around 13 years ago, moved from Hartlepool to Leeds and finally Manchester (with running some gigs in York along the way).

Trapdoor got nominated for City Life best comedy club in 2014 or 2015 but I NEVER mention it.

I got into music festivals performing at places like 2000 Trees, Beat-Herder and a number of others. I once crowd surfed from my set after Kendal Calling whilst recovering from food poisoning which is either the best or stupidest thing I’ve ever done.

I was delighted to become the face of Blizzard when they got nominated for City Life too…

I took my first solo Edinburgh show ’28’ to the fringe in 2019 which was essentially a story about how great my cat was with loads of musicals thrown in.

Then they shut the world down so now just back to gigging as much as I can and writing a new hour.

This zine is published October 2021. Where are you right now in your life and career?

Life is good! Me and Rose have rescued two cats which is ridiculous fun. I’ve not crashed my car for at least 6 months which is always a bonus too.

Career wise, things are looking up too, loads of new ideas being sorted and arranged so hopefully news on all that stuff will be coming soon.

What are your hopes for performing in 2022?

I just want to get back to gigging as much as possible, I want to get back to performing at music festivals, although after two years off I am worried my body will be too old for numerous weekends in tents!

What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard (and who told you it)?

I hate Jugglers, If you want to keep 3 things off the floor, build a shelf.

It’s an old Ed Byrne line that properly made me giggle too much.

Anything by Gary Delaney or Tim Vine too.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in comedy now?

Write loads and don’t stop. I got comfortable with material for a while and it’s tough to get back into writing but it’s like a muscle you have to keep working.

Also if EVERYONE says putting loads of musicals in your show is a bad idea that only you find funny… make your own mind up.

Have you got anything exciting coming up that we should look out for?

Yes! Trapdoor is at The Old Monkey second Wednesday of every month and my new podcast Cult Comedy Pod will be out soon (It’s me and the super talented and stylish Tony Wright talking about cults if the name didn’t give that away).


Tony is performing at Blizzard on Monday 4th October at Gullivers.

Book your ticket here.

This interview – along with more interviews, comics, articles and puzzles – is available to buy as a digital or physical zine. Get yours from the Blizzard Comedy BigCartel here.

You can keep up with Tony’s work by following him on Facebook and Twitter.

“My first memory is of comedy.” | Umby Winters on sharks, kittens and ten years (sort of) of comedy

How did you get into comedy?

My first memory is of comedy. When I was only a couple years old, my Dad would lie on the floor of our flat in North Shields and watch whatever was on that time of night. One night it was ‘The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer’ and I don’t remember what those silly lads were doing, but I remember loving it. From that moment on I just used to watch panel shows, sketch shows, and standup at every opportunity. Clearly at some point I just decided that it would be my life.

Give us the rundown on your comedy career so far?

I did my first gig at 17, at ‘Long Live Comedy’ at the Dog & Parrot in Newcastle. I just turned 27 so I guess you could say I’ve been doing standup for 10 years, but in those first 7-8 years I only did 60-70 gigs and it was mostly shit.

I say that my ‘career’ started when I moved to Manchester. I was only here for a year before Covid hit, so part of me still wants to say that I haven’t really hit my stride yet.

This zine is published October 2021. Where are you right now in your life and career?

Hard to say. At time of writing, I’m having a real rough time of things in my personal life. Many self-discoveries, many upheavals, many difficult conversations with people I love. My mental health is doing okay, though. I’ve been struggling with that for a few years but a combination of new meds and therapy have really helped me out. Seek help, folks! You’d be amazed the wonders it can do.

How are you feeling about comedy as an industry as we approach the end of 2021?

We’ll be fine. Comedians are like cockroaches. They can never die and there are way too many in my basement.

What are your hopes for performing in 2022?

I’ve got my first few paid opening 20 spots booked in the last months of 2021, so I’m hoping to get more of those in 2022 and break into doing paid gigs regularly. And for the love of all that’s God I NEED to do the Fringe.

What’s the funniest joke you’ve ever heard (and who told you it)?

There’s a fantastic joke that my fellow Geordie, Sean Turner, does where he does an impression of a jellyfish mating call, but that doesn’t translate well to text; so I’m going to be a kiss-arse and say that it’s our Glorious Leader Jonny’s joke “I’m non-binary, which means you’re all a bunch of ones and zeroes and I’m a fucking nine”. I’m still annoyed I didn’t write it.

Would you rather fight a shark sized kitten or a kitten sized shark? Why?

I would rather fight the shark sized kitten, as I couldn’t live with myself if I had to harm a precious teeny tiny baby shark (doo doo doo doo doo).

What would you hoard in your own nuclear bunker? Why?

Bottlecaps. I know how the economy works.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in comedy now?

If you want to make a career off it, you’ve really got to throw yourself at it. I’m so constantly impressed by the work ethic of some of the other open spots I get to gig alongside. They’re out there literally night after night, and reaping the benefits of it.

But if you just want to do it for shits and gigs, I think that’s wonderful. We need more folks who are just doing it for fun and yet still care enough to learn the craft.

Have you got anything exciting coming up that we should look out for?

No ❤


Umby is performing at Blizzard on Monday 4th October at Gullivers.

Book your ticket here.

This interview – along with more interviews, comics, articles and puzzles – is available to buy as a digital or physical zine. Get yours from the Blizzard Comedy BigCartel here.

You can keep up with Umby’s work by following them on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Twitch and Tumblr.