Anglophile in New York #3: The things I’d lose if I moved to London

Two nights, two events, and all for free!

Anglophile in New YorkIt’s St. Patrick’s Day in New York City and there are a ton of Irish people on my block, absolutely wasted. I also happen to live on one of the busiest commercial streets in NYC, with three Irish bars all within a hundred feet. That might have something to do with the noise outside.

Anyway, I spent my St. Patrick’s Day on my own at Gramercy Theater seeing Noel Fielding. Actually, it was officially titled “A Night with Noel Fielding”. Noel, of the Mighty Boosh fame, did a five-night run in New York City at a small venue. The show was a combination of stand-up comedy, sketches, and interactive video. It was so incredibly hilarious and magical. You know what was the best part of the show? Noel was reunited with Rich Fulcher. The impressions of Antonio Bandaras at that show – OMG, it was the best. I never thought in a million years that Noel Fielding would ever come to the US and do a string of shows here. I’m so glad he did, and I am so glad I went! I wish Julian Barrett was there though.

Did I ever mention I once met Rich Fulcher? It was so easy. A few years ago, Mondo Kim’s, a now defunct record store in Manhattan, was hosting an autograph signing of the US release of Snuff Box. Of course, this is America and they’re not quite hip with British comedy, so it takes a while for things to get here. Obviously, I already own Snuff Box on DVD that I bought at HMV in Oxford Square in London. I couldn’t find it, though, so I bought the US version anyway. Did I mention Rich Fulcher is American? Yup – the only American on the Boosh. However, I met him in the time when I was that character on that show, when I should’ve been living my dream. I digress.

I honestly would’ve paid for that show, but luckily I’ve kept great relationships with the people at Gramercy Theater and Irving Plaza for many years and I never have to worry about paying for a show there as long as I live. It’s one of my personal benefits that I am quite lucky to have. I couldn’t imagine not having that, honestly. I do know that had I been in London, the same show would’ve been much more expensive in sterling poundage and super sold out. I realized the reality of that as I walked out of Gramercy and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was thinking, shit, I’d lose that if I moved to London.

The day before I went to Noel Fielding, I went to see Bloc Party at Irving Plaza. Bloc Party is one of those bands that are a bit bigger in the UK than the US, but I’d say they could easily sell out Terminal 5. Irving holds a crowd of 1,100; Terminal 5 in NYC holds 3,000 as capacity. I invited a good ginger friend of mine to come with me as my plus one – guest list code for “it’s okay to bring a friend”. Obviously, I didn’t pay for this show either. We drank heaps (why am I using Australian slang?) at Ichabod (a bar next to Irving Plaza) to the point where I was tipsy at the show and managed to speak to a British hairdresser I just met in a British accent the entire time. I was surprised that I was able to pull it off. Or maybe my accent has gotten better.

Ironically, my friend disappeared during “Song for Clay” to get a drink but came back. I was dancing the night away, really. “Exes”, off of Silent Alarm, performed live gave me the chills. But that’s another story for the future, perhaps. The show was a bit of a haze but I remember the set list because I’m that sort of Bloc Party fan. The show was super short but surely worth going to, especially on a COMP ticket. Here’s the setlist:

“Only He Can Heal Me”
“Octopus”
“Virtue”
“Song for Clay”
“Banquet”
“One More Chance”
“Different Drugs”
“Exes”
“So He Begins to Lie”
“Hunting for Witches”
“Positive Tension”
“The Love Within”
“Heroes”
“Flux”
“Helicopter”
“Ratchet”

The past two days have honestly been lovely – not quite action packed, but as British as you can get in New York. The best part of all of this was I didn’t pay a dime for any of it. That’s certainly something I can’t do in London. What a reality check. [JL]

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