I’m no Adonis

It had to happen, our wotnot columnist person has been unleashed, let into the real world to talk out loud. To other people. Maybe you should go see him. We can’t, we’re washing the office that day

Illustration: Joel Benjamin

You no doubt imagine me as a chiselled totem of manliness, forever jutting my handsome chin and preening my attractive cheek hair. It’s difficult not to imagine me as a Greek god when my sentences are so beautiful like what this words is. Sometimes you must touch this column simply to sense my charisma through your fingers, just as a Sherpa feels a yak to detect a distant stampede.

I am flattered by your worship of me. But as with jeggings, Brexit and Duran Duran’s ‘White Lines’, you are wrong, wrong, wrong. Firstly, I’m no Adonis: I am the love child of Johnny Vegas and an unattended wheelie bin. Secondly, you have a chance to ogle my hot face when I bring an actual show to The Lowry in Salford.

When my Electronic Sound quill is safely secreted in my plywood bureau, I moonlight as a performer. I’ve been moonlighting on other activities too: vintage synth embroidery classes; making fingernail collages of classic waveforms, not wearing trousers on Tuesdays. But it’s performance that brings me truly alive. Remember Michael Jackson’s Pepsi hair fire? I am that fire. It’s the creak of the boards, the swish of the curtains, the musky whiff of empty seats. As Oscar Wilde once said, “There’s one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s watching Fat Roland careen about a stage like a deflating balloon animal trying to mate with an untethered Catherine wheel.” Don’t listen to him: he was famously an idiot.

Proper theatrical types learn scripts and wear ruffs and talk to skulls. My clash of spoken word and stand-up isn’t that professional. I load up on Toilet Duck, fall into a hedge, and then, tattered and bird-crapped, dump myself in front of a microphone. Some director off stage shouts “Get on with it” and I yelp words through a squealing soundsystem until everyone leaves.

I push my favourite agenda too: electronic music. I’ve evoked lusty encounters in nightclubs, pretended to be the robots that invented Kraftwerk, and recited 2 Unlimited lyrics as poetry to a bemused and weeping Edinburgh Fringe crowd. I once showed an audience my drawing of Gary Numan if Gary Numan was made of gas. He’s not made of gas. I’ve checked.

The thing is, there are 7.6 billion people out there and I’ve only got 300 seats, so I don’t want all of you to come to my show. Let’s whittle things down. If you ever had ‘Crazy Frog’ as a ringtone, you can’t come. If you’ve sung Spandau Ballet’s ‘True’ without irony, you’re uninvited. If the only Paul McCartney material missing from your record collection is The Fireman, then you must pay double to get in.

The show I’m doing is called ‘Seven Inch’ and it happens on 17 and 18 May. It’s set in a record shop that shouldn’t exist: the door hasn’t chimed for years and the cobwebbed racks of faded album sleeves lie unloved and forgotten.

“Sounds like a metaphor for your life, Fats!” you quip. “Ha ha ha ha ha!” I sob before taking another swig of sweet, sweet toilet cleanser. Expect stories of music geekery, not-quite-teenage kicks and loads of dumb cartoons because I’ve got the mental age of a pencil case. Touch my column; feel my yak; come and fill my whiffy seats.

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