Quite what the circumstances were I can’t remember, but when I was a student I read an interview with Barry Cryer, the comedian, raconteur (love that word) and general all around wit. The thing I picked up most from it was that he earned a decent living writing gags for comedians and radio programmes. Being a student, barely living above the poverty line on cans of ‘big soup’ and, err, takeaway curries I saw this as a way to extend my drinking hours without further raising my overdraft, which back then rivalled an African Nation in its deficit.
After all, I had comedic ‘form’. In Geography one day some years earlier at school, a joke of such mind-blowing hilarity had occurred to me, that I remained for some years convinced it was the funniest joke ever written. Turns out that it was very, very difficult to write jokes that were original, I tried a few and sent them off to a couple of Radio 4 programmes to a deafening silence. I even began to doubt that my infamous joke was now either original, or funny. After all, how funny could a joke about a man who had five penis’ be to anyone over 14? I sadly turned my back on a career in comedy.
Someone with a much better track record of being ‘original’ is Swedish songstress Beatrice Eli. She possesses a voice of incredible stature, perhaps almost Amy Winehouse in stature, and she uses it with terrific effect over alternately dreamy and almost gloomy synth-pop in her new EP, It’s over. Added to that is a theatrical, almost vaudeville delivery and thoughtful lyrics and there is a star to rival some of Scandinavia’s finest – Lykke Li, Robyn, even Bjork sprint to mind.
The Ep also includes a previously released song, single The Conqueror, which contains the perfect combination of dark and experimental production, with sweet pop accessibility, plus three new tracks the ballad Definite Mistake and the poppy Violent Silence. It’s definately the sound of an individual voice, an original if you like.
Pardon? The joke, you say? what….my joke? My ‘did you hear about the man with five penis’?’ joke? Well, his underpants fitted him like a glove. I know what your thinking, a sad loss to british comedy. If I was betting on the real original – I’d put my house on Beatrice Eli if I were you.