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Friday, August 14, 2015

Comic Cuts - 14 August 2015

It has been a bit of a madcap week trying to get the latest issue of Hotel Business off to press and crack on with the research I'm doing for my Caught In The Act project. The next bit of research was into books that appeared around the White Slave Trade – my browser history is going to look utterly mystifying to anyone digging around my computer, as will my search history of Google and various newspaper and historical document resources.

All this digging has resulted in a pile of material relating to the trial of a campaigning journalist named W. T. Stead, who has a connection to old story papers through his Books for the Bairns series. I'm putting together a pile of newspaper reports on a trial faced by Stead and others following the publication of a series of essays entitled "The Maiden Tribute to Modern Babylon". The end results will probably be around 30,000 words, so too big for Bear Alley. I'll do it as an e-book. And this is just the pre-trial hearing. There will probably be a second e-book relating the trial, which will run to over 100,000 words, although I might take a break between the two or I'll never get any other research done.

All this and I have a busy schedule with the magazine: next month is an enlarged issue ahead of the Independent Hotel Show in October, and the issue after that has a tighter deadline than normal as we try to pull ahead to avoid nightmares at Christmas (yes, I know it's only August, but we have to think about these things well in advance!).

For entertainment I'm listening to Richard Herring's Twelve Shows series – rather than joining all the other comedians in Edinburgh, he's performing a dozen shows in London, doing a one-off of each of his previous Edinburgh shows. I've subscribed to the whole lot, so we'll be getting ten audio downloads over the next few weeks. And even if you don't like Richard Herring, the Go Faster Stripe label has lots of other goodies that are worth a look.

And I've just picked up the new Muse album – only a few months late! – which is playing loudly in the background as I'm writing. First thoughts: it's an album of songs unlike the last one which was an album of not-quite-good-enough stadium anthems. The last album should have gone wholly over to the dubstep of the last couple of tracks which were the best thing about The 2nd Law. Drones hangs together far better as a concept album. I can't speak for the lyrics (which seems to have been where most of the complaints lay when the album was reviewed) but musically I'm loving it... and I'm only half-way through my first listen.

Random scans this week are a handful of books by comedians who are also excellent writers. Phil Jupitus began his career as a poet, Caitlin Moran has been a columnist of note for some years and was responsible for the fantastic TV series Raised by Wolves, and Emma Kennedy has also written quite a lot of good books and also writes for TV. She's working on a novel for adults, has a TV show based on her experiences holidaying with her parents coming up. She also played Nostradamus and his horse, David Collins, and tells a good poo story.

Hopefully I'll have a nice gallery up for the weekend but I'm not sure what will be happening next week as it depends on what time I have over the weekend.

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