Laugh away the winter blues with star stand ups Mitch Benn, Paul Sinha and the Wozzon comedy crew

Worth seeking out – Mitch Benn
12 Jan 2016 @ 3.34 pm
| News
Plenty to say – Mitch Benn
Plenty to say – Mitch Benn

Christmas is over, York’s been flooded and we’ve lost David Bowie.

We could be forgiven for feeling glum. Fortunately York is in for some proper laughs in the coming days as top comedic talent hits the city.

Paul Sinha, Mitch Benn, improvised comedy at Friargate Theatre and no fewer than eight comics at the Wozzon club will blast away those blues.

Here’s the full line up. And below is our hilarious interview with Mitch Benn, who reveals how he discovered Shed Seven’s scandalous secret…

Comedy coming up

Event Venue Time
Sitting Room Comedy Club: Paul Sinha Sitting Room Comedy Club, Monkbar Hotel Thu Jan 14 @ 8pm
Improvised comedy with Right Here Right Now Friargate Theatre Fri Jan 15 @ 7.30pm
Saturday Night Lounge with Mitch Benn The Duchess Sat Jan 16 @ 8pm
Wozzon Comedy Club Basement Bar Thu Jan 21 @ 7.30pm

‘Yorkshire people never think they’re funny’

Top Tyke… Sheffield's Jarvis Cocker. Photograph: BBC
Top Tyke… Sheffield’s Jarvis Cocker. Photograph: BBC

Musician, satirist – and unrelenting sceptic. That’s Mitch Benn, the song-writing stand-up who is heading our way.

Born in Liverpool, he is very much a blend of that city’s two creative trademarks, music and wisecracks. He mined his musical heritage in a show for BBC Radio 4, Mitch Benn Is The 37th Beatle.

Best known for his contributions to The Now Show on the same station, Mitch recently toured with his sceptical show Don’t Believe A Word.

The author of two sci-fi novels, Mitch is a busy man. But he took time out to dish the dirt on dodgy digs and Doctor Who for YorkMix

Who’s funnier – folk from your side of the Pennines, or from Yorkshire?

People from Liverpool all think they’re funny and are often right. People from Manchester sometimes think they’re funny and are often wrong. People from Yorkshire never think they’re funny and are usually wrong.

Who do you think are Yorkshire’s greatest musicians?

The Human League, Def Leppard and Jarvis Cocker.


What do you think of Shed Seven?

Actually gigged with them once, at a uni ball MANY years ago. Nice guys. Guitar Paul was the friendliest. Told me some utterly libellous but entirely believable things about Liam Gallagher.

If you could time travel and eliminate any band or artist from the history of music, who would it be and why?

Mariah Carey. No problem with her as such, but her overwrought vocal technique has become the benchmark young singers are taught to aspire to, and it’s ruined the craft of singing by turning it into a competitive sport rather than an interpretative art.

Dream guest? Keith Moon. Photograph © Jean-Luc on Wikipedia
Dream guest? Keith Moon. Photograph © Jean-Luc on Wikipedia

Who would be in your dream band (past and present musicians accepted)?

Keith Moon, and anyone else who could handle being around Keith Moon. 

The BBC are bidding to keep The Voice for another two years. What do you think?

Can’t bear it. Or The X Factor, or Britain’s Got Whatever. See my above comments on Mariah Carey for a clue as to why.

If you were made Prime Minister, what would you change?

Career, that’s what I’d change. I’d resign immediately. My job is high pressure enough as it is.

It’s notoriously difficult to write funny songs. How do you do it?

You’d be amazed at the lubricative effect that crippling debt and immovable deadlines can have on the creative process.

Peter Capaldi – rivalling Tom Baker? Photograph: BBC / Simon Ridgway
Peter Capaldi – rivalling Tom Baker? Photograph: BBC / Simon Ridgway

How are you finding this series of Doctor Who?

Loving it. Peter Capaldi is fantastic but last season was patchy story-wise; we’re only two stories in at time of writing but this season has a real Tom Baker era feel to it, and in a good way.

What are your previous experiences of York?

Entirely positive, apart from the time I found bedbugs in a B&B which will remain nameless (they were very nice and apologetic about it, which is why they’re remaining nameless).

Should we believe a word of your answers??

One of them is a lie. I leave it to your readers to decide which one.

This interview was run first in October 2015 before Mitch was due to play at The Duchess, a gig he sadly had to cancel