November 1st, 2008

Hijinks Ensue

Jonathan Coulton live at the Manchester Academy

On Wednesday evening I went to Manchester to see Jonathan Coulton supported by Paul and Storm. I'm a big fan of JoCo but I hadn't heard P&S before apart from the odd recorded song, so it came as a nice surprise to discover how brilliantly funny they are live (and they can sing well too!).

It was an excellent gig. Paul and Storm had us rolling in the aisles with boxing nuns and dejected pirates, and many other great comedy songs, then after we were nicely warmed up JoCo came on and blew us away with a fantastic mix of old favourites and a few surprises too. Somebody [whistles innocently] recorded a few of the songs and uploaded them to YouTube:

Mr Fancy Pants - Excellent. The piece of kit he normally uses to play the samples for this song blew up when he plugged it into the 240V mains, so for the first time ever he performed it using a piece of software on his iPhone instead. If you only watch one of these videos, make it this one.
Creepy Doll featuring Neil Gaiman - the big surprise of the night. JoCo and P&S had earlier played a couple of songs at a signing of Neil's, so he came over to the gig afterwards and took part in the last song of the night.
Always the Moon - excellent new song that he had never performed live before, with backing vocals by Paul and Storm.
Big Bad World One - a song JoCo doesn't normally perform live, but he decided to add it to the set after seeing the title on an audience member's T-shirt.
Re: Your Brains - old favourite with lots of audience participation.
Mandelbrot Set - old favourite. "You geeks!" ;)
Skullcrusher Mountain - old favourite. Watch out for the bit where somebody in the front row waves a half pony half monkey monster in the air. Also has some audience participation.
Tom Cruise Crazy - old favourite. Includes a bit of banter at the beginning that is fairly typical of JoCo's song introductions. Backing vocals by Paul and Storm.