I played at Prince Harry's birthday | Musical comic Adam Kay's Unforgettable Five gigs

I played at Prince Harry's birthday

Musical comic Adam Kay's Unforgettable Five gigs

First gig

My first gig was as a member of an unspeakably terrible university sketch group called Handjobs For Crack – five medical students doing lowest common denominator comedy skits. You can imagine how bad it was (or if you can't, watch any university revue at the Edinburgh Fringe) and I'm hopeful that no recorded evidence exists of these shows.

Also hopeful I suspect is fellow Handjobs For Crack performer Mike Wozniak. And I imagine the three others don't particularly want it to come up for air any time soon either, given they're all hospital consultants now.

Worst journey to a gig

It feels like a slightly prosecco problem given it was for a corporate, but I defy anyone to have had a more annoying journey to a gig than a day-trip to Auckland.

I was still working as a doctor at the time, and could only wangle three days leave. 24-hour flight to New Zealand, quick sound check, twenty minute gig, cab straight back to the airport, 24-hour flight home, a bit of a sleep then straight back to work on labour ward. Luckily, I probably didn't look any more sleep-deprived than any of my colleagues.

Most unusual location for a gig

Probably the throne room in St James's Palace for Prince Harry's 30th birthday party. I had to sign a massive legal document promising not to say anything about the event, but the next morning it was in The Sun, so I'm hopefully not going to be beheaded for talking about it.

Before I went on I asked some equerry taking me to the room if it was OK to swear and he said he was sure it would be fine, whilst his eyebrow said: 'Mate, he dresses up as a Nazi.'

I did my song about the London Underground and stopped about 30 seconds in when I realised that potentially none of the dozen people in the room would have ever been on the Tube. I asked – two of them had.

Worst gig

Do you want the one where I did a Stephen Hawking line in front of one of Stephen Hawking's first-degree relatives?

The festival where they somehow thought I was an American rock band and they still insisted I go on after Bloc Party even when I'd explained I was actually an effete musical comedian?

The one when I played to an audience of thousands of drunk/horny/Neanderthal squaddies fresh back from one of their jaunts, where the acts on before and after me were strippers, and when the (full) beer cans started raining on me before I'd finished playing my first chord?

Gig that changed my life

I met my boyfriend on a tour show at the Church Hill Theatre in Edinburgh back in 2010, and I guess I have to say that one to avoid a whole planet of trouble.

* Adam Kay will be performing his show Fingering A Minor On A Piano at the Soho Theatre from April 3 to 15.

Published: 27 Mar 2017

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