BOOTHBY GRAFFOE

Boothby Graffoe: Release U Win Tin (with Nick Pym): The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, 2005
Boothby Graffoe: Stand Up Comedy and Sit Down Songs (with Antonio Forcioni): The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh, 2006
The Ealing Comedy Festival: Walpole Park, Ealing, London, 2010
The Return of Boothby Graffoe: Bull and Gate Pub, Kentish Town, London, 2011
Boothby Graffoe: Scratch: The Firestation, Windsor, 2014
The Glastonbury Festival Experience: Old Nun’s Pub, Peckham, London, 2014
Omid Djalili: Iranalamadingdong (support): Hammersmith Apollo, London, 2015
Headliners Comedy Club: George IV Pub, Chiswick, London, 2015
Boothby Graffoe: Scratch: The Bussey Building, Peckham, London, 2016
Omid Djalili: Schmuck For A Night (support): Hammersmith Apollo, London, 2017
Headliners Comedy Club: George IV pub, Chiswick, London, 2019
Boothby Graffoe: Songs & Stories: Online: 2021 

Boothby Graffoe is one of my very favourite modern comedy acts.  I have been a big fan of the musical comedian since first discovering him at The Stand Comedy Club at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005.  The amiable comic with enormous wit and appeal ambled onto the stage guitar around neck, pint in hand and a grin to the audience. I remember even then having never seen the act, I knew that I was going to have a great time.  His loose conversational style displaying an array of accents and mannerisms whilst telling wild, surreal stories about his cat or the political state of Britain, he moves onto his first song and I could see he was clearly a gifted musician as well as a daft yet extremely clever lyricist. An unforgettable memory of this gig was his rendition of his song Baseball Playing Spiders where he divided the crowd up to sing various parts of the chorus.  The enjoyment he gave the crowd was extremely noticed and this was an excellent Fringe show.  Whenever he played the festival and beyond from then on, I tried to make a point of seeing him.

In 2014, I travelled all the way to Windsor to see him perform his show Scratch, I sat noticeably on my own and the theatre was half full.  When Graffoe appeared, he asked me said hello to me, shook my hand and asked if my name began with the letter A and was it by any chance Arthur, I said no.  He then proceeded with Andrew? Adrian? I said no again, and this got a laugh.  He then moved onto B and suggested Brian? Bertie? Bob? I said no again laughing and Graffoe moved onto another subject.  He kept coming back throughout the show working his way through the alphabet firing names at me with no such luck and increasing laughter until he got to the letter R, suggested Richard? I shouted yes above the laughter, and the crowd cheered.  It was a brilliant device to win the audience over.

In my mind, Graffoe is one of the many comedians who should be bigger than they actually are, if that is what they want.  In recent years he has played occasional smaller venues and gained a cult following.  Great songs such as Kittens In A Bag, Lullaby, The Attack of the 50ft Woman, Far Too Serious and Hartlepool featured on his CDs all of which I have collected over the years with such titles as Wot Italian! (featuring the guitar playing of Antionio Forcione) and Songs For Dogs Funerals (with long time fiddle playing collaborator Nick Pym)  I play the CDs frequently as they always remind me of the happy times watching this terrific performer.  I caught him at one of his cult one off small gigs in 2016 where he was joined onstage by his friend Omid Djalili who memorably played bongos and belly danced to one of his songs.  Graffoe has been tour support twice to Djalili who returned the favour at this small gig.

Graffoe proved he can handle big audiences when I saw him twice support Djalili on his popular tours.  It was wonderful to see the large crowd really appeal to Graffoe’s surreal comedy and music.

I was delighted to see him back on stage at Headliners Comedy Club in May 2019.  Effortlessly at ease with an audience who took to him immediately.  He reached for his guitar, put the strap over his head and then threw his legs and put the guitar back on its stand.   When eventually he did play, he created wonderful music with extremely daft but clever lyrics and then for example, running with a sketch involving him talking as though he was a cat until he ran out of ideas was absurd and brilliant.  The audience reaction to his routine was brilliant.

Graffoe returned for his online series Songs & Stories that I watched in January 2021 every Thursday on a continuing basis.  As well as performing classic songs, he chatted to guests Marcus Brigstocke, Rich Hall, Kevin Hearn (from The group Barenaked Ladies) and Adam Hills about their music and comic careers. He also performed brilliant solo shows and  it was a joy to seem him on screen during the strange pandemic lockdown time where his enthusiasm really cheered me up.

Graffoe is a supreme entertainer who is a wonderful comedian and it is always a great pleasure to see a unique talent on stage.   He has always made me laugh out loud with his particular style of musical comedy.

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