When John met Stewart…

Alternative comedy legend Stewart Lee has filmed an in-depth conversation with punk rock genius and respected journalist John Robb.

© LushUK

Robb – who fronts the brilliant Goldblade as well as veteran outfit The Membranes, as well as being the go-to expert on all things punk for tv and print alike and a much loved friend of TVO – was attending Stewart Lee’s show at The Lowry in Salford on May 22nd: the night a terror attack killed 22 people and injured dozens more at the nearby Manchester Arena. Shows planned across the city in the following days were faced with a choice: cancel due to safety concerns, or carry on in spite of dwindling numbers of people willing to come out and have fun after such a terrible tragedy.

Stewart decided to carry on, explaining to BBC 6 Music: “‘It’s become something of a cliché to say “otherwise they’ve won”. But I think you have to do it. The only problem with it being comedy is that runs the risk of looking distasteful because it is essentially light-hearted. But on the other hand, I think that you need to do something that’s fun, and a celebration as well. I’ll try to find something to say at the start, but I think you have to carry on.”

Following the show, Robb and filmmaker Matthew Shaw went backstage to make their planned film for LushUK.  The conversation began with the spirit of place. and expanded out into the deconstruction of comedy, improvisation, Brexit, repetition, comedy, Doctor Who, John Coltrane, The Fall, Ithell Coquhoun, Arthur Machen, the Duke of Solihull, psychogeography, urban regeneration, Sonic Youth, Sun Ra, The Cramps. the economics of touring, Lee’s Content Provider show and much much more. 

The hour long discussion is never less than fascinating, and you can watch it for yourselves over yonder now. And for more from John Robb, check out LouderThanWar.

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