Back in April (yes, I’m just catching up on LOTS of things) Adam Buxton brought his incredible BUG show to Bradford. I didn’t get to go to that, but out of nowhere – well, thanks to @IdleSi – I managed to go along to a talk by Count Buckulees at the Leeds College of Art where he took us on a lovely shambly talk through his lovely shambly career. From growing up with schoolchums Joe Cornish and Louis Theroux, all the way through to the music videos review show BUG, via art college, TV and Radio shows.
There was FAR too much to detail in one review, but here’s some of the highlights from the event.
Some lovely insights followed from their experimentations with video and parody, both how they’d just play with ideas to let them grow. Adam taking a bit of time to work out his direction, whilst Joe was single-mindedly determined to direct films.
Someone said “Joe walks around like Steven Spielberg is just going to pick him up and sweep him off to Hollywood”. It turns out they were right, just about 15 years too early.
There were some great tips and recollections about how comedy was somehow seen as a lesser art at his college, and the letters he wrote, and how you should always carry a notebook.
I think you find out what you want to say at college, and then the rest of your life you’re just trying to find different ways to say it
As he took us through the various channel 4 shows he was involved in, from late night channel 4 sketch shows to the now infamous Adam and Joe show, he hit upon an idea of overdubbing parts of otherwise innocuous TV shows to make them funny – which works a treat.
Incidentally, he faced a practical challenge with this video – where to get the backing music from. Which led to this great point:
Ask nicely, and people will generally help you
He just called up! Said he was doing a video and they sent him the mp3.
You can see that as technology has developed, the quality of his videos (and there’s more of them than you might think) has developed too, and it’s his collaborations that often give a real variety of results.
I’d imagine that, although the event was aimed primarily at students from the college, quite a few of the general public had caught wind of the event and managed to blag their way in. That said, a lengthy talk on the creative process managed to stay entertaining and unpretentious, and Adam seemed to be able to talk about it without fear of too many demands from the audience of “Where’s Joe?” and “Do your funny song!”. Those inevitably came up in the Q&A session at the end, and I kind of felt bad for Adam to have to repeat AGAIN why the radio show was on hiatus, even though he’d just gone through that at quite great length in the show.
All in all, It was a pretty personal journey, which at times it seemed uncomfortable for him to talk about, but that made it all the more interesting and honest – a peek behind the character that is always at its most confident reading comments out from YouTube videos. Which he did a bit of, to great appreciation from the crowd.
All in all, a fascinating insight to a fascinating character, someone who’s often his own worst enemy at making things happen, but in his most recent work – the 6Music Radio show and touring with BUG – he’s enjoying himself more than ever.