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What happened when I asked Tim Minchin ‘Are You Ready for This?’

Some of you may know of him already, songs such as ‘Canvas Bags’ and ‘Rock n Roll Nerd’ having had thousands of hits on YouTube. However, for those of you who haven’t heard of him here’s a little bit of background.
Tim is an Australian comedian, hailing originally from Perth, who now lives in London. His musical style of comedy covers a range of topics from the environment to inflatable dolls, as well as songs that tackle more serious issues such as religion, racism, ambition and love. His songs are as catchy as they are funny, as well as being as thought provoking as any good comedy should be. So if you havenÂ’t heard of him before, I think itÂ’s about time you did!

I caught up with Tim after his set at the hugely successful Latitude Festival in Suffolk, to chat with him about his then upcoming but now on the road tour ‘Ready for This?’.

O: So Tim, are you ready for ‘Ready for This?’
T: *laughs* I’m getting much closer, I’ve now done all my songs live except two. One’s called ‘The Good Book’. I’m trying to keep religion down to under a third of the show, cause its boring. Good Book is a country song. And I’ve got this beat poem, like Mitsubishi Colt and Perineum Millennium, another rant against fluffy thinking or what I believe is fluffy thinking. Unfortunately its 10 minutes long but I think I’m going to do it, and I’ll do it quite close to the end of the show and I’ll probably do it away from the piano, so it’ll be more like Angry (feet).

O: Angry (feet) is a great poem. There are quite a few specific references in that poem, do you have a background in Psychology?
T: Yeah, I studied first year psych at Uni. In Australia when you do an arts degree you start broad and narrow it down. So in first year I did Visual Arts, Psychology, Philosophy and English. I am really interested in science, cause my dad is a surgeon and his dad was a surgeon. I just listen to a lot of podcasts and try to read about big stuff, like trying to understand relativity and the universe and those sorts of things, just because theyÂ’re exciting things to try and get your head around. But on a more micro level I try to understand human beings and logical powers, and all the stuff that my uni years sort of started but just recently IÂ’ve just got really into it. ItÂ’s really interesting when you start though itÂ’s kind of a boring way to be.

O: I wouldnÂ’t say so.
T: You start noticing the way that peoples logic fails, the way they express their political positions or their religious positions, even their personal angers. itÂ’s very human to be very solipsistic and to see the world only from your point of view but to do so, you have to think not very logically and once you start going.. ah.. oh anyway I could bang on about it all day I find it very interesting and itÂ’s just a stage IÂ’m going through at the moment, hopefully my show wonÂ’t be boring because of it.

O: I doubt that it will be! On a perhaps less deep subject however can I ask do you prefer your hair curly or straight?
T: Well I really like it straight cause I can just do what I want with it, make it look like ROCK! And curly itÂ’s kinda curly and the moment I straightened my hair my career just took off. But you know to think that one caused the other would be a logical failing. I think creating an image is very important, so yeah I like it straight at the moment.

O: Last completely random question to end. WhatÂ’s the biggest fish youÂ’ve ever seen?
T: Oooo, I swam with whale sharks. TheyÂ’re beautiful. In Exmouth in western Australia they get you on a boat and thereÂ’s someone in a plane over head tracking where the whales are and you get ahead of them and they drop you in the water, and then this whale comes out of the darkness towards you and itÂ’s just so mellow.

O: Wow, that sounds amazing. Well, good luck with Edinburgh, and the tour. Thank you very much.

According to Wikipedia, whale sharks are ‘the largest living fish species’. So not only did Tim swim with big fish, he swam with the biggest fish possible! Using this information for a very poor metaphor, I would like to conclude that it would be wise to catch a live show of Tim’s as soon as you can, as like a whale shark, he is well on his way to becoming a very big fish in the large pond that is the comedy circuit, catch him whilst you can before it starts becoming difficult to catch him at all.

The new show has been on tour since July and is running at numerous venues across the UK, starting with previews at the Edinburgh Fringe, before Tim takes it to Australia in March 2009.

Having been lucky enough to have seen Tim perform three times now, I can honestly say that you wonÂ’t be disappointed and youÂ’ll be sure to find yourself singing his songs weeks after youÂ’ve been to see him. It was a pleasure to interview him, for he is not just a pretty face but also a jolly nice chap.

There are some upcoming shows close to us in Egham. Between the 8th October and the 13th November. Check www.myspace.com/tim_minchin for specific dates and locations. Ticket prices vary between venues but on average are very reasonable for students.

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