Bristopia Live - 11 Dec at The Cube
What is Bristopia, who be the citizens of Bristopia and what are these murmurings of a live show?! We caught up with Andy Price, podcast stalwart and double denim fanboy.
Question 1. Where is a 'Bristopia' on the scale from dystopia to utopia? Is it a dystopia but with a couple of better food co shops scattered about to keep the masses from uprising?
Bristopia at its worst is a 10 on the dystopia scale, and at its best a solid 10 on the utopia scale. Essentially, Bristopia exists in perfect balance between the two. That may sound like I’m saying that Bristopia is neither and is simply just about Bristol, to which I’d say, correct. For every Urban Standard there is a Slix, and for every Simple Lampoon, there is a Bristol Post. We make no judgements in our derision. But in plain English, it’s a monthly comedy podcast based on Bristol. We read out the latest news, interview some guests, and we also produce long form documentaries – see T’Oats Oat’some – about a new porridge cafe in the city.
Q.2 Earlier this year Bristopia was featured on iTunes. How the hell did that happen? Did they think it was some kind of charity appeal?
Possibly. I remember that day well. I presumed the internet was broken because in one day we had more downloads than we’d had in our previous days of existence altogether. I’m guessing a wily old iTunes editor gave us a bump because he was all like ‘hey, those guys are doing something. I remember when I used to do something.’ We hit the top 10 in the UK comedy charts that day, which is amazing as I imagine the podcast being about Bristol is slightly limiting in potential audience.
Of course, it’s trailed off now, but that’s the nature of the business. Each medium has its 15 minutes of fame, but we have retained a 5-star rating on iTunes and gained a solid group of listeners to which I’m more than happy to speak to for 30 minutes each month. I imagine the BBC will take a similar approach when the licence fee is revoked.
Q.3 You're bringing Bristopia to a live audience this Christmas at The Cube. How is a podcast going to translate into a live action extravaganza (I assume that's what you're labelling it).
Absolutely. Extravagant bonanza. Only just realised that was a portmanteau. Amazing. Okay, so, the answer is, hopefully very well. The current format of the podcast is that I’ll read out stuff that has happened in the past few weeks in Bristol. And then make jokes about them – like Charlie Brooker does, but more specific, and less funny. Though perhaps more sarcastically. Then we interview a ‘guest’, and finally we end the show with a documentary about the city – presented by our American Intern Exchange student Justin Crockler.
For the stage show, we’re taking a bit of a different approach. I’ll still be reading out the news, but we’ll be covering the whole year – hence the year in review idea. Then we’ll spend more time talking to guests and interviewees – it’ll be more a chat show vibe in that regard. While our podcast guests can be manifestations of the whole of Bristol, from politics, to restauranters, the live show guests will largely be from the world of entertainment. Because no one wants to see a politician on stage. They should remain on podcasts where, as we all know, they belong.
And of course, Justin. A long-form audio documentary isn’t appropriate for the stage – for obvious reasons, like, the fact they also belong only on podcasts. But Justin will still be a part of the show.
Q.4 WHAT WILL YOU BE WEARING ON THE NIGHT?
Right now I’m trying to decide between L’Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci and Britney Spears’ Midnight Fantasy.
Q.4.5 Are you sure you don’t want to wear your Balmain shirt?
I have figuratively no idea what you’re talking about.
Q.5 WHAT WILL THE SELECTION OF REFRESHMENTS BE LIKE.
Well, it’s the Cube, so vast. And cheap. I recommend the Cube Cola – that’ll keep you awake for days. I hear it’s military grade soda.
Q.6 Can I re-enact #ToastGate via the medium of interpretive dance? Maybe #MacaronGate?
This isn’t the best interview question – it’s a yes/no question, rather than an open one. Well… I mean, I think you already know the answer so it’s more of a no/no question.
Q.7 Will there be audience participation? Because some people love it, but I don’t and I don’t want to have to sit ‘on-edge’ all evening in case I get called out for my choice of shirt and don’t have a response adequate enough to embellish myself as a normally functioning society member and end up vomiting over myself as a reflex coping mechanism. LEAVE ME ALONE.
In this situation, remember the host has far less self esteem than the majority of audience members and so the idea of calling anyone out on a t-shirt is more likely to lead to him (me) throwing up on himself (myself). To answer your question, no, people can relax. There is one ‘incident’, but it only requires the ability to read. If it makes you feel better just wear a t-shirt that says ‘don’t pick me’ so we know not to pick you. However, being able to pick that t-shirt out indicates to me that you can read and therefore entirely suitable for the bit. Maybe just don’t come. (No, but come).
Q8: Is it going to be you speaking for like, the whole time? Do you have that many words? I think you’ve used up quite a lot in this interview. Are there going to be any other, you know, talented people there?
First of all, how dare you. Secondly, I see where you’re coming from, thirdly, there are absolutely always more words that can be used if you can find them – amongst the sofa cushions or on food labels in Clifton’s multiple gourmet food stores. But, fourthly, yes. There will be others joining me. For example we have local animal keeper Bob Wildlife – he’s keen for me to stress that’s his real name. He’ll be promoting Bristol’s kindness to animals initiative. We’ve also got Richard Biscuit, a local poet representing Bristol’s artistic side, and we’ll also be meeting Aardman Animation’s number 1 fan, who’s started writing their own Wallace and Gromit screenplay. I’m hoping Bristol’s lord mayor George Ferguson will be there too – he left me a voicemail. Definitely think he’ll be there. And from the wider world, we may even meet podcast favourite The Ghost of Rupert Murdoch. There’ll be musical guests too! So loads of not me.
Q9: Will there be an interlude with a procession of vendors selling impossibly tiny pots of ice-cream? Or will the evening be like one long feature film such as Homeward Bound .et al?
I’m not sure if they have ice cream in the Cube… but you can be sure that if they do, it’ll be the Cube’s own-brand. Anyway, it’ll be neither of the above – this is a one-hour show, so there’s no need for an interval. It’s also standalone from the podcast – so don’t worry if you haven’t listened it before – you will absolutely still have all the fun.This isn’t just a bunch of bellends bellending about, I’ve constructed a heartwarming story for the stage with both the narrative and emotional impact of the likes of Homeward Bound. It terms of comedy, I’d say it will be on par with The Mask. By which I mean it won’t be quite as good as Liar Liar, but we certainly won’t be forcing Mr Popper’s Penguins on you.
Q10: Where can you buy tickets? Or do you not believe in tickets?
I absolutely believe in tickets, because without one you can’t come in. Brilliantly, they’re only a fiver, and you can get them NOW from Bristol Ticket Shop. Go, go, go!
Follow Bristopia on Twitter: @BristopiaPod