Sex, Drugs and Rheumatism - Free

The man behind the YouTube 'smash' Masturbation Gary Stark is having a funny look at sex, drugs and getting old at his gig in the Laughing Horse Free Festival. But mostly Grandpa Stark just likes to talk about sex.

Now, Stark lamented that The Masturbation 'People Who Liked This' recommendations list is nothing but filthy, alternative avenues to videos about wanking with not a smidge about Spoken Word. It is, I’ve looked.

Unfortunately, it’s much easier to hear all the smut than it is to appreciate the poetry of Grant’s work.

According to The Masturbator we’ve all stopped enjoying poetry and he’s on a one man mission to reclaim it. If stars were awarded solely on retaining audiences then Grant would have been stripped of his during the Pot Noodle Blues an ode about how students don’t go to Aldi between all the sex and drugs, when half took their cue to leave.

Chances are that the cool kids in the audience weren’t long out of University themselves and found Grandpa’s hip thrusting impressions of them outright rude. Besides, they all had half a jar in pesto in the fridge at the very least until the day Daddy packed up the car.

Grant talked of how we all used to enjoy nursery rhymes as children but got bored of it en route to adulthood, probably because we were all too busy wanking. Maybe that’s why some of Grant’s stuff sounds like the kind of stuff you found on the back of the toilet door at school. Or maybe the problem is that it’s been a hell of a long time since Grant was at school. Sexism, for one just isn’t as smart as it used to be. The crashing low point of the night was when Grant called upon the ladies in the audience to participate in his work ‘What Men Want,’ which is, apparently, ‘awe and wonderment’ of their penis, regardless of shape or size. In fact, ‘girls, you should be grateful for even the smallest of knobs.’ The hook of this little ditty required ladies - girls, of course, were not present at a strictly over 18’s event - to rhythmically and repeatedly chant 'awe and wonderment' in a harmless chorus of female submission. Needless to say, this did not happen.

Now sometimes, despite yourself, you will find Grant funny, the same way you might have sniggered in assembly if someone shouted out 'cock.' Anecdotes of Grant attempting sexual intercourse against a mobile clotheshorse with a set of squeaky wheels - in rhyming couplets - shouldn’t have made me snort but, regrettably, it did, even though it shouldn’t have.

If you want a free laugh, and you don’t mind how low you stoop to snigger, then you’ll get one. There’s there still some snap left in this old turtle yet.

The Blurb

Sex, Drugs and Rheumatism. Prize-winning poet Gary Stark takes a comic poetic look at the idiosyncrasies of sex, getting older and how ridiculous and funny modern life can be. www.freefestival.co.uk.