Guffaw to the floor – the best comedy/dance hook ups
Stewart Lee’s guest spot on Asian Dub Foundation’s dubstep-slanted hard hitter ‘Comin’ Over Here’ has been tearing up the internet this week, and all in a good cause too, with proceeds going to help the Kent Refugee Action Group. There are even whispers that it and its acerbic message about immigration might make it to the top spot for Brexit Day at the end of this week.
But it’s no new thing for the worlds of music and comedy to cosy up together. In fact, some of your favourite records feature world famous comedians – and you probably don’t even know it. So, to doff our cap to ADF and Lee, we’ve assembled a handful of the best moments where these two very different worlds collide.
Asian Dub Foundation ft. Stewart Lee – Comin’ Over Here
Lee’s been invited to support Sleaford Mods on occasion, as well as luring the likes of The Fall, Thurston Moore and Shonen Knife to play the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival he curated back in 2016, so it’s no surprise to see him buddying up with veteran electronic/rock hybridists Asian Dub Foundation on this track from their Access Denied album. “I felt like Alan Bennet fronting Public Enemy,” Lee confessed in his broadsheet column this week.
A Guy Called Gerald – Voodoo Ray
We all know the track, of course – it helped define the UK’s acid house generation arguably almost more than any other. But not a lot of people know that that is in fact the voice of Peter Cook, satire king and one half of the anarchic dup Derek & Clive and Dud (along with Dudley Moore) who can be heard all over it. Hard to believe, it’s true, but this clip proves it beyond doubt.
Lowkey & Maverick Sabre feat Frankie Boyle – Long Live Palestine
Boyle has spoken at length about his love of hip-hop and grime and on this rather serious political anthem in support of the Palestinian people, he gets to flex some poetry alongside UK rap scene stalwarts Lowkey and Maverick Sabre.
Beastie Boys – Flute Loop
The availability – as well, of course, as the stoner-slanted humour – of comedy records has long made them a goldmine for hip-hop crate diggers. Who knew, for instance, that the beginning of this key cut from the legendary Beasties’ album Ill Communication was purloined from Richard Pryor’s I Spy Cops album?
De La Soul – Three Is The Magic Number
And there’s our man Mr Pryor again, this time asking “anybody in the audience ever get hit by a car?” towards the end of this daisy age rap classic.
The Pod – Apocalypse Tube interview
In the days before The Mighty Boosh became big enough to break the record for the most consecutive nights headlining Brixton Academy, young Howard Moon – or Julian Barratt to his mum – was part of the wonderfully daft comedy techno duo The Pod, playing live gigs where the likes of Goa trance standard ‘Putting The E Back In India’ did a pretty good job of ripping the piss out of the rather solemn zippy movement. Check this interview to delve deeper into their erm, philosophy.
Chance The Rapper – I Might Need Security
The f-word filled musical hook for this rhyme workout from Chance The Rapper actually originates on a track penned by comedian Jamie Foxx. Don’t blame us when you find yourself singing it out loud at the bus stop.
T78 & ROBPM – Acid Lick
With his love of psychedelics and an all round anti-authoritarian viewpoint, Bill Hicks has obvious shared interests with the world of acid house. This thumping, savage acid workout by Italian producers Manuel Tessarollo and Roberto Carisdeo makes liberal use of his scathing tirade ‘The War On Drugs’, with spine tinglingly pleasing results.
Adam Freeland – We Want Your Soul
Bill Hicks again, this time lampooning American democracy – “you are free to do as we tell you” – his voice proving the perfect cherry on top of this cracking 2007 robo-breakbeat affair about corporate control, which sounds more relevant today than ever.