I’ll start at the start, how did you start off?
Growing up I was in a couple of silly local bands with my mates, the last one a keyboard
duo called Pubic Cube, but we never really found a proper outlet for our stuff so
in the end we just petered out. In 2003/4 I started just playing a few local gigs
around Basildon on my own as Kunt and the Gang, without any aspiration of it going
anywhere or leading to anything else. Around that time Social Media was starting
to kick off so I set up a MySpace profile with a few songs on and I suddenly started
getting offered gigs a bit further afield and then selling a few CDs which meant
I could pay for a proper pressing of my first album (2004’s I Have A Little Wank
And I Have A Little Cry). Shortly after that YouTube came along, which definitely
helped our audience of deviants and internet wronguns grow quite organically.
How would you describe your act?
I’ve been doing this for 12 years now and still not really found a way of describing it that makes it sound any good. I suppose it is principally comedy songs of questionable taste, though these days I do a bit more chat in between the songs. When I first started, I deliberately avoided calling it comedy because I was (and still am) principally playing in music venues so I wanted people to decide for themselves if they found it funny, rather than me tell them it was and them disagree. Also when you hear the phrase ‘comedy songs’, it does tend to conjure up the image of some smug Oxbridge nobhead in a tuxedo stood by a grand piano.
When penning a song and its lyrics, is there anything off limits?
I don’t think I’ve ever really thought of it as being as black and white as that but then if I went through my back catalogue you’d probably find quite a few subjects that on paper you wouldn’t immediately think would be suitable fare for humorous songs. Something I find particularly satisfying is trying to set the bleakest or most challenging subject matter to a really chipper tune. Often it’s not so much about the topic you’re dealing with but how you deal with it. As an example I think some people would have thought that the Ian Watkins situation was probably too bleak to write a ditty about but then when you heard that poor old Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps had been inadvertently dragged into the story after being mistaken by online haters for his child molesting namesake, you suddenly had an ‘in’.
During your show, have you experienced any violent responses, either physical or verbal, you particularly remember (or rather forget)?
There’s been a few over the years but thinking about it they have always been at
free gigs where people don’t always have the same investment in you as if they’d
bought a ticket, and you are more at risk from random drinkers who normally hear
one thing out of context and then want to have an altercation on stage with you in
the middle of the show. This happened to me at the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of years
ago, this drunk punk bloke got over-
Do you have a definition of novelty act and would consider yourself one?
When I think of a novelty act I always think of something that is fairly short lived, say a one hit wonder like Star Trekkin, or a one trick pony like the Cheeky Girls. I’ve been doing Kunt and the Gang in it’s current format for 11 years this Christmas and have songs about paedos and wanking. So by my criteria I’m not a novelty act but then if someone thinks I am I’m not going to cry and soil myself about it.
What did you think of the Dapper Laughs furore?
A few years ago there was a Facebook campaign to get my song about selling out your
principles for success, Use My Arseh*le as a C***, into the charts. Because of the
title and content there was never any prospect of mainstream press, radio or telly
for the song and it peaked at number 66. I remember thinking at the time that it
was a shame that the song hadn’t got in the top 40 because then the press would have
had to cover it. After seeing the press coverage Dapper Laughs got I changed my opinion
and am now extremely glad that we never troubled the top 40. When it went pear-
Do you have many problems booking venues due to your act?
It used to be a problem when I first started, you’d have a couple of Northern gigs booked on a Tuesday and Thursday and having to ring around to try and get something for the Wednesday was a nightmare. To this day when people ask me to describe Kunt and the Gang I still hear myself trying and think ‘that sounds fucking horrific’.
Hecklers are a perennial pain in the arse for acts. Do you have many? Do you use any methods for dealing with them?
When it is that alpha male kind of heckler I try to explain that I’m not a comedian so I’m unable to handle banter and heckling, and reiterate that I’m a minor internet hit singer, so if they’ll shut up I can get on with playing some of my minor internet hits. But when people are as drunk as that gay bloke who came to the gig in Liverpool last year with his mum and just kept shouting, “Jade Goody” all the way through, it is quite hard to find anything that will get through to them.
You've played some very large gigs such as 3000 or so at Download Festival. Apart from financial benefit, is it more personally rewarding than at intimate rooms?
Download has been great as has Rebellion festival and it’s nice to look out in the crowd and see faces who have come to see you at your little real life gigs all round the country. Then when you go and do those gigs, have people say they saw you at one of the festivals and recount a humorous incident like how their friend shat themself in the crowd while you were on stage. I know this might sound like a load of bollocks but I think the satisfaction is just as good from a good gig anywhere, whether it’s in front of 30 or 3,000 people. That said, obviously it’s great to have loads of people there chanting your slogans and ruining the other acts’ sets.
Over the ten years you've been doing this act, has your audience demographic altered?
I think the audience has got older and more male. I’m not really sure whether it might be to do with my ticket prices going up a quid since 2006 or maybe your average girl in her early 20s just would rather be doing something else than seeing a 6 foot beanpole in Oriental workwear sing songs about paedophiles who were at it before she was even a foetus. I blame Jimmy Savile.
Are you attracting any male/female groupies. Are they a pain in the arse?
The groupies are fine but it’s the stalkers I worry about. I swear to God one day my dismembered torso will be found in suitcases in the loft of one of them and the police will discover them watching one of my videos, wearing my skin and having a wank.
The increasing number of Free Festivals have an ever expanding influence. Is it a good, bad or inevitable evolution of the Edinburgh Fringe and it's participants?
I’d tried for a three or four years to get on at the Edinburgh Fringe and had knock-
You spent a large part of 2014 touring the album 'Jap's iTunes'. Any concrete plans for 2015?
The Jap’s iTunes tour was my busiest one ever, apart from Swansea where there were only 17 people, including the bar staff. It was character building. This year I’m going to be touring from late July onwards in support of our new compilation album, ‘Kunt’ll Fix It: Greatest Minor Internet Hits Part 2’, which is a best of the last 5 years with a few new tracks chucked in. I’ve been working on one in particular about how internet pornography has potentially affected trends in people’s sexual behaviour, called ‘No One Sp*nks Up A C*** Anymore’.
Would you like to take this opportunity for any shameless plugs?
Dear reader, feel free to come and visit us at our website
Or come and see us at one of our Kunt’ll Fix It Tour dates:
24 CHELMSFORD baydays the fleece
31 SHEERNESS castle
03 BIRSTALL the plough
05 NUNEATON the crew (7pm start)
06 BASILDON edge
08 scream lounge
14 rock zombie
15 STAINES wheatsheaf+ pigeon
16 IPSWICH mulberry tree (5pm)
21 black cat
22 CANTERBURY maidens head
27 think tank? digital
28 bingo hall
29 bingo hall
30 13th note (3pm start)
18 queen’s arms
19 DEVIZES the lamb
25 SWINDON rolleston
26 the phoenix
27 fighting cocks
01 the fleece
02 owl sanctuary
04 new cross inn
06 fab café
07 maguires pizza bar
08 fab café
11 hdm beershop (3pm)
16 the old ship
17 snooker club
23 club 85
25 railway hotel (3pm)
30 rock city
02 caroline of brunswick
03 craufurd arms
04 the bull
BLUE: Click for ticket links
GREEN: Free entry gig, just show up