Rock ‘N’ Dole is Sam Avery’s second hour-long show, and it was nice to see him make the most of the opportunity to tell a decent tale. He had a cracking subject matter, taking the audience back to his adolescence and his time in a fledgling metal band. The old rags-to-riches type journey was a winner, littered with tender recollections of growing up and the disproportionately exciting adventures a group of schoolboys from Maghull were getting up to in their spare time.
Avery proved a big draw – Baa Bar was standing room only in the end, as people kept piling in. He told us that in his late teens, while still a paperboy, he and some mates formed a band that eventually achieved success in metal circles as DBH. They went on tour with the likes of Motorhead and had features in Kerrang! magazine. “At the time, a band called Soundgarden had an album out called Down on the Upside,” he explained. “So we couldn’t believe it when for our first big feature in Kerrang!, they used the headline ‘Down on the Brookside’. They wanted to make out we were a hard band from the streets of Liverpool. We were too polite to tell them we were from Maghull, Lydiate and Melling”.
Anyone who’s read Seb Hunter’s Hell Bent for Leather (hilarious book, despite being the kind of suspicious title you can usually find for £1.99 in a bin in HMV) will have a good feel for what Rock ‘N’ Dole was all about. Avery’s comic recollection of teenage angst was familiar territory and won the audience around immediately, but what made it really interesting were the specifics. I’m the same age as Sam, used to read about DBH in Kerrang, oddly enough, know who Bodycount are – and can’t resist a show that talks geek. Time flew by in Avery’s company as he wizzed through the band’s rise to fame (of sorts). From calamitous first gigs, to a dream-come-true record deal and out-of-their-depth hanging out with big-time American producers and touring with Napalm Death, this was a great story full of laugh out loud moments, playing to that boyhood fantasy of becoming a rock star, all with the comedian’s laidback delivery and comforable larking about. Who knew Rawhide’s finest was getting up to this sort of stuff before the comedy came along?
Just as the boys were hitting the big leagues, I had to dash over to another Liverpool Comedy Festival show. How I wish I’d stayed with Sam and seen how it all worked out for them. I hope there’s another chance to catch this funny and loveable show from a comedian who has really hit his stride.