LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN
Men’s Fashion Week hits the capital in style
Right now I am in Tennessee at a music festival. It is so hot here and I am looking forward to getting to London. I love London when it’s not hot. Staking out a one metre squared pitch of grass at Clapham Common with all the other Kiwis desperately pretending that barbecuing on a Tesco throwaway tin is acceptable. It’s not. I discovered early on that swimming in the Serpentine is a bad idea, too. While it may appear to be water, it is more needle-filled gloop.
Actually what I will do now on a hot summer’s day in London is visit my new favourite place in Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield. I love shopping centres, especially as they keep a constant temperature at a balmy 18C. And when the wife tires of the electric strip lighting, we are a mere hop, skip and bus ride from my favourite West London haunts: Kensington Gardens – or the pirate ship playground, as it is referred to in our household – or Riverside Studios for a cheeky pint or two.
I’m currently feeling pretty smug. I have added another string to my bow this year and I’m very proud of this latest one. And no, I am not joining the New Zealand national pastime as a Hobbit; I am a Writer, with a capital ‘ W’. I have been writing for years, but stand-up comedy is very different from sit- down- and- read- it- on- a- bus comedy. Can the reader be trusted to read the story as I would? I, like all stand-up comics who write, direct and perform themselves, am a total control freak. Based on this, I thought it prudent to do a live version of my new book called This Way to Spaceship.
I took the show to Wellington and my dad came to see it. After the show I squeezed my way through the crowd to find him and give him a hug. ‘Can you sign my copy of your book, please? I’m a pretty big fan,’ he said, before informing me of his latest venture, building chicken coops. ‘ To order?’ I asked. ‘ No, for myself. But I’m thinking I might start selling them. I’ve got more coops than I have chickens now.’ Every time I see my dad I’m reminded of where I came from. I’m definitely a chip off that old block.
The final show in Wellington was a real blockbuster; Billy Connolly and Martin Freeman came along. They were in town filming The Hobbit and after the show I had a drink with them in the adjacent bar. (That’s not the name of the bar, it’s just a bar adjacent to the theatre.) What a thrill it was to be in such fine company. We shared stories and promised to keep in touch. I haven’t heard from them since. The weather got a bit colder in New Zealand so I decided to start my pilgrimage to the UK via LA. I was hanging by the pool at the hotel, drinking cocktails with umbrellas in them and rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous. They don’t like that, me touching them like that. Apparently I shouldn’t take the ‘shoulder rubbing’ so literally, especially with One Direction, who were staying in the same hotel as me. Nice boys, but I’m not sure that children so young should have six-pack abs. Is that normal?
I started to entertain myself with thoughts of returning to the UK. Most people entertain themselves with movies or games; I find thoughts are a lot cheaper and less strenuous. This will be my first big UK tour. I look forward to returning to all the towns I had previously only been to as part of a club line-up act back in the hazy years of 2001-2007. I look forward to diving into the history of each town. I’ll go to museums with my sons Finn [six] and Theo [two] and drink pints in pub gardens. I look forward to catching up with my old friends Martin and Billy. But most of all I look forward to Edinburgh, the city that started it all for me. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is where I was caught hook, line and sinker by the fisherman of funny. The gods opened up through the clouds back in 2004 and plucked me out... ‘Go forth my son!’ ‘ What, to the Forth Bridge?’ ‘ No... go with the forth.’ So I did. I went with the fourth most popular New Zealand folk band Flight of the Conchords. And that little decision was a good one. Now I return as myself eight years later. Rhys Darby in This Way to Spaceship, complete with space helmet... and book. For details of Rhys Darby’s upcoming UK tour, including Shepherd’s Bush Empire, visit boundandgaggedcomedy.com
‘One Direction: nice boys, but I’m not sure that children
so young should have