Mitch Benn is one of my heroes, for a couple of reasons. First, he’s a long-standing, and very successful comedian and songwriter, whose work on The Now Show is consistently one of the strongest parts of the show. Secondly, he’s a gloriously unapologetic nerd. He is, very much, our people. Witness below:
He’s also about to attempt something very creative, and very hard, for charity. Something he calls:
THE COMIC RELIEF 24-HOUR ALBUM CHALLENGE... THING
Mitch is going to attempt to write and record an entire album of comic songs in 24 hours, for Comic Relief. He’s planning to start at 9am on Red Nose Day – 15 March – and will work through to 9am the next morning. It’ll be available for download not long after, with proceeds going to Comic Relief. This isn’t the first time Mitch has done something like this; his live show involves him taking suggestions from the audience at the end of part one, writing something during the interval and playing it at the start of part two. He’s that fast, that good, and that funny, although an entire album is still going to be a stretch for him in a 24 hour period.
Here’s where it gets really interesting: Mitch is still figuring out whether he wants song titles or concepts for songs suggested, and is also planning on doing this in public, so people can come and watch. Although, as he puts it, it may just be him; “staring at my iMac, frowning and drinking coffee.” He’s also going to sort out a live-stream so people can watch without having to actually show up. Oh and at the moment, he’s playing all the instruments, although as he puts it;
“Unless, of course, there are musicians out there who fancy the idea of rocking up at about 5am to contribute a few licks... God knows there are enough rock stars knocking around in Richmond-Upon-Thames...”
However, Mitch has two problems, right now; venue and verification. In terms of venue, he’s looking for somewhere in the Richmond/Kensington nexus, so it’s relatively close to home. The only other stipulations are:
• The venue must have good wifi
• The venue must be insured to have an audience
The verification problem is a knottier one. What Mitch is looking for is a way of proving that the work he’s doing is work that’s been created on site, not songs previously written and memorised before recording. Specifically, he needs a way of verifying that he didn’t see any of the suggestions until 9am on Red Nose Day when the clock starts ticking.
So he’s taken the unusual step of asking for help. If you’ve got ideas on a venue, or how to verify the process, contact him on:
Regardless, keep an eye on Mitch’s Twitter feed at @MitchBenn and his blog at http://mitchbenn.com/blog for more details, including exactly how you can sponsor Mitch during the writing/recording/coffee drinking/swearing at technology process. This is going to be a lot of fun to follow and, as I say, Mitch is one of the best comedians working today. So here he is again, to play us out. Take it home, Rhyme Lord!