Cooper vs Cooper

Every August I enjoy a trip up to Edinburgh to visit my friend MrJohn (who runs an awesome independent record label called Infinite Hive) and to take in some comedy shows at the fringe.

I’m currently just under half way through my visit, and I was going to wait until the end and then blog recommending my favourite shows of the week, and then this happened…

Anyone who has been to Edinburgh Fringe knows that flyering can be considered a competitive sport, with hundreds of comedians (and friends of comedians) competing with the general public to end up with the least amount of flyers by the end of the day. However, on our way to watch a show, John accepted a flyer and upon reading it, excitedly stopped me from walking… this was the flyer.


Now I don’t remember being booked to do a comedy show, and I don’t recognise my face on the flyer at all, but there as clear as day is my name. We decided the only course of action open to us was to head back and talk to the chap who gave us the flyer. It turns out that John accepted the flyer from Steffan Alun (@StAlun on Twitter) so we got chatting and told him that I shared his co-performer’s name.

Upon finding this out, his first question was “Are you a musician?”… “yes”… “did you play at a festival called Calnefest a few months ago”… “yes I did!”.

It turns out comedian Phil (@philcooperino on twitter) also performed at Calnefest. Now I must admit I had forgotten that while I was at this festival, a friend of mine had asked if I was performing in the comedy tent as well, and I had laughed it off, but now it makes perfect sense.

Perhaps if I’d taken time to look at the Calnefest T-Shirt I might have noticed what Phil Cooper noticed… That his name was on there twice! Except that one of his names was bigger than the other, and was actually MY name (musicians obviously being superior to comedians 😉 ).

Anyway, Steffan explained this to us, and when we said we were obviously going to watch the show, he said he was going to do a little bit of material about it at the end, and see how Phil coped with being confronted by his “nemesis”. Steffan did a great half hour set, he’s comfortable and likeable in his manner, and very naturally funny. As promised he ended his set with the Calnefest story, before introducing me and then handing immediately over to his visibly surprised companion.

Phil started his set with a bit of banter with me (how could he do anything else in the circumstances?) and then slipped effortlessly in to his set (with the odd ad-lib referencing the strange situation). Again (and much to my relief) Phil is a naturally funny chap and his set was also brilliant.

We had a chat afterwards, and he’s also a lovely guy, and he lives in Bath, less than half an hour’s drive from me. It’s a small world unless you have to paint it!

Anyway, if you find yourself in Edinburgh this August, please go to Sneaky Pete’s at 7.30 at least once, and watch this show. Both of these fellas deserve every success, even if it means one of them needs to change his name!

Phil Cooper vs Phil Cooper - The  grudge match.
Phil Cooper vs Phil Cooper – The grudge match.

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