Writing comedy is hard. Writing music is harder. But writing comedy in verse for a live-performed music piece is what Harry & Chris know how to do best. Creating an explosive combination of rap, jazz and comedy, those two are clearly able to delight their audiences with their charm and quirkiness.
The two have been paired up for years now, and their chemistry is undeniable on stage. Already they have managed to sell out their 2016 and 2017 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and they were featured on Sky’s very own ‘The Russell Howard Hour’, while also touring the UK. Luckily for us in Newcastle, they will be here on the 27th of October performing at comedy club The Stand. It is an opportunity that should not be missed, as their hit show ‘This One’s for the Aliens’ sold out across the Fringe. They propose the most creative escape from reality for an evening, and also offer their audience physical exercise due to excessive, cannot-stop-for-the-life-of-me belly laughter; and I got the chance to ask Harry and Chris a few questions about their life as a comedy duo.
Doing what you guys do is difficult, a different kind of comedy. What was the turning point in which you decided that this was what you wanted to do? What made you decide to do it together?
We’ve always performed together in some capacity since being childhood rivals in our school battle of the bands competition, but the turning point was coming up to the Edinburgh Fringe 3 years ago in the spoken word section, and being told we were surprisingly funny, so we’ve been in the comedy section surprisingly speaking words ever since.
Being an artist has its ups and downs. How do you find new ways to entertain and stay relevant but without losing your essence? Can you touch upon your favourite part of the creative process?
It’s really fun working with your best friend. A lot of our songs start off by trying to make each other laugh, and that extends to the tour. We’ll get to a point where 10 dates in we’re trying to keep each other on our toes and I think by keeping it fresh for ourselves it stays so for the audiences. Equally a large part of this years show is based on a trip out to America to be on a talent show out there, and it really helps having someone else to experience that with, as well as making it more fun to recount afterwards. My favourite part of the writing process is when we can make each other cry with laughter, knowing full well half of it won’t even make it to the final edit or even make sense on stage, but it feels like an important part of the journey.
I have noticed many of your jokes have to do with current events and try to showcase the problems of society in a lighthearted way. If you could change one thing about the current UK reality, what would it be and why?
For people to have more empathy. It feels like people are very ready to dismiss other people for all kinds of reasons, whether it is for having a different background or set of beliefs, but any kind of effort to understand where someone is coming from can make a world of difference. In our more recent shows we’ve tried to tackle more serious stuff but always bringing an element of lightness to it, and we would hope that anyone would be able to get at least something from it. This is mainly done in our new show by reminding everyone we’ve all been in a womb in a song so catchy we printed 250 t shirts with the lyrics on and have approximately 237 left over, if you’re interested.
What are your future plans? Is there an end-goal, somewhere you’d like to be— say in about five or ten years?
We’re seriously considering changing the ‘and’ in ‘Harry and Chris’ to an ampersand (&), and that will probably take around 5 years for us to remember the passwords to our recovery email accounts so we can access to our myspace, bebo, band camp and other social media accounts and put that master plan into action. Also having fun and writing tunes and playing shows and making people happy.
Could you describe your favourite show until now, and what it is that holds it so dear to your hearts?
Our current one! It’s the most that’s felt like a well-rounded comedy show (as a opposed to a spoken-word-jazz-fusion-with-some-laughs). There’ll always be a soft spot for our first show because it was performed in a pub and involved us handing people their lunchtime orders mid-show, and elements from other shows that stick with us (shoutout the ballad of sir killalot!), but I think because it feels new and fun we’re really excited to be taking our new show around. One thing we love about tour is we get to chuck a couple of old songs in there too.
Last modified: 27th October 2019