The comedian and performance poet, who lives in Fife, is featuring in ‘Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer’ at the Adam Smith Theatre in the town on Saturday (June 16). The gig night starts at 7.45pm.
The hugely popular evenings have been a feature on the bill at the Adam Smith Theatre for the last three years, offering a varied and intriguing evening of music and spoken word, all chosen and curated by Fife folk singer James Yorkston.
The 56-year-old Englishman explained what the event is about for those who might not be familiar with the hugely popular event: “It’s a regular gig that’s been on at the Adam Smith Theatre for some time,” Phill said.
“It is a labour of love for James Yorkston – a Fifer who is internationally known and plays all over the world.
“He set it up and put all the bits together.
“Because I am in Fife myself now I thought it would be a nice thing to do. There are some interesting people on the bill and we have agreed that I won’t be doing comedy but a poetry set. I have been performing as a poet since 1983 and recently I have been doing a lot more of it. James thought it would be a good idea so I will be doing a poetry set on Saturday – I will be in the middle of the two musicians.
“I have been doing poetry for 35 years now and it is one of these things that not a lot of people know I do. On my UK tour I was my own support act!
“I am a 56-year-old father of two girls who is in Scotland now and I am finding that as you get older you have nothing left to prove anymore.
“My poetry is all over the shop – some of it is about me, some of it is about the world – that’s what I love about poetry.
“Some of the poems I have written about are as relevant today as the day I wrote them. For instance there is a poem about the Beano that I wrote when I was 22 which I still use in my sets, it still works.
“Some age terribly though and don’t age as well as others. But the poetry really does always feed the stand up.
“The reason I became a stand up comedian is because I was doing comedy in between the poems and then I just moved into doing stand up.”
The comedian revealed how he got involved in Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer: “James and I had never met before. I don’t know exactly how it all came about but he got in touch with me and came to my home for lunch.
“It seemed like a lovely thing to do so I agreed to do the gig.
“I haven’t performed at the Adam Smith Theatre before so this will be my first time on stage in Kirkcaldy.
“When I did my tour of Scotland last year I went to a dozen venues including Strathpeffer, Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides – these are lovely venues with just great audiences.
“I really enjoy meeting people, watching acts that I have never seen before and playing in venues for audiences I have never performed to before.”
Phill is a big fan of art and said he particularly enjoys visiting Kirkcaldy Galleries: “I like that beautiful art gallery and museum in Kirkcaldy.
“I love work by S.J Peploe and it has a section of some of his oil paintings upstairs.
“I have this amazing liking for art and paintings and this is a big year for art in Scotland. This was part of the reason why I moved to Fife because it is so in touch with its creative side - with comedy, music, art and sculpture. I really like the summer art fairs like the open house week in the East Neuk where people take part and put their work on show.
“The East Neuk is lovely – when the sea is right and the light is just right, it is incredible.”
Phill, who is perhaps best known for his appearances as team captain on BBC2’s pop quiz ‘Mind the Buzzcocks’, really enjoys performing in front of Scottish audiences.
He said: “I played at Glasgow Comedy Festival in March and I have to say that was probably the best gig of my tour. The audience was fantastic and when you get a show like that it rekindles your love of why you started doing comedy. I am looking forward to doing another Scottish tour.”
However, there is a particular artform the performance poet will not be repeating – musical theatre.
He said: “Doing musicals is like being in a plane at the airport which has not been cleared to land. The weird thing is it has taken me a long time to realise it just isn’t for me.
“I have been doing them on and off for years – Hairspray for three months, Spamalot for five months and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for a year. I am grateful for my time in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang though because it helped me to realise that I am just not cut out for it. When you do a musical you have to commit to that and nothing else. It makes me claustrophobic.
“I remember the first night of Hairspray, I have never been so petrified in all my life, I have never experienced that level of terror before.”
He added: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang filled a lovely gap but I don’t want to do a musical again.”
Phill is looking forward to doing his poetry set in Kirkcaldy on Saturday and explained why he enjoys it: “I loved poetry as a kid – I love the language, words and playing around with ideas.”
Phill said he also loves poems which tell a story and gave the example of ‘Matinee 78’ in which relates the tale of the first gig he ever went to, which was Blondie in 1978.
He added: “I love the sense of playfulness you can have with poetry, like the playfulness you have as a child. There are not a lot of jobs as an adult where you can have a lot of fun and you can have this with poetry.
“I love the physicality of it.”
Phill Jupitus will take to the stage in ‘Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer’ at the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy along with American alt-folk music legend Michael Hurley and Indie pop folk singer Siobhan Wilson.
Tickets from www.onfife.com,