Entertainment

Interview – Harry & Chris

Katie talks with Comedy-Rap-Jazz duo Harry & Chris in advance of their performance this monday

Following their critically-acclaimed sold out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years in a row, Harry & Chris are taking over The Level at Nottingham Trent’s Student Union on 8th October with their 2018 show Harry & Chris Save The World. Impact caught up with former World Poetry Slam Champion Harry Baker, and Jazz virtuoso Chris Read, prior to their show to talk about Edinburgh, embarrassing stories, and future revenge plans.

Now Guardian highlighted and with appearances on The Russell Howard Hour, the pair have become notable in the world of comedy, but shared with me how they started out and their ‘fateful week in Texas’: “We’ve always had a relaxed approach to planning our act – in that we don’t do much planning. We just decided to do a fringe show one year because we had enough material to fill an hour and we thought it’d be fun. We did a short tour in Texas in 2015 and wrote a few pieces there which gave us the initial idea.”

When asked how the writing process works, they couldn’t help but fulfil my expectations of comedians in their answer: “Very well at the moment.”

“We love it! We get to see friends and make new friends in places we would never normally get a chance to see”

Harry & Chris have become increasingly familiar with the Edinburgh Festival scene so I asked how they have found the experience the past three years: “Really fun. We were so happy when we sold out our first year and we’ve built on that as we’ve gone on. The last two years we’ve played the same room so that’s helped with getting people in.”

As a singing and spoken word comedy act, I asked about their warm ups and techniques to hype each other up before a show and got more than I bargained for: “Before our first Edinburgh Show Harry always did a ‘lucky poo’ – where he’d slowly wait until the nerves got the better of him and have to go to the toilet just before we went on stage, but that meant by the time he came out our audience would have increased significantly so we were then afraid of what would happen if we didn’t have this tradition. These days the only thing we do before every show is a quick hug and a pray.”

Harry & Chris’ Nottingham show is part of their biggest nationwide tour so I asked them whether they enjoy travelling the country gigging and if they’ve had any experiences to inspire their songs: “We love it! We get to see friends and make new friends in places we would never normally get a chance to see – just now we had half an hour stopover between trains to answer this Q+A and Chris spent it making a time lapse video of people going the wrong way, while Harry ordered a brownie which he didn’t realise had some orange in it so it gets pretty crazy.”

“This one time Harry had to think of funny travel stories for an interview and really struggled to cast his mind further back than about 15 minutes”

Having worked together for over 10 years, the duo must know each other pretty well so I asked if there were there any embarrassing stories they could share: “This one time Harry had to think of funny travel stories for an interview and really struggled to cast his mind further back than about 15 minutes so pretty much told them the most recent thing that happened which was a bit embarrassing, but there’s no way he would make that mistake again.”

Performing at a range of venues on their UK tour, Chris shared his experiences performing at universities compared to theatres: “I actually studied in Nottingham so it’ll be different in as much as it’ll give me flashbacks of freshers week and nights out, which most theatres don’t.”

“witty, and original answers.”

When asked to describe each other in three words, Harry called Chris “Nottingham’s Prodigal Son” and Chris called Harry a “funny, funny man” – witty, and original answers.

With Harry & Chris promising to save the world, I asked what people should expect from their show: “Comedy-rap-jazz of such joyfully epic proportions that you’ll leave with a glint in your step and a spring in your eye.”

“we have comedy-rap-jazz superpowers and we are trying to use them for good”

Covering propaganda, environmental issues and spreading positivity through their spoken word and jazz fusion, Harry & Chris shared why people should come to their show: “Because we have comedy-rap-jazz superpowers and we are trying to use them for good, but depending on how this tour goes we could turn at any moment and the only people who are safe will be the ones who made the effort this time around. Also it’s a really good show!”

And if that hasn’t convinced you enough then beware of their future plans: “Exacting revenge on those who didn’t come to our show. Tour takes us until January and then we are working on some new stuff before beginning the whole Merry process again! Also we want to write a song for Disney so if any execs are reading this give us a bell.”

It was great hearing from the comedy duo and if you like what you’ve read then make sure to catch Harry & Chris on their UK tour before they run away into the distance, intent on saving the world with only words and a guitar.

Katie Moncur

Featured image and article images courtesy of Harrynchris via Instagram.

Image use license here.

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