Brighton is a Scientific Beer Land

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Bogan Bingo is a beloved feature of the Brighton Comedy Circuit, which returns to Komedia on 6th of June. We caught up with main man Bogan Trev to ask the questions you’ve never wondered about or bothered to ask – like what ‘Bogans’ are, what Australia’s National Biscuit is and whether dolphins are self-polishing…

For us Poms who don’t know, what exactly is ‘a Bogan’? Similar to Trailer Trash but a little more employable. We’re a bit classier than Trailer Trash, but not as classy as a Chav – they wear Burberry! We’re like the illegitimate lovechild of a Chav and Trailer Trash.

And Bogans love Bingo? It’s The Sport of Kings – also a good way to fill in the time between dole payments. We love sports you can play while nursing a beer. Fielding in cricket is one of those. Ten pin bowling is one and Bingo. Those are the only three. Oh and the darts! Four! There are a lot of dartboards in pubs – there should be more bingo cages in pubs so people can just rock up and play themselves.

What exactly happens at Bogan Bingo? There are a lot of classic eighties anthems, some breathtaking prizes, a lot of shit dancing and a good splash of air guitar. And there’s some Bingo as well. It’s a comedy, Bingo, gameshow like you’ve never experienced.

Do you affect a Bogan style all the time? Our flannelette shirts get done up for special occasions … weddings … court … Denim shorts are pretty good. Plenty of room to move, and its something for the ladies as well, ya know? You’ve gotta flaunt it! And we put on two wife-beaters in winter.

There is something very meat and potatoes about the Bogan style. It is because it works. Sometimes you don’t need to keep evolving things. Find something that works, stick to it. A pair of shorts, Blundstone Boots, a flannelette and a well cultivated mullet is all you really need.

“I came over to the UK originally for a girl”       

How did you guys get into this? We were trying to find ways of not working, and this was one of the ideas that was floated. Our other ideas included polishing dolphins at Sea World, but dolphins are kind of self-polishing .

We also had an air guitar workshop, teaching people how to play air guitar. We got that off the ground briefly, but there were a couple of injuries so we had to drop it – insurance reasons.

I came over to the UK originally for a girl, but that all went tits up after about a week. So I found myself on the glamorous high street of East Acton with a backpack on my back, no job, no place to stay and no idea what the hell I should do.

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Fast forward a few hostels and bar jobs later and a friend and I had set up Bogan Bingo weekly as a bit of a laugh on a Monday night at the Shepherds Bush Walkabout. That was 11 years ago and it all sort of started to come together you know? Put one foot in front of the other and shit starts to happen. I was always trying to find alternatives to getting a 9 – 5 job so this was a step in that direction. We found lots of Aussies and Kiwis were coming along and bringing their British mates and getting into it … and sure enough I don’t have to get that 9 – 5 job for now.

The other guys in my team have day jobs. One of the guys saves lives … well he doesn’t SAVE lives ….. he helps save …. well no he doesn’t …. ok he’s a radiologist …. he irradiates people on a daily basis …

“Sydney is not really our kind of place…”

Who is in the Bogan Bingo team? There’s myself, Bogan Trev, then there’s Bogan Benny (the man with the velvet voice), then you’ve got Cheyno (shane-o). Then there’s Bogan Steve and Krystal Beth – she’s tops, fantastic at dropping tunes. Yeah, that’s our Krystal Beth!

There is loads of great Metal music in the show. What are the greatest Bogan bands? Akka Dakka I would imagine? Yes! AC/DC are Gods amongst men. Some of the other bands, of course Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams – rest in peace [editor’s note – Bryan Adams is alive and well], INXS, The Bruce Springsteen gets a bit of a whirl, then some of the other classics, a bit of Warrant (‘Cherry Pie’ I think is a bit of a classic), some Queen. We are missing out some of the women! Bonnie Tyler … and one of my personal favourites, Belinda Carlisle! Ah Jesus, what a woman. A couple of beers and a couple games of Bingo with that lot and you’ve got a cracking good night.

Where are you from in Australia? I don’t imagine Bogans would usually admit to coming from Sydney? Yeah Sydney is not really our kind of place – too many people using fancy things like table cloths and manners. None of us are from major cities. I am from the West Coast, South of Perth. Bogans are rife around there. A couple of guys are from the Central Coast, ‘the Cenny Coast’ they call it ‘cos ‘Central Coast’ is too long to say. One of the boys is from ‘Melbs’, which is of course Melbourne. Again the short version. You see? You can say it faster. We’ve got things to do.

“Mustard is England’s greatest contribution to world cuisine…”

The best way to eat Marmite is that you get a piece of toast, spread a lot of butter on it, spread the Marmite on it and then throw it in the bin!

It sounds pretty full-on? We have weekly shows with Bogan Bingo in London, then we have an extra show every month with Bogan Bingo on a Friday night. Then we’ve got the gigs in Brighton. Then we’ve got the other show, which is a hip-hop Bingo show called ‘Blingo’, which we do twice a month – plus we do lots of corporate shows. We do shows around Europe. We’ve got a gig in Vegas in October … what could go wrong? The spiritual home of Bingo!

English people are pretty annoying, right? Always moaning.  They do whinge a bit. If it’s not too hot, its too cold. You hear the same shit all the time “Ahhh it’s too hot, the weather’s too hot. Stop stalking me on Twitter.” All the same shit…

You can get past all that though because deep down they are good people, mostly. They just enjoy a good whinge. It is pretty liberating having a good whinge. I am starting to enjoy the English eccentricities, such as English mustard with my roast, and whingeing!

On the other hand England has some advantages?  Um … aaaahhh … errrrr…. yeah …. I think I covered that with the mustard! I think that’s it! That’s their greatest contribution to world cuisine…..

“Sometimes they don’t and we just keep moving!”

Have you ever found that some jokes don’t translate for a British audience?  You know what? Sometimes they don’t and we just keep moving! Sometimes when you drop a joke and there’s three Aussies in the room that laugh and 97 Brits who just look quizzically at each other we just move on! We try to make the show as accessible to non-Australians as possible. The concept of a Bogan? A lot of people understand it. They identify with the Bogan, maybe see a bit of Bogan in themselves.

Is any of the show improvised?  Yeah definitely! We make sure there is some structure to the show. We actually get through a couple of games of Bingo, and of course give out all the prizes.

The beautiful moments are when the audience is involved. We like to get them up on the stage and that always provides fertile ground for more ad lib situations. The Brighton audiences are particularly good for that. With Bogan Bingo, people tend to buy into it pretty quickly. They can see we are having a good time and they want to have a good time too. It is good when people are up on stage and not taking themselves too seriously, because that is when the comedy gold happens!

The beautiful moments are when the audience is involved … The Brighton audiences are particularly good for that….

Has anything ever gone wrong in the show?  Yeah there have been all sorts of things that have gone wrong in Bogan Bingo over the years. I shot myself in the balls with some pyrotechnics. I had minor burns which left no permanent damage, but at the time I had to pretend I meant to do it.

Some girl knocked herself out during an Air Guitar competition. She got carried away. She climbed on the furniture, which we clearly stated not to do, ‘cos we don’t have any liability insurance. She stood on a chair, fell off and knocked herself out. Still on the plus side, she won the competition!

“Every Australian has a little bit of Bogan in them…”

If an English person managed to perfect an Australian accent, could you still tell that they were English?  (Long sigh). Yeah probably. We constantly have English people coming up and saying “G’day mate! Listen to my Australian accent. Sounds pretty good, huh?” ….

Can an Australian who isn’t a Bogan rightfully call themselves ‘Australian’?  They’d be lying to themselves! Every Australian has a little bit of Bogan in them. It is just how far you need to dig down to find that Bogan. How do you bring it out of them? Six beers is a good start. Going to the races is good. The Bathurst [1,000 mile race]. Growing up in suburban Australian environment helps.

Why did the 1980s have to end?  For some of us they haven’t, because we keep reliving these glory moments.

It ended in a pretty ugly way too with all that Newjack Swing shit coming through, and Bobby Brown and his friends creating crap music. Guitar lead music got a bit more sensitive – everybody wanted to have a whinge, so in came Grunge.

It is a shame that the eighties had to end, but they do live on in all of us – in our hearts!

VB [Bogan beer brand Victoria Bitter], is a bit shit isn’t it? You must love coming to Brighton and sampling the wares of the various sustainable vegan microbreweries about town?  Yeah! Some pretty fancy beers aren’t they? It’s Scientific Beer Land down there. Some of those micro-breweries are so small they are literally microscopic. What’s the matter with VB though? Again why are people trying to mess with classic recipes? VB is a beautiful, fantastic working class beer and it does the job! Would I swap that for a fancy vegan brand? No, no I don’t think so. Just a couple of The Green Grenades thanks mate, and I’ll be alright.

“Just a couple of The Green Grenades, thanks mate…”

What do you Bogans do when you come to Brighton?  Well usually we don’t have a lot of time. We’ll say “G’day” to all the Komedia crew, who are a top bunch. Then we will go for dinner somewhere, because there’s lots of good places to eat. We usually go to a steakhouse, wander around the Lanes, go to the record shops, see if we can buy some vinyl, get on the ‘turps and maybe end up on one of these pubs around town. Or, even – the strippers! No don’t print that! Talk about going to the strippers and never go. Then the last train back to London and that’s it.

VB or Tooheys?  Awwwww VB! Every day of the week.

Slash or Angus Young?  I think it would have to be Angus. Technically Slash is probably better, but Angus just rocks!

Bon Scott or Brian Johnson?  I am going to go against the grain here, against the traditionalists. It has to be Brian Johnson. Bon Scott was legendary, but when Brian came in he kept carrying that torch, onwards and upwards. He has left a legacy himself.

Are they Tim Tams or Penguins?  Tim Tams and Penguins are completely different. They are two distinctly different species. Tim Tams are delicious chocolate biscuits. Penguins are an inferior copy. That’s it. The Tim Tam is our national biscuit!

It is Marmite or Vegemite?  The best way to eat Marmite is that you get a piece of toast, spread a lot of butter on it, spread the Marmite on it and then throw it in the bin! It is a waste of time and space. Marmite is like a really sad, gloopy version of Vegemite. It is depressed Vegemite!

Tim Tams are delicious chocolate biscuits. Penguins are an inferior copy. That’s it. The Tim Tam is our national biscuit!

What is the Bogan national car?  The Holden Monaro is a bit of a classic, but I also really like the American muscle cars and the Australian muscle cars from the 70s are just beasts!

What is the hardest animal in Australia?  The cassowary without a doubt! Some people think these spiders and snakes are pretty tough. Its the cassowary. They are just a really pissed off emu. They are like Jurassic emus. They have a bulbous head / helmet thing. They have talons for days. They will just kick your arse!

What is your best fight with a cassowary?  Mate, I avoid them! If I ever see one in a pub I will go to the next pub! They get angry when they are drunk as well. They get all lippy.

Chrystal Beth wins all the fights

Krystal Beth!

Which of you would win if you all got in a fight?  Krystal Beth without a shadow of a doubt. She’s got these fingernails that will gouge your eyes out! She’s feral. I think she’s killed three of her last husbands. She’s fierce. We’re actually all scared of her.

Same question but with an added cassowary?  Krystal Beth …

Have you got a message for the people of Brighton?  Get your tits down to Komedia for one of our shows this year and prepare to experience the greatest Bingo gameshow of your lives – for now! !

Bogan Bingo are on at Komedia on 6th June, 11th July, 12th September and 14th November. Tickets here.

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