Tim Heidecker & Neil Hamburger: Live at Gorilla, Manchester [REPORT]

On a neglected side-street of Manchester’s city centre, Gorilla sits quietly in the surrounding sprawl. To its right, past a tunnel perfectly sculpted for a stealthy, drunken evening piss, lies Dog Bowl; a bar teetering on the edge of achingly hipster, offering ten-pin bowling as a cacophonous aperitif to overpriced culinary dirge. Given that even the local trams feature caricatures with Monopoly Man moustaches, it seems an inescapable aesthetic. While the stereotype can cause an itch when you’re handing over double for a Jameson and Coke, it’s a welcoming and, eventually, comfortable world to sparsely visit. Within Gorilla, where that sub-culture seems defined, Tim Heidecker and Neil Hamburger proved, in more ways than one, that assumption is all too often erroneous.…   [continue reading]

WWE Battleground 2017 [REPORT]

Publishing this two days after the event aired, I can’t help but question if there’s any point. Then I realised, one of the reasons that I cover WWE PPVs here is to track their progress and development over time. Missing one, in a year that will have fourteen by its end, may not seem a big deal. However, I feel that not reporting this one PPV would be unfair on certain talents within. For example, Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal have been running a questionable and tiresome feud for some time now. It would be the height of injustice not to comment on their Punjabi Prison match at this year’s Battleground; it made me quite like Mahal for the first time, which is always worthy of discussion.…   [continue reading]

WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

The name Great Balls of Fire doesn’t exactly inspire high-expectations. This is, partly, why I found myself unable to get too excited for it. Of course, i’m not that shallow and it’s not the only reason. In addition, certain elements of my personal and professional life became too demanding in the past month to spare time for weekly editions of Raw. This meant that this was another PPV that I went into somewhat blindly. I was peripherally aware of certain storylines; it’s been hard to ignore the rumblings between Big Cass and Enzo Amore, for example. Also, the wildly anticipated clash between Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar was a clear selling point.…   [continue reading]

The Great Developmental Professor Elemental

This article ties in to a podcast I recorded with Paul Alborough (Professor Elemental), available here.

In our last podcast, we spoke to David Liebe Hart. In that particular case, we had a personality on our hands who’s very difficult to detach from his character. The flip-side of that is a creative whose use of a character is acutely deliberate. That’s precisely the bill that Paul Alborough, best known for his popular Professor Elemental alter-ego, fits in spades. However, Alborough is a vast talent regardless of such construction. He calls to mind an important truth; something we’re all guilty of in an age of information.…   [continue reading]

WWE Money in the Bank 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

For some reason, despite an intriguing card, I found myself unable to get too excited for Money in the Bank this year. I put that down to some personal rumblings going on in my life at the moment. That aside, I knew we’d be in for something worth seeing. I’d probably resigned to just watch the damn thing, rather than overthinking it too much. With a historic women’s Money in the Bank match scheduled, along with the standard edition as the main event, this pay-per-view was certain to be memorable in some way.

In the end, this was surely one of the strangest cards I’ve ever seen.…   [continue reading]

WWE Extreme Rules 2017 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

Assumption is the mother of all fuck-ups. I had assumed that this was going to be one of those pay-per-views that just hits on every level. My expectations going into this one were unbelievably high, since Extreme Rules boasted a deeply promising card. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver quite to the level I had hoped. It is, however, easily the best PPV since this year’s WrestleMania. The main-event delivered in spades, while we also saw great matches for the Cruiserweight and Intercontinental Championships. Another thing of note is how well it dealt with its stories. The beautifully edited promo-packages only helped get these narratives across.…   [continue reading]

WrestleMania 33 [LIVE TWEET STREAM/REPORT]

I always watch WrestleMania live. Wrestling is one of the odder things that we cover at Secret Cave, but it’s such a magnificent theatre for the absurd. I intend, at some point, to post something explanatory on my love for it. Until then, last night was WrestleMania and i’m still reeling from how good it was. It’s been a while since WrestleMania truly gripped me, but this one was pretty much great from start to finish. Focusing heavily on the in-ring product, it’s the first time in a while I found myself wishing for more storyline. That said, the athleticism and ring psychology was strong throughout.…   [continue reading]

A Smark’s Guide to: WWE Fastlane 2017

WWE‘s fledgling Fastlane event is still, in many ways, just finding its feet.  It’s not a bad concept for a Pay-Per-View either, introducing last minute twists and turns to the Road to WrestleMania.  This year, the main point of contention was Kevin Owens‘ Universal Title defence against Goldberg.  With the victor going on to face Brock Lesnar at the imminent WrestleMania, it’s something that the WWE Universe had their eyes set keenly on.  Of course, the finish was always going to end up predictable.  We’ll discuss that in the end but, first, there’s quite an undercard to comb over.…   [continue reading]

Our Cinema/On Cinema Season 9 [REPORT]

Gregg Turkington‘s Our Cinema Oscar Special should have been a triumph.  Instead, Tim Heidecker found a way to derail proceedings regardless of his absence.  It could have been an evening of insightful movie expertise; as we’ve come to expect from its host.  What we ended up with was a travesty.  Of course, Heidecker has a history of live meltdowns.  I had deep hopes that his personal issues wouldn’t fringe on another Oscar Special.  Unfortunately, On Cinema has become nothing more than a kind of therapy for Heidecker.  That his chaos can extend to the cool waters of Turkington’s winning criticism should be a concern for us all.…   [continue reading]

25 Years of Reeves and Mortimer [REPORT]

Hear the writers discuss this subject on the Secret Cave Podcast!

I’ve already written about Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer here, but this is a little different.  After 25 years of a highly-influential career, the two British madmen are touring the country – for what appears to be one last time.  As a fan of their work for almost as long as their inception, it was quite something to see a performance.  Far older than the sprightly, young fellows we once knew, I couldn’t help some trepidation.  Indeed, much of their oeuvre relies on the physical; the long and demented slapstick synonymous with their act.  …   [continue reading]