Andy Askins is a stand up comedian with material that is surprisingly dark, standing in stark contrast against his calm and friendly stage demeanour. Askins is also a very talented musician who doesn’t rely on his guitar as a gimmick; his comedy songs are delightfully punchy and unpredictable. Askins brings his latest show, The Man With No Name, to this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
I asked Andy these seven questions to find out more…
1) What’s your best trick for getting an audience onside?
It helps if they know the rule in the first place but usually an accurate through ball combined with a well timed audience run. It’s tricky!
2) What was your first job?
I was an apprentice boilermaker at British Steel Lackenby. It combined plating, burning and welding. My skills were better on day one than they were after three months of training and I decided it wasn’t for me. It closed shortly afterwards.
3) Which country would you most like to visit?
Australia, without a doubt. I have been lucky and travelled to some beautiful and exotic places but I’ve always fancied a trip down under. I intended on moving there in the mid-eighties; my uncle was fixing me up with a job in a diamond mine in Geraldton near Perth. I had saved a few grand and was all set to go, but it all changed when I met my future wife at a piercing convention on the Isle of Wight
4) How do you differ from your onstage persona?
Some of my persona is just an exaggeration of my own traits. The awkwardness etc turned up to eleven. If I overheard someone else saying the things I do, I would be laughing, but not in agreement.
5) Who do you look up to?
6) What makes you feel calm?
I like hard exercise. These days it’s chasing a ball around a squash court. After exhausting myself and a shower, that’s when I’m most calm.
7) How would you describe your relationship with the Edinburgh Festival?
It’s a blind date. I’m hoping she’ll be fun and it will be the first of many but she might just empty my wallet.