Three of the biggest reprobates from Nova Scotia’s Sunnyvale Trailer Park – Julian, Ricky and Bubbles – brought their live show to the UK this week.
We expected an evening free of taste and public decency at London’s O2 Brixton Academy on September 19 – and the trio didn’t disappoint. Here’s what we learned on the night…
BRIXTON ACADEMY IS AN ODD VENUE
Most of the time you’ll find us tucked down the right-hand side near the front, pint in hand, watching bands from around the world try to level this auditorium to its foundations. Tonight, though, the sticky floor is filled with seats straight out of an old cinema (we’re talking sans cup holders, people!). But thanks to the tilted floor, you’re guaranteed a great view of Canada’s heaviest drinkers – the big screen helps too, obviously.
NETFLIX IS A WONDERFUL THING
It’s hard to imagine that this cult TV show from Canada would ever have booked two nights at one of London’s biggest venues if not for the Netflix. It’s been a staple of the video streaming service for years and now Netflix is creating its own series for viewers across the globe, so it’s small wonder that the UK have been drawn to this tale of a trailer park full of drunks, stoners and petty criminals. It’s pretty much like watching our friends, only with static caravans.
PEOPLE LOVE A GAME OF DRESS-UP
If you’ve ever been to see WWE live, you know fans of all ages love dressing up as their favourite characters. Tonight, we’ve got grown men dressed up as other grown men in various guises – there’s Bubbles, Ricky and Julian, sure… but hats off to the guy dressed as Bubbles’ alter ego, The Green Bastard.
IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE
Despite there being a whopping nine series of Trailer Park Boys now, your knowledge of the show needs to be minimal at best to enjoy the live version. There’s no continuation of storylines, no plot twists, no unexpected deaths – it’s a standalone story of Bubbles enlisting Ricky and Julian to help with his audition for the new Jackie Chan movie. Yes, there’s a few recurring gags and quotes throughout that newbies might not get, but it’s still surreal idiocy that we love.
THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE MISSING TONIGHT
Disappointingly, despite the lure of cheeseburgers, Randy is nowhere to be found. Neither is Mr Lahey. Or Corey, or Trevor, or J-Roc, Lucy, Cyrus or any of the supporting characters. This is strictly the main three boys tonight.
Photos: Sandra Sorensen
THEY KNOW HOW TO MAKE MONEY
There’s a knock-off merch guy out front flogging t-shirts for a tenner. Inside there are loads of official tees and longsleeves to choose from (even a Ricky 420 shirt for £60), but that’s not the genius idea. How do you really get the attention of drunk Londoners on a Saturday night? Food. Julian is selling cheeseburgers from the side of the stage at £5 a pop and runs out within minutes, he’s mobbed by fans wanting not just a burger but the chance to high five and get a blurry selfie. The easiest £200 ever made.
BUT TECHNOLOGY IS A WONDERFUL THING
However, Randy and Mr Lahey join us live via Skype tonight after Bubbles shows photos of Julian shaving Randy’s back. As usual, Lahey is drunk off his arse and tries to reveal himself to camera – which is what the internet was invented for.
IT’S ALL ABOUT AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
Ricky, Julian and Bubbles might be the only guys from Sunnyvale onstage tonight but they’re joined by a handful of Londoners for a game or two. There’s a guy invited onstage to play Cyrus, a round of Blind Date with three girls hoping to win a night with Bubbles and a game Are You Smarter Than A 1st Grader? against Ricky (again with three girls, and some dubious camerawork from Julian).
SOME PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW WHEN TO SHUT UP
Of course when you get a crowd of drunken English people together in a room, they’re going to be rowdy. Especially when watching live comedy. Screams of adoration for the men on stage are outnumbered by bellows of catchphrases and quotes, namely “WHAT IN THE FUCK?!” which not only gets old fast but when the live show is entirely based on dialogue – and their mics aren’t the loudest – it’s pretty fucking annoying.
EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD SING-SONG
We’d heard rumours that members of Rush were in town this weekend, so we hoped that former kidnappee Alex Lifeson might join the gang. Alas, this didn’t happen. But it didn’t stop the musical finale of Liquor And Whores from Bubbles and the entirety of Brixton as one pissed-up choir. Seriously, it’s a sight to behold as the crowd runs down to the stage to sing arm-in-arm with these three heroes who’ve seriously won the popularity lottery jackpot. Bravo, boys.
For more information on the Trailer Park Boys, visit their Facebook page. Ricky, Bubbles and Julian spoke to TeamRock about the glory of Rush. Check it out below.