Monday, March 16, 2015

Mick Taylor: A little obituary.

Magnus Betner, me, Mick Taylor, Mats Betner
It is incredibly sad but also deeply fitting that last week I should have arrived back from a tour of Norway to learn of the death of my former agent Mick Taylor. Tomorrow I am off to his funeral. Without Mick I would never have started touring Scandinavia and met a group of comics who have become some of my closest friends including Tobias Persson, Magnus Betner, Frederick Andersson and Lasse Nilsen.

I first met Mick when Magnus had decided to tour the UK with his help and the two arrived at Soho Comedy Club where I was MCing. Magnus was impressed with my stagecraft and, never one to move indecisively, Mick had signed me to his Loose Cannons agency within a few weeks.

I've never met or even heard of an agent as "hands on" as Mick. He thought nothing of driving us to gigs. He spoke to everyone, door staff, promoters, other acts, bar tenders, bouncers and audience members alike. He must have handed out 100 plus business cards most weeks and would end up arranging gigs himself if he thought the space or the bar was right for it.

One time he drove me to Up The Creek in Greenwich. In the afternoon he had taken dark and often controversial Norwegian act Dag Soras to a corporate booking for a Norwegian company. Dag was still in the back of the car and Mick was waxing lyrical about having enjoyed the show despite it being in a language he didn't speak. "I think it's the rhythm of comedy, it's a very distinct language, you don't have to understand the words to see the craftsmanship... I enjoy Dag's work just as much in Norwegian" he explained.

I rather dryly replied "Sometimes I actually prefer Dag's work in Norwegian". Mick laughed so hard I had to grab the wheel to stop us veering off the road.

Well I think that was Mick all over: a huge lover of the whole art of comedy, but often in need of some external steering.

Here's to you mate!

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