Musician, satirist – and unrelenting sceptic. That’s Mitch Benn, the song-writing stand-up who is heading our way.
Born in Liverpool, he is very much a blend of that city’s two creative trademarks, music and wisecracks. He mined his musical heritage in a show for BBC Radio 4, Mitch Benn Is The 37th Beatle.
Best known for his contributions to The Now Show on the same station, Mitch recently toured with his sceptical show Don’t Believe A Word.
The author of two sci-fi novels, Mitch is a busy man. But he took time out to dish the dirt on dodgy digs and Doctor Who for YorkMix…
Who’s funnier – folk from your side of the Pennines, or from Yorkshire?
People from Liverpool all think they’re funny and are often right. People from Manchester sometimes think they’re funny and are often wrong. People from Yorkshire never think they’re funny and are usually wrong.
Who do you think are Yorkshire’s greatest musicians?
The Human League, Def Leppard and Jarvis Cocker.
What do you think of Shed Seven?
Actually gigged with them once, at a uni ball MANY years ago. Nice guys. Guitar Paul was the friendliest. Told me some utterly libellous but entirely believable things about Liam Gallagher.
If you could time travel and eliminate any band or artist from the history of music, who would it be and why?
Mariah Carey. No problem with her as such, but her overwrought vocal technique has become the benchmark young singers are taught to aspire to, and it’s ruined the craft of singing by turning it into a competitive sport rather than an interpretative art.
Who would be in your dream band (past and present musicians accepted)?
Keith Moon, and anyone else who could handle being around Keith Moon.
The BBC are bidding to keep The Voice for another two years. What do you think?
Can’t bear it. Or The X Factor, or Britain’s Got Whatever. See my above comments on Mariah Carey for a clue as to why.
If you were made Prime Minister, what would you change?
Career, that’s what I’d change. I’d resign immediately. My job is high pressure enough as it is.
It’s notoriously difficult to write funny songs. How do you do it?
You’d be amazed at the lubricative effect that crippling debt and immovable deadlines can have on the creative process.
How are you finding this series of Doctor Who?
Loving it. Peter Capaldi is fantastic but last season was patchy story-wise; we’re only two stories in at time of writing but this season has a real Tom Baker era feel to it, and in a good way.
What are your previous experiences of York?
Entirely positive, apart from the time I found bedbugs in a B&B which will remain nameless (they were very nice and apologetic about it, which is why they’re remaining nameless).
Should we believe a word of your answers??
One of them is a lie. I leave it to your readers to decide which one.
This interview was run first in October 2015 before Mitch was due to play at The Duchess, a gig he sadly had to cancel