Foxdog Studios: Comedy Spotlight

Self-proclaimed IT rock'n'roll consultants Peter and Lloyd combine 'the two greatest arts of all time: music and computer programming'. And LOLs, of course

Feature by John Stansfield | 06 Aug 2015

Such is the excess of Manchester-based Foxdog Studios’ setup that the chances to see them gig are few and far between. They’ve even started gigging in their own home/office as it already has a great soundsystem and knows all their specifications. Genuine IT consultants, they moonlight as rock'n'rollers with a knack for computers, though that description does them a great disservice as they both have firsts in Computer Science. They know a lot about what makes digital things happen, basically. After getting caught up in the quagmire of ‘Cowgatehead-gate’ (don’t ask), they now have an after-midnight show at the Fringe that will showcase their love of algorithms and power chords.


"Comedy: The Muppets, Spongebob Squarepants, Vic and Bob. Games: Cosmo Wright, Double Fine. Music: Cyndi Lauper, Manowar, Mel Samba, Tenacious D. Software engineering: Andrew Ng, Doug Schmidt, m0xie."

First gig:

"10 August 2013 at Fuel cafe's open mic. We played Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Goofy Goober Rock. A promoter saw and booked us ten minutes into our career (we received no further bookings for a year)."

Best gig:

"Edinburgh Fringe 2014. An act in our venue was so popular that people would watch the show before to get seats for the next. When the preceding act had a day off we seized the candlestick of opportunity like a 19th century landlord inspecting his property. We filled their slot with a show that no one asked for, expected, and in some cases liked. After the gig, the success was quantifiable: two new Twitter followers."

Worst gig:

"June 2014, Fuel cafe open mic: The Bluetooth Incident aka The World’s Largest Theremin. In theory, we change pitch of a synthesizer by moving the audiences’ Bluetooth devices towards and away from each other. No matter where we moved, only a single, long, annoying note droned out of the speakers. It went so badly it became an art installation."

Circuit favourites in the Northwest:

"The open mic legends: Big Star Trek man (name unknown). Krazy Horse with his itchy, bare feet. Quiet keyboard guy with hat, scarf and invisible keyboard (name unknown). Synthesizer fish bloke (name unknown): for his song about how fish are changing gender due to hormone pollution."

Favourite venue:

"Fuel cafe in Withington. You can rearrange the furniture in the performance space (upstairs), and there are plenty of wall sockets." (Lloyd)

"Also they have a Yamaha MG16 mixing desk, which is a personal favourite." (Peter)

Best heckle:

"Compere: If you could have any job what would it be? Audience member: Cure meats. Voice in the back: *long groan* Cheshire Smokehouse."

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing stand-up?

"Air crash investigator with the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)." (Peter)

"Pub quiz champion." (Lloyd) 

If you could be haunted by anyone, who would it be and why?

"The ghost of an accountant whose primary method of haunting is to order our receipts chronologically."

If you were on death row, what would your last meal be? And why are you on death row?

"Repeated failure to submit our realtime PAYE filings by the 5th of the month. Our last meals would require, but be missing, sage (that’s one for the accountancy fans)."

What’s the largest animal you think you could beat in a fight? No weapons.

"Empirically, blue whale is the best answer. If the fight occurs in the animal’s habitat, victory would be impossible. However in a standard arena, you could dispatch a beached blue whale by waiting for it dry out. But this would be a PR nightmare: there’d be mean tweets about us. Instead, we'd have to batter something that people could get behind, like a wasp."

Question from past Spotlighter Kiri Pritchard-Mclean: If you could change an aspect of the comedy circuit, what would it be?

"The comedy circuit is like an electrical circuit with a ground loop. The path to earth has a non-zero resistance and acts a voltage divider between two otherwise independent subcircuits. A currency follows between the two, creating noise. I’d remove the resistance to ground so that both subcircuits can operate without affecting each other."

Foxdog Studios are at the Edinburgh Fringe, Cowgatehead UpTwoM, 8-27 Aug, 12.15am