How To Roast A Groom

Last weekend I went to a wedding in Carlisle and roasted the groom. It was one of the best days of my career!

I’ve done a lot of odd things in my life as a battle rapper. Battled a shoe, gone up against a can of Fanta and a stick, performed cunnilingus on a biscuit, I’ve done it all. But about 3 months ago, I was reached out to by someone who wanted me to roast their brother at his wedding and the notion was terrifying.

But hugely tempting…

After some back and forthing, I agreed and asked for the information so I could work on my material for the day. The info was a bit juicier than I had initially expected as the couple were off the fucking tele, weren’t they?

Kris Evans and Georgia May-Foote. Kris being a lad who once got through to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent with his quartet Mend and Georgia, known to most as Kate Armstrong in Coronation Street.

Now, I’ve done a couple of weddings before. Me and Marlo did our first ever wedding battle back in 2014 when we versed off against James Scott-Howes. We were employed by his bride Fran to come in and surprise him by roasting him in front of the entire wedding party.

They were such a great couple and so lovely. We had the best night with them and even ended up staying the night in their honeymoon cottage because they invited us to have some drinks and then none of us could drive…

Wouldn’t change a minute of it, it was a fantastic evening and a real highlight moment for me. Except towards the end of our material that we had written, we said that, statistically, they would separate. When you look at the data it is likely. About 5 years later, they did actually get divorced. Is that my fault? Am I just prophetic? Who knows. All I do know is that I won a tenner from that bet, so I’m happy.

Years later, we would be engaged by Mark Grist to perform at his wedding to his lovely wife Lucy Wilsher-Grist. Here, me and Marlo battled each other in a bad bars reprise and then turned it into a roast/celebration of Darren, who co-ran the venue, Lincoln Yurts. At the wedding, also, were battle rappers Harry Baker, Mos Prob and Rapunzel. Great day.

But THIS wedding of Kris and Georgia was the first one where I was going it alone.

Now, the writing process of this performance was actually a joy. I love 2 things in my work more than anything and they are: rhyming and writing best man speeches. This is a mix of both, so it truly was the purest pleasure.

For one, Kris’s sister, Kathryn, was excellent. She sent me so much dirt on him, it filled about 2 A4 pages. It was lovely reading through all of the information and translating it into something entertaining and with a semblance of narrative.

I worked with her back and forth, getting rid of the bits she felt may be going to far, like when I accused Kris of s**king off S*mon C*well and, eventually, we came to the finish and we were both very happy with it. Then came the memorising, which, is always the shit bit.

Driving myself the 6 and a half hours to Carlisle to perform it all alone was very intimidating.

One of the myriad reasons I love performing with Theo is that if I stutter or forget something, then he’s there to back me up. It’s a huge safety net that makes my confidence sky rocket and so when I’m by myself in these situations, I feel a lot more pressure than usual.

All the journey up to Carlisle in my car, I was bricking it, so to speak. I ran through my lines about 1,000 times and every single time I did, I stammered, lost my place, had to listen back to the recording of myself I’d made, so I was not in a great place, mentally.

I left at 8am and by the time I arrived at 2:30pm, I was a bit of a wreck. Just sat outside of a restaurant ½ a mile from the venue, drinking a diet coke, going over my material like a creepy possessed boy until I got picked up and taken over to the location at around 3:45.

When there, I was sequestered in a staff room, where I could hear all the details of the wedding being discussed so I could remember just how real it all is and how much there was riding on the performance.

At about 4:15 I got taken to the kitchen to wait for my cue so I could be brought out, much to the confusion of the catering staff. I paced the length of the pass about 100 times in 1 minute.

When my cue came, (which, incidentally, was Briggzy of Premier Battles calling my name out! He’s a long-time friend of the groom) I was ushered out and instantly forgot my nerves and for the first time in completion, went through the material with barely any slip ups. I think there were maybe one or two occasions where I hesitated, but I filled those moments with a quick aside to the groom and then continued and got everything out as well as I’d hoped.

I was so pleased and proud of myself that it just elated me. I was invited to stay for the night, and so I did. Had a cracking meal (tomato soup, roast and Krispy Kreme cake, if you’re asking) and then spent the rest of the evening meeting just about every person in attendance. Definitely got too drunk, but… you know… wedding, ennit?

It was just wonderful, I had the best time and I’m so happy and ready to do more, so if you want me to fucking slag someone off at your big day. Let me know.

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