0161 205 8739info@gagreflex.co.uk

Facilitators of Mirth

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Andrew O'Neill

Andrew O'Neill's History of Heavy Metal

History of Heavy Metal

At Pleasance Jack Dome

Tours & festivals

9pm, 30th July to 24th August (not 21st )

Kilimanjaro Live & Lee Martin for Gag Reflex present

Andrew O'Neill - History of Heavy Metal

at Pleasance Jack Dome

9pm, 30th July to 24th August (not 21st )

"The funniest, vegan, transvestite comedian in the whole of time and space" - Neil Gaiman


For people who don’t necessarily like heavy metal... but if you do, you’ll really like it, we promise.

"An increasingly distinctive, imaginative act... brilliant, genuinely unexpected lines are added to the mix. At this rate, it won't be long until he's huge" - Chortle


A hilariously kick-arse tour through heavy metal by the UK’s foremost metalhead stand-up comedian.

Want to learn how to headband? Always wondered what happens in a mosh pit? Keen to learn the difference between blackened thrash and grindcore?

"One of the funniest comedians on the circuit at the moment... hitting new heights of comedic brilliance" - Time Out


Did you know?

  • Any Old Iron by Harry Champion was the first heavy metal record.
  • When Judas Priest singer Rob Halford (writer of the songs Hell Bent for Leather, Ram It Down, Delivering the Goods and Breaking the Law) came out as gay in the mid-90s, the metal community was shocked. They later expressed surprise at the defecatory habits of woodland bears and the religious inclination of the Pope.
  • It takes the average metalhead ten minutes longer to get ready due to their all-black wardrobe.
  • The New Zealand All-Blacks are a rugby team and have nothing to do with heavy metal.
  • Satan has all the best tunes… though their second album is patchy.

"He's got a natural optimism and love of silliness that leaves you feeling remarkably positive... a winning blend of polemic and off-beat whimsy" - The Guardian


WARNING: This show will contain references to the musical genre known as ‘heavy metal’, not a loosely scientific defined subset of elements that exhibit metallic properties.

Recommended for ages 16+

"One of the most entertaining, interesting and multilayered acts we've seen. Don't miss a trick – go and see him now" - Bizarre



Andrew O’Neill

" For a true metalhead, O’Neill’s show is possibly the best at the festival this year. For everyone else, it’s a solid night of music and comedy with the chance of learning something new." – Ed Uncovered
Read the full review here



Andrew O’Neill ★★★★

" Capably conveying Andrew O'Neill's passion for heavy metal with a seasoned comic's skill at making his subject compelling for the uninitiated, this is an engaging late-night show with broad appeal and a little bit extra for the metalheads." – Fest
Read the full review here



" smart, passionate and engaging, delivers what it promises, and could gain the same cult status as many features of the genre itself." – The Herald
Read the full review here




" Full of energy and enthusiasm he charts his way through Metal from the dawn of the universe…laugh out loud funny ." – Metal Talk
Read the full review here




" It's a risk writing material for such a specific audience, but when you can connect so succinctly with a subculture, there's a huge pay-off. It's the most comfortable O'Neill has ever looked on stage, buzzing off the energy from the crowd." – The List
Read the full review here




"erudite and pretty universally funny ." – Arts Award Voice
Read the review


Andrew O'Neill's History of Heavy Metal Andrew O'Neill's History of Heavy Metal

Interview with Exposed

by Rebecca Elvidge

You’ve performed at huge metal festivals such as Download, Bloodstock and Sonisphere. Do you find that metal and comedy often go hand in hand?

Absolutely. Metalheads are some of the funniest people in the world, they have a very distinct sense of humour. I used to write for Terrorizer magazine and something I learnt there was that all metalheads like Red Dwarf. I mean, I’ve done a lot of the more mainstream festivals like V Festival and Bestival but playing at Bloodstock is playing to my people. You can’t offend a metalhead, unless you slag off Slipknot.

You presented the Golden Gods awards with the king of shock-rock himself, Alice Cooper. Just talk us through that. What was it like working with such an icon?

Honestly, he’s a very calm, polite, friendly man. It was a bit like doing a gig with a bank manager or an accountant, in the best way possible of course. And he has perfect teeth! We shared a dressing room, and he kept a little bit of distance but to be honest it was like meeting someone’s uncle. He was very pleasant. He likes two things, having his head chopped off and golf.

Your image is quite distinctive. How old were you when you started dressing differently from other people?

Quite early on really, I was very young when I started wearing nail varnish and then when I was a teenager I really got into metal. I actually read somewhere the other day that 90s fashion is coming back in, looked down at myself and realised that everything I was wearing apart from my socks was bough circa 1996. But as a metalhead I’m generally pretty immune to fashion. If it’s got a patch on it, I’ll wear it.

Do you prefer playing huge festival crowds or smaller back end clubs and why?

They each have their own merits. Festivals can be beautiful, Sonisphere when it was still going was probably the biggest gig I’ve ever done, about 5500 people. But ultimately I think comedy works best in a more intimate space. Weekend club gigs are probably my favourite if I had to pick. My ideas are quite strange and they need the right environment to be put across properly.

Best heckle?

Strangely I get heckled a lot when I do my Jack the Ripper Walking Tours, probably because they don’t expect me to be a comedian. They’ll yell things like ‘oi mate, nice hat!’ and I’ll come back with ‘thanks, your mum gave it to me!’. You just have to go with it. The key to heckling is to listen and destroy.

A few years ago you had an inherent dislike for the Jonas Brothers. Seeing as they’re pretty much off the radar now who’s next in your firing line?

Well One Direction can f**k off. It’s when they all started to get tattoos – that’s our thing, not your’s! I don’t watch TV though so thankfully I don’t see much of it, and I’ve always got my headphones on me. I can walk into a shop and if they’re playing Robbie Williams I can just put Cannibal Corpse on instead. It’s great.

You’ve spent a lot of time touring recently, how rock and roll is life on the road?

You wouldn’t believe how rock and roll a hotel room and a Pot Noodle and Police! Camera! Action! can be. Nah, band tours are quite boozy I suppose but not so much comedy tours. I really like the travelling aspect though, and I’ll normally try and find some alt gigs to go to after the show and head for the metal bar.

Read the full interview

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