“Some of the material from England will be transferred into this show and some of it I’ll be writing now.”
Biting social satirist and heavy metal aficionado, Steve Hughes will soon be bringing his latest show While It's Still Legal to bear on Melbourne audiences for this year's comedy festival. Currently lying low in Sydney after completing a gruelling stretch of dates throughout the UK late last year, Hughes is still grappling with the concept of relaxation after having been on the road for so long.
“I was speaking to this woman the other day, and she said, 'What do you do for fun?' And I realised I didn't have an answer for that,” he admits. “All my life has been drumming or music or comedy, it's always been art, which in a sense is fun, but I realise it's also fucking hard work. I've been on the road for four years basically and before that on the circuit for ten, and it's kind of like anything, you get in a rut. You can only bang on the castle door for so long before you have a breakdown.”
His new show is a work in progress that'll see some of it written and showcased in Sydney prior to his string of Melbourne dates. “Some of the material from England will be transferred into this show and some of it I'll be writing now.”
Hughes describes his typical approach to writing as an ever-unfolding one that continues throughout his touring schedule. “The funny thing is, if you start a tour, the show never ends up by the end the way it began. Bits just worm their way in and out of shows as you're touring them and bits start to marry to other bits and you go, 'Ah, that's heaps better like that, I'll move that around to there and drop that completely', and you realise 'What the fuck am I doing this bit for?'” he laughs.
Relocating to Manchester years ago has meant Hughes has been living close to the heart of the action, in terms of touring opportunities. And even though he isn't a fan of the Australian heat personally, he can't help but point out a culture shock that coming back to Sydney from the colder climes of the UK brings: “I'm watching people teaching girls basketball across the road in the park – it's as Aussie as fuck!”