Steady Eddy is celebrating 25 years of comedy this year with a national tour.
“We’re trying to do an Australia-wide tour this year, and we’re kicking it off with the gigs that are coming up in Queensland, [as well as] in Darwin and across Western Australia,” Steady says.
“Basically, for the older fans who know me, they know what to expect, and for the new fans, nothing's taboo for me and I'll have a go at anything.”
Steady says the tour symbolises 25 years of comedy. “Someone said to me 25 years meant nothing, so I said ‘screw you’. The tour is going to mean something.”
On stage with Steady for this tour will be singer-songwriter Lance Friend and WA bluesman Lightning Jack. “We did a show together, and a small tour together, and basically we all love music. Lance is country, Lightning Jack is blues, and so we all fit together and play music together as well. I like blues music,” Steady adds.
“The whole idea of having them on tour [is to play country and blues music]. Basically, there's a set of country, a set of blues, then me, and then we all come back for the finale.”
While not a regular on the scene in the last few years (he's been performing onboard P&O cruise ships), Steady was surprised to hear some reports claiming he had disappeared altogether from the comedy limelight. “Well I never left comedy really. The only difference between this year and other years is that we’re making a concerted effort to go on a national tour… The whole idea of calling the show ‘I’m Not Dead’ is to reconnect with audiences.
“I mean comedy changes as you do, and with 25 years of life experiences under your belt it tends to change a lot. So [the fans] are going to see a massive difference from what I used to do to what I do now.
“Whatever I do will shock people. It’s what I do, it’s the style of comedy that I do. Half the time I don’t know what I'm doing until I get on stage. So, as I said, there’s basic ideas there, and basic ideas that come from life experiences. Then there’s audience participation and what happens happens, you know what you mean?
“There’s no secret to comedy,” Steady continues. “All it takes is practice and dedication. And if you've got that kind of mind-set, then go for it, but it does take a different kind of mind-set to do comedy. Anyone can tell a joke, but not many people can make people laugh for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ve got to know what you’re doing, and identify with the audience.”
The colourful man of comedy hasn’t lost his spark, and it doesn’t seem he will any time soon. “After this tour, I’m thinking about doing an Ian Dury tribute show. I think it’s time to do it. It’s just been in my head, and it’ll probably become something more as we’re on tour and we talk about and mull about what we can do with it. It’s something totally different anyway. If you like Ian Dury’s stuff, there’s a market out there.
“I’m still a smart-ass and always will be,” he adds. “I always look at the weird side of life. That’s why I'm still doing [comedy].”Steady Eddy plays the Racehorse Hotel (Ipswich) 19 May, Redland Bay Hotel 20 May and Parkwood Tavern (Gold Coast) 21 May.