Shelf comprises of Rachel WD and Ruby Clyde: two lifelong friends who have been performing musical comedy together in the guise of Shelf since 2015. As well as being talented musicians and comedians, the duo are founders of The LOL Word, a monthly night “which showcases queer women and non-binary comedians from across the London comedy circuit”.
Capers contacted this impressive pair with the hopes of conducting a quality chat that you might’ve seen Parkinson do back in the day. But the resulting interview is what happens when you ask Capers’ columnist Adrian Swall to write some questions on a bad day, and Shelf’s ability to tackle moronic questions with expert comedic precision…
Turns out this is a great interview!
- Why is it that your name is Shelf? Are you from a carpentry background?
We are both talented whittlers, but actually the name came from us pointing at everything in a room until we found a noun we liked. Also, it’s a beautiful word with a lot of great phonetics (is that the right word?). Try saying it out loud. Shelf.
2. How much music can you fit on this Shelf of yours?
You would not believe how much music we can fit. Endless EDM bangers? Absolutely. Acoustic jams? Yes. Country? Sometimes. We like to think of ourselves as the Daft Punk of alternative queer comedy.
- Which one of the gigs you’ve done is the favourite gig you’ve ever done?
We once performed to several hundred Brownies and Rainbows. Turns out a lot of our material actually goes down the best with ages 6 – 11.
“We like to think of ourselves as the Daft Punk of alternative queer comedy”
- In one song you say that you hate rivers. What has rivers ever done to you?
What hasn’t rivers done? We live in South London and have to cross a river several times a week to go to North London, which we don’t even like.
- I say sod rivers to hell. All of them. Do you believe the climate change myth is real?
We’ll believe it when Texas freezes over and the ocean catches fire (we are being flippant. Climate change is very real, please recycle, eat the rich, dismantle capitalism etc).
- Thank goodness that at least in another song you say that you “love your country, sexy country” … I think it’s the one called ‘love your country’ or whatever. Question – What is your country and what is the sexiest thing about it?
We both grew up in England and the sexiest thing about it is winning the Euros tonight. OR making it to the final, because it’s the taking part that counts (please delete as appropriate, it’s 11am on Sunday as we write and we don’t know the outcome yet). The least sexy thing about England is everything else.
- Another question for that is “If you could date another country that’s not yours, which of the other ones would it be? And also why?”
We would rather date continents, keep our options open. I get vibes from Antartica.
- One of you – the dancing one – is very like Bez from the song group Happy Monday and I was wondering … how important is Bez from Happy Monday to you?
He’s actually a very good friend of Rachel’s (AKA The Dancing One). She calls him before every gig we do and he hypes her up and imparts words of wisdom. Non musical band members have to stick together. You’ll actually often see him in the audience at our shows, so keep an eye out! See you at the next one, Bez x
- Whether it’s from music people, comedy people, or carpenters, what people inspire you?
Have we already mentioned Daft Punk?
- What’s in the future for Shelf? Do you plan to put up any more Shelf?
The future is bright for Shelf. We plan to put up Shelf all over the world. Just like Daft Punk, we will never die.