Interview with Alan Leach, Shed Seven

Musician-cum-quizzer Alan Leach talks about his debut show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Interview with Alan Leach, Shed Seven

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

My name is Alan Leach but for the purpose of this I'm called Alan Shed on account of my band name Shed Seven. It's my first time performing a comedy show as usually I'm a musician in the band Shed Seven, and I run a pub quiz company -

How would you describe your show?

An hour-long quiz which the whole audience can take part in via WiFi linked tablets. It'll focus mainly on music and comedy, with a bit of general knowledge for luck. It's very competitive but it's also quite daft in places with me occasionally turning my hand to stand-up comedy.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Because at 49 years old, out of the blue I've suddenly decided that I'm funny. I can't believe I hadn't realised it before. Since the realisation I haven't been able to stop being funny. When you are this funny, it'd be a crime not to go to Edinburgh. I'd actually feel guilty not going and thus depriving all those people of my new-found funniness.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

I've never been so it's hard to say. I live in York where we have our own comedy fringe festival. I'm assuming it's going to be like a slightly bigger version of that. ;)

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

Well I've entered into comedy late in life which has been a natural progression from hosting quizzes.

The closest you'd get to my style of quiz show will be Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Shooting Stars. But In truth I was always more into Steve Coogan then Vic and Bob. I currently love that guy Anthony Jeselnik.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

This isn't my job. My real job is the drummer in the band Shed Seven, which I'll be moving straight onto a massive tour with after Edinburgh. I also run a business with my brother called

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Truthfully, I've always felt drumming with Shed Seven is a bit beneath me, so I'd maybe like to be either the singer in Shed Seven or the drummer in Coldplay.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

We lived in a very musical house and my Mum and Dad loved comedy on TV so comedy and music were there from a very early age. My Mum loved political commentary and observational stuff like Ben Elton, whereas my Dad (bless him) loved his Benny Hill, so it was quite an eclectic mix.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

No, I feel a lot of pressure from friends, family and band mates NOT to be a social commentator. Based on previous attempts at social commentary. ;)

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I'm still quite new to the comedy side of things so I'd say no not really.  My show is essentially a music and comedy quiz event without a lot of political commentary. I think most adults still appreciate a bit of effing and jeffing at comedy events. However, I do find that if you Jeff a lot without the Effing, you get some strange looks.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Arse fell out of everything.

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Bruce Lee, because no one fucks with you when you work with Bruce Lee.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

I'm not sure. Rightly or wrongly I've opted for a ticketed event because it can be quite disruptive to my quiz if people wander in mid-way through. And also, since I'm from a quiz hosting background I do worry about being inexperienced with hecklers. In my head I've maybe assumed that if people can just wander in off the street, they might be more likely to dick about.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Go and have a look at what it is first. I didn't and really wish I had seen it so I had an idea what I'm turning up to.

When and where can people see your show?

ALAN SHED’S MUSIC, COMEDY AND EVERYTHING ELSE INTERACTIVE QUIZ SHOW is at the Just The Tonic @ The Mash Up – Just The Cask Room at 2.25pm from 1st – 25th August (except 12th) for tickets go to

You can find Alan on all the social media channels below:  

Header Image Credit: Provided


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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