The most recent episode of The Downbeat welcomed comedian and host of the wildly successful, award-winning podcast Off Menu in Ed Gamble.
While the London native has certainly made his mark in comedy, television, and now in the world of food and beverage with the podcast, Gamble also shared with the Downbeat audience that his love for metal music runs especially deep.
Host Craig Reynolds offered a bit of a loose structure for this episode in breaking down three different segments in the discussion. Attempting to examine Ed Gamble the man, the discussion for this portion included a look at Gamble's background and his comedic foundation.
Then there was Ed Gamble the podcaster. Given his success with shows like Off Menu and the shared love for the platform, there was plenty to discuss about working the microphone.
Lastly, Reynolds pressed Gamble to delve into his love for heavy music by offering his top 5 bands, his favorite albums from those bands, and why they mattered most - the list certainly delivered.
The elephant in the room with any conversation now is always the pandemic and how life is significantly different than it was just a year ago. Gamble shared how he has been managing through the lockdowns, the first and now second in the UK and what it was like performing stand-up comedy shows in between.
Gamble, making the best the situation, explained how he tried doing comedy via Zoom and the details were somewhere between hilarious and cringeworthy. He recounted how he would deliver a bit and either get no response at all because the entire digital audience was on mute OR he would be distracted by a screen with some 200 audience members, none of which were muted. Gamble confided that the experience was traumatic to say the least - although will definitely be a funny premise coming out this.
The comedian then shared how he gave a few drive-in shows a go and how that experience rivaled the Zoom gigs in cringe. Instead of the laughing, the audience honked their horns which must have been awful in the moment for the Gamble, but from this perspective - kinda funny.
The guys segued into conversation regarding Off Menu and offered a bit of an introduction for those not familiar with the show. Working opposite comedian James Acaster, the two welcome guests for a conversation over their dream meal. Progressing through the courses, Water (sparkling or still), Poppadoms or Bread, Starter, Main Course, Side, Drink, Dessert, the duo have shared brilliant exchanged with a variety of guests ranging from David Cross to Corey Taylor.
Gamble shared that as a result of a scheduling snafu with the Corey Taylor episode, he and a few friends managed to make their way into the filming of Slipknot's BBC special. He also confided that back in 2000, he went to a Slipknot signing and Paul Gray signed his arm. He said he was crushed two days later when he had to wash it offer for PE.
Reynolds took the opportunity to christen Gamble as a proper Day One Maggot before transitioning into the final third of the discussion.
Digging into Gamble's love for heavy music, involved some real evaluation for the comedian. He put some thought into this list of top five bands and explained that the criteria was rooted in legacy and consistency.
Sitting atop that list was the band Clutch. Joking a bit about the band's 'combat trousers and keys on carabiners' aesthetic, Gamble quickly dropped the album Blast Tyrant as his hands-down favorite.
Given his Day One Maggot status from earlier, naturally Slipknot made the cut. Gamble said that while the self-titled album meant the most to him, Iowa musically was his pick. He did however have high praise for We Are Not Your Kind, shaking that he hasn't put that down since it was released last year.
Gamble's third selection prompted Reynolds to rename the comedian "Riff Lord Gamble" as the two discussed De Vermis Mysteriis from High On Fire. Gamble even knew the name of the artist that did the album art underscoring some real cred.
Gamble prefaced his fourth entry by saying it was a boring addition given how obviously good they are but Rage Against the Machine was a band that he says he has never stopped listening to. The band's debut album stands the test of time and it's difficult to argue anything else.
Finally, Gamble and Reynolds waxed poetic about the brilliance of Mastodon. Gamble went onto describe the "best night of his life" was in 2017 when he guested at the Golden Gods Awards show and got to introduce Mastodon and Clutch, then watched from the side of the stage as Neil Fallon joined Mastodon for a live rendition of "Blood and Thunder".
Riff lord Gamble, indeed.
Stream the hilarious episode of The Downbeat with host Craig Reynolds and special guest Ed Gamble below.