Comics war of words over city rap

AN internet video sensation that has enthralled the Hunter is now subject to a duel of words between two Newcastle comedians.

On Wednesday morning a comedic parody video titled Newcastle, This Place is Pretty Good hit the internet and gave its creator, Rob Bukey, new-found fame.

His phone has been buzzing non-stop, his Facebook has been inundated with messages, strangers have stopped him on the street and the video has already clocked up more than 34,000 views on YouTube.

BAD BOY: Rob Bukey at  Queen’s Wharf yesterday. Picture: Simone  De Peak

BAD BOY: Rob Bukey at Queen’s Wharf yesterday. Picture: Simone De Peak



It uses P. Diddy’s hit song Bad Boy For Life with Bukey singing ‘‘We ain’t, goin’ nowhere, we ain’t, going nowhere. We’re from Newcastle, this place is pretty good’’.

The video features some of Newcastle’s famous landmarks, including the tower on the city’s harbour, the Laman Street figs, Nathan Tinkler, the CBD and nightclub Fanny’s.

Yet Gareth Wasik, a comedian who has travelled Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom with his jokes, alleged some of the material had been borrowed from his routines. The two have known each other for a few years since crossing paths in the Hunter comedy community, including shows at the Oriental Hotel.

Wasik was particularly concerned with references to the fig trees, Nathan Tinkler and Nobbys lighthouse. He did stress that he thought the song was ‘‘a good video and it’s funny’’ but that he was concerned his work would be affected.

‘‘I think it borrows heavily on what I do,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t want to start a fight but I just want a bit of credit, it’s a character I’ve lived on for a year now.

‘‘I have corporate gigs booked over Christmas and I don’t want people saying that I’ve stolen from his video.’’

Bukey said he came up with the lyrics while travelling overseas in the wet, grey countryside of England. He insists he didn’t ‘‘steal’’ any material from Wasik and argued that two comedians living in the same town were likely to use common themes.

‘‘There’s a premise and then there’s a punchline,’’ he said,

‘‘Referencing the figs is a premise and that belongs to the whole of Newcastle. I haven’t done anything wrong and I maintain all my ideas are independent.’’

Bukey returned recently after a five-month trip to Europe and wrote the song in two weeks.

The song has a ruthless streak with nothing or no one seeming to escape the comedian’s quips, including football and musical heroes: ‘‘You can see Matthew Johns, Andrew Johns, Daniel Johns on a stroll. Or as I like to call them, sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll.’’

There’s also a line slotted in about  how ‘‘I’ll be cruising in the summer heat, showing off my car down doof doof street’’.

Bukey  said: ‘‘The song can work in two ways. It’s saying that we’re going nowhere because we love Newcastle, but it’s also saying that Newcastle’s not 100per cent great and it’s going nowhere.

‘‘I really like Newcastle, I enjoy living here but I think we know it’s not 100per cent.’’

Bukey also made sure to get one back at a Central Coast parody song posted on YouTube earlier this year, which had a dig at Newcastle: ‘‘But even still there’s one thing you can boast. At least you don’t come from the cesspit that’s the Central Coast’’.

He explained: ‘‘I couldn’t let them get away with dissing us.’’

Perfect timing when you can consider the Newcastle Jets play the Central Coast Mariners at Hunter Stadium tonight.


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