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25th Jun 2015

JOE Agony Uncle Matt Berry answers your dilemmas…


This week, our Agony Uncle Matt Berry offers sound advice on Glastonbury, dating and what to do if you’re an insomniac…

If you have a problem for Matt, you know what to do – email

Dear Uncle Matt,

Last night I was playing guitar and singing in a pub, and a man had a heart attack or seizure while I was halfway through Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark. I stopped playing, but should I ever play again? Thank you.

Ben Jones, Kent

Dear Ben,

Ben, a heart attack is a form of seizure I think. Well I at least think I’m correct in saying that the body suffers seizures during a heart attack? Whatever.

That’s unlucky that your performance had that effect on that poor fella. I don’t think the song and his attack are linked, though your performance of the song and his seizure could be.

Dancing in the Dark happens to be one of my favourite songs of all time. I always understood the song to symbolise the importance of having the balls to push yourself that extra distance when demonstrating your talent to others, otherwise you’re just ‘dancing in the dark’ and no matter how great or talented you are, no one will ever know.

It’s a brilliant song. I’m guessing what could have happened is that his reaction was either due to your version being flawed, ie: you f****d up the words or forgot a chord, or he was reacting to the sentiment.

So, what I’m saying is he had a seizure as a reaction to your duff version and was trying to attack you and ended up getting so worked up he had an attack. Or, he’d realised he hadn’t fulfilled his own potential which distressed him to the such a degree that he had a seizure. Either way this incident has nothing to do with the Boss’ best tune.

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Dear Uncle Matt,

I am having trouble sleeping. My job is quite stressful and I’m only managing about three hours a night. Reading doesn’t help and watching telly is worse. What should I do?


Dear Khadija,

I feel for you, Khadija. I too have suffered bouts of insomnia. It isn’t fun and it can be a f**ker to shake. Personally, I recorded an album during my worst periods and called it Music For Insomniacs. I understand that making an album may not be something you are interested in doing, so, you need to find more conventional ways to relax yourself.

One helpful suggestion, if your religion allows, is that you should try masturbating as that will relax you and help you to sleep.

Reading and TV definitely do not work because you are having to focus on more than one thing at a time and doing that obviously just keeps you awake. Something that worked for me was listening to audiobooks, where you concentrate on a single voice and nothing else. The sound of that voice becomes hypnotic and after a while you’ll drift off.

I wouldn’t advise masturbation while listening to the audiobook as that will just confuse you. Masturbate first, and then play the book.

Dear Uncle Matt,

I’m off to Glastonbury with my mates who all want to watch Kanye West and I’m the only one who doesn’t. I’d be happy to go off on my own but isn’t that a bit miserable? What would you do?

Andy, Reading

Dear Andy,

I’m sorry Andy, I’ve no idea who Kanye West is. I’ve heard the name but I couldn’t pick him out if my rollers depended on it. I have been to Glastonbury many times when I wore a younger man’s clothes.

If West is headlining, chances are there will be something tasty going on at the melody maker stage, or whatever they call it now. I’d go there, and if I were you I’d definitely take someone with you.

You should never be on your own at a festival for a bunch of reasons – the most important one being that you might disappear. You won’t think you have disappeared because you can still see yourself but your friends will have a different view. Contacting people isn’t easy at a festival due to noise.

I don’t know what style of tune this Kanye cat lays down but I’m guessing it isn’t recorder music so, even when you realise you have disappeared, your friends will never hear you . You asked me what I’d do, and I’d grab someone and find another stage. Unless it’s Mumford and Sons.

Dear Uncle Matt,

I am 35 years old and live at home with my mum. I’ve been trying hard to get a girlfriend and have been on a few Tinder dates. The couple I have brought home, my mother weirds them out. I’ve tried talking to my mum but she denies all knowledge. I would take them to a hotel but can’t afford to. What else can I do?

Stuart, York

Hi Stuart,

If she has a car, you should make love in that. Also, don’t blame your mother. The problem lies with you being 35 and still living at home. Sure, these Tinder girls get back to yours, see your mother and split, but that’s not her fault. It’s yours.