So one of my new years resolutions is to write and post gig reviews much quicker…so far so good.
On paper this was a very busy comedy line up, but as usual with comedy promoting, this started to unravel the night before with 4…acts, yes 4 acts dropping out, including the headliner! 3 were open spots and had various reasons, which I don’t have a problem with. However, when the headliner drops out without a word despite constant updates, press work and generally lots of comedy promoting, you have to question both the professionalism and general lack of good manners of said act. I’m not one to name names but I don’t think there will ever be a situation where I would book Ava Vidal for anything in this lifetime or the next anytime soon. I know full well, we are a miniscule set up, many miles from that there London but when you agree a fee with someone, then if you decide you are no longer coming, have the decency to let the club know you’re not coming. rant over. I must say though, most acts are bloody marvellous.
I had already decided to give myself the night off MCing duties in order to view the night through an audience members eyes (although the audience member wasn’t best pleased and asked for his eyeballs back), having the night off though, gave me an opportunity to bring in Tom Glover as MC who in my opinion is one of the top South west comic’s, and he proved yet again to be the glue that held the whole evening together getting the crowd onside with an easy delivery.
We still had a very healthy bill and with some last minute shout outs we added a new headliner in the shape of Pierre Hollins coming in from Brighton and local lad Glen Burford who stood in for the open spot.
A torrential downpour on the night..very unfestive, didn’t help my mood but a nice full house in the cheesy grain bar certainly did. Tom immediately got to work on the audience, sorting the wheat from the Pats..well one lady called Pat who identified herself very early on that she was going to be part of the nights precedings. What I’d forgotten to mention to Tom was that there were some audience members who had recently attended our comedy bootcamp and Pat was one of them.
Opening act and local minstrel Martin Dimery got things going with some lovely comedy songs, something I’m keen to see more of, as I know some very good comedy musicians. A snarling Johnny Lydon and a perfect Mick Jagger livened things up and it will be interesting to see how this new show follows up on the success of Shakespeare Rattle and Roll.
Glen Burford and Wayne Beese completed our middle section, two very different acts, which is something I think works well. Glen is probably one of the more physical acts I’ve seen and very high energy. He use’s his height – 7′ 2 (seems that tall) and his skinniness to great comedy effect, mining every possible joke out. A nice start to the middle section.
Wayne on the other hand, takes the pace down to a slow funeral pace, no even slower than that. and delivered the set of the night. Having gigged with Wayne the previous year, I knew the audience were in for a treat, a really funny act with the confidence , timing and delivery along with some beautiful material, tonight, he did that but also took on Pat and her side kick to great effect. Many people get referred to as deadpan, well Wayne Beese is the real deal, deadpan of Dudley certainly didn’t disappoint. As one audience member said to me in the interval, ‘When are you going to get him back again?’ that is the best compliment to an act in my book. The person then asked to borrow a tenner which I had to demur.
Headliner Pierre kept the good view going and was the consummate professional, getting plenty of laughs and bringing out the electric guitar for a few numbers to wrap things up. Another lovely evening and from a near catastrophe we had a great night…comedy promoters have a shorter lifespan than base jumpers without parachutes…but its fun whilst you’re in the air.