Downstairs at the Kings Head celebration gig

The Kings Head has a special spot in my comedy heart, seeing how I used to live next door (well the next road up)to it a long time ago and I got used to seeing all types of comedy, people like Harry Hill and Sean Lock and its also where I decided to make my debut a couple of years ago.

Last night, was a celebration of sorts as the refurb was a good excuse to have a week of sell out gigs. the line up for this one was impressive. Huw Thomas back at MC control and he got the whole crowd singing ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts’ and he even bought his recorders for his specialist joke. Not sure what the younger crowd thought to a 70 yr old stuffing a recorder up his bottom to play it but that was comedy in the old days.

first up Stewart Lee, decided to redo his first set from 1989, neat idea, and some nice bits, lots of  meta comedy on the state of his set from then which worked well. Pete Firman followed and had a more traditional set of magic and comedy delivered in a high octune manc ( I hope he was manc) accent. crowd pleasing on both..which sounds like a criticism but isn’t meant as such. think we devalue those sort of skills sometimes. special appearance from Miles Jupp aka Rev or Archie from Balamorey…something to relate to my 4 yr old daughter tomorrow, although I think she’s more a Frankie boyle fan? He did some ranty bits on dishwashers which was well observed, some obvious tory bashing, which sometimes is all you need for a crouch end audience. and that rounded up the first act.

Simon Evans was probably the most polished act of the night, but that might be the suit which gives that impression, he went for it and got some good laughs throughout. rounding up, Sean Lock, who made the most obvious joke of the night about the refurb, that  probably got the biggest laugh. he did some  stuff off a bit of paper, some which worked , some which didn’t but he still managed to squeeze some comedy out of. lots of topical stuff. he’s just  comes across as someone who could talk about any subject and find the laughs. even in 2nd gear last night he was funnier than most. great to see him again at the kings head.

and that was that. well done to Peter for keeping this genuine comedy mecca one comedian said last night, this is the best comedy club in the world….and I’m playing it again on Feb 24th, see you down the front.


Submarine Comedy Club – Thursday 7th July

The Submarine Comedy Club returned to the Archangel Frome, for another instalment of fast paced comedy and fund raising…tonights show was in aid of the Library of Things, a share shop with a difference. Another first for Frome and quite possibly a first for the UK too.  Find more info here;

A good crowd in with audience in from Spain, Dubai and even Trowbridge…with 4 of the comic’s travelling from London…and the show about to start, its always further than you think, however, we’ve long since got used to this and contingency plans are always in place. Tonight, free from his Frome Festivals Funniest triumph two days earlier, Phil Cooper opened preceding’s and again had the crowd onside very quickly, him and Frome audiences just seem to get along very well.

After the interval and with all the acts arrived we had Jake Baker, I’ve gigged with Jake a few times and he is a fine comic, very deceptive, with a understated delivery that works well and lulls the audience in. Some cracking lines like the two dwarfs, or the John Lennon is lovely. Following Jake was Anthony Miller, the MC of the legendary Pear Shaped comedy club in London. Understated but some great lines.

Before we started the second section comedy, we had Anna from the Share library say a few words about the library, everyone promised to visit.

Completing the trio of middle section came Jenny Collier. I saw Jenny performing on a bus at last years Edinburgh Festival and was impressed. Since then, she’s won a slew of competitions and is being def one to watch. She didn’t disappoint and won a whole new set of fans. Her phrasing stands out and she has a winning delivery that allows her to get over some material that other comics just wouldn’t be able to get away with. great stuff.

Headliner Yianni was simply fantastic, jumping from idea to idea. His song, is just brilliant and so dark, it brought a round of applause from the audience.

Another successful night and now time for a break with Edinburgh festival calling.

Frome Festivals Funniest (the FFF 2015) Tuesday 7th July – at the Cheesy Grin

Well well well….a Frome festival double from the Submarine Comedy team.

Its unusual to get to a venue and find the audience already there early and waiting….a combination of brochure malfunction and eager comedy fans…a quick chat to the audience and a very splendid offer from Diane Spencer meant we kicked off with a 20 minute club set at 7.30 with the next door roller disco just about winding up.

Come 8pm, the real show started , and Diane previewed  ‘Powertool’, her new Edinburgh show. Having seen this in an earlier form in Leicester comedy fest in Feb I knew this was already a good show and one I have high hopes for in Edinburgh. This is kinda of a departure for Diane, I won’t give too much away, suffice to say that two parallel stories of Diane’s life unfold beautifully and more absurdly. Great sense of pace, detail and laughs, sometimes the laughs and the pathos cross stories where you wouldn’t expect. Diane kept everyone enraptured as you would expect of such an experienced comic. A great way to start the night, check out Diane’s show up in Edinburgh.

So, after the break, we then moved onto the 2nd half and the competition. The FFF in only its 2nd year, it probably one of the most prestigious comedy awards…in Frome, on a Tuesday night. I decided early on that I would try and feature up and coming acts who I rate esp South West Acts and so it was that 9 took the challenge in front of a decent crowd in a packed Cheese & Grain bar.

First up (as drawn out of the hat by my 3 yr old) was Dory Wainwright. By any stretch, going first is always a tough one but Dory performed very strongly. Good stage presence and a quiet confidence certainly helped set an early bench mark. Got the crowd laughing quickly…which is always a plus in a comedy competition.

Next up was a character act called Cheddar George, unknown to me but had sent such a heartfelt email to perform, I thought he should have a chance. Not many laughs and I think the audience were abit confused but he had some nice lines and seemed to like the Mayor of Frome quite a lot…the local references went down well as you’d expect.

Joey Cannon shambled on next, and started very slowly, referencing the surroundings, I wondered where this was going having seen Joey many times, by his 3rd gag, he caught the audience with a comedy upper cut which they never saw coming and from there on in he continued to grow in confidence and laughter. His joke about HR was one of the best of the night and he left the stage as a very strong contender.

Local lad Aaron Barton of Frome FM, did a short set, starting with his back to the audience, he got his best laughs with some good afterthoughts on the reactions to some of his puns.

Final act of the first half, Phil Cooper is an act who is one of the strongest in the South West and tonight that showed through in spades. The Welshman took everything in his stride with a fantastic set that even when blown off course by an audience member who disputed some facts in his moon story, simply wove that into the story and rung every single laugh to be had out of it. Made comedy look simple…which is the sign of a fantastic talent.

Good time to have an interval.

Second half came and another 4 acts to see;

first up Ant Burn. a relative newcomer to the comedy world, Ant has got some good jokes, using his Newcastle background and some interesting material on the chimp brain. brought his set around nicely with a good call back. It will be interesting to see Ant develop as he favours a lot of rule of 3 jokes and the timing suits but also means the audience can start to think ahead. overall though, a good performance.

Juanita Smithers was an altogether different experience, another character actor but one as a WI presenter (women’s institute in case you were wondering). great idea but I think the decision not to use the mic and having a large picture that she never quite had control over meant some of the comedy was lost on the audience near the back.

Marcus Gill came next and I’ve seen Marcus do some brilliant comedy sets all over the south west and he is a very good young comic. Tonight though the audience just weren’t going for it. maybe it was the timing or that he mentioned nerds and other  niche topics, or maybe his pace was leaving some of the audience, I’m still not sure, but tonight he didn’t take off in his usual way and that was a shame.

It was left to Richard James to complete the comp and he mentioned being a nerd straight away, and I wondered if the audience were going to give him the same lo fi feedback that Marcus encountered but no, he built a lovely crafted set and his German death star is awesome. never tire of that one.

The audience and the judges voted and it was fairly clear;

In 3rd came Richard James (beating Dory Wainwright by a single vote)

In 2nd Joey Cannon ( being from Liverpool is such a comedy gift) and in first place (Drum roll please)

1st – Phil Cooper.

There was no debating the result, a worthy and popular winner and for me, someone who is def on the up in the world of comedy.

So there you have  it.

We look forward to seeing all the acts as they develop and hope they all had a good night down in Frome.

see you next year for the FFF ( not to be confused with the FFS…this town ain’t big enough) 🙂

Gotta start somewhere…

Ok, so why have I finally succumbed to a writing a blog? well, I think I find myself in a fairly unique position in that I’m a budding stand up (114th show last night..went well, thanks very much), I’m also a promoter, running two comedy clubs in Frome, Somerset – the Submarine Comedy Club and the Cheesy Grin Comedy Club and run other nights outside of Frome as and when. I started running comedy clubs because there wasn’t anything happening in Frome and I like comedy, then I started stand up as sometimes the acts weren’t here on time (Frome is always further away than you think) and the audience needed entertaining!

Anyway, last year, I thought I should get up to Edinburgh to see what’s going on there and I was lucky enough to be chosen to be on the Fosters comedy panel.  It was a fantastic opportunity, I saw about 120 shows, and made lots of new friends and connections, following that, I got selected this February to be on the Leicester Comedy Festival panel, which meant two weeks over that way reviewing lots and lots of shows in the very early stages of development. I’m now heading back to Edinburgh this summer to work for Fosters Comedy Awards as a scout for 10 days, its going to be swell and I’m really looking forward to the experience.

And that’s why I came up with the ‘Comedian inside’, yes, I’m a fledgling stand up…getting sporadic paid work, which is nice but also I’m reviewing shows as fairly as I can (always look for the positive) and looking to promote comedy in the South West and beyond.

So, what you going to get from this blog? well, gig reviews – def, gig stuff surrounding ones I’ve put on -yep, Edinburgh and other festival – discreetly covered. Whatever else comes to mind….

Hola…and so it begins

So Good evening, hope this finds you well. I’ve started this blog to highlight some very funny comics who I come across in my trevail’s in the comedy world but as a fledgling stand up myself, a promoter of two (soon to be 3) comedy clubs in Somerset and in the last 12 months, a panel judge on the Fosters comedy awards 2014, a panel judge on the Leicester comedy festival 2015 and this summer, a scout for Fosters…basically I get to see a lot of comedy. This blog won’t tend to dwell on acts I don’t find funny as comedy’s so subjective and whatever floats yer boat and there’s just so many good acts around. Anyway, hope you enjoy.