Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Instant Laughs

Tonight I decided to go out on a limb and visit Marvin McCarthy's night in Hammersmith to watch and perhaps grab a slot. I'd seen photos of busy rooms and after a brisk walk in the rain from Shepherds Bush it didn't disappoint. How many rooms on a wet Wednesday can get 30+ real audience in at any time -  nevermind sandwiched between Christmas and New Year?

With an early start we were into the comedy by 7.15 and Marvin had been generous enough to give me third from top - right before the brilliant Rick Kiesewetter (pictured). Great from an ego point of view. Less great in that I had to avoid beer for most of the night lest it dent my performance.

The acts were a mix of pure gold and willing newbies. I took the stage after the host's rather surreal five minutes and plugged my phone into the somewhat down at heel wedge amp that was playing the part of the PA. The audience, however, were stars and joined in where they were supposed to despite the low volume trickling out the grill.

A great night all round which just needs me to bring my amp next time and a spotlight to be installed to make it complete.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Year in Comedy in Numbers

With my final gigs of the year now complete it seems like the right time review 2015 using the power of numbers. It goes without saying I owe a massive thanks to the performers, promoters, venue staff and countless other enablers who have ensured that this year has been a big one for both the events I've run and the appearances I've made elsewhere. 

10 min spots performed: 49
Equivalent stage time: 490 minutes (8 hours, 10 minutes)

Combined music streams on Soundcloud/Bandcamp: 455
Combined Youtube views: 191

Events hosted: 32
Event breakdown: Bear Jokes (24), Clash of the Tight Tens (4), From E8 to Edinburgh (4)

Number of times the PA has either been broken, conked out mid-set or been missing some essential like a mic lead: 4 (none at my shows!)

Number of songs performed by angry little men about how I am destroying the open mic scene: 1 (add 124 Youtube views to the previous total if you count it as a tribute)

As for 2016, the future looks bright with Clash of the Tight-Tens coming back in Feb, a revamped new-format Bear Jokes appearing the same month and Famous First Words returning from the wilderness in its new Finsbury Park home from Jan. As for Leyton's Premier Rapper of First World Problems - a complete album with a lead single is the current plan.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year people!

Friday, 18 December 2015

Hilarity In Shoes

This was the final HiS at The Ophelia and consequently had a laid back in-joke feel to it. The gold beat the crud by a factor of about 3:1 with a couple of acts I hadn't seen before being so good I recruited them the Bear Jokes cause. Over running by a spectacular sixty minutes was well deserved for a send off with a good number staying to the end.

As for me, Craft Fair and One Shot got an airing to a decent response and my new Roland amp served me and several other acts well on the music front. As I was leaving I was invited to perform at Thinky Big Words in January which was a nice Christmas present. It'll be a fine day when all gigs come to me rather than me having to chase!

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Gunners

Tonight's performance at The Gunners wasn't looking promising but thankfully some people came in halfway through my set and the girl in the group fell about laughing throughout.

We'll just gloss over the fact she did the same for everyone else who followed. It still counts.

(Pictured: Dangerous T with a bag on his head)

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Cafe Mode

Having given myself the week off to prepare for my four gigs in five days challenge I was looking forward to kicking off with this one. 

Ctrl Alt Comedy at Cafe Mode in Covent Garden is somewhat unique as a tiny club under a restaurant that uses it as part of its Wowcher meal deal. Consequently the room is always busy, even if it's often full of the most unusual mishmash of bargain hunters and tourists who come expecting to see Live at the Apollo.

I played safe with two tried and tested tracks. Unlike last time I was here the PA worked. Unfortunately whilst this meant the music was loud enough it was a struggle to get the mic to a level where it didn't constantly feed back. By the second track I'd ditched the mic entirely and went into projecting teacher voice.

The crowd response was mixed. A row of girls who could easily pass for Little Mix embraced the participation with enthusiasm. The drunk retired couple to their left just looked confused. Overall it wasn't a terrible gig by any stretch of the imagination and the other acts were solid. However, next time I return I'll use my new Roland amp for the backing track and circumvent the all too basic PA setup.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Bear Jokes / The Freedom Fridge

A double post for two gigs linked by the presence of myself and Andy Onions... and audiences in single figures. Christmas is here and people are clearly busy doing other things.

Bear Jokes had great acts and a small appreciative audience. My set was largely to other comedians but it did the job in kicking off proceedings. Craft Fair made a long due return and Crisis of Conscience acquired some self-conscious fist pumping from the "crowd".   Paul Browse's music set was amazing as always.

The Freedom Fridge is a great night and the line-up was fantastic. The numbers were low though. I was default headliner and so took to the stage to a room of other acts plus 2 non-performers. Halfway through One Shot the PA cut out and I was faced with a novel situation however. Given the intimate nature of the event I chose not an early exit but instead a bit of body percussion involving hitting your chest and clapping. The assembled were more than generous and joined in. I continued rapping. Jay Cowle started hitting a sofa to give more bass. It actually turned out quite well. 

So not exactly what I'd planned but an experience that will stay with me for some time.

Next gig next week.