Thursday, 27 April 2017

Monkey Business at The Camden Eye

As I approach the Camden Eye, Promoter Martin is pacing around outside. "We've sold two tickets tonight," he says and we discuss the perils of the comedy night promoter. 

Come 8pm, however, the real audience has swelled to...four and there are ten acts on so it looks busy enough - even if the paying punters' decision to all sit in the near side corner presents the conundrum of if to perform to the front or angle constantly forty-five degrees right.

The first half is a mixed bag but quality prevails. Gatis Kandis proves himself yet again to be the comedians' comedian with his song about cows and Maggie Kowalski shows what a solid year of gigging can do for your delivery.

Admittedly I missed half of it as I was on next and plugging my phone in. As my sets go it was alright. The intro rap caught the necessary attention and the two couples that comprised the non-comics seemed to share the participation workload with one pair taking on the hissy noise in Tinny Drums with gusto whilst the other two got their clap on for a dusting down of Selfie Stick.

Bar the odd shuffle back to the centre stage, I probably did largely perform in profile to the comics to catch the eye of those not mentally rehearsing their lines or enduring the umpteenth time they've heard my beef about mobile phone accessories.

Come the second half the crowd were more tired but still willing. There were some great sets to raise the energy though, in particular from Peter Latham and Steve McLean. 10.20 rolled around and it was all over and a lengthy trip on the overground awaited.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Yellow Comedy at Reason Cafe, Watford

This evening was special for two particular reasons. The first being that this show marked my first paid headline spot and the second being that it was to be the first time I used my "box of frustration" as part of the set. 

The cafe bookshop was busy enough when I arrived and decamped with my girlfriend to a nearby pub that was doing it's best tribute act to a Lloyds' Bar with a hefty dose of RnB music, cheap eats and excruciatingly slow bar service. Having waited five minutes for someone to pick leaves off a mint plant and mash them into some ice I returned with drinks and a short wait before the deformed fish and oven chips arrived. Food is food though so once fed I headed over to the cafe and watched the first half.

It was the first time I'd seen many of the acts and the crowd seemed to like them well enough. Lew Fitz closed the first half with a storming ten minutes featuring plenty of smart ad-libs alongside the material. A coffee later and we were into the second half.

Opening with my intro track I soon identified I had about a two metres square to operate in and shuffled, waved and jumped about with as much energy as the space could contain. The box of frustration then came out and we played pass the parcel with it - the final recipient pulling out the next record in my chart each time. As a way to keep the audience fully involved and ensure I had someone to speak to each time it worked pretty well. It was somewhat fitting that it ended up with my dad when it came to talking about nightclubs and then the proprietor when I needed to discuss the perils of ordering coffee.

As far as audience reaction went I'd say they were fully on board for the twenty minutes and an invitation to return sometime soon has been made. The Brighton show is only marginally longer than this as it's a split with Andy Onions' so it's full speed ahead with that now. 

I'm still without a venue for my solo show in Edinburgh (I'm assured Tight Tens will definitely be a fixture though) so if you're looking to share an hour or can help in any way now is the time to be a hero. news...

It's been a slow few months when it comes to writing to new material but I'm back on it with a track about DIY. I downloaded the Apple Store version of Garageband for a fiver which appears to be a huge advancement on the version I've been using so far so expect some new drum sounds along with a beeps, buzzes, squelches and hums...

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Epsom Playhouse Theatre

This evening I took a two hour journey across the city to perform at the Epsom Playhouse Theatre supporting Pete K Malley and his show about 21 years in teaching. As a nod to the comparatively professional vibe of the event (e.g. Not being in the back room of a pub and requiring actual tickets) I successfully experimented with baseball boots, skinny jeans and a distinctly urban t-shirt to go with the Leyton visor. Primark should be sponsoring my appearances.

Having taken in the sights of the town (a big clock and a TK Maxx) I met Pete in the theatre and sound checked the phone. 8pm rolled around and I ran on to my intro track and a sold out room of 100 people. Mainly older, mainly teachers, the crowd went for it with the enthusiasm reserved for education professionals starting their Easter break. 

Tales of the Unexpected and Craft Fair went down well and I indulged in a fair bit of crowd work. At the bar afterwards several people high-fived me with a "bip".

Pete and the other support act, The Monks, were well received to and the whole night had a pleasant vibe. There's a good chance my new track about DIY would work here. Outside of the central London bubble it's important to recognise your core audience have kids and are more likely to relate to tales of the supermarket than clubbing.

They also like their night to conclude by ten. Which is handy when you have an epic journey home in front of you.