When two of your acts drop out simultaneously the day before your show it can be a cause for concern. Not in this case though as I had some great acts in reserve to take the first half of Bear Jokes through to my Edinburgh preview in the second half. With a newly refurbished room and a brand new disco light we were all set.
Gary Sansome opened with some good crowd work with the minimal numbers (mainly a fellow Scotsman armed with two pints and a packet of Discos) which kicked things off nicely. He was followed by Daphna Baram talking all things Jewish then Nick Purves chatting away to the front row. Stella Graham wrapped things up with her usual sarcastic wit and we dived into the break as some new arrivals took up their seats.
With what looked like an actual crowd now in place it was my turn to run up and take the stage for forty minutes of chat, rap and daft dance moves. One maverick chose to DJ the Box of Frustration (a box with 7" singles labelled with chart positions 1-7 accompanied by a topic of conversation/song) and picked chart position 2 instead of number 6 so West End got an early airing. Thankfully, this didn't radically effect the flow and was actually useful in terms of practice handling such a move.
Towards the end the drinks had been flowing freely as well as the laughs and "Yeah, FUCK the craft fair!" was belted out by a particularly high spirited individual when the final note had concluded the track.
So a good first run of the whole set and a promising start. My voice held out thanks to less shouting and more water and the new drums sound great. I could do with a couple more shows of this length to really refine it though. Offers anyone?!