I like Hilarity in Shoes, and not just because it happens to be 10 minutes cycle from my place of work. It's the intimate friendly atmosphere that makes it - even if "real" audience can sometimes be rather thin on the ground.
Tonight there were a handful of non-participants in the room as things kicked off and Ian Lane did another excellent set. I followed and threw myself into my two tracks with a good-to-middling response from the assembled. My songs really do only half work if people aren't willing to join in and with participation somewhat quiet, though not inaudible, I returned to my seat only slightly more pumped than when I left it.
Towards the end of the first half the people who made up much of the "real" audience turned out to be very drunk. One woman was in an easily riled state of mind and took a character act's ill-judged joke about Uber and sexual assault to be his actual opinion and walked out calling him a "piece of shit". With the energy now thoroughly sucked out the room the last act of the half did his best to claw it back but it lead to a shifty break and a muted second half.
On the plus side though, one of the acts turned out to be the parent of a couple of children at my school so that lead to an interesting conversation.