I've known Hilarity in Shoes nearly as long as I've been standing in front of people trying to make them laugh with my rhymes so it seemed fitting that the first run-through of our Edinburgh show should be with them. Jack Brooks was on MC duties and we had a decent little crowd of open mic acts going on in the second half plus some genuine locals.
James Harris opened and immediately had the audience at ease. There was plenty of laughter for his material, most of which I've heard several times before now but never really gets old.
A burst of my hastily assembled Mirthquake jingle music (the opening of the chorus from 'Earthquake' by Labrinth with a computer generated voice saying "mirth" over the crucial bit) later and I went on with a truncated narrative about going to a barbeque.
At this point it's worth mentioning we did a four man split for this show. This is something that will happen a couple of times in the middle of our Edinburgh run when both Andy Onions and James Harris are up at the same time but will not be the norm. Squeezing three 20s into an hour is challenging enough. Four 15s on the other hand is just asking for trouble but on the basis of tonight is perfectly possible. Of the three songs I did 'Tales of the Unexpected' made the biggest impact but there was some good reaction to both 'Phones' and 'Crisis of Conscience' that followed. Job done I introduce Nick Purves and jumped off the stage.
Nick's set hit home plenty and it was really good to hear bits he'd extended from what I had heard before. His delivery, like James', is more cerebral than either mine or Andy O's so the change of pace works really well too.
Speaking of Andy Onions, he was last on and eager to hammer through fifteen minutes of sweet throwing, beer drinking and material linked loosely by the theme of Trivial Pursuit. Rowdy and anarchic it was everything I expected it to be and he closed the show well.
Total time on stage for Mirthquake: 58 minutes. Nicely done.
The second half of the show highlighted some genuinely interesting newcomers including a fantastically concise two and a half minutes from an autistic guy doing his first ever set and Dangerous T being brilliantly baffling as always. There were a couple of fives which resembled a car crash in slow motion but if anything it simply enhanced the anything-goes vibe of the night. Post show it was beers with Jack and conversation with a girl who sells cupcakes at Leyton's new gentrifying Saturday daytime artisan bakers / craft beer market.
At some point in the future saying you're from E10 is going to get the same change in reaction to what's happened when you say E5 nowadays (formerly, "whoah...murder mile". Now, "oooooh....I love the bottle shop they have on the high road".