December is a difficult one for running gigs as audiences are generally too tied up with family events and work parties to bother with their monthly dose of laughs on a budget. Still, Bear Jokes, Tight Tens and Stand Up at The Leyton Star all had solid line-ups and plenty of promo so I was optimistic in the run-up to each and every one.
This optimism was dashed at both Bear Jokes and Tight Tens though with very small audiences attending both. Enough people were there to run the show and both had a warm vibe of solidarity about them but they weren't the belters they probably would have been at any other time of the year. Still, it gave me a chance to develop my MCing and to perform my newer tracks so both were enjoyable and constructive regardless.
With the Leyton Star show topping off the three I had my fingers tightly crossed. Yuriko Kotani was debuting her first ever Edinburgh preview, therefore her first ever long-form show, in the second half the first half was packed with decent acts (Ian Miller pictured). When I arrived I found to my surprise that the gig had been moved from the karaoke room (capacity 20) to the main upstairs room with 30 or so chairs set up. My initial concerns were alleviated when I spotted reserved labels on the first ten chairs. This wasn't going to be a small night.
By midway through the first half I was bringing chairs up from the bar to seat everyone and things were going well. The audience were friendly if somewhat muted but everyone did well and a couple of my mainstays went down nicely at the top of the first half. A long queue for the bar later and the second half began. Steve Mclain reheated the now partially warm crowd and Yuriko came on to plenty of applause.
For a show debut it went well. What was most interesting to note was when she did a couple of her most famous parts (featured across across various websites this year and on radio and tv) the audience actually clapped - somewhat like when a band plays their big hit. I await the day the audience started shouting out requests to me. So far it's just been comics.
Show over there was plenty of money in the bucket and I retired to the bar for a well deserved drink. Today I received a further financial bonus with a statement from the PRS to tell me I'd earned £180 for performing my songs at Edinburgh. This now means I've earned more from these raps than my musical output with every one of my past bands combined!