Sunday, 21 October 2018

What's on your t-shirt?

It was another cosy corner of comedy at Isaac's this week when we welcomed Manchester acts, Luke Helly, Richard Probert and Andrew Rowan to the stage alongside ourselves for sixty minutes of mirth. The drinks were flowing, spirits were high (in both senses) and the sofas were comfy. It was time to begin.

Anna J and I always like to start with a musical moan on a first world problem vibe so we kicked things off with a track about self checkouts then slid into the woes relating to the defining feature of our decade, the meal deal. The audience were up for it and were singing along in all the right places, it was time for our visiting acts.

Every set was entertaining and unique in it's own right with plenty of observational humour, punchy one-liners and, at one point, an extended a cappella remix of The Smiths mashed up with The Bee Gees. Two acts in we got personal and compared t-shirts, concluding that those with attire sporting slogans and logos from New York and Venice Beach had never visited either location...or Venice...or York...or even a beach in recent memory. Next time you see someone sporting such a t-shirt ask them what it was like there.

At the end all that was left was to acknowledge Andrew's Joy Division t-shirt and then sully their legacy with our alternative 80's themed track about finding yourself standing in a bad nightclub at 3am with no idea how you got there. Cheap disco lights, sticky carpet, the vague aroma of Lynx deodorant. We've all been there.

Which leads me to the conclusion of this entry with a question. Where is the worst nightclub you've ever been, what made it the worst and what was its one saving grace? The last blog entry had over 400 views so it would be good to hear from some of you in the comments section. Failing that, join us for the next Anything Goes at Isaac's this Thursday and tell us. There's almost certainly going to be some open mic from 8-8.45pm and the comedy hour kicks off at 9. As ever, entry is FREE!

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Saturday, 13 October 2018

The debut of the comedy hour

When starting a new night there's always a period of experimentation where you have to adapt your almighty vision to the realities of the area. Initially Anything Goes was planned to be a grand melting pot of creative locals, out of town special guests and community support. 

Three weeks in it was becoming obvious that the majority of the good people of Glossop would rather watch something than be obliged to be an active participant in it and to that end the fully open-mic approach originally designed to be core to the night has been subtly recast. Because I have a core belief in equal opportunities for self-expression the open mic element still exists between 8-8.45 but this is now a first half to a fully pre-booked comedy hour from 9pm of emerging acts and established pro's experimenting with new material.

This Thursday's show not only had a prime mix of acts travelling in Chester, Manchester and Blackburn but also a keen audience of locals and visitors from further afield. We enjoyed material from an Edinburgh Fringe work-in-progress, a self assured observational set exploring everything from the blurring of gender lines to driving under the influence, a short improvised set on sex from local hero Daniel and ten minutes in the world of bisexual politics. Spread throughout like mirthful glue, Anna J and I delivered four different first world problems in rap form before heading off in an unexpected direction with the audience on the meaning of fisting...what more could you ask for from a free night?

Drinks at the bar followed before heading off into the night. Next Thursday's lineup is again very strong and draws talent in from all over the north so why not swing by for a drink and a local warm-up at 8 before the hour kicks off at 9.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Isaac's New-Town...

Three shows in and Anything Goes continues to impress, both with the quality of its acts and the effort they make even when the audience numbers are small.

On a cold and quiet Thursday night we assembled for drinks and discussion before making our way up to Isaac's very nice function room to watch the UK's leading dinosaur impersonator, a former sideshow stuntman turned dealer of pure one liners, a gong-beating rising star, an avowed non-goth and our local up and coming gross-out stand-up. These followed my opening with a long overdue revival of Selfie Stick.

The good thing about running a weekly show in a place you're new to is that you quickly learn the lay of the local land as far as entertainment preferences go. My original assumption that Glossop is teaming with open mic legends in the making so far appears to be false with few guitar slinging troubadours or Peak District inspired poets ready and waiting to step up.


Instead there's a wealth of comedy talent ready and waiting to drive in from Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and beyond to hone their ten minutes into lean mean chuckle-delivery machines and there's a sizeable number of grassroots Glossopites who like a night out and a laugh. 

Therefore, from now on Anything Goes is powering forward with sixty minutes featuring the rising stars of comedy from 9pm, preceded by open mic from 8 for anyone local looking to take their first steps or share a song, story or joke.

Looking forward to next Thursday already!

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Welcome to the north

One month since our move from London and it's been a busy time for us here in Glossop. Having acclimatised to the fact strangers speak to you in the north and that people here don't live their lives to the rapid beat of commuting we've started to acquaint ourselves with our new surroundings and opportunities for a comedy rap duo outside the M25. 

Having secured the night before securing our house, Anything Goes is now two nights in (next one tomorrow) and is growing in both confidence and audience numbers. Our weekly show in the upstairs room of funky cocktail bar Isaac's looks and feels very much like Bear Jokes at Pub on the Park with its sofas, cosy dimensions and all important disco light. Most of the acts so far have travelled in from Manchester and beyond but last week a young local delivered his first ever five minutes and truly smashed it as far as spontaneous debuts go.

Yesterday kicked off things officially for our own act with confirmation that we're booked to perform at the Leicester Fringe next February in the cavernous back room of O'Neill's. Full stage, 80 seats and banging PA included - "99 (First World) Problems" is going to be immense.

That evening we also took fifteen minutes to Liverpool for Hot Water Comedy. The comedy kings of the city, since I last performed for them over two years ago in an adopted hotel suite they've opened two dedicated venues and are packing them in. Seel Street's room is everything a club should be and the staff were brilliant, friendly and professional. Thanks to it's notoriety most of the acts on the bill had travelled in for the show, two from Southend only trumped by another who'd flown in from Ireland. Being the sole musical comedy act, and a somewhat zany one at that, in a lineup of standup can always go two ways but the crowd warmed to us and couldn't get enough of Anna J's surly ways. As the venue manager put it, "I've never seen anything like your act, it's funny and completely mad." One for the press release.

As the way things always work at shows we also got to know some other acts and chatted with the affable Adam Hughes - who showed us the near-secret shisha bar above the venue and invited us to perform at his own nights in Blackburn and Skipton sometime. Looking forward to those!