Bouncing along the motorway to Liverpool on Monday in the pouring rain I thought back to my previous appearance at Hot Water Comedy, easily the most well known club in the city. A Sunday night with a well natured and small but perfectly formed audience, Anna and I had performed a couple of raps to a reasonable response. This time I was travelling with a parody playing guitar and a couple of new lines to introduce them. I expected another small test-audience to try them out on.
Which isn't what happened. Walking out as the opener to a lineup of what turned out to be seriously experienced pro's, I addressed the sold-out hundred seater with a couple of new lines that fell flatter than a bottle of opened lemonade that had been sat in a cupboard for three weeks. "The good news is I'm actually a musical comedian," I said picking up my guitar and launching into I Will Eat Pies - a song that has never failed and picked up the audience before the end of the first verse. By the end of the song I'd got them clapping along and warm enough to ensure I could stumble through another new link that half-worked before playing Ex On Fire and adding Taxidermist to the list of jobs for me to find a rhyme for. The reaction was really good and certainly better than the non-musical bits deserved. All of which went straight in the mental bin on the drive home.
Two hours before my show in Chorlton on Thursday I was told the venue had an electrical fault and it was off. This at least gave me the evening to work out some new links that would hopefully work better for Saturday in Dewsbury, and also the time to make a start on coding a computer game to tie in with Disco Divorce Party this summer. Yes, really.
Saturday night arrived and I was now not only bouncing to my venue for the night but also slaloming around the scenic soaking roads of the Peak District having decided to make my way north via the alternative to the M1. More suited to a 4x4, the Micra held its own and I was soon parked up near the Railway Station. This being my second place I'd pulled up to after deciding not to leave my motor just around the corner from a group of people burning rubbish in a bin outside a row of houses.
The New Turk was a modern pub with a large stage in the corner and a small but attendant audience. Positioned as it was due to the bar, the audience sat in two groups at right angles to each other with a vast chasm of dancefloor before the chairs and tables started, creating somewhat of a virtual moat. Despite this novel challenge, the show went well with several seasoned pro's delivering effortless laughs. This time 50% of my links worked to some degree, with one joke definitely worth keeping. By the time I get to the Didsbury Comedy Competition at the end of March I may actually have enough chat to fill the one and half minute portion of the five minute set that isn't a song...