My first gig for a paying audience. Compered by Ray Bradshaw, opened by Rob Kane and closed by Stu Who? My spot was bookended in the middle section by Asim Ali and Eddie Cassidy.
I opened with the Jesus one-liner I’ve used for most of my gigs, and followed it with a Christmas one about giving him presents. I sensed an intake of breath from the 17-strong audience and asked “Too soon?? It’s been 2000 years for fucks sake.” The next one was much more topical – the one from last time about getting a sock/pizza, with the added end-line “I think it might have been from a Dutch friend, but he’s still being questioned so it’s too early to say.” At the time of writing, the Dutch guy has just been charged with her murder.
The VAT joke went down a lot better, thanks to Malky’s sugggestion that I emphasis the Value Added in Value Added Tax. I omitted the terrorist status update bit – it hasn’t been mentioned in a fortnight in the news – and drew the requisite groan with my fish blowjob punchline. Pretty happy with how it went, and was praised by the comics who hadn’t seen me before. I realise I write this every time, like “people said I was good”, but it’s very much a compliment – no-one is obliged to say anything, so when people offer praise I accept it humbly and note it here for posterity. I’m enjoying myself, and it’s heartening that other people like what I’m doing, or see merit in the way I’m doing it. It’s always nice to be appreciated.
Stu reckoned I had an 80% hit rate, so if I can keep at that rate of laughs when I write more material – or even exceed it – I’ll be a happy man. I know him mainly by reputation, and he has a good one with years of experience to back it up. He did (by his own admission) a lot of new material tonight, and the place was in stitches. Not easy when you’re playing to 17 people and five comics. Eddie ended a good set on a bit of a weak joke, but the idea has a lot of potential so hopefully he’ll develop it. I’d seen Asim’s set before but it still makes me laugh, and it was good to see a pro opener and a different compere for a change. Especially with such a small crowd to play to. Hopefully I picked up some tips watching them for if I ever get to that level.
No more gigs lined up until March at The Stand, for now. I had hoped to be on at Dram next week to open for the brilliant Janey Godley (whose autobiography I read today in one sitting), but it seems unlikely I’ll be on twice in as many weeks. When I saw the advert for spots for tonight thought, I wasn’t going to pass it up for a ‘maybe’. If I’m any good I’ll support Janey some other time, the chance will arise. For now, though, the immediate plan is to move flat in the next fortnight or so, and maybe try to write a John Cooper Clarke-style poem about Saturday nights in Glasgow city centre. We’ll see.