Another last-minute gig, as Malky only asked me at the end of Tuesday night to do this. Specifically, he asked me to do some more poetry. Rather than do the same stuff to the same crowd, I went through my stuff looking for new ones that would fit, and added in a couple I’ve written since. I also finally wrote a topical one using a concept a friend came up with three years ago – Colonel Gaddafi Duck. Another friend has just photoshopped the same idea, so I figured now’s the time to use the phrase before it starts occurring to more people while he’s so prominently in the news. Especially when Daffy Duck’s catchphrase was “Of course you realise THIS means war.”
Thanks to First Bus and their useless timetabling – three buses run past mine, and all are scheduled to arrive within five minutes of each other every twenty minutes or so – I arrived late, at quarter to nine. I walked in, swung left, and met Chris Henry in the room behind the bar (the bar is along the centre of the pub, with a separate area behind it with doors at either end into the main room). I asked him when I was on, and it turned out the answer was “next.” He told me the audience was small (I hadn’t looked, I walked in, head down, trying not to detract from the guy on stage) – two people who refused to engage with him. I asked if they were mental, or if I should go on – all 6′ 2″ of me – and refuse to start til I had eye contact. Anyways, I’d barely taken my hoodie off before it was my turn. “This man’s so rock n roll, he’s turned up and is going straight on.”
I started with a new bit I’ve wanted to do for some time, and which a couple of weeks ago I saw Raymond Mearns do something along similar lines to (though different). I followed that up with a slew of breakfast in bed/ bed and breakfast one-liners I wrote during the week, all inspired by one comment on my facebook page, and two new jokes from the week before. All went well, all got laughs, and I’m going to try and incorporate them into my set before my first gig at the legendary Stand next week. Then I did my poetry.
I opened with short and silly ones this time, and a new one “of the kind that scares Chris Henry. But he likes it when I scare him. Everyone’s got a fetish…” about Valentine’s Day (specifically, about disfiguring a girl who doesn’t acknowledge the love you’ve decided she has for you – the kind of dark, twisted shit I used to write for AudioTwat), and one about the Con-Dems. Went fairly well, then I did an older one that got pure silence, and ad-libbed a line after it “You can tell it’s staying in the set when all it gets is fucking silence…” One or two more, and then I did a far-too-personal one which (in my head) was the kind of social commentary John Cooper Clarke might have done, but which actually wasn’t funny and was, in fact, thoroughly depressing. Having ended on this longer, unfunny poem was a clear mistake and one I won’t make again. Not at a comedy night anyway.
I stepped offstage and that was the break, and while I waited at the bar this drunk woman who had ignored everyone all night came up to me and took my arm and told me I was “fantastic”. Four or five times, until I think I might’ve took a beamer. Then she slurred something incoherent about her and her sister being in a poetry society, and I was fantastic, and I should take her name and address. I’d no pen and paper, but she was so insistent I took out my phone, thinking I’d humour her by saving them as a message. She slurred something else, went and sat down next to her man, and I made my escape up to the other end of the bar. When I turned round, both had left, while the comedians jibed me for pulling Vera Duckworth. I’d now like to kid on that my poetry was so great they realised it was the highlight of their lives, and left. Maybe it was so awful that’s what forced them out… who knows.
Eddie Cassidy closed the second half with new material, based on a true story, which got a round of applause – a really funny anecdote well told. During his set-up, a line occurred to me that would fit in with it, and when I suggested it to him afterwards he liked it enough to ask if he could use it. That’s pretty damn flattering right there. He offered a credit on his DVD in return (“there won’t be a DVD” he added immediately), which is fine – any time I’ve used material I’ve got from friends I’ve promised to buy them something nice if I ever make money from it – i.e. if I ever get the chance to thank you properly for the line, I will. This line is specific to his set-up anyway, so I’ve no use for it. He’s doing a show with Paul Alcroft and Darren Connell as part of the Glasgow Comedy Festival and they’ve already sold out the Buff Club show on 1st April. They’ve now added a second date at Blackfriars on 2nd April, and if you can make it down you should go and see “An Alky, a Junkie and a Psycho Walk Into A Bar.” If the scheduling permits, you should also catch Chris Henry’s one-man show “Genderation X” at the Classic Grand that same night. All of them will be doing previews during the festival, so come to The Halt or The Victoria Bars, check the line-ups for The Stand, The State and Dram, and try and see them. You won’t regret it. I think I’m right in saying all of them (bar Chris) will be playing Rock Ness this year too.
If you’re free on 1st April, you should catch Obie’s one-man show “Halfwits and Loonies” at The State Bar. He previewed it last night, in part, and does a bit where he has a memorised list of 100 objects/things. he begins by talking about his week, and every so often pauses and gets someone to shout a number. His skill comes not from just remembering the object/concept/person/animal at that position, but then immediately incorporating it into his tale at that precise moment. His improv skills are sharp as hell, and funny with it. The place was in uproar as he described going drinking with Batman and Gary Glitter, Pissing on someone in Aberdeen and turning them into an Oompa Loompa, ET having massive toenails, and Lepers with Shoehorn limbs. Although he’s now using the same list every time (getting the audience to suggest 100 items killed the energy, he found. His present list was audience-generated once though), the set is never the same because anyone can shout any number at any time, and so there will always be a different scenario to play out. Seriously, if you like what Ross Noble does you should catch Obie live. It’ll be cheaper too.
So, that’s it, another gig seeing some really brilliant, inspired comedy, doing some well-received stuff myself, and having fun. My next gig will be this Tuesday, my first appearance at The Stand’s Red Raw night. The plan of attack is to drop the dead wood from my set – the middle initials stuff that is all explanation no laughter – and tie my new one-liners in. Then rehearse, and rehearse, and rehearse. They are also extremely strict with time there, I hear, so I need to try and gauge it as I’m only on for five minutes. Onwards and upwards 🙂