21st/22nd/24th Feb – Annabels/Leaping Salmon/WitTank

Three shows in four days on the back of a weeks holiday, so chilled out and right up for it.

Started with Annabels on the Thursday and a total sell out again, so much so, we swear there were more tables packed in than ever, which made the night very claustrophobic, or should I say ‘cosy’. We were sat with a Fire Safety Officer who was a little less happy with the situation and apparently complained about the illegality of the night. But I digress. MC for the night Christian Elderfield, who did his job admirably. Opening act, Kiwi, Rhys Mathewson  started off a little rambly but finished very strongly. Joke competition was crap, as we did not win tickets to next month 🙂  Before our headliner, Christian did a nice new story on American camp, which should polish off into a nice piece of material. Finally our headliner Mickey Sharma. A very versatile performer, and as we found out afterwards a thoughtful individual, who played on his Indian background. And also showed his versatility with beatboxing, dancing and a variety of accents. The venue had live music after the comedy so we stayed much later than usual and had a really interesting chat with the guys, especially Mickey, who we will also be seeing on 2nd March in Totnes. Really good start to the weekend 4.5/5.

Annabels

Left to right: Rhys Mathewson, Mickey Sharma, Christian Elderfield

Friday took us up the road to Horrabridge and the lovely Leaping Salmon gig. All my photos came out crap – note to self – don’t use phone camera indoors! MC was Matthew Baylis, very solid with a very sarcastic style as we have seen before. Opener was Steve N Allen, who we had also seen before, very good set again, playing on his radio background, and using the radio voice to full effect. Middle acts started with Chris Ashton, a Northerner with a really good variety of word based puns. I really enjoyed him. Second up Stuart Newport who we had seen in Plymouth at the beginning of December. Tonight with a few more gigs under his belt you could see the extra confidence which translated into the material. Very promising – but lose that jacket son! Headliner, flown in from Dublin, was Andrew Stanley, a very polished performer, who worked with the audience and fed off them. A breakneck performance that led us wanting more. Another brilliant night at the Salmon 4.5/5.

Finally, Sunday took us up to Exeter and the Phoenix again for the three man sketch group WitTank. A criminally small audience were treated to an amazing show. We have been to Edge comedy nights with big names on a Sunday with small crowds, and tonight the lads also had to contend with Chris Addison having a sold out show at Exeter Northcott. For the first half of the show they did traditional stand up Keiran Boyd MCing and probing the audience for info that was used against them later. Next up, Mark Cooper-Jones, who was also excellent, and finally Naz Osmanoglu, a whirling dervish of anger who blew us away, at one point getting me to eat the mic stand pretending it was a lump of Brie! After the interval, we were treated to their sketch show which was amazing culminating in an alternative version of the death of Hardy which had the audience in stitches. An absolute triumph, and their new show will be top of our Edinburgh list this year. With the plethora of great comedy we have seen already this year, we both thought this was probably the best so far which is saying a lot. 5+/5.

Anagrams:

Christian Elderfield – Hitler Nerd Failed [sic] / Rhys Mathewson – Throws a Hymen / Mickey Sharma – Same Army Hick / Matthew Baylis – The Abysmal Wit / Steve N Allen – Nell, Sane Vet / Chris Ashton – Shits On Arch / Stewart Newport – Watersport Newt / Andrew Stanley – Weans Ardently / Wit Tank – (come on folks you can all work that one out!) / Keiran Boyd – Inbred?, Okay / Mark Cooper-Jones – Recaps moron joke / Naz Osmanoglu – A-Z Mongol Anus

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