Line up: Wendy Wason (MC) (New Day Snow), Mike Sheer (Opener) (IM – He reeks!), Omar Hamdi (Middle) (Oh Mr I’m Ada), Brian Higgins (Headliner) (Irish Banging)
An interesting night in prospect with three acts we had not seen before after the replacement of Matt Dwyer with Wendy Wason as MC. If Matt (Australian) had been there it would have been a truly international night. As it was we had two Scots, a Canadian and a Welsh/Egyptian.
Wendy our MC, first Scot of the evening, proved to be one of the best MCs we had had at a Mirth gig for some time. Very bubbly, smily and with some nice material thrown in. She reminded me of Lorraine Kelly with a pottier mouth. Having had three children a lot of her act was about motherhood, and it was good. I found out she is friends with Sarah Kendall, one of our favourite comics, and who is largely responsible for getting us into following comedy.
Opening act Mike Sheer, was a bit of an odd one. A slightly surreal brand of humour, that left most of the audience bemused. He constantly paused to gauge the reaction, and I am not sure what anyone really thought. His style was a little like, fellow Canadian Bobby Mair, but unlike Bobby, he struggled a bit. Still, it was an interesting contrast to the other comics tonight. It reminded me of an epic night last year at the much missed Leaping Salmon gig, where we saw Bobby Mair versus an old lady heckler.
After a break we had our friend Omar Hamdi, who we have seen quite a few times but not in over six months. Omar has done quite a few gigs and so was quite experienced for an open spot, which we found out was because he was trialling new material ahead of Edinburgh. Omar, is much more accomplished now than when we first saw him, and is developing a real presence. With his Welsh/Egyptian background, he has a niche he can make his own. And the new material we heard tonight was largely excellent. A few bits to work out, but no more than you would expect with new material. He got a really big round of applause, so it was clear the rest of the room loved him too. This was like seeing a new comic in itself. We were impressed, and we do like Omar both on and off stage.
Finally, to our headliner, Brian Higgins, a comedy veteran. Like Carole and I he is in his early fifties and had just become a father for the first time. His set almost exclusively revolves around this. It is a slight twist on female comics talking about motherhood. It certainly hit a chord with the female crowd members some of whom were in absolute hysterics. Carole always has a soft spot for a fellow Scot, but in Brian’s case she would have loved him anyway. Really, genial, really funny. He reminded me of another comic we have seen this year, John Warburton, but a Scottish version obviously.
All in all this was one of the best B-Bar gigs we have been to in some time. The slightly smaller crowd than usual (summer sun!) all seemed to enjoy it. And I have to say this was one of the nicest, most respectful crowds we have had all year in Plymouth, a comic’s dream.
After the amazing Pat Monahan gig on the 1st, we are hoping this level of comedy continues for the month. We certainly have some huge gigs coming up in June.
On the Edinburgh front, I finalised our plans over the weekend. However my OCD is still running wild and I have been tweaking it ever since. Now I am at the point where I cannot add any more shows in withut taking others out. Current plan is 144 shows in our 15 days a lovely square number – Yianni would be proud.
Our last blog, written by Carole, prompted a response from a comic, aimed at me. We quite often take it in turns writing, so in future we will put who has written the instalment. This one was Dave!