Ginger nuts, Billy can, No Wall Flower, Silky Smooth
Chris Brooker – MC (We have seen Chris so many times now we have run out of good anagrams for him), Billy Kirkwood – Opener (Bird Willy Kook), Rich Wall – Middle (Raw Chill), Silky – Headliner (How is someone supposed to make an anagram out of that? Lik Sy and KY ils are my only efforts)
It is a canny move by the organisers of this three monthly gig to sell the tickets for the next show on the night of this gig, as three months ago, when this night almost sold out, no-one was foreseeing the weather, which would normally see crowds stay at home for a barbecue rather than come to a comedy night in a sauna.
And anyone who had stayed at home would have missed what was to be another fantastic night of comedy put together as always by our inimitable host Chris Brooker. I do not need to go into reams of praise for Chris again – everyone knows Carole and I think he is a fantastic MC and top bloke. The acts he brings down are much better than the standard fare we get in the area. The fact he always MCs this gig builds up an extra rapport with the audience over time and that helps being people back again and again, which is why these night are always sellouts. The one downside of this is that we do not get to see him do a set of his own material. The only time we have was in Bristol at a big Christmas gig last year. He was superb that night, so maybe one night we can have another chance to see him standing out in his own right again. He never has to do a lot to get the crowd going here, everyone is always up for it and respectful. None of the “don’t know how to behave at a comedy gig” audiences we often get at other Plymouth venues. We hope we get to see the Ginger Ninja long into the future.
Onto our acts for tonight, all new for us. Though we had already bought tickets for our headliner’s Edinburgh show before we knew he was going to be here tonight.
Our opener was the Scottish dynamo Billy Kirkwood. Looking like a heavy metal guitarist, heavily tattooed, one could have almost expected an aggressive set. Far from it, he delivered a set with tons of finesse, twists and turns and some great audience interaction. He literally wowed the crowd and Carole, who is always a sucker for a fellow Scot (he’s right, most of the time I am – with one notable exception! – Carole) . I could see bits of the Big Yin, and the audience interaction bit a lot like Pat Monahan’s current set ending, but more natural and ultimately funnier. But all very individual too. Fantastic set and it was not just us who thought so, he left to rapturous applause. Lets hope he comes down this way again a bit quicker next time!
Rich Wall was our middle, though using the intro Richard J Wall, no doubt because of the confusion with a certain Canadian comic. A confident set full of absurdities, a lovely young comic, already with loads of presence and huge promise for the future. I liked him a lot and he certainly enhanced what was a great line-up.
Finally, our headliner Silky, who opened with a self denigrating segment about being able to drink at work, and contrasting this to a pilot. He then spoke to a lady on the front and asked what she did, her answer of Scientist was expanded upon and it was here that Silky showed he knew a lot more about her job than she did herself. A very intelligent guy, and this was my standout segment of the evening. He digressed a bit and went with the flow, all hilarious, ending with a brilliant song that pulled together his audience interactions from earlier. We found out after that he had planned to do quite a few more songs, but that’s good for us as I expect we will see a completely different set in Edinburgh.
Superb night from start to finish. And what a lovely bunch of guys they were afterwards.
And now alas, three months to wait until the next one – except there will be a charity special on 12th September at Plymouth Argyle. Please go along and support this.
PS: When I tried getting rid of the red-eye in the pic, I failed miserably with Rich in particular whose face is so sunburnt that when I selected his eyes it automatically jumped to his nose and coloured it in black. Carole, ffs if you insist in being in the pictures, try and keep your eyes open. And it is probably just as well I didn’t focus well enough to get what Silky was doing to Billy. And, of course, Chris doing his traditional scary Viking pose.