2nd act – Jon Wagstaffe (Snot Jaw Gaffe), headliner – Pat Monahan (A Phantom? N/A)
We had enjoyed this venue tremendously on our last visit just before heading off to Edinburgh… and were looking forward to another chillout evening. It definitely is all about the weather on the River Exe Cafe, because as it’s located quite literally in the middle of the river and if it was raining or blowing hard, it could be quite a different experience.
No matter, on the 29th it was once again a beautiful evening…and the slight breeze that was blowing as our water taxi took us out into the Exe estuary died down with the full tide and later the sun went down in a blaze of red and gold reflecting on the river, and cameras were much in evidence getting it all recorded.
Enough of the scenery, let’s get to the acts.
Our MC for the night was a new face to us, Frank Honeybone. With a lovely waxed ‘tache and musical Welsh accent Frank was well up for his role…putting the punters at ease and getting the laughs started. No stranger to the odd cock joke and taking the mickey out of several of the audience, he caused no offence even when setting two boat owners against each other regarding the length of their craft! Other jibes included getting the audience to guess whether a couple of the female guests were “pony girls” or not. He certainly warmed up the crowd.
Our opener for the night was known to us, Dan Mitchell. Also Welsh, Dan’s act varies between surreal and classic stand-up. The last time we saw him I at least was undecided about Dan but this time he really swayed me and I was laughing as hard as anyone at his seagull impersonations and a Hansel and Gretel fingering joke. I think you had to be there!
A break, a few minutes more of Mr Honeybone’s banter and then onto a comic we both like a lot having seen him several times before, although not recently. We WERE supposed to see him in Edinburgh as part of a two parter (where two acts share an Edinburgh hour) but in the end we didn’t as we had already seen the other half of the act and couldn’t face him again so we were looking forward to see if there had been any major changes in material.
Waggy has shock comedy off to a T and it works every time we see him. I can’t divulge anymore as it would give away his act – but then he goes on to talk about his wife and his four month old son, stag parties and queries that great quandary of life – “How do you wash a sieve??” All of this while clad in a Cliff Richard t-shirt. Irony or just a big fan?? We didn’t ask.
Another break, a few more lines from the magnificent waxed ‘tache and then onto the Cakecharmer himself, Mr Pat Monahan. What is there for me to say about Pat that hasn’t been said before? He takes ages to get to the stage because of hugs and dancing to his Bollywood soundtrack themesong.
There is always one punter who gets hauled onto the stage to finish off the dancing with him much to the crowd’s delight. Sometimes Pat gets to his material, lots of times he doesn’t (or just the odd line) because he is bantering so much with the audience. They love it that he can remember names and roles and just brings it back to them time and again.
The comics had all gone on a short speedboat ride during the first break with a young chap called Josh who had drove them around in a few “doughnuts” (tight circles in the water) and this was alluded to again and again to roars of approval. Someone’s waterproof jacket was the subject of much hilarity and somehow the film Deliverance got mixed in there as well along with relevant banjo sounds. It’s all manic but it’s all fabulous.
An idyllic boat ride back to the harbour and home…wondering just how much longer Mr Monahan would have done if not for the 10.30pm curfew on the boat. Would he have got to his material?? Your guess is as good as ours!