No downhill slope here!
We toddled up to the venue not sure what to expect crowdwise – to find in the end that it was far from full again with people well spread out through the venue and that once again our reserved table was right at the front…we debated briefly on moving but the only other empty “two” table wasn’t any better situated so we stayed put.
A little later than normal we kicked off with our MC Tom Glover, the only one of the five acts that we had seen before (at the Bedford Hotel in Tavistock several months previously). Tom is a nice chap but found it a bit difficult at first to get the crowd on side with several slightly aggressive responses to the usual MC type questions. Mentioning the venue, he asked if anyone had “caught a few slopes” today…correcting himself to ask what the term was when you went down the ski slope. “Skiing!” was the answer from a young face at the back, much to the crowd’s amusement. There was also a table of tool fitters at the back who were held to account several times.
After getting the audience back onside by telling us that he’d gone to uni in Plymouth (which raised alternate boos and cheers), then picking on us thanks to something rude that Dave had said to him earlier (something that was going to be referred to by every other act as well!) and then brought on our opening act Dave Chawner.
Dave, very slim, dark haired and vegetarian, described himself as a boy/man and had a hug with an audience member whose real name was Bernard Matthews, causing much amusement. Again we were picked on (me being veggie) and Dave because of “that remark” made earlier to Tom…we just wanted to disappear under the table!
A break then a little bit more from our MC Tom who managed to describe catching a fart in your hand to a cupcake; thank you for that one! The first of our two middle acts was then brought on stage, Dom Lister.
Another beanpole comedian, Dom plays on his build, “brittle bones” and how a lady he was trying to sleep with refused him (“I would but I might break you!”) and would his cat try to eat him if he played dead for more than an hour. Dom has got some good material here and delivers it well…it would be nice to see more!
Next up in the middle was Sheraz Yousaf. Looking more like a body builder (indeed he has been a fitness coach) Sheraz gave us a little bit of ethnic material, and how he works in IT but then concentrated more on material on how people perceive how tough he is because of his build and he certainly looks as if he could handle himself if it was necessary but insisted he’s quite a peaceful person in reality. His act went down very well with the audience.
Another break, then, thanks to the MC, Dave was given a few seconds in the spotlight when he had to come up with a short song, the contents of which I just can’t share, but for me it served to totally wipe out the next few lines of Tom’s act as I was too busy crying with laughter.
Finally our headliner, Joel Dommett was introduced and got straight down to his act which was all good stuff, particularly memorable was his recounting of cycling into an open car door and neatly landing on the driver’s lap. Joel used to be in a boyband and he finished up his act by dragging out a song he’d recorded a long time ago called Limelight, which had some keyboards provided by his mother and himself and his own lyrics and vocals. He ridiculed his smugness at the time of the original recording and took the song apart piece by piece permitting us to have a good laugh at his own expense – a slightly different and original ending to what we had expected.
All in all, a good night comedy wise but the acts really had to work ridiculously hard to get a laugh. We are still a bit confused by the Ski Slope audience… sometimes they just don’t seem to be “up for a laugh” (quite literally given the venue).
Left to right: Dave, Sheraz, Joel, Tom and Dom.