Our first gig at the B-Bar since last December and we were looking forward to it because Pierre Novellie, who we had voted for in the New Act Final in Edinburgh last August, was going to be on the bill. We were also supposed to have seen his half hour at the Festival but owing to a very small audience that night (just three of us!), much to our disappointment, Pierre and Johnny Lennard decided to pull their 50/50 show.
A packed crowd when we arrived left us with the non-choice of two front row seats to the right of the stage and so we settled down eager for the entertainment to begin.
Our MC for the night was, the well known to us, TJ Shoesmith. Whenever we have seen him before Tim has mixed traditional stand-up with magic! This time, no ropes, or mindreading were in evidence, but instead, between finding out who we had in the audience, Tim gave us stories about his public school days and in particular one teacher who had a few definite quirks and let’s just say that I don’t think he’d have got away with half of his remarks at a modern school! Tim takes off the upper class accent very well and had us all well warmed up by the time he introduced our opener, the aforementioned Mr Novellie.
Pierre came on and told us how he had moved from Johannesburg at the age of seven, to of all places, the Isle of Man, where he grew up enduring stupid questions from his friends and Racist Club acceptance from taxi drivers. Claiming good knowledge (now) of all the “British Rules”, we had several examples given to us of Pierre being properly British. He also pleased the punters with his translation of Disney’s most popular film tune and similar re-interpretations of other well known film songs. All in all, a lovely performance and we are anticipating seeing Pierre’s full show at the Pleasance in Edinburgh in August.
Our first break (about twenty minutes) and then Tim trying to find out a little bit more about the punters, several of whom were in the RAF and other services…unfortunately then confusing which of them actually uses submarines (“Ah…of course, the Navy”) causing me to snort very inelegantly with laughter at his flummoxed expression.
Then onto our middle act, the lovely Sandi Smith, just last seen by us last Friday at the infamous King’s Head gig in Tamerton Foliot. On that night she helped bring back the gig from a disastrous start (as blogged by us) and tonight’s performance was even better, the most confident we have seen her. There was some new material to add to her outrageous observations on being a parent, her daughter, and her own take on the problems with which we more mature ladies have to cope. Then off we went into our second and shorter break.
At this point I would just like to put in a good word for the B-Bar’s audience. Audiences can vary wildly from week to week at the same venue. We’ve had shouty audiences and quiet audiences at the B-Bar, but tonight’s audience was lovely. Interacting when asked, laughing at all the right spots, not being heckle heavy and given rousing applause at the end. Can we have these guys back every month please B-Bar management?
A couple more minutes of Tim, who did not keep us waiting long until he brought on our headliner, Dougie Dunlop. A new act to us, longlegged Dougie went back and forwards over the tiny (about 1m x 2m) stage like a prisoner manacled at the ankles, while he delivered some great material about his life, his wife and his small children. Hailing from Edinburgh and telling us he was 41, he reserved killer blasts for young people (foetuses) in sports shops, begging, homeless people and the Scottish diet. The audience were lapping it up, and myself, always being a sucker for a Scottish act, loved it too.
A lovely night, with great acts and a good atmosphere. Well done B-Bar, the audience and most of all the comics!
(Dave: ANAGRAMS. T.J.Shoesmith – Him Jest Host, Sandi Smith – Thin Sadism, Pierre Novellie – Eviller Pioneer, Dougie Dunlop – Unguided Loop)