5th March – Plymouth B-Bar

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)


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