This was a last minute gig for us as we’d originally booked to be at The Hen & Chicken in Bristol for Dave’s birthday, with a hotel booked within easy reach of the venue, but it had been cancelled by the management due to lack of sales so we’d had to stay at home and replan.
David Arnold, our MC for the night, came on in fine style, bantering with the Roller Derby girls (this night was a fund raiser for Macmillan Nurses and had been organised by the Roller girls, one of which was David’s other half). The room was full and there was plenty of good natured chat between David and the punters.
Of particular note was one lady on a table behind us who had one of those infectious laughs, and everything seemed to amuse, causing almost continual guffaws from her, her table, and then everyone around her. Funny, nay, hilarious at first, but then slightly offputting for the comics who were trying to concentrate on their timing and material.
Anyway, onto our opener, Wayne the Weird. We’ve seen Wayne on several occasions, in Exeter and in Plymouth. He is a (deliberately) bumbling magician with some funny one liners. His tricks and audience interaction are funny – I particularly like his rope knot trick – which always needs a lady vict…errr “volunteer” and always gets applause. He plays with fire (literally) and ends with a trick we’ve seen several times but it’s always a real act finisher and gets a good reaction from the audience every time. A perfect start to the first third of the night.
Into a break and then a bit more from our MC and then onto Richard James who played the crowd smoothly and the best we’ve seen him (and we’ve seen him several times!). He is getting more confident and his timing is improving. He might be able to give up that day job sooner than he thinks!
Next up in our middle third was James Fenn, a young man with a ukelele. We’ve seen James once before at the Maritime Inn (Comedy Avengers). James has a wicked sense of humour and a way with a mucky song. He leapt up to sit on the bar (no mean feat as it had a overhanging shelf; he could have fractured his skull) to serenade us personally, and then sent the crowd in paroxysms with a sweet little ditty entitled “Huge Vagina”. James is confident above his years and is a real talent. We hope he continues to develop, write some new songs, and who knows where he’ll be in a couple of years!
The last act of this section was Sandi Smith, also very familiar to us from previous gigs. Some new material has been added plus all our favourite lines and it all went down very well, especially with our lady at the back who found the smuttier stuff side splittingly funny. Sandi is always very good value for money!
Into another break and then our headliner Mark Felgate. Again, this was another comedian we knew. This night was more to support the charity and to celebrate Dave’s birthday rather than introduce ourselves to anybody unfamiliar. We’d seen Mark at least twice, once up at the Ski Lodge, and he is a funny man. Armed with a guitar and songs of varying lengths (some are like musical one liners), Mark is good musically but also has a talent for ventriloquism which he uses to brilliant effect. We felt that, by this time, the crowd had “peaked” and that Mark wasn’t getting as good a response from them as he could have been. A few people were interrupting walking past to go for a fag or to the downstairs loos occasionally disrupting the momentum. This wasn’t his fault though; we were still finding him as funny as ever but they had been drinking for several hours and were probably past their best audience wise.
A very enjoyable night out. Carole.
Photo minus Wayne (who scooted away as soon as he finished) and Richard who vanished at pic time.
Anagrams for those we haven’t already seen in 2014. Mark Felgate – Mega Fartlek, James Fenn – Jens Me Fan.