Pete Dobbing, Pam Ford, Yianni
Anarchy at Annabel’s.
After a nice dinner with the comedy meal deal, we sprinted on the cobbles around the corner from the Vauxhall Quay to Annabel’s (a bit energetic with full stomachs but it was “heaving it down” with rain), praying that they had opened their front doors or we were going to get very, very wet. Luckily we had timed it well and we got in out of the monsoon and into the dry. Still quiet when we got in, we spent a few minutes talking to the comics and gave Pam a piccie of her namesake, one of our rescue chooks which we’ve named after her.
The room filled up fairly quickly after that with a lively crowd and soon enough Pete Dobbing was fighting his way through the, as usual, tightly squeezed in tables and chairs, and introducing himself. Pete is a fair MC and soon enough was chatting away to various members of the audience. There were several members of a large group to our right who were talking loudly to each other through part of his warm up, and despite several shushes etc. even from within their own group, were not getting any quieter.
Having delivered some first rate lines, Pete introduced us (or in our case, re-introduced us) to Pam Ford. Pam is from Australia originally and we have seen her several times, doing both her club set in other venues and her own show in Edinburgh in 2013 (Happy in Your Skin) and in 2012 (Salon Secrets).
Pam’s set revolves around her stage cougar act – which she plays on by aiming some very naughty lines to the younger, male members of the audience. Still sounding strongly antipodean, Pam has some outrageous (and very funny) material, which if turned around from a male to female, would probably get a lot of complaints from the ladies, although we did see Lewis Schaffer get away with quite a few lines in this vein in Brixham not so long ago. Anyway, each time we’ve seen it, it has gone down well – men would appear to be more flattered than threatened!
Our noisy party next door weren’t getting a lot quieter and even Pam had said a word or two about the racket near the end of her set. Anyway, we were into a break, and then Pete came on and, without much ado, Yianni was on the stage and launching into his material, a mixture of old and newer material, (all good) delivered in his own original style. Because Yianni has a quieter, not so in your face delivery, the rowdy table next door seemed worse, and even he had to speak to them as they were disrupting proceedings on stage (and we were all right at the back!)
Eventually my own patience had worn thin and I told them, in not so many words, to be quiet, which got me several mouthfuls of abuse from the male bodybuilder type in front of me, but it did have the effect of shutting them all up, and after a few minutes of awkwardness, Yianni was able to get on with his material uninterrupted. It did put a spoiler on the whole evening for us unfortunately, despite two members of the audience coming up to me afterwards and thanking me for intervening.
A few words to the barstaff afterwards about the annoyance caused didn’t get a huge response so it’s hard to know what the audience are supposed to do when the comics have noticed there’s a problem, the punters are getting annoyed, but nothing is being done to quiet down idiots who don’t seem to have come to hear the show. Never a bouncer around when you need one!
(Dave: We had already virtually given up on this gig and the last time we went was five months ago and it was pretty terrible then too as our blog said. We were only tempted back by the presence of some friends on stage. But alas the rowdy crowd again drowned out the comedy. A truly awful night. Never again.)