Xsmalarkey, Manchester – 26th August 2014

A stop off in Manchester then, on the way back South from Edinburgh to Cornwall. Staying at an IBIS hotel in the city centre, we found that it was a less than ten minute walk to the Zoo Pub where Xsmalarkey takes place.

There wasn’t a huge crowd in the large warehouse/nightclub type room that hosts the event, but apparently that was down to the bank holiday that had taken place the day before.

We found out that Andrew O’Neill was to be our MC for the night. We’d only seen him a few weeks before doing his History of Heavy Metal show in Edinburgh and he’d been great in that so we were looking forward to his MC role.

Just after 8.30 pm the show kicked off with Andrew doing a bit of getting to know the punters in true MC style. We had a pair of male twins in, both longhaired, one bearded, one not, (“Why haven’t you got a beard?” – “Because it makes me look the same as him). Fair enough.

Our opener was a young English teacher called Adam Belbin who, we have to say, wasn’t very good. This definitely wasn’t just an Edinburgh come down. Adam admitted he hadn’t done any comedy for a while, his material was quite weak and he certainly wasn’t getting much back from the audience. We have no idea why he was given a twenty minute opening spot.

There were then two open spots, with Andy Storey, who was pretty good and Rebecca Fearnley who was instantly forgettable. 

Our headliner was a chap called Dave Longley who we’d seen before at Baby Blue in Liverpool on our way to Edinburgh last year. On that occasion we had liked him; this time around he spent a lot of time having a one to one conversation with an audience member who definitely had some issues that needed dealing with by a counsellor. Other than that he did very little material and I had definitely tuned out a bit by the end of his performance! 

A rather disappointing comedy end to our holiday but what a month it has been! What next???

Carole.

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