A toddle up the A38, including a quick detour for roadworks, and we were once more rocking up at the Seven Stars in the lovely town of Totnes for BCC’s two monthly gig. Our line-up for the night: Chris Brooker as our MC, opener Andrew Watts, middle Paul Savage and headlining the evening, Billy Kirkwood.
Playing to an almost full house, our MC Chris got us off to a flying start with his usual easy going banter. A couple near the front, Elaine and Richard (a plumber) were soon getting his attentions, with Richard confessing that she was with him because of his money! Chris told us he likes Totnes because there’s such a sense of community and everyone is so nice – then in the next breath told us of how he was told to “F*ck off!” by an old guy who was jaywalking very slowly in the road in front of Chris’s car. I guess even in laidback Totnes there’s the occasional grumpy so-and-so!
Into our opener then, and we’ve seen Andrew Watts more times than we can count but he always delivers a solid set which gets surprised laughs from his audience, who on seeing him on stage with his floppy hair, suit and middle class aura, are not expecting him to be just so damn funny! But he is! Andrew got a five star review from Chortle for his Edinburgh show this year and I think he deserves it. He writes very cleverly and his comparison of kisses at the end of flirty emails to post war Germany’s inflation rate is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated in all its gloriousness.
Meanwhile Dave and I (and some audience members in the row in front of us) were having to listen to two women sitting behind us who, while not chatting constantly, were certainly talking between themselves on and off enough to be more than slightly irritating. I kept turning around and glaring at them, the guys in front of us were also turning around to see where the chatting was coming from
Into our break then along came Chris again to tell us that he hides best at paintballing when he goes in the Autumn (regular readers will know that he’s gingerhaired). Then it was Paul Savage’s turn on stage. Paul is a very confident comic with an easy delivery. He gave us some rap music and analogies comparing women to cars. All very lighthearted and non-offensive and received well by the punters.
During all of this our chatterers behind us were not getting any quieter and it was only a matter of time before something was going to be said. The lads in front of us were also looking over their shoulders.
At last our second break was over and the exuberant Billy Kirkwood was rampaging onto the stage and hauling up a couple of punters with whom to kick up his heels to some thumping music. With shoulder length, big hair parted in the middle, tattooed and a smudge of ‘tache and beard, Billy is a wild Scotsman with a wonderful West of Scotland accent as thick as my winter porridge.
A self-confessed wrestling fan (and so friends with Chris, another fan, they had travelled down together) Billy gave us the stories behind some of his tattoos, bantered with the audience, and gathered himself an awful lot of Totnes fans with his totally honest and deprecating delivery. “I’m sounding even more Scottish and I’m trying not to!” Billy told us about his partner and baby and how concerned people come up to him when he’s taking the little one out on his own and question him. “Iz that yooor baby??” He is a very funny guy and I advise you to check him out! https://www.facebook.com/ilikebillykirkwood
At one point during Billy’s act the two ladies behind us were almost constantly chatting and, fed up with having our headliner spoiled for us, I once more turned and quite pointedly looked at them, and stayed looking. One of them finally glanced up and caught my eye; I put my fingers to my lips and made a hushing noise, and thankfully she finally got the message and for the rest of the act we didn’t hear too much from them. Why do people do this? If they want to chat stay at home and do it there! Please! Anyway, sorry, rant over.
Billy ended his act with some more audience interaction, getting three punters (two guys and a girl) up on stage to show us their best strides “on the catwalk”. We had a definite winner in the elder of the two guys who showed us some very fluid moves indeed much to our amusement. Billy went off to a huge roar of approval.
So, another (mostly) lovely night at the Seven Stars. Good stuff guys – we’ll see you next time!