5th December 2014 – Plymouth Ski Lodge. Philip Simon, George Rigden, Lucas Jolson, Luke Sargeant and Iain Stirling.

With a little trepidation (Friday night, pre-Christmas club comedy? It can be fab and festive, or, thanks to drunken punters out on Christmas parties, utterly unbearable) we headed out to the Ski Lodge for Eminent Banter’s December gig.

Knowing some of the line up (the MC and the headliner) but not anyone else, at least we knew we’d be meeting some new faces. The room was pretty full and there was definitely a buzz but nobody seemed to be out of control as of yet!

Our MC Philip Simon got us off to a good start, telling us about his three month old son who was making him so tired, geeing up the audience, telling us about a previous job as a sex educator for schools and all about the crazy questions he would get asked in classes.

Our opening act George Rigden was a musical comedian, brandishing the ubiquitous guitar, and coming out with such classics such as “Batman’s a c*nt”.  He has a nice line in risk taking material, picking out the female half of a couple and serenading her with several self penned songs, whilst taking the mickey out of her partner. George makes a thing out of having low self-esteem, low body image and being very self deprecating. He’s got a guitar and he can make people laugh – what else do you need?

Into the first break, the crowd having behaved impeccably, and then onto our middle acts. Young Lucas Jolson with Thatcher jokes, material on bus services and cold calling. Enjoyable and worth his place in the middle. Next up in this section was Luke Sargeant.  Another youngster who told us he’d been diagnosed with diabetes just eight weeks ago (jolly!) and with material about his laddish behaviour (“I use toast as a toast plate!”) and why his girl friend didn’t approve of his alternative way of cooking pasta. Both middle acts received plenty of approval for this very well mannered pre-Christmas crowd and so we were into our second break.

So to our headliner, the inimitable Iain Stirling. Hailing from Edinburgh, with his broad Scots accent, Iain’s lilting voice was music to my homesick ears. Younger looking than he actually is, slender and beardy;  the image of a hipster uni student, he looks like he should be starring in a Brit film, cycling along the Edinburgh cobbles with a scarf around his neck. However great topical banter and plenty of modern, in your face, political opinion is what he was all about this evening and the audience were lapping it up. We’ve seen Iain in three different countries (Scotland, Wales and England) in the last five months and he has never failed to deliver.

So, an extremely enjoyable club night, five comics who all made us laugh  and as for the Christmas do audience, what heroes, not a heckle out of place and no drunken eejits – ten out of ten!



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