Luke Honoratty (MC), Mark Hurmann (Opener), Mark Dennett & Mat Costin (Middles), Nick Page (Closing)
Our first time back at the Ski Lodge for a couple of months due to Machynlleth. It was a fairly last minute decision to go, only booking a couple of days before and not really knowing what we were going to be seeing.
As we entered the venue we were confronted with a very large hen party and had to fight our way past to get to our table. When we phoned to book the night we were asked where we wanted to be seated, I said ‘Near the front, but not right at the front’, which we had asked before several times. As in every other visit we were given a table right at the front, so why ask where we want to sit?
The hen do were pretty rowdy and didn’t stop during Luke’s opening MC stint, where he tried to engage them. And they continued to be noisy the whole of the way through the opener Mark Hurmann’s set. This was a shame as Mark has some good material on OCD and Recycling. He also engaged the Hens with his stuff on being invited to the wedding evening do. A good opening set, somewhat spoilt by the constant noise.
A break then Luke opened the middle section and before bringing on the first of the open spots got the hens to promise to be quiet while the acts were on. They did and on came the first Mark Dennett. The promise lasted all of about 30 seconds before the cacophony of noise began again.
Mark had a very engaging tale of moving to Cornwall to avoid having to come down every year camping. We could identify with this, having recently had a torrid experience camping in North Wales. Good delivery and a good set, which got better when management went and spoke to the hens and finally got the message across. Seemed to be full of promise, Carole especially liked him.
Our second open spot Mat Costin would not have had any problems with the hens as he literally ranted through his whole set at the top of his voice. He seems to hate everything. And material on porn and cats was (and is) very stereotypical especially amongst new comics. There was no personality behind the set, just a constant shout. Don’t get us wrong, we like a good rant, but if this is the direction Mat is heading in he has a very long way to go to reach the likes of Phil Nichol or even, the relatively new favourite of ours, Garrett Millerick. Still, plenty of time to find that stage presence which is missing at the moment.
A final break, then our headliner Nick Page, who we had seen several times before. We always love his delivery and material. Though until tonight we had always seen the same set. Tonight was entirely new to us, and fantastic. His wordplay is sublime and while he doesn’t really do audience interaction he had to deal with new hecklers from the other side of the room. A brilliant set, from a great headline act, who got the applause he deserved.
A slightly weird night, as it can often be in this room which being an L shape with the stage (floor) in the corner between the two corridors of the room. This has often been spoilt by big groups, but tonight the gig was fortunately rescued by the intervention of the management who really should consider a behaviour bond for large groups booking.