Tonight was FAF promotions comedy night at the Moorlands Inn near Halifax. This pub is set in the middle of the Moors and immediately brought thoughts of The Slaughtered Lamb to mind. However, it is an extremely classy establishment. The chap running it has paid a lot of attention to detail and it is a lovely place. There was an extremely good atmosphere for the show, although there was a phone on the bar which rang and interrupted things, the manager personally went downstairs to unplug that extension.
Jon Pearson was the MC. I wouldn’t say he got the level from the off, more that he created the level, which is even more difficult to achieve. He’s an amiable and likeable fellow who had no trouble controlling the crowd. He had a few topical references that he threw in, but struck gold in talking to a couple late returning from the first intermission. During his compering after the second intermission he used a surprising amount of material, almost becoming another act in addition to being MC, but the audience lapped it up and he went down very well.
Opening the gig was Tom Little, who had a big build for his opening gag. I felt he was almost toying with the expectations of the room, as he built the gag before delivering a wonderful pay off. Some of his material skated the narrow line between brilliance and losing the room. His yoghurt joke was brilliant and to get so much out of it was wonderful to see, but his black, white and red joke, just skirted over into losing some of the room. His set was slightly marred by the upstairs landline ringing, but he had a good night.
Peter Brush was first on after the intermission. I’ve got to confess that he is a comic I like. He does clever sets with well thought out jokes. Tonight was no exception. He settled the room quickly and everyone was listening, with no conversation, or chairs being moved. He got consistent good laughs all through his set. The hypochondria routine had a bit of a long set up, but was definitely worth it. He was a real highlight of the night.
Robyn Perkins made a welcome appearance, having travelled by bus all the way from London to perform. She has an infectious enthusiasm and some lovely material. She referenced the room, most especially including a chap on the front row in her jokes and was a joy to watch.
The headliner was Archie Kelly who is best known for playing Kenny Dalglish Snr in Phoenix Nights, but who frankly, should be better known for his stand up. I feel he did a lot longer than he was booked for just because everyone was having so much fun. He held the room, was great with the crowd and never put a foot wrong.
This was an extremely good night, with a good collection of comics in a venue that knocks spots off many.