Tonight was FAF’s gig at Hoofers, at Field Mill. This is a gig I’ve been looking forwards to for some time. The line up attracted me, as I’ve seen Adam Rowe before and know he is good and I’ve heard a lot of very nice things about Freddy Quinne, same as Gavin Webster. Stoney I’ve seen a couple of times and enjoy, the only unknown quantity was Nathan Hudson, who it turns out I had actually seen a while back. The room itself, was airy and large and the tables had a much improved layout to last time, as they all faced the stage, inhibiting conversation whilst the acts were working. Also, the bar was closed during sets and food was delivered during the first intermission not just before or during the show. These are basics, but are often overlooked when a venue isn’t behind the comedy, or the promoter isn’t thinking. This all helped create a nice atmosphere, in a crowd who were there to enjoy the comedy, rather than having just wandered in to have a beer.
MC was Freddy Quinne, who has a rather entertaining podcast (By way of Cheer). He’s a very amiable chap with a big personality that filled the room when he was onstage. Some comperes have to work hard to win the room over, but he had them from the off. He didn’t need to use material, but just chatted to people and found the mirth in the audience. His faux pas with referencing Janet from the audience and World War 2 had everyone laughing very hard. Despite all the fun, he remembered to go over the ground rules, which not all comperes do in the heat of getting laughs. After the first intermission he did tread on a bit of a mine, but one that all comperes risk – that of getting a name wrong. He asked how Julie was, meaning Janet. This can happen to anyone and he rescued himself nicely from this with some impressive quick thinking. It’s nice when you hear a lot of good about a comic and they more than live up their reputation.
The first act was Adam Rowe. I’ve seen him before and enjoyed his work. Tonight he was trying some new material out and on the basis of what I saw, it all flowed very nicely. His cockeyed couple opening worked well, as did WD40 and there was a great double reveal to the dick size routine. His story about being mugged earned him an applause break, which was no surprise. The audience were thoroughly entertained. He has a one man show coming up later in the year in Liverpool and that is worth seeing.
After the intermission it was Nathan Hudson. I didn’t recognise him or his name at first, but once he began his set, I realised that I had seen him before at a Fowl Humour new material night, where he hadn’t made much of an impression on me. However, I’m pleased to say he had a much better night tonight and I enjoyed his set. His district 9 reference may require a rethink, as it baffled half the room, who were able to get it only from the context. However, he does have some nice observations and delivers them in a style that has a curiously Joker’s Wild feel to it. He went down very well with the room and was getting good laughs, but his closing was quite downbeat, considering it had been a buoyant set.
Next up was Stoney, playing to a home crowd. Stoney is a cheerful chap who generally has a grin on his face. However, what most of the people in the room don’t know is he does his set in the deadpan style, so seeing him stood there looking somber had people giggling straight away, as it was so unexpected. He delivered his set, getting consistent laughs, although the repossessed reveal definitely deserved a much bigger laugh than it got. He had a good night and it was nice to hear people outside saying they’d enjoyed him, but I’ve seen him perform much better than he did tonight.
Closing was Gavin Webster. He got good laughs from the off with a fast and relentless delivery. He seems to have 3 different things occurring at the same time, as he delivers a mixture of jokes, observations and apparently off the cuff comments. Everything he did landed heavily with the room, getting great laughs. My personal favourite was Chile and the apologetic ghost. He’d also done his homework regarding the area, as he slipped in enough local references to impress. I personally didn’t enjoy his set as much as I had hoped I would. This is no reflection on Webster, as he didn’t do anything wrong, it’s more a question of taste. The rest of the room loved him and I’d certainly recommend him as a good comic.