This month has been great. I’ve seen forty-five acts and the quality has been fantastic.
The highlight of the month was chatting on Radio Derby about comedy in the area. I’ve been invited back and this looks like it will become a monthly thing. The lowlight was a first time ever performance, that even after making every allowance, was still 3 jokes that took 5 very long minutes to get out.
These are the acts that have impressed me the most:
This was a performance that demonstrated that Simmonds is making great progress. I’ve seen him do two different tens and I think the next time I see him, he’ll be doing a twenty.
From the night:
Simmonds had a smashing night. He opened with a reference to Mike being on crutches, immediately announcing that he was the second most disabled act of the night, which gained him a big round of applause and the immediate confidence of the audience. He never let up from this, as he began a string of strong routines that concerned a date gone awry, his girlfriend and an encounter with her father. This was a different set to what I saw in Wollaton a few months ago and it is greatly to Simmonds’ credit that he has so much first class material. He’s plainly someone to watch for the future. The delivery was good too (great pause on lied), although he did have a slight habit of saying right a few times, but this smoothed itself out after the first few minutes. I was impressed with how well everything in the set came together as a whole. Simmonds got three lots of applause and I’d have happily liked to have seen him on stage for longer.
This comic should be a household name. I’ve never seen him do anything less than take the roof off.
From the night:
Headlining was one of my favourite acts, Andrew Bird. He’s a prolific writer of new material and he has an uncanny ability to bring a routine to a crescendo and to then slide in a topper that ramps the mirth up to yet another level. His writing is amazingly strong, with no end of surprises and little twists to the stories that keep the laughter going. The delivery is also great, with very slight pauses to let the audience keep up and Andrew acting out what he is saying. Tonight he got off to a bit of a false start when mid joke one chap, late back from the bar and bent over with his head tucked into his shoulders to make him invisible, dashed across the corner of the stage to take his seat. Bird paused in what he was doing and much to everyone’s delight and without any malice, he made this trespasser to the stage his topic for the next couple of minutes. The material was great, with every routine a winner. My favourite, out of a cracking field, would be the Millwall supporter. This is a routine that I would happily hear Bird do at every gig. This was a splendiferous performance.
A brilliant act who had something for everyone to enjoy.
From the night:
Headlining was Christian Reilly, wearing spectacular golden shoes and his straw hat. Reilly is a great singer who has the ability to sing with various accents whilst, when it suits, screwing his face up or marching on the spot. All of this adds no end of value to the performance as he manages to impart a lot of characterisation without ever having to go over the top doing so. I’m not that into music, yet tonight I found it extremely easy to get onboard – the rest of the room were already there, giving big laughs right from the start of his set. A lot of consideration has gone into these songs and they are put together extraordinarily well. They were all pretty much bang up to date, too, with a wonderful Tommy Robinson song that could only have been written in the last couple of months. To me, the standout was the song about Trump, as this not only seemed to hit the political nail on the head, but it was hilarious, too. At the end of what had been a superb performance Reilly finished to loud cries for more.
Versatile and extremely funny.
From the night:
Looking slimmer and fitter, Mor came to the stage and delivered a set that was charming, interesting and incredibly funny. There are some people who are living an interesting life and you could listen to them just chat for hours without getting bored. Bob Slayer, Nick Page and Phil Nicol all spring to mind. All three of these can captivate a room just by telling what they have been up to for the last month or so. Martin Mor is similar. Tonight he spoke about Trump and protests, using this as a framework whilst he addressed comments to audience members rolling with whatever came up from these brief conversations. This was a powerful approach, as it left him free to go in whatever direction he wanted and it also felt very much of the here and now. There were tons of great moments, such as Mor dashing off of the stage to shake the Canadian’s hand, the discussion about what was Bramhall Lane, foot jobs, the value of a history degree and the bafflement concerning a degree in human geography. In-between all of this, he would come back to his material about his dispute with Trump and a protest. This was a belter of a set.