So this is a new gig and venue for Teknicolour Smoof and this was came about much earlier in the year (February) when I was contacted by the landlady who wanted to ask about ”booking a comedian” so went and met up with her and talked her round from that notion into booking a ‘comedy night’ and we agreed a budget (she wanted a pro headliner) and a date which later had to be changed due to the function room being double booked. This was a hard decision because this could be the start of something big so I straight away made the conscious decision I’d not make any money from it as it was night 1 as I just wanted it to go right but do I spend it all of the headliner or keep some back to split amongst the support acts. It’s more of a headache choosing the right acts and asking nicely if they’ll do unpaid than it is to offer them money, but I did just that and assembled what I thought was the best possible support act line up but alas it wasn’t to be by the night itself, but I had the best I could do given I’d dug myself into a hole over how’d I chosen to spend the allocated money.
We had a problem as the landlady had laid out the chairs perfectly fine so they didn’t need to be changed at all as they were all in rows but all had high backs making it so the people sat at the back could only see the top half of the comedians but we actually managed to people to sit on the front row. SHOCK HORROR! That’s after they’d finished their food though as it’s a posh restaurant/b/n/b and bar as apposed to a pub. So we were rather late starting the gig and for a while as is the norm panic started to grip my soul as the room was empty and we started to ask where the promised audience of 26 were? fortunately it took until 9:05pm but they all showed up and with only a few empty seats too. As I had guessed it was a mixed ‘middle class’ audience who were not belly laughers, quite reserved in fact and I think the original line up of comedians I had booked for this would have all been literally perfect for the room but alas it wasn’t to be.
Dave Dinsdale was on compere duties and he was naturally my first choice of compere for this gig and he has recently given up on just being himself and adopted a new character persona, voice and look for his comedy which he feels more comfortable with but he’ll always just be Dave Dinsdale to me however he packages it. He did his pre-compering compering trick and set the night of a nice friendly start, always a safe pair of hands for the job. First act was Alex Hylton (only remaining support act from my original selection) he has a very laid back low energy persona so thought he’d make a good start to an audience who had never been to comedy before and by his own admission he scored a 5/10, it was a 50/50 mix between his stuff hitting and missing. Stevie Gray followed him and he was unknown to me as he was a last second substitute for the gig as I had had to put out a plea to find someone in the end but he didn’t want to do be limited to 10 minutes and he wasn’t as he did a microphone-less 20 minutes of material which contained a mixture of crowd interaction and topical material rounded off with a song and jokes about secret santa. The material isn’t unique or cleverly constructed, but certainly gave the audience exactly what they were craving Nice, simple, easily digestible gags and will book again in a heart beat when I have space somewhere.
A longish break followed with Dinsdale doing more pre-compering and his higher lower game proving hit and miss, it got the energy up but as always some people always hard to get anything out of. Theresa Farlow was next up who is one of those great acts who has gotten very good very fast and has a nice rounded 10 minutes of material already. Tonight she had a good gig but her cradle joke is always a tester for any audience as they didn’t seem the ‘sweary’ type of crowd but alas she had a good-un. Roger Swift who wasn’t my first choice for this gig but any means but he obviously was available and here he proved to be pure neat marmite straight from the jar with stone/bored faces juxtaposed with people literally crying with laughter and there was ZERO middle ground. Which I’d be happy with that anywhere else but not here as this was the first night of a new gig and wanted far less risky acts who would please all, but hey it proved a surprise and added a mixture to the night.
Another long break and finally we had Dinsdale do his song and why not? It’s a great song and it got the laughs throughout. Noel James was the headliner who I show bias towards because it’s really my kind of thing comedy wise. Gag laden tight set in which he tries to get as many gags into each bit as he can and they all really well written good quality gags too, wasn’t the ideal headliner for the room though as they clearly were more of a ‘story teller’ crowd but he’s clearly been at it long enough to be able to pace it well enough to make it work in any given environment. Love the part where he manages to get 2 minutes of material and gags out of his guitar bag, a sentiment to this creative genius.
All in all a good night, not the best choices of acts for it but they all enjoyed it and came away happy (save the 4 who left mid-noel james’s set it seems) and landlady Lisa ordered a second show on Friday 18th September with an increased budget yay! and before I start getting the messages asking for spots it’s going to be a (quote) “once every 3 months or so” thing and they cleat want story tellers and run of the mill so know who I should book for this one. Andy White headlining and Jon Peason opening the next one 😉 should be a good show.