So it was yet another night of Comedy & Curry at the Crown Inn and a night like any other only it wasn’t. We’d oversold the rooms standard capacity and had to remove most of the tables and bring lots of additional chairs in. To add to things lots of new faces along with many of the regulars turned up and many of them arrived late which led for such faffing and chaos than usual with a member of staff burning her hand upoon delivery of curry to a table which led to an emergency clean up and a very late start to the show which noticeably tanked me off. The acts were all good as gold though and everyone booked to perform arrived in time for the show. A Lincoln car full two of whom are ‘more experiential’ comedians, one I’d never seen and had two other friends who I knew were both quite new the comedy scene but didn’t realise one of them was only on his third ever gig.
After many delays due to accidents and late comers which were beyond my control the night finally kicked off 20 minutes later than it should have with Nick Clarke totally on form getting them going from the off despite the late start. This gig has no opening spot when Nick’s at the helm, the worst someone has to do it go second and I pretty sure only one has ever bombed in the opening spot at this gig. James Spencer of the Lincoln foursome went second and proved a good start to the night he had a ‘shaky’ start but the audience soon warmed to him nicely, nice material, very likable on stage and would book again. Sam Blake one of the newbie’s followed who hit the track running and didn’t stop. A straight forward story teller but the punch lines were nearly all in the right places, and he got a lot of laughs. His final story is funny with a good pay off to it but too wordy and needs trimming down though (he can fill the void left by Danny Davies) if he keeps at it. Final act of the first section was Paul Mutgejja who can’t spell his own surname either to give away one of his gags. He hit the room at a good time and kept the laughter flowing very nicely. Second time for him at the gig and he was worried about doing the same material as 11 months prior but mostly a different audience so we were treated to some of the classics mixed in with some new stuff and I have to say the 10 minutes he did tonight had the best ‘flow’ to it narrative wise I’d seen him do that’s a good 10 he’s got there.
After an interval (where I begun to calm down a bit) we went into the second segment with Nick Clarke trying out 10 minutes or new material about sex toys! which all worked and kept the energy levels high in the room. Chris Brooke or Brooky as he liked to be called followed doing only his 3rd ever gig but you wouldn’t have known that had it not been said out loud. Another straight forward story teller but punch lines in mostly the right places and obviously a lot of editing still required but the ingredients are all there and another crowd pleaser that went down well. Now came the ‘experimental’ two back to back and I mean this with all the love in the world but the kind of comedy routines that can go one of two ways depending on audience and atmosphere of the gig (it’s the nature of the beast as my own act falls into the group as well) Liam Mitchell who has a slow, laid back & intelligent routine where he draws out gags for longer than they need to and peppers his wording. its all about the timing and the gaps is key to everything and tonight the audience totally got it, he still covers various topics including going to the gym and online dating. I had a feeling William Thomas Collishaw who was next might go down well now too and I was right. He is another ‘meta’ comedian where he basically has 3 gags he draws out across a 10 minute set and begins by pointing that out and shows the score board by which he gets the audience to judge each ‘gag’. Starting with his weird parents upbringing habits, buying a hat at a music festival ending on recreating having his pizza stolen by a member of the audience. Again one of those acts where it really depends on the audience and the gig but love that the crowd here tonight went with it.
Final section with just the headliner to go and it was Stevie Gray who I had seen a number of times and various other gigs I’d done as both a 10 spot and once as an opening 20 and had always thought ”he’d make a great headliner for the crown” and I was right. It’s a tight 20 minute set which really gets the energy into the room with a lot of variety so it doesn’t’ get boring quick. Guitar songs, stuff around some odd newspaper articles and unwanted secret santa gifts. The part where he gets someone to dress as a eagle and the audience to throw paper aeroplanes is so bizarre but just works somehow.
Despite the late start (never again MUST start on time next month), still done by 11:05pm and the audience went away very happy having enjoyed a great night out of entertainment and a new record we sold two thirds of the entire stock of next months tickets there and then! 3 years ago we were still struggling to get 4 or 5 to come and watch the show in the tiny back room of the pub! We have now we have long outgrown that tiny room and are always in the main front room and we are struggling to fit everyone in to the venue itself! The waiting list for acts wishing to come and do it is getting ever longer with it now rammed full until November (and many acts booked in for the xmas special in December already). Other circuit pro standard acts are asking to come and willing to do it for less money than they usually want because they are told it’s such a joy to come and do and on top of that in September we have a ”TV NAME” coming to headline so to say I am truly happy with this gig. Long may it continue!
Tho all my venues here in Shroipshire have to take a break in August the Teknicolour Smoof brand comes with me to Edinburgh Fringe with a nightly showcase hour where I intend to try and recreate this venue up there…. one can but hope ;p