Top comedy gig…

TSP and I are determined to make up for the fact that we missed all the great comedy stuff at the Edinburgh Festival that we really wanted to see.

So last night we went to The Banana Cabaret at The Bedford in Balham. We knew it was a nice venue from going to the new Kashmir Klub there fairly regularly.

The headliners last night were Milton Jones and Gina Yashere – obviously a v. popular choice judging by the ‘standing room only’ situation by the time we arrived. It was also extremely smokey and we were reconsidering our decision… until the first act came on, John Fothergill – a regular on the London comedy club scene (apparently – I’ve never been to a comedy club before, only comedy gigs in theatres), and a very funny man.

Then came some poor bloke who pretty much died on his arse – given that I’ve only gone to Comedy in theatres before now, the standard of live comedy I’ve seen has been very high – people like Eddie Izzard, Lee Evans, Ross Noble, Rhona Cameron, Barry Cryer etc… hang on, I have been to a comedy club before – Club Senseless in Crouch End, but their booking policy is so choosy there’s never going to be any rubbish there either (I’ve seen Rich Hall and Rob Deering there – both top pros).. so, that doesn’t really count. Where was I? Ah yes, poor bloke dying on stage – it’s not that he was dreadful, he just wasn’t very funny. Which just goes to confirm my response to anyone who ever says ‘you should do stand-up’ after one of my gigs. No I shouldn’t. If I’m not funny, but vaguely friendly and endearing on my gigs, I can still win. People will like me, enjoy the music, and smile a bit, and that’s a success. If you’re not very funny but just come across as a nice bloke at a comedy gig, YOU’RE RUBBISH! there’s no halfway measure. No-one can say ‘shut up and player yer guitar’. They just get impatient for the next act.

So I’ll stick with making people laugh between songs – that way I still have my proper skill to fall back on, something I’ve spent decades honing, rather than a half-arsed haphazard approach to comedy, which just sort of happened and is really helpful for getting reviews on the Edinburgh Fringe, but isn’t really what I do for a living…

Anyway, the headliners were, as expected, fantastic. Very very funny. I’ve seen Milton Jones live loads of times – at Greenbelt, and a few other comedy gigs around, but he never fails to make me fall about laughing. An exceedingly skillful comedian. Gina is someone that TSP and I have enjoyed on TV for years, and is equally if not more funny on stage. Great observational stuff, very endearing personality and some top absurd stories.

All in all a great night out, despite having spent £12 to stand up. Next Time we’ll get there earlier.

Soundtrack – Erin McKeown, ‘Grand’.

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