Thursday 14 June – Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh

It may be the middle of June, but I don’t think anyone has told the weather as it was anything like a summers evening outside, so where better to get warmed up, well fed and watered, not to mention entertained thanEdinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club.

Along with a number of friends I headed there in good time and, like the rest of the slightly smaller than usual audience, enjoyed the entire experience.

MC Billy Kirkwood was the man in charge of proceedings and is one of the many excellent hosts who grace the club at times. As always this much tattooed funny man was on peak form. Blessed by the comedy gods,  Kirkwood had a myriad of opportunities to shine with a diverse audience from various locations and backgrounds, a father & daughter from the USA, two posh female students from Exeter, two random Aussies who met that day in Edinburgh…. the list just goes on, and this was fair game for him to raise the room temperature and get all ready for the acts.

Opening proceedings was Scotland based Aussie Ro Campbell.  Now this is not the first time I have seen him perform, but I have never seen him like this before. Generally he seems to have a set he delivers, yes of course he does interact with the audience, but on this occasion he elected to go with information gathered by Kirkwood and totally riff his allotted time. Anecdotal stories were linked in of course, but I think he surprised himself how the set went. What it did was underline how a good quick witted comedian that he most certainly is can get mileage out of anything.Campbell is ‘doing the Fringe’ as usual this year and is certainly well worth checking out if you are around in August.

The first interval followed and once we were all brought back by Billy, local lad Ben Verth was on for the short spot. Although he has been around for a while and is an accomplished writer and performer, I had hardly seen him before, so had little to base an opinion on. He did hit the stage running though straight into a set of funny material which more than sustained his allotted time. I think it is fair to say he impressed all during his slot and certainly I enjoyed his set.  Like Campbell he is also on in August check out the Fringe brochure for performance dates.

Closing out part two was a first timer for me, but a well known name on the circuit, Andy Sir. Now nobody could ever accuse him of being loud and arrogant in fact quite the opposite is the case based on this showing. He is often self-deprecating in his material but Glasgow living Sir is certainly not short of laughs through out his set. The majority of his stuff had a Scottish flavour, however this didn’t seem to detract from his appeal even to the visitors to these shores. Certainly he is someone worth checking out if he is playing a gig near you.

After the second interval and prize draw headline act Mark Nelson took the floor and commanded proceedings for the final section. Now I have seen this Dumfries  comic, who lives in Glasgow, a few times and each time I feel he has raised his game further than the previous occasion. Nelson has stage presence a plenty and a whole raft of funny material too boot. As his predecessor a lot of his humour is Scottish based, but covers enough diverse aspects to keep everyone happy. Our colonial guests were in hysterics throughout and the Sassenachs enjoyed the set equally. Never afraid to banter with his audience, he does however deliver a well honed set, and I could thoroughly recommend checking out his Fringe show in August, or in fact any gig I guess, as I don’t think you will be disappointed in anyway.

And that was that. For the night at least. However The Stand does operate virtually everyday in life and you can check out their plans for Edinburgh, or their other two comedy clubs in Glasgowand now also Newcastle by visiting www.thestand.co.uk

Reviewed by Geoff

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