The Best of Scottish Comedy – Stand Comedy Club – 21 December

The shortest day of the year coincided with my final pre Xmas visit to Edinburgh’s no 1 comedy club The Stand for the aptly named Best of Scottish Comedy night.

The milder weather seemed to draw a whole host of visitors to the club including a pack, and I use the term deliberately, of off-shore workers who were determined to have a good time following their release back into society.

The compere for the night was the effervescent and funny Ayrshire hairy man Billy Kirkwood. Now he has always been a favourite MC at the Stand and he was in his element, a packed house ready for fun and just a little boisterous giving him plenty of scope to sharpen his wit, tasks he performed with his usual aplomb.

Opener for the night was Ray Bradshaw, a young Glaswegian comic who in my opinion has bags of potential. I first saw him a couple of months ago and was looking forward to seeing him do a longer set. His material as always was snappy and funny, some I was aware of but most was new to me, and although slightly suffering from our oil workers, still turned in a quality performance. I feel this guy has the possibility to reach the very top and I certainly look forward to watching his progress.

Opening act of part two was another of my favourites that being Jay Lafferty. Now I have seen her on stage numerous times over the last few years and she has always delivered a fine set and tonight was no different. Ms Lafferty has stage presence a plenty and a wicked side to her seemingly innocent look. He set was a fine mixture of some new material with a few of her greatest hits blended in. I’m sure she did nothing but enhance her already glowing reputation as she was well received by one and all.

Sean Grant closed the out the second section with the assured performance of the seasoned pro that he is. It has been quite a while since I had seen him perform and thought how much he had matured. Calm, controlled, yet funny throughout histime, with a wide ranging topic selection,  this occasionally self-deprecating comic is well worth seeing if you get a chance, I know I’ll be there when the opportunity arises.

Following the second interval and prize draw it was time for the headliner and what a treat for everyone. Glaswegian maestro Janey Godley is a confirmed favourite of mine, partly because you never know where she is going to go on the night, but what you can be assured of, is whatever avenue she goes down, the result is a set packed with quality, very funny and well written material delivered as only she can. Ms Godley is no shrinking violet, hell no. She shoots from the lip and nobody is immune from getting their comeuppance. She is occasionally slightly shocking for the more delicate palate, but probably draws more belly laughs per set than anyone on the circuit. I find myself being so engrossed in her stories that the time just passes before you know it, and I just know the next time I see her it will be the same, only the material will be different.

And that was it, unfortunately. Billy closed the show and we drifted away into the night, and I like many others I suspect heading for the website www.thestand.co.uk to see what other fare in on offer not just in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but at the new venture The Stand Newcastle.

Reviewed by Geoff

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