The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly – Edinburgh Comedy Collective – 18 January –The Podcast

You may remember back in November I visited The Comedy Collective at The Stand Edinburgh and was privileged to see an advanced snippet of  The Good, The Bad and The Downright Ugly, a comedy panel show created for a podcast,presented by Richard Melvin and assorted comedy guests. Initially prior to the recording MC Caulfield did the warm up and explained the ideas behind the concept.

The concept is to take the comics out of their comfort zone and to take them away from their well crafted and honed set material.

The comics going through the wringer on the opening recording were the legendry Jo Caulfield, the inimitable Keir McAlister and the outstanding Graeme Thomas.

Melvin set the ball rolling by ‘getting to know’ the panellists and in doing so causing much hilarity along the way, prior to the ‘serious’ part of the proceedings as two of these comic masters went head to head attempting to get the most laughs and ‘points’, somewhat similar to ‘Argumental’  TV channel Dave. Challenges on The Good, then The Bad, news stories, and other assorted topics took us to the interval and beyond with a variety of ‘debates’ and led to a final round similar in many ways to the ‘Mock the Week’  finale.

Okay it was maybe not as slick as a fully prepared show, but in my opinion anyway, that was a pleasant change. To see these guys flying by the seat of their pants and the genuine enthusiasm they displayed throughout certainly made it the value for money experience that it was. I mentioned in my November review that this show had cult potential, well, I didn’t know I was going to get sucked in. I am supposed to be doing something else for the next recording, but plans are already afoot to reschedule this so I can attend the next performance.

So at the end of the second section that was the recording finished, but was that the end of thing? Not on your life!! Character comedy took over as Jay Lafferty ‘read extracts’ of Victoria’s Diary in the run up to a wedding. I have always rated Jay as a stand-up and her development into a classy character comedian as well makes me even more certain of her talent. It was a well written and presented piece with a lovely twist I hadn’t seen coming and was an added bonus to what had gone before.

And there was more!! Joe Heenan, a stand-up and compere extraordinaire, but Joe the character comedian?? Well he was and an excellent one too!! Fred Nostradamus as a semi-stuntman kept the laughter pot bubbling along well for the duration of his set, a set that was all too short for my liking.

And then there was Lach. How to describe him? Is he a comic? He says no. Is he a raconteur? Well he talks well! Is he a singer and musician? Well certainly if the short burst we saw was anything to go by. This multitalented New Yorker held the crowd rapt for the closing set as he showcased all his talents.

And that was unfortunately all. Until the next time that is. But that is only next week!! Fortunately!!

For the dates and performers of the remaining 5 podcasts check out the website www.edinburghcomedycollective.com or the Stand’s website www.thestand.co.uk and hopefully I’ll see you there.

Reviewed by Geoff

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Sunday Night Laugh-In -Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh – 8 January 2012

How does one cheer oneself up on a January Sunday night? Well you could always do what I did last night and visit the comedy oasis in Edinburgh, The Stand Comedy Club where of course it was business as usual; they run virtually 365 days a year after all.

Even in early January there was a more than respectable crowd in attendance by the time our hostess Sian Bevan took to the stage to control the evening’s entertainment. This certainly not the first time I have seen her in charge at the Stand, she is one of the many quality MC’s they have at their disposal, each with their own style.Sian, complete with a new haircut and a new svelte frame, treated the crowd to her take on proceedings. The usual information garnering, making contact with potential ‘victims’, and boy did she have a choice, boy-band soldiers, American club owners the flat-mates from hell, even an evil banker were all candidates. Ms Bevan has a pleasing easy going personality, backed up with all the comedy skills and material she will ever need breezed through the warm up prior to introducing the opening act Glaswegian Chris Conroy.

This was the first time I had seen him perform, and I certainly hope it won’t be long before I see him again. From the moment he hit the stage to his finish some 20 minutes later he was totally at home. His stage presence is commanding, his material different whilst being funny , one doesn’t normally expect to see a male comic going on about childbirth or even The Samaritans for example,  well written and delivered. At times his style reminded me a little of an early Kevin Bridges, not that he is trying to be him, it’s just the same obvious quality is lurking there in my opinion. Certainly an act I’ll look forward to seeing again.

After the first break,Sian introduced the opening act of the second segment, the relative newby Kitty Wood. Now she hasn’t got too many gigs under her belt yet, but anyone who didn’t know this would not have guessed. Exuding calm and confidence Kitty was gentler in her humour than many, but once into her stride the time evaporated. This lady has plenty of stage presence, a pleasing voice, with a composed delivery style. Her material is peppered with gems on yet again non-standard topics, and is blessed with wonderful comic timing. I look forward to seeing her perform a longer set, as I felt she was building well throughout her short set and felt given more time will really be able to shine.

Closing out the second part was comic Alan Sharp, he blessed with film star looks, albeit that filmstar being Hagrid from Harry Potter!!  This is the second time I’ve seen his hairy, bearded guy in recent months and rather enjoy his somewhat pessimistic outlook on world in general. He is self deprecating throughout, but has a set packed to the gunwales with funny material on a variety of subjects from pizza, mobile phone upgrades,Gloucesterand Christmas birthdays. His set finished with a well written almost rant, that had the club in stitches. I am already looking forward to the next helping.

Headliner on the night was magician, comedy-writer and of course stand-up all rounder Steven Dick. Although his was a name I was aware of, again this was the first time I had seen him perform live. ThisGlasgowbased entertainer split his set into initially stand-up, and I thoroughly enjoyed his stuff before, finishing off with comedy magic. Now I have to say I am not a huge magic fan, even though I am beginning to come round to it more and more. I must admit I am in awe of the illusions he delivered. I always thought that I could believe what I saw, but following his trick with a kiwi fruit I am no longer sure I can. Steven certainly was a popular performer with the crowd and came across as a nice guy too.

And that was it. Another successful night of top quality entertainment, and for a small price. At £6-00 abargain, and even a better one if you are a member. To check out how  to join, or to see what is on the bill check out their website www.thestand.co.uk for details of the clubs in Edinburgh,Glasgow and the new venture inNewcastle.

Reviewed by Geoff

‘AMUSED MOOSE LAUGH OFF’ STARTS THE HUNT FOR 2012’S MOST AMOOSING NEW COMIC

in association with 2ENTERTAIN

 

If you want to be the next Jack Whitehall or Sarah Millican, this is the competition for you!

The prestigious, nationwide Amused Moose Laugh Off contest, to search out and discover the next big comedy star, is about to kick off. Entries open on1st January 2012, and qualifying rounds take place inLondon, the north ofEngland,ScotlandandIrelandfrom the end of January, so there’s no time to waste!

In association with leading UK DVD company 2entertain, this exciting countrywide talent search for comedy’s brand new comic gems is famed for discovering the comedy stars of the future. Previous Amused Moose Laugh Off winners include Jack Whitehall and Sarah Millican.

The audience votes at every stage, whilst the overall winner is ultimately decided by the movers and shakers of the comedy industry. The Amused Moose Laugh Off 2012 final, featuring an international comedy industry panel and a celebrity host, will be held at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 2012, with £1500 as the winner’s main prize.

Amused Moose Laugh Off has proved to be a fantastic shop window for new talent, with most finalists being quickly signed by leading agents and promoters, as well as having the opportunity to be showcased in Amused Moose Comedy Gangshows inEdinburghandLondon.

So if you want to set your stand-up career off to a flying start, showcase your talents to the comedy industry, take your first steps towards your own DVD and have a shot at the main prize of £1500 to invest in the development of your comedy career, what are you waiting for?

For your entry form and more information go to http://www.AmusedMoose.com/LaughOff  then just turn up at qualifying rounds eager to perform a few minutes of your funniest gags, hopefully on your way to fame and fortune.

CONTACT FOR PRESS & MEDIA: Flick Morris PR flick@flickmorrispr.com / 07917 875 625

 GENERAL CONTACT:  Comedy@AmusedMoose.com  (Hils Jago 07970 524 234)

Red Hot Chilli Pipers – Dunfermline’s Alhambra Theatre – 30 December

With what has been a successful year for bothDunfermline’s’ Premier Theatre venue,   The Alhambra and of course the World’s no.1 exponent of Bag-Rock, are there any other?, the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, what could be a better way to bring down the curtain on 2011?

With what seemed to be the excess of 1800 bag rocker fanatics of all ages from 12 – 112 packed into this prestige Dunfermline Night spot the scene was set for yet another evening of  the sensational  eclectic mix of solid rock tunes and traditional bagpipe numbers, well mixed as only this bunch of musicians can deliver.

This gig has become, in a short space of time, a highlight, nay a tradition almost, of what is the best thatScotlandcan offer. For a number of years now they have graced this stage to perform their own take on the music scene.

Classics from Coldplay, Queen, Guns ‘n’ Roses, The Who to name just a few were given the unique twist that the Chilli Pipers excel at and even that there is no G Man or Stuart Cassels anymore, it detracts little from their excellence.

They, this year anyway, elected to play without a support act, yet from the moment they hit the stage until their departure some nearly three hours later produced a set that had their die-hard fans in ecstasy and no doubt converted a huge number of others to become fans of the bag-rock.

Encore after encore elongated what was an extraordinary night, only I assume to be equalled, if not exceeded, next year if all is well. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers are here to stay and  I’m sure that the fans will return in droves once their next gig is announced.

To check on future gigs for the Chillis why not visit their website www.redhotchillipipers.co.uk  or for what’s on at The Alhambra then www.alhambradunfermline.com is the site to be on.

Reviewed by Geoff