DBBC Comedy Night 28 July 2012

It was just over three years ago that I was first moved to stage a comedy night in the Dalgety Bay Bowling Club, my time does fly, so when I was approached to repeat the experience I was only too happy to do so. It was my chance to put together a line-up of some of my favourite comedians on one bill for everyone’s entertainment, so were the slightly more mature audience ready to have a laugh? Hell yeah!! They were and then some.

Our compere for the night was the delightful Jay Lafferty. Now those followers of my musings on this site will be aware of the talents of the young lady, but it was the first time I had seen her ‘in charge’. As only she can Jay charmed, cajoled and enticed laughter out of the punters from the outset. She was on fire, had one and all in the palm of her hand from the get go and never left the pace and energy of the room drop. Hats off for the way she did that but left me in a dilemma. Do I prefer Jay in this role or as an act?

The opening act, ably picking up the baton was Gareth Waugh and it was great to see another young Scottish comedian whose career is certainly on the up. Waugh has plenty of stage presence, oodles of well written and presented material and quickly established a rapport with the audience. It seemed that he had barely started when his time was up. I’m sure he will be welcome back anytime and just watch his career soar.

Following the first interval and more Lafferty magic, relative newcomer Kitty Wood took to the stage. Ms Wood oozes confidence, nobody would have guessed that is was her first year doing comedy, and her gag packed set was well received by one and all. This is the second time I have seen her on stage and her growth as a comic was a pleasure to witness. She had plenty of laughs throughout and a variety of stories to entertain. I think her closing routine really hit the spot with everyone also.

Closing out part two, the masters of Improvised mayhem Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson just took over the club and gave a virtuoso performance as only they can. Supremely confident in their style, they raised the bar even higher than already set as they absolutely wowed DalgetyBay with their impro games and comedic skills. I just know they could have played for hours and in would not have been enough for the audience. They only had time for a short taster of their abilities, but as three years ago when they last played here brought the house down.

Following the final interval and Jay getting everybody going again, it was time for the headliner Keir McAllister to stamp his authority on proceedings and of course he did so in spades.

He is a stalwart on the Scottish comedy circuit and has been for a number of years, and his experience, stage presence and a whole raft of top notch material means it is never an ordinary show when he is in the line-up. As those before he had well and truly brought his ‘A game’ to proceedings and blew everyone away for his all too short set. The laughs came thick and fast throughout and I could not believe it was all over when he was finished.

So Jay closed out the night, and what a night. I certainly hope it’ll happen again in this venue, but please don’t make us wait another three years!!

Reviewed by Geoff

Advertisements

Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra

EDINBURGH JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL

Ken Mathieson Classic Jazz Orchestra Salutes the Kings of Jazz

(Salon Elegance – Tuesday 24th July)

Jazz is at an interesting time in its evolution over the past 100 years. Hugely talented and influential musicians of the first half of the 20th century are in danger of being forgotten or even dismissed. Trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke is one such talent. He came to prominence in the 1920’s but died of alcohol abuse in 1931 at the age of only 28.

Arranger Ken Mathieson has dusted off Beiderbecke’s music and given it a fresh, full and joyous sound. On this occasion, his 8 piece orchestra featured front men Billy Hunter (trumpet), Konrad Wiszniewski (tenor sax), Phil O’Malley (trombone), plus the versatile Dick Lee and Martin Foster on clarinets and various saxes. The rhythm section was made up of Tom Finlay (piano), Roy Percy (bass) and Ken Mathieson (drums, as well as providing the continuity and context of each number).

Between the Beiderbecke tunes there was an eclectic mix of music made famous by Jelly Roll Morton, Sidney Bechet, Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington. Each member of the band had their impressively performed solos. My personal highlights included the tune Eccentric with Lee and Foster giving a spirited treatment, both on clarinets and Wiszniewski’s supremely melodious treatment of Idling.

Rounding off a most enjoyable concert was Black Bottom Stomp – a toe tapping tour de force.

Reviewed by Ben

Pushcart Derby Dalgety Bay –The Concert- 21 July 2012

In what has become an institution in the Fife town of Dalgety Bay and as usual with Cancer Research UK being the beneficiary, local lads Mark Bennett and Stuart Prentice, ably supported by an army of volunteers, put together a day that can rival most.

Starting at 10-30 a number of intrepid teams stage a timed pushcart race, all far to energetic for me, and once this is complete all adjourn to the concert area a few yards away for their own mini festival, thankfully minus the mud, and a variety of bands and solo artists played for the crowd throughout the afternoon and into the evening too.

The music programme kicked off at noon, and like last year Those Blues Brothers got the show off to a cracking start. The brothers attired as Jake and Elwood performed all the well known and loved classics from this classic movie in their own homage. They know how to sell a song and there could scarcely be a better way to start off proceedings.

Following hot on their heels were Lost Fleet. This foursome of almost sickeningly talented young locals did what they do best and that is gave a high energy, hard rocking set of predominantly their own material with an odd cover thrown in for good measure. These guys just get better and better. Watch out for them if you get a chance. If you like rock I’m sure you’ll be as impressed as I am each time I’ve seen them.

Grace Black was the next act on stage and as in previous years treated the growing crowd to her own style of big band / blues / jazz numbers. Certainly she was less energetic that the previous act, but her set was well received and certainly in keeping the almost summer weather we were experiencing.

Now last year’s surprise package for me was Shameless, and I was pleased to see that they were a late addition to the bill this year too. An eclectic mix of styles and ages, they seem to be able to turn their hand to anything. Skiffle, folk, pop, reggae and rock a billy, it’s all in an afternoons work for this group. As last year they were very well received and I’m sure I was not alone in wishing they could have played longer.

Close your eyes and when Tam Scott sings you could believe it actually was Neil Diamond performing to you that is how much he sounds like him. Okay the physical resemblance is not so striking, but what the hell; it’s the music we came to hear. Scott performed the well loved classics such as America, Cracklin Rosie, Sweet Caroline and so on and really got everyone, especially the kids involved in what was a thoroughly professional performance.

Now Mark Bennett’s name has already cropped up in this piece and now it was his turn to take some of the limelight as Blue Delta were next to perform. This excellent covers band is fronted by Bennett and his wife Lynsey on vocals with Ian on guitar, Jon on bass and Scott on drums, but there was an additional voice in the mix with Amy who has been standing in for Lynsey recently. All six performers rocked the arena during the set of 80’s numbers with a variety of styles, Kim Wilde, Billy Idol, Yazoo, Transvison Vamp; Bryan Adams amongst others preceded what has become a trademark ending their Queen Meggamix.  Suffice to say they received the wild ovation their performance deserved.

Forever Young were the next act to hit the stage. These four guys are an AC/DC tribute band even down to the shorts and school uniform. What they also are is an excellent and entertaining ensemble, laying down the hard rock numbers that their mentors made famous. I have never seen AC/DC play live, but I guess I no longer need to such was the quality of Forever Young. I was really impressed with their set and could not believe it was over so soon, the time just evaporated. Finishing up with Whole Lotta Rosie was a fitting finale to their segment.

The Session took over the reigns next and as in previous years, these slightly more mature gentlemen certainly did their reputation no harm at all. Drums, bass two guitars and a rock vocalist this quintet played a variety of classic songs by acts such as Pink Floyd, Stereophonics, T.Rex, Stevie Wonder, The Who and even the Beatles, but managed to add their own touch to flavour these numbers. I certainly could have listened for much longer, which I feel every time I see them play.

Following on from them David Mutch was back once more to change the mood with his offerings. Mutch is a excellent singer mostly associated with ‘standards’ and musical theatre numbers and his renditions of Tony Christie, Matt Munro, Sinatra songs together with tracks from Miss Saigon and Les Miserables were if his usual high standard, but who would have thought he could have transformed a rock standard into a swing number? Certainly not me.

Rolling right on the next group The Getback Band really wound up the crowd with a quick paced high energy selection of Beatles songs. Okay the Fab Four had morphed into the Fantastic Five but who really was counting. The hits came thick and fast form all stages of their career but I think it was safe to say these guys went down a storm.

And yet there was still one highlight left to come. Elvis was in the arena. Leather clad Paul Thorpe, together with a four piece backing band, was the King and played his heart out much to the delight of the still milling throngs. Could there have been a better closing act to conclude a magnificent day.

So well done to Mark and Stewart, the whole of the organising committee, the volunteers, not forgetting the sponsors for putting the day together. Thanks to the artistes and everybody who gave something to the charity. One question. What date is it all happening again next year please?

Reviewed by Geoff

Who’s Lunch is it Anyway – Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh – 15 July

Someone once said that nothing in this world was for free. Well I have news for them. Each Sunday lunchtime The Stand Comedy Club proves that wrong by offering a free show provided by the doyens of Scottish Improv Comedy, Stu Murphy and Garry Dobson, not only is it free to get, in but no collection is taken on the way out either.

Although I have been going to the Stand for many years now this was the first time I had availed myself of the offer, and along with numerous others, partook of a very reasonably priced lunch prior to proceeding kicking off.

Now I have seen these two very funny and extremely talented guys many times over the years so was aware of what we were in for, a variety of games based on audience suggestions all of which gave the punters a chance to try and throw these guys, not much hope of that I can assure you, but also a chance for Murphy and Dobson to showcase their skill. And Boy did they deliver. In spades!!

The show runs from 13-30 until 15-00 and roughly half way through a short break takes place for glasses to be recharged, and in the second half we even had an added bonus. Thinking he was just coming in to watch Joe Heenan a much loved  Stand comic was somehow inveigled into joining in the hilarity, a role he was perhaps less used to than his usual stand-up, but proving his versatility he certainly added to the proceedings, ramping up the quality further.

The games will be well known to most I guess, but the interpretation comes down to the individual exponents, and in these guys you simply have some of the very best of their genre performing.

This show runs almost every Sunday so there is plenty of opportunity for you to catch them, and of course one of the things about Improv is that it is different every time.

During August however The Edinburgh Fringe comes to town, so it is not on, but fear not Murphy and Dobson are relocating to the newly refurbished Assembly Rooms and are performing virtually everyday at 12.15 to 13.15, hence even more chances to catch them.

To find out the details check out www.thestand.co.uk or www.arfringe.com for all the information on this and many other shows available.

Reviewed by Geoff

Pushkart Derby Dalgety Bay 2012

Its back, and its bigger and before than before. Free entry again (although a donation on the gate would be appreciated to raise money for Cancer Research UK).

The race starts at 10:30 with the first band taking to the stage at 12 noon.

The Long Awaited Band Schedual ………
12 noon THEm Blues Brothers
12.35 Lost Fleet
1.05 Grace Black
1.45Shameless  

2.20 Tam Scott (Neil Diamond)
2.45 Blue Delta (80’s Tribute)
3.50 Forever Young (ACDC)
4.25 The Session
5.15 Sir David J. Mutch (Rat Pack)
5.50 The Paul ELVIS Thorpe Band
6.35 The-Getback Band-uk (Beatles)

Brit Floyd – A Foot In The Door Tour – 30 June- Alhambra Theatre Dunfermline

Now I have to admit to being a little iffy when it comes to tribute bands in general. I sometimes feel that it could be seen as making a living on someone else’s back. However I am occasionally prepared to make an exception and when it comes to this band it is no hardship at all.

Formed in 2010 following the split in Australian Pink Floyd, who I thoroughly enjoyed back in 2009 when they played inDunfermline. Brit Floyd consist of musicians and singers who have all previously been part of APT so are obviously well versed in their mentors music and together with a superbly designed and highly technical stage package ensured that the 1000 or so fanatics who packed into Dunfermline’s most prestigious performing space had a night they would remember for a long, long time.

Right on time they kicked off and what a way to start. One of my favourite numbers ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ gradually built as the six musicians and three female vocalist recreated this masterpiece note perfectly, and in general set the tone for the 2hours 45 minutes that followed, no way did they shortchange anyone that’s fore sure.

Dipping back in time to the Barrett era with See Emily Play, via excursions into The Darkside of the Moon territory, Wish You were Here, Echoes, a huge chunk from The Wall, the classics just kept coming, each one faithfully replicated by the sublime musicians and vocalists on stage and all lapped up en masse by the ecstatic audience.

I have to say I am a huge Pink Floyd fan so I guess I would have been as aware as anyone for less than top notch performances, although I’ve never seem them play I do have most of the albums, and I am delighted to say I was held in rapt awe throughout.

If you get a chance, do yourself a favour and check them out. Future gigs can be found on their website www.britfloyd.com and why not see some of the forthcoming shows on offer on www.alhambradunfermline.com at the same time.

Reviewed by Geoff

Entries open for Amused Moose Laughter Awards

Entries have just opened to this year’s Amused Moose Laughter Awards for the very best comedy shows on the Edinburgh Fringe from ‘undiscovered’ performers, so emerging or previously ‘overlooked’. 

The main prize is £5000 plus a commercially filmed showcase at Soho Theatre in September, which was won to great acclaim in 2011 by Tony Law’s show, “Go Mr Tony Go!”. 

All entries will be watched online and scored by a panel of respected comedy industry folk (producers, reviewers and bookers mainly to ensure impartiality)

There’s lots of information on www.amusedmoose.com/awards which includes:

Full details about entry criteria, plus information about filming a preview and uploading that, plus making your entry (there’s a link to the online entry form), which can all be found by clicking here for details about how to enter

There is some additional information when you click on link to Q&A

And click on this link to PR/filming if you are concerned about how to get your Fringe show reviewed or are wanting your show filmed.

If any of the above links won’t work for you, please email us.

Wishing you a brilliant Fringe,

Hils Jago 

Producer of Amused Moose Comedy Awards (supported by 2entertain)