Stand Comedy Club Edinburgh 25 October

With the dark nights firmly upon us and the clocks changing shortly the cool fingers of impending winter are very much in evidence outside, but inside Scotland’s premier comedy club the atmosphere is always tropical and no more so than this gig.
One thing that is assured is when compere Joe Heenan is the man in charge the laughs are thick and fast from the opening seconds and when he is on top form the experience is even better than ever. Not only was he on the top of his game but the comedy gods had blessed him with a front row comics can only dream of, an American professor of robotics, a Swedish couple on holiday, a pair of Birmingham visitors, together with a New Zealand promo team and a business analyst a row back. All food and drink for this exceptionally talented comedian and boy did he make capital out of them. His riffing as always was top notch and this allied to his innate talent Joe is just a delight to listen too.
Opening act was David Whitney and although he has been around for a while it is the first time I have seen him perform. Although Aberdeen born, Whitney sounds very English, and a fair amount of his material is about London, but this translated well to the packed out club. He had a packed set talking about drinking, pineapple, pizza, royalty, banks and girlfriends in his all too short set. Whitney has stage presence in bucket loads and I have added his name to the growing list of comedians to be sure to check out again.
Following the first interval and some more Heenan magic Becky Price was next onstage doing her stuff. Now I had seen her a few months ago and was impressed with this linguistic student. Okay Ms Price had only a short time to perform but used the time to the max. Her set was so full of material she seemed to deliver it at machine gun pace, but as before I thought she showed she could more than hold her own on what was a very talented bill. Her somewhat innocent look deceived in some ways as she delivered her set of well crafted funny stuff peppered with language that your maiden aunt may not approve of, although the audience lapped it up. Becky is a name for the future I am sure and I look forward to seeing her undoubted progression.
Closing out part two was Stand regular and genuinely funny guy Keir McAllister. I have seen him perform countless times over the years and have never ever been disappointed and again he was on top form. He has a non stop style, packing in more stories than the average performer into his set, but then nobody could ever describe him as average. Trams, William Wallace, travel, previous gigs and a section on his recent marriage were subjects he delivered his well observed, written and performed set to universal acclaim.
Part three started with the ‘prize draw’ conducted in the inimitable Heenan style prior to introducing headline act Rob Deering. Now I have to admit to being a fan of this guy having seen his Edinburgh Fringe shows each time and a few occasions out with as well. Deering is a very clever comic. He won the Weakest Link comedy special a year or two back without getting a question wrong in the entire programme, and majors on both his comedy and his guitar/effect peddles to create a set packed with laughs and garners genuine admiration from one and all. The way in seconds he can create a band and backing vocals with his ‘live looping’ just has to be witnessed !! Deering is a non-confrontational comic, he has a pleasing and engaging stage manner, always smiling and I lost count of the number of laughs he generated throughout his session. As always it was a delight to witness a master at work.
And that was it unfortunately that was it. Heenan closed out the gig and everyone had to leave into the cold night but with a warm glow remaining inside.
The Stand organisation runs comedy nights virtually every night each year in their three venues Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle so to check out on the line-ups visit their website www.thestand.co.uk
Reviewed by Geoff

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