Jason Cook – The End (Part One) Stand Comedy Club

I had occasionally wondered if it was worth watching ‘the same show again’, especially as I had only seen it as late as August, barely three months ago. But I knew on this occasion at least it would be worthwhile when the comedian in question was gregarious Geordie Jason Cook. Why? Well he has an innate ability to riff with the audience so that each show is different, and during the Fringe his show was restricted to an hour, and the offering at The Stand was going to be at least twice as long.

So along with eighty plus others I eagerly took my place long before the start on a cold Sunday night in November. Cold it may have been outside but the temperature was red hot once Mr Cook hit the stage.

The essence of the two hours was that he would warm up the audience briefly, do the first half of his Edinburgh show, an interval and then the concluding portion, but Cook being Cook, and the enjoyment he seemed to be getting from the crowds reaction, the ad-libs, banter and riffing took him to a whole load of places he didn’t expect to go.

He does talk quickly, well he has to, to pack in all his material, and it is all top notch stuff as well. He can always find an anecdote or ad-lib from whatever treasure he uncovers and often he is the butt of his own stories.

The story behind the title of his show is that before Christmas 2009 he thought he had breathed his last, and when he fortunately found he hadn’t then he resolved to change his life somewhat for the better. It is the lead-up to and the immediate aftermath of the event that is his mainstay.

I was fairly late in catching on to this exceptionally funny chap, others within my team were far more astute than I in recognising his comedy genius. I hate the term as it is so often over used, but in his case it is truly appropriate, in fact I don’t think another word could describe his performances. I am not alone; I spoke to a number of people at the interval and after the show concurred 100% with my opinion which was gratifying.

As his name could imply, he take the best of ingredients in his material, mixes them the spice of his humour, simmers for two hours and ends up serving up a feast of regal proportions for one and all. A recipe for a great night out This cook certainly deserves more than a few Michelin stars to add to his name.

So do yourselves a favour, check out his website  www.jasonlovescomedy.com to see where he is playing near you, then do everything you can to get a ticket. You would be a fool to yourself if you did.

For future dates at The Stand Comedy Club, both in Edinburgh and Glasgow, then check out their website www.thestand.co.uk and hopefully I’ll see you there.

Reviewed by Geoff

Julien Cottereau: Imagine toi

5 Stars

*****

Julien Cottereau has taken the arts of mime and clowning and given them a 21st century makeover by introducing a spectacular range of sound effects generated by his own voice. Despite his modernistic approach, the influences of the comedy greats of the era of silent movies can be seen and he matches what they devised.

He makes his first entrance as a cleaner and we get an idea of his act from the combination of facial expressions, movement and sound. For many of his routines he brings on to the stage volunteers from the audience to help with the action. What is truly impressive is the way he can co-ordinate precisely the actions of the volunteers with his sound effects. It is uncannily telepathic and achieved with an impish sense of humour. He can play tennis football and my eyes are following the movement of an invisible ball.

His final routine with the aid of two volunteers is spellbinding. There is the damsel in distress and the evil rogue. He, in Chaplin style, slays the evil rogue to achieve the rescue and to round off a classy performance.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Assembly @ Princes St Gardens; V52

Dates                                                  5 to 29 August 2010 (not 9, 23)

Times                                                 16.15 to 17.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 149

Brazil! Brazil!

4 Stars

****

The company of dancers, singers and musicians have created a dazzling spectacle. They tell the story of the creation of Brazilian popular culture which has carnival, samba and football as the unifying factors that transcend poverty and politics.

The centrepiece of the show is the troupe of 5 male dancers cum acrobats who give stunning displays of athleticism and timing. One of the troupe gives the narration as they trace the dance forms from the earliest folk roots, through the African slave influences to the contemporary capoeira, a fusing of dance and martial arts. They whirl, spin and somersault to the accompaniment of Rhythm Carnival who provide a full and dynamic sound with the emphasis on percussion.

They are rightly proud of their football heritage and it is a nice touch to mention the influence of Scots in bringing the game to Brazil. There is a little bit of football keepy-uppy amidst all the physical action. Between the dance routines, the female singers perform seductively; swaying hips in short tight skirts.

The finale brings all the elements together creating a breathtaking carnival atmosphere with the audience clapping in time and cheering the individual talents on display.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number                  Udderbelly’s Pasture; V300

Dates                                                  5 to 30 August 2010 (not 16)

Times                                                 18.55 to 19.55

Fringe Programme Page Number: 144

Moment4Sheila / Laff4Sheila

Time
Today · 08:30 – 19:30

Location The Stand Comedy Club, York Place, Edinburgh

Created by:

More info
Moment4Sheila.

Join us at The Stand Comedy Club celebrate the life of a truly warm and wonderful woman.

Most of us knew Sheila Kay Jack as the enthusiastic co-founder of the One4Review site with her partner Geoff. Their presence at any gig was always a pleasure, and their reviews were unfailingly supportive and constructive.

As many of you will know, we lost Sheila earlier this year.

The Stand Comedy Club, on behalf of all those involved in Scottish comedy, would like to extend this invitation to friends, colleagues and those who knew Sheila to join us at the club for a quiet moment to reflect on Sheila’s life, and to share a few stories, and raise the roof in laughter in memory of this lovely lady. If there was one woman who understood the value of a good laugh, it was Sheila.

Moment4Sheila will begin at 8.30, August 15th, 2010, at The Stand Comedy Club.

Places are sure to be limited, so we really need those attending to RSVP.

Following the Moment4Sheila, The Stand has generously donated the entire ‘Best Of Scottish’ show on the 15th as a benefit, Laff4Sheila.

It’s sure to be a great night, worthy of a glowing mention in One4Review, with Paul Sneddon, Keir MacAllister, Anthony Murray and Parrot.

Proceeds will be given to the World Wildlife Fund in Sheila’s name, as Geoff requested

Please remember, is it important to RSVP for Moment4Sheila.

Laff4Sheila details

Sunday15 August Laff4Sheila benefit night
Venue: Stand 1 | Price: £10 | Doors: 9.35pm | Show: 9.50pm – 11.40pm

Tickets for Laff4Sheila can be purchased through the Stand website

Tall Storrie and Wee Godley

4 stars

****

I’ve seen a number of children’s shows in my time reviewing for the site.  Most of them know how to cater to their audience through a mixture of storytelling, song and general silliness.  All of which are evident in this show by the mother and daughter team of Ashley Storrie and Janey Godley.  The only difference is that they’re making it up as they go along.

As most parents will know, it’s hard to maintain a rigid structure when you have children, and it is this idea which Storrie and Godley seize upon and use to great effect.  Your children are encouraged to bring along instruments, sit on the stage, crawl about the stairs and generally contribute in whatever way they see fit.  Although some of the younger members might initially feel a bit reluctant to join in, it takes little time at all before they are swarming the stage.  Storrie interacts with the children beautifully, drawing them into the fun, whilst Godley manages to keep both the children and adults entertained.  It might be seen as a risk letting an adult orientated performer like Godley participate in a children’s show, especially if you’re familiar with her one-woman standup routines, but it works surprisingly well, ensuring that the parents are kept on side during the sillier moments.

Attending this show as an adult you might feel as if the lunatics have taken over the playground, but it certainly entertained the audience on the afternoon I went along.  So take your kids along and let them wear themselves out running riot, it’s positively encouraged.

Reviewed by Di

Venue – Pleasance Dome, Queen Dome

12.45 – 13.45

Cabaret Chordelia: Making a Song and Dance

3 Stars

***

The show centres round Damian Thantrey who has a fine, clear baritone voice. The songs selected reflect composers who penned romantic, often sad, lyrics with a strong story line such as Noel Coward, Rogers and Hart, Jerome Kern and Kurt Weill.

Three female dancers Kimberly Lawrie, Kally Lloyd-Jones and Kirsty Pollock provide sensitive interpretations of the emotions contained in the songs. The highlight for me was the final song, Kirsty McCall’s ‘In these Shoes’ which was given lively and humorous treatment.

Cabaret Chordelia is pleasant and enjoyable late afternoon entertainment.

Reviewed by Ben

Venue; Venue Number – Pleasance at Ghillie Dhu; V236

Dates – 4 to 22 August 2010 (not 11, 16)

Times – 16.15 to 17.15

Fringe Programme Page Number: 144

Be-Dom

4 stars

****

If you want to start your afternoon with a bang, a boom or even a rat-a-tat-tat, then I thoroughly recommend attending Be-Dom at E4’s Udderbelly.  There you’ll spend an hour clapping and clicking along to the delights of these Portugese performers.

The show begins behind a large curtain, the backlit performers’ shadowy figures projected forward.  Soon enough the curtain is whipped away to reveal a space populated by a colourful array of, well, ‘stuff’.  A technicolour junkyard filled with TVs, bottles, barrels and buckets, all of which are used by the performers to create a wonderful sound.  Never has the term ‘tub thumping’ seemed more appropriate.   The choreography is wonderful to behold and the sheer joyful physicality of the performers engaged the audience throughout.  What seems ramshackle at times obviously took a lot of skill and practise to put together.

The show is divided into a number of different sketches and skits, all of which allowed the performers to develop a sense of their characters.  In addition, the gentle audience interaction allows you to contribute to the show in a delightful way.  The end of the show drew the crowd to their feet, appreciative of a genuinely entertaining hour.

Allow me to quote the highest recommendation, which came from the lady sitting next to me: “It’s the type of show you could recommend to everyone – you could bring your kids or your granny.”  Upon leaving the show a number of the younger audience members were tapping at various parts of their bodies, trying to recreate the sound that had kept them enthralled.  I fear for their parents’ kitchen cupboards, which will no doubt be raided so that they can ‘Be-Dom’ away into the evening.

Reviewed by Di

Venue – E4 Udderbelly

14.00 – 15.00

P In the Bay

4 Stars

****

The summer is here in spite of what the weather here in Scotland is trying to do to us, and summer means festival season. Glastonbury and T in the Park have both been and gone, on Saturday 24 July, Fife’s own Dalgety Bay had their turn with P in the Bay, a musical extravaganza that ran for upwards of ten hours with localish performers and bands, 15 in all, royally entertaining the crowd throughout.

This, concert seems hardly the word, followed on after a push-cart derby had taken place wit nine intrepid teams charging round a challenging course set up in an industrial estate to get the title for 2010 and all proceeds from both events were for Cancer Research UK, who’s committee and willing volunteers were pressed into service by organiser Mark Bennett and what a job he got them to deliver.

Sharp on midday the first band hit the stage, a four piece rockin’ combo by name of So4. Fronted by brother and sister Katieanne and Darren Gibson these youngsters really knew how to sell their set. A combination of original material and the occasional cover highlighted their exceptional potential. They deserve to go far if they can continue to deliver; I know I’d certainly like to see them again. Katieanne has an exceptional rock-chick voice and Darren really plays a mean axe, and they are so bl*ddy young!!

The second act to the stage was a complete contrast laid back, MOR and big band numbers delivered by vocalist Grace Black. Ms Black also appealed to a different demographic in the mixed age crowd that was steadily building throughout the afternoon and her slightly shorter set was generally well received.

The third act again had a different style. Calling themselves the Cherry Pickers, this acoustic folk rock duo comprising Paul Brand and Calvin Laidlaw were very much to my musical taste. Not the most visual band on offer, but they delivered where it counted with a quality sound and professional performance. Certainly another name to add to the list and look out for in the future.

Back in a rock vein again the next on stage was the very professional set performed by The Expectators. Again a young group, this time a trio, who performed a short set of their own material, which also went down well with the crowd. I had no idea there were so many talented musicians locally,

And yet they kept coming, Fire in Effect were next, this time a young four piece rock band. Again it was mostly their own material that was performed. A different sound than what went before, but none the less very well performed and I’m sure given the breaks they could go far. Certainly worth catching again if there’s a chance.

A chance in age group and style was Baby Isaac who oozed class throughout their 45 minute performance. They majored on blues which given the talent in the band and the amazing vocals of Angela Moore was certainly the right move as far as I was concerned. This, along with most of the acts, was the first time I had seen them perform, but it certainly won’t be the last. A five piece ensemble and each one complemented the other. It’s easy to see why they have a great reputation and certainly enhanced it on this showing.

Lost Fleet followed, and it was yet another local band and yet another young one. A five piece featuring vocals, two guitarists bass and drums. I wish I had been able to get the lead guitarists name as he must be the most talented 15 year old out their. The sounds he produced from his instrument were almost beyond belief. That’s not taking anything away from the rest, who were integral to the set, it was just wow. What talent!!

Rock continued after the next change, with the more mature The Session taking over with a selection of rock covers. Okay I’m equally more mature also and I did enjoy them, it was good to head their slant on classics and they at times brought the house down, and unfortunately the rain also, which did have a scattering effect on the crowd a little. I could have stood quite a lot more of them personally.

Next to hit the stage were the acoustic trio The Dandy Lions, comprising Kellie Buchanan guitar / vocals, David Hershaw, guitar / vocals and Sandie Forbes fiddle /vocals. Their set was a highlight for me, new material, good covers, a pleasing sound and as much as I like rock, I also like acoustic stuff and it made a nice change. They shared vocals, harmonised well and even with the slightly damp conditions around certainly made me feel like I wanted them to go on far longer than they were allowed.

Around 6-00, mayhem it the stage, no that wasn’t the bands name, they were Blue Delta, mayhem was Mark ‘The Organiser’ Bennett, and his larger than life personality, together with quality vocals, shared with Lynsey his wife, bass guitarist Jon McLuskey and drummer Scott Christie together with Ian Craig making his guitar talk, this amazing covers band blew everyone’s socks off. The range of material was wide, the quality was excellent and in the face of inclement conditions they managed to drag people out of the bar and food area to dance and sing along. I don’t know if they are the number one covers band in Fife as I haven’t seen every one, but if they’re not no.1, then some band has gotta be better than awesome. It was over all too soon for all. Here’s to the next time.

A brief change over period heralded the arrival of Tam Scott, who does a mean line in Neil Diamond impersonations. Although he really doesn’t look too much like the superstar, he does sound rather like him. I have seen Diamond perform live and the enthusiasm Scott generated, especially from a few young dancers during some of the classics numbers was approaching the master. I would like to see him with a bigger audience and judge the full reaction then.

The variety continued with the next act, and wow did David Mutch woo the ladies. He is 6ft plus tall, dark and with matinee idol good looks, backed up with a superb sing voice attracted him quite a female fan club. Mutch is a mainstay in several local theatre clubs and split his set between show tunes, and more MOR stuff like Bouble, Matt Munro and Tony Christie. Seeming a natural too he was also good at the links between songs informing the crowd of the material source. Again even the rock fans appreciated the variety.

With the time moving on, the penultimate band hit the stage. This was Big River a hard driving C&W band who entertained with a rousing set with quite a few Johnny Cash numbers in the mix. Now those who know me well will be aware that I am anything but a Country fan, and having been on my feet for over ten hours I expected to be unimpressed. I wasn’t. I will never like the genre but if I had to listen to this type of music, well they could be a band I’d listen too. A few die hards were dancing around the front of the stage throughout.

Rock predominated throughout the day, and so it was fitting that Millsyeck the headline band took to the stage for a further hard driving hour, finishing well after 10.00pm, with a well delivered and staged performance. The band is from Dundee, and is cutting quite a swathe on the music scene and I could understand why. It’s just a pity so many people had gone as the weather and fatigue took their toll, ‘cause I feel they, and I, would have enjoyed the set more if it had been more heavily populated.

At time of writing I am not sure how much money was raised for Cancer Research UK, but I trust it was plenty given the effort put in by all the artists, committee, volunteers and all. Special thanks should be given to Mark Bennett for the many, many hours and boundless enthusiasm that he put into the day. And if you missed out this time 23 July 2011 is the date for your diary when hopefully most of the bands will be back once more.

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