Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Real Gigs

It is wet in Edinburgh. Read that sentence with all possible surprise completely void from your tone. It is always wet in Edinburgh, its part of the nature of the place. I sometimes worry that locals would suffer from dehydration if it stopped being wet. I also rarely see them drinking water so I think its just absorbed through the air like plants do. It is a silly place. I do love it though and despite it being out of Fringe season I have already embraced it in exactly the same way ie with a lot of whisky and a great gig. The whisky was because I have now definitely all but lost my voice. I thought that as I have no option of resting it, the next best thing would be to drink hod toddies till either it comes back at full volume or I get drunk enough to not care. Sadly neither happened even with Rosie at the Stand's constant help but making it less and less a toddy and more a vat of booze with some hot water in. The efforts were appreciated by all but my throat and liver. I have decided that tonight I will just rasp my way through my set and the students at Edinburgh University will just presume I am either saying wise things or being decidedly jazzy.

The great gig however was just because it was at the Stand and the Stand is just one of the very best gigs ever. I was going to write about this sort of thing on Friday after doing one of the other very best gigs ever, The Comedy Cellar, in Bracknell, but it becomes more and more clear everytime I gig just what makes a room work quite so well. The Stand have it absolutely nailed. Lovely staff, care over who they book, rigid rules to stop bellends being in the crowd, low ceilings, proper lighting, good sound and great visibility of the stage pretty much wherever you are in the room. That's it. That's all you need. The Comedy Cellar similarly rocks in the same way. And the most important thing is that its run by people who care about comedy. The acts feel looked after so they perform better. The audience feel looked after so they behave and enjoy themselves. Consequently everyone leaves feeling like they've had a great night, albeit full of too much whisky.

It just strikes me as odd that people can't get that blend of things right. Its not that difficult. If a room isn't good for comedy, don't run a gig there. If you are setting out to exploit acts or audience, don't run a gig. If you don't have a mic or decent lighting, don't run a gig. There are about 600 more reasons why people shouldn't run gigs including 'if you just want to compere yourself despite no intention of learning how or ever writing jokes' and 'if you want to run a special night where comedy and live bands are mixed' as well as ' if you just want an avenue to meet people otherwise you will continue to just sit at home by yourself crying'. I'm all for people starting gigs, not least because it gives me more work, but I just wish people would realise how much hard work it is to do it properly and that that should be respected. If you ever consider doing so, make a trip to a good gig and see how its done first. Then run your gig miles away from theirs so its not in competition.

Last night was awesome in that way only a great gig can be. I got to watch some excellent new acts, spoke like a horse whisperer throughout and was repeatedly handed whisky by Rosie. There is little that can be flawed about such things.

Sorry, not a particularly funny blog today, but my funny efforts are being placed into other writing for the moment. They are filled with funny right now. Were you to even read a glimpse you'd laugh till you were unable to breath and then you'd die. This is why I'm not putting them here and I'm balancing out this blog with non-funniness so that I don't feel tempted to read my own stuff then die. Or you could also read that whole bit as 'I haven't written anything yet.' One of those is the truth.

On another note 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaay' (please sing) and on another note to that, my website has been remade all nice, new shiny and with lots of new clicky things (here's a tip, click on the pics of my many disguises for more captions than a man should write). Have a look and let me know your thoughts. About the website that is. Or just anything. Any thoughts are fine:


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