"My donkeyís getting shorter and I think Iím going blind..."
Very busy again on Tuesday, and it looked like it was gonna be one of those nights. 8:30pm, full club, zero acts. Bugger! Just when it looked like we were gonna be treated to the three hour Toby Hadoke extravaganza, the acts popped their heads around the door sheepishly. Phew.
First up on the Malarkey egg box, was Richard Batsford. Richard kicked off his set by chatting up the pretty young lass at the front by the name of Sara. Smooth-talking Rich described Sara as "not so much a girlfriend, more of a masturbatory aid"! Well, you had to be there I guess but rest assured it was hilarious.
Richardís mixture of poetry, pornographic humour, and sick Leah Betts jokes was a winner with tribe Malarkey. A few of the jokes went wide of the mark, but for the most part they were bang on the money. The quality puns are always a winner with me.
Mr Batsford was one of the best openers weíve had at Bar XS and finishing the set with his version of the Brit award winner Robbie Williamís Angels was a fitting crescendo to an impressive set. Support act of the night for me.
Local hero and poet Lemn Sissay was next up. Lemn was down at the Malarkey for a quiet pint and was gonna step in and do a bit when it looked as if the acts werenít gonna make it. When the acts did show, Lemn said, "Aw, fuck it. Iíll do a bit anyway." Bonus.
Lemnís eclectic mix of true stories, poetry and inane ramblings were a welcome addition to an already burgeoning line up. Lemnís a loon but he a star who perhaps enjoyed himself too much! Nice one.
[Trivia Corner: Lemn wrote the poem on the side of Hardy's Well, and Toby painted it... - Spider]
Ryan Gough was next to entertain tribe Malarkey. Brummie lad Ryan, who had even bought a new shirt especially for the occasion, amazed the Malarkey crowd with his extensive knowledge of UK dialling codes. "Whoís the telephone code Daddy?"
Ryan was an imposing presence on the straining Malarkey stage and had a likable and confident delivery. He had plenty of quality material a delivered a quality debut at XS Malarkey.
Dan Smith followed Ryanís performance with a guide to stand-up comedy, and a series of puns involving Parky, Keema Naans, Anne Widdecombe and biblical weather forecasts.
Dan had a slightly mediocre debut at Bar XS. Partly due to some unhelpful heckles (cheers for that Lemn!) and partly due to his material. There were some gems in there, just not enough.
But, to be fair, he was an added bonus to the advertised bill, so cheers for that Dan.
Toby kicked off the second section by giving the Daily Express reporter that was in the club, a good drubbing for chatting. Lookout for a shit review in the express in the near future!
Toby then introduced top support act James Cook. James, who runs his own club in Birmingham, was shocked to discover his stars this morning simply said 'Cancer'. And heís an Aquarius.
James was having a bad hair day on Tuesday (check out the piccie) with his Lord of the Rings tribute haircut the 'Fro-Do'.
James obviously realised that the sick jokes go down well at the Malarkey and so quoted the George Harrison tribute he had seen in the paper. "George Harrison, the quiet Beatle, now, even quieter." Beautiful.
James got a warm reception from the Bar XS punters and the Steven Hawking material went down a storm. Shame about the Joe Longthorne gag though, the were too young James. Having said that, Iím the same age as you James and it went over my head. Thereís probably many a reason for that though. Iím looking forward to seeing James again. Quality.
After the chips, Toby came back on for a who do you hate session. Itís fantastic when Toby gets on one. Jeremy Clarkson, Jamie Oliver, Thatcher, Bass breweries all came in for a good slagging. As Robin Ince once said, "Toby Hadoke on fucking fire, ladies and gentlemen!"
The headliner tonight was the international comic John Fealey. John was impressed with the "empty Doctorís waiting room" set that Toby had built for him. Nice artwork too.
John's set ranged from gigging in Amsterdam, Dutch saunas to the differences between men and women and Godís creation of genitals. Although he rarely stuck to the script. He was much more inclined to bounce comedy off the audience with his animated delivery and wacky expressions.
John is a fine comic and the encore was well deserved.
Cheers to the bar staff and Sarah on Tuesday for working late. There was just too much quality comedy to squeeze in the one evening.
Heckle of the night had to be from the bearded ZZ Top look a like when Toby was talking about the old "whatís black and white and red all over?" gags. "A freshly whipped nun!" he retorted. Class.
Tuesday was definitely a success judging by the amount of people who came up to me at the end saying "best night ever!" Not sure if it was the best night ever at the Malarkey, but it was definitely a classic.
See you next week.