"I bet the scouser nicked it..."
Iím going to try and get through this rather brief (apologies for that) review without using the words 'wacky', 'zany', or 'off the wall'. Wish me luck.
As Toby is still poncing at the Royal Exchange (I went to see it the other night by the way and it is fucking brilliant), scally Mark Smart (AKA Jason Cooke) was the compere for Tuesday night.
Mark kicked off the evening with some limericks he had written especially for the night. Will Young and Britney both came in for a comedic bashing, and then Neil (Spider) and I had a limerick each dedicated to us. This would have been a nice touch if he hadnít got my fucking name wrong! Iíve only known the guy for about six months! Perhaps time to lay of the sauce Toby, I mean Jason?
Andy Brough was first on the Malarkey stage and came on to a cavalcade of party poppers courtesy of Mr Smart. Andy, the bargain mad scouser, bought a cat so he could take advantage of cheap cat food offers. He wants to know why you go to jail in Monopoly. "What have you done? And to get out of jail you have to throw a double. What sort of Parole system is that?" I reckon you take you board games too seriously Andy!
Andy had some great material but struggled a little with his nerves. As a result of this he stumbled over some of his words, which disrupted the flow and lessened the impact of the material. [Although to be fair I've seen Andy a few times and he was much better than previous gigs where he was sweating like Bernard Manning in a sauna... - Spider]
Heckle of the night came after Andyís performance. Mark was rifling through some poor lassís purse and found there was no money in it. "I bet the scouser took it!" some rapscallion piped up. He soon shut up when he turned around to see Andy stood directly behind him!
Second on the Malarkey crate was Ian P Wicks. Ian had some fantastically bad puns, which I absolutely loved: "Iíve got my kamikaze pilot mate staying over at the moment. Thereís no room for him so he just crashed on the floor." "I got a flat on the M6 tonight. Itís noisy but the rent is cheap." "The second robber was obviously into anal sex, he tried to kill me with a dagger, but luckily for me he was a shit stabber."
Ianís comedy was certainly not to everyoneís taste on Tuesday and some of the puns fell flat, but I absolutely loved it and I was not alone. Ian is a confident comic with a good clear delivery and what I hope is a promising future.
After the break, Mark downed a pint of someone elseís cider live on stage and managed not to puke. Nice.
City Life finalist Des Sharples was next up at the Malarkey.
Des, who wants to bring back the death penalty for suicide bombers, disgusted Tribe Malarkey (which is no mean feat) with his ideas for legal highs. Apparently the detergent cubes in the urinals when soaked in piss are a blinding high. Iíll take a rain check on that, ta Des.
Another fine performance from the John Macken look-a-like. Des just gets better and better every time I see him.
After the chips, The Amazing Mr Smith finally made his much-anticipated Bar XS debut.
Mr Smith is absolutely mesmerizing to watch and piss-your-pants funny. He can make music from anything, including contraceptives, and the duelling banjos was a great idea. Mr Smith quite rightly got applause after applause and two well-deserved encores.
Nice to see something different getting such a good response. A very wacky, zany, off the wall performance from the circuit veteran.
Nearly made it.
P.S. Here's a pic of Mark Smart's tattoos...