"Not a cucumber, the other one..."

Stormed back to form on Tuesday. The venue was rammed, as it should be.

Richard Ousey First off at the Malarkey on Tuesday was Richard Ousey. Human skyscraper Richard, canít understand why old people see the need to remind that he is tall all the time.

"Ooh, youíre tall."
"Yes, and youíre gonna die soon!"

What a pleasant young man.

Richard had a competent debut with observations on topics ranging from Blind Date to buying shoes when youíre tall. The material was lacking in places with two peaks but nevertheless a good opener.

Sarah Ledger Sarah Ledger next took to crate Malarkey.

Sarahís Jo Brand style humour was a little lost on tribe Malarkey. Partly due to the fact that it was a younger crowd and partly due to the style of delivery. Sarahís deadpan style didnít have the desired effect.

The material consisted largely of smear tests and the pain of pregnancy, which instantly excluded the lads in the audience who either switched off or shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

And using the stock line "I asked the barman for a double entendre, and he gave me one," was unforgivable in my book!

Ian Fox After the break Malarkey regular Ian Fox made his performance debut at Bar XS.

The start of Ianís set was unfortunately disrupted by Justin making friends with/chatting up the gay lads heíd been taking the piss out of all night so the entire first joke was lost on half the audience.

After that Ian, managed to recover quite well. The 'redneck wrestling an alligator' and the 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire Tourettes Edition' got the biggest laughs. Class.

Ianís debut at Bar XS was hampered by a number of things. One, Ian was holding the microphone too far from his mouth, which reduced the volume and increased feedback so people were straining to hear. Two, along the same lines, he didnít project his voice as well as he could. And finally, the material is a little inconsistent with some obvious highs and some lows.

A good debut from the Fox though and Iím looking forward to seeing him again.

Jonathan Paylor Local lad Jonathan Paylor was next on the Malarkey milk crate.

Jonís brilliant observational tales ranged from combining Blackpool with Vatican City to create the best tourist attraction in Europe, to being gay and liking football, to handicapping the fastest Formula One cars by attaching caravans to the back of them. The 'Baked Bean Pizza' routine was especially hilarious.

The Yorkshire ladís laid-back humour was received well by Tribe Malarkey. A great support slot from a talented comic.

The headline act on Tuesday was the Fantastic Noel James.

Circuit professional and Malarkey favourite, Noel is guaranteed to produce a stormer every time. With his clever word play and teasing puns, the master wordsmith leads us through the surreal world of his intellect.

Noel James Shame Mark Felgate, his occasional dozy sidekick, wasnít with him. If it is possible, it would have been even more hilarious.

Noelís intelligent and absurd humour appeals right across the comedy spectrum and youíd be hard pressed to find someone that doesnít find him piss funny.

A well-deserved encore rounded off a very strong night at XS Malarkey. Comic of the night without a doubt.

Toby returns to the reins of the thoroughbred venue next week with Alex Boardman headlining so we should be in for a treat.

See you next week.