"It's the mind. Always the mind."

Mark and Ben A great night on Tuesday with a fantastic atmosphere and some excellent acts.

Toby set the night up well a very simple yet effective game to win a pint from his hard earned cash. Perhaps you could say it was a lazy way to compere but it certainly got the atmosphere going and he had already bridged a the gap between audience and performers.

First up were comedy duo and oh-so-wacky students Mark and Ben. With a unique combination of sketches, simplistic gags and chocolate related games, they proved to be a successful high energy opener.

They are by no means Electric Forecast, but the potential is there. They are both supremely confident on the stage and clearly work well together. A big improvement on the last time they performed at the Malarkey.

Jo Dakin And from wackiness to downright surrealism with local lass Jo Dakin.

Jo has played Malarkey's a couple of times before and we've also seen her at the Comedy Balloon, the Clocktower and even the Gong Show, and this was her best performance yet.

As well as some new bits of material scattered throughout the regular stuff, Jo had speeded up the delivery so there were no uncomfortable pauses between gags, but enough time to let some of the more surreal stuff sink in. Jo was a bit concerned about the length of the set as it was speeded up, but there was a good twenty minutes there.

All in all a good set and nice to see a local comic becoming more and more established.

Nige Next onto the shoebox was Scouse parody act Nige.

You may think that someone playing a stereotypical Scouser isn't exactly cutting edge but Nige was fucking superb! The last time Nige played Malarkey was way back at Scruffy Murphy's. The crowd numbered about 12 as England played (and lost) that evening. Nige, however, was unpeturbed - he simply sat cross legged on a table at the front and chatted to the crowd. It was one of the best nights I've had at Malarkey's!

This time, however, there was a sizeable crowd to appreciate his scally humour. There was a novel twist in the fact that according to him he wasn't even supposed to be on stage, but was a last minute replacement for his mate, Dogshit Barry, who had an unfortunate accident with steroids... For the next twenty-odd minutes he charmed the crowd with his good-natured, drunken and stoned humour.

Nige has had good reviews all over the country and it's easy to see why. The Scouser scally act is terrifyingly convincing. Top stuff. Incidentally, Nige didn't explain it, but if you're wondering why his mate is called Dogshit Barry it's because he's always under your feet...

Roger Monkhouse The headliner was the ever-popular Roger Monkhouse.

As Roger does work as a compere as well as a comedian there was quite a bit of audience banter, which I personally like as it's unexpected and you're guaranteed not to have heard it before. However, he did do some of the tried and tested material, which is still good.

The end of the set was a bit untidy, and Roger admitted on the M.E.N. website his act could have been better.

So - not as polished an act as we've seen from Roger before now, but the bits that worked were still funny.

See you next week!

Lee and Spider.