"What the fuck was that all about?"
Oh dear, a bit of a limp cock of a night of Tuesday. I think I'll get this review out of the way as quick as possible...
First up was the impressionist Paul Lightfoot. The first spot is usually the hardest to fill with the crowd being at their least responsive but that didn't happen tonight...
Paul unfortunately seems to suffer from Rory Bremner Syndrome - fantastic impressions but no real material to back it up. While Paul did get laughs, I personally don't really enjoy acts that are just a series of impressions. There are people, like Alfie Joey who can get away with a couple of impressions but there is a point to it.
Paul, however, was wit personified compared with the next act, Penguin.
I presume Penguin are supposed to be French and Saunders-style schoolgirl characters. It mattered not. They were shite. 'The Twin Towers of comedy' as someone said.
To be fair they did warn that their sketch is not 'traditional' stand-up comedy as such, and boy, was that true. Imagine standing at a bus stop for nearly twenty minutes listening to two Scouser schoolgirls talk utter bollocks. That seems to sum it up.
We've had acts on before who are not 'proper' comedy (poetry, sketches, etc.) but at least they stuck to their time. Penguin were booked for between 5 and 7 minutes - they were on for nearly twenty with no signs of stopping before Justin politely asked them to finish.
Incidentally, they were overheard later on in the women's bogs saying, "I can't believe that fat bastard pulled us off stage." I can. When an act is on stage for THREE times as long as they should be it's just plain inconsiderate to the other acts, one of which we had to cancel through lack of time.
Next up was newcomer Steph Davies.
Steph has played Malarkey's once before and did okay. She was very nervous but got a few laughs from a crowd who were stunned into silence by the previous act. So taking this into account I'd say she did pretty well.
Some of the jokes were fairly obvious double entendres but there's potential there. Needs a bit more confidence, though.
Next on was Noel Kelly, and thankfully he did a superb set, with some good impressions (which were funny - take note, Mr Lightfoot), his Sean Connery being particularly good.
Noel was very confident on stage and this helped a lot considering the mood of the crowd by that time. There were some great gags, well delivered, and even a bit of occasional banter with the audience.
A good (and vastly relieving!) 18 minutes from Mr Kelly.
Finally the headliner, Stanley McHale appeared and luckily he was pretty good too, with an enthusiastic (and somewhat breathless) stage presence. There were even a couple of musicial numbers accomanpied by a backing CD which provided a nice bit of variety.
Stanley was a solid, competent headliner - not the best we've ever had by any means, but funny enough for him and Noel to rescue the night from being a total dogturd.
See you next week - hopefully...