"You may laugh - it stinks."
Another good night at the Malarkey and off to a good start with open spot Danny Deegan.
Spider says: Local lad Danny had a confident, easy-going manner on stage but not only that he had some excellent punchlines that were delivered with perfect timing. Okay, there were a few wanking jokes, but the one about the free preview on porn channels being a race against time to crack one off made me laugh. But there was enough variety of material to keep it entertaining. I think we'll be seeing more from Danny in the future.
Lee says: Danny Deegan was first to take to the Malarkey stage on Tuesday and turned out to be the perfect opener. Danny's likeable story telling, and amenable delivery instantly put the audience. Danny is fairly new to doing stand up but you can see he has a natural talent. The material needs work in places and sometimes the tall tales lack an adequate pay off, but a promising act nonetheless.
Second onto the stage was Phil Roman.
Spider says: Phil started waffling on about the best way to roll a bogey and let it drift into an awkward silence. I was thinking, "Hmm..." when suddenly, "Hello! I'm Phil Roman!" saved the day with its excellent timing. The majority of Phil's set was one- and two-liners, quite a lot of which made the audience groan - "Haemhorroids - what a pain in the arse." - but some had potential. I think the delivery needs to be speeded up a little bit with less pauses between gags (although one or two do take a while to sink in).
Lee says: Phil Roman was next up with his own brand of groan-tastic comedy. There were some gems in there but there were also some uncomfortable silences. The delivery needs a bit more pace about it too.
Adam Cadwell did an impromptu set next (he just came down to watch but Phil was a bit late).
Spider says: To be fair Adam didn't know he'd be on until the last minute but there was too much waffling and moving the mic stand (and explaining about moving the mic stand). I've seen him do an excellent set before so I think this would have been better to do than try new stuff which didn't really go anywhere. Having said that he did get a couple of laughs and it was an unexpected bonus so fair enough.
Lee says: Adamís Malarkey debut was a stormer and great things were expected for his return. Sadly, it didnít quite live up to expectations. Adam spent the first half of his set moving the mic stand from place to place, and talking about the mic stand. Now it is a nice stand, but I donít think it really warranted such attention! To be fair to Adam, he was just in for a pint, and Iím sure next time will be more in line with his Malarkey debut.
Next onto the stage was a woman.
Spider says: 'A woman' is Jo Dakin's new character - the picture says it all really! A fantastic outfit and a broad northern (Yorskhire?) accent which she describes as 'French'. The character is basically an ironic look at the myth that women in comedy aren't funny. Imagine Victoria Wood but about 400 times ruder (and funnier) and you'll get a rough idea. Anyone who can shock Toby with talk of her "fishy minge" deserves credit.
I think this character has some real potential. Some of the lines are meant to shock, but succeed in making the audience to laugh guiltily. Superb.
Lee says: 'A woman' is Jo Dakin's latest comedy creation, and what a creation it is. Full of filth, and innuendo laced with a large helping of irony that I donít think anyone got. Whether the underlying message was received or not, this was a stormer of a gig. Hugely entertaining on whatever level you want to take it.
A few of the pieces didnít quite have the impact hoped for, and some pruning of the set would be in order (e.g. The Ant and Dec photo didnít really get the reaction she was looking for), but for the most part, A Woman was bang on the money.
Jo Dakin has a real talent for character comedy and itís perhaps about time sitcom producers and the like noticed.
The first headliner of the night, Mark Kelly, came on after the break.
Spider says: Affable Mark was very much in the Jasper Carrott mould of comedians, which is no bad thing. Plenty of one-liners and guitar-based songs and poetry. He seemed to go down well enough with the audience although they seemed a bit reluctant at the audience banter bits (the chorus song in particular).
Mark was funny enough but I don't think he's quite a strong enough act for a headliner in his own right. There was a bit too much "Thank you!" after every song to signal the end of it, where a stronger punchline would have done the same job. He'd make a good main support act I think.
Lee says: Markís act was a combo of one-liners, a few observations and some guitar-based comedy tunes. Musical comics tend to get a lot of stick from critics but I have always been a fan of the likes of Paul B Edwards and Mitch Benn. Mark didnít seem to quite have their magic. The songs finished without the required pay-off, which meant it was a little disappointing for the audience. This was a good performance, but lacked that special something.
The final act of the night was Brummie comic Susan Murray.
Spider says: Much of the set was fairly filthy boyfriend material that produced occasional groans of disgust from what I like to think is a fairly filthy crowd. There was also the self-deprecating humour that Brummies (Karen Bayley et al) seem to exhibit, i.e., taking the piss out of the Midlands.
Like Mark, Susan was a reasonable headliner - she certainly got plenty of laughs - but for me the material wasn't really original enough (gags about boyfriends, sex, alcohol etc. and a totally unforgiveable "So I stabbed her.") There were a few brilliant lines though, the one about Argos being the DSS with presents being my favourite. Seemed to go down well enough with the crowd though, that's the important thing.
Lee says: Susan Murray finished the bill in her slightly abrasive, stand-offish and always filthy manner. Susan has some great routines in there. Nothing particularly original. In fact some of them are distinctly unoriginal, but she does get a nice twist of run of the mill comedy themes, and I love the sex with the lad off the fairground routine.
Delivery-wise, her confidence and timing are both excellent, but I didnít find her character on-stage to be amenable.
Comic of the night - a woman. See you next week.
Spider and Lee.