"Well I hope you die of cancer, or something just as bad..."
Another busy night, comics-wise, on Tuesday and a special guest compere in the form of the affable Archie Kelly, or Kenny from Phoenix Nights from those not in the know.
First onto the stage was the lovely Steph Davies.
Steph has been gigging for a while now - she's played Malarkey's a couple of times before - but still seems to be a bit nervous on stage. Her material is okay, and it's improved recently but I still think she needs to come across as a bit more confident to command the audience's attention (although I think the lads were particularly attentive...) The potential's definitely there though.
Bounding his way on to the stage next was Steven Moore.
Steven was - er - confident to the point of brashness. It was his first gig and the confidence was impressive given this fact, but the material definitely needs work. There was too much "I love it when..." and "I love this...", to do with beer, sex, etc., without really going anywhere. It was mainly rants and rambles with no real punchlines.
That said, there were glimmers of material with potential - the Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter stuff for example - but to borrow m' colleague's favourite phrase, the rest needs pruning. And he needs to be a bit more polite to the audience until he's got the material to back up the insults.
Third of the night was Bolton-based comic Swob.
Swob has some great material but suffered slightly from a too-laid back delivery, especially after the audience had grown accustomed to the in-your-face style of Steven.
However, once the routine gathered pace the audience lapped it up (and enjoyed the gig as well). The highlight for me was probably the stay-sharp knives routine, the use of props being particularly effective.
A good set from Swob but it definitely needed a bit more 'oomph!' in the delivery.
After the break came musical comedy act Freaks Outing.
Freaks Outing - or Richard as he's known in real life - started the set with a couple of opening gags in a surreal/sick way (unfortunately fluffed a punchline but it got a bigger laugh than it probably would have).
The first song of the set was one I've heard before and it's one of my favourites. Excellent bitter and twisted humour ("You dirty little bitch! You mangy VD-riddled whore!"). But the highlight of the set was the song about death in which he dressed up as the Grimreaper and did one the best visual dance routines I've had the pleasure of watching. Fantastic.
So an enjoyable set from Mr Outing, and even more amusing for me personally as he looks like my mate Evil Pete.
Lee Grounds took to the stage next.
Lee usually does a good set, and tonight was no different, although he did suffer from a slightly muted audience. To be fair though, they'd been quiet all night for reasons best known to themselves.
To Lee's credit a lot of his material is bang up to date with amusing skits on recent news items (the Washington sniper being one) but there was also some tried and tested material too.
Not the best set ever I've seen Lee do but still pretty good.
Headliner of the night was veteran comic Tony Morewood.
Tony's been a circuit veteran since the 80's and last did Malarkey's when we were over at Scruffy Murphy's, several years ago.
While Tony is undoubtedly a good comic I wouldn't say he was an out and out headliner. He got enough laughs - I thought the magic trick bit was brilliant, by the way - but didn't really have me laughing out loud. I think he sensed having a bad gig as he literally ran from the building after he left the stage! Oh well.
Bit of a muted night at the Malarkey this week, let's hope the atmosphere's a bit better next week.