"Don’t be a sinner, be a winner..."
A fairly quiet night at the Malarkey. To be expected with footy on, the students not being back and the inevitable post-Christmas lull. Not that it stopped us from having a great night.
The night kicked off with a storming set from set from London-based comic Andrew Bird, and he set the standard for the evening.
Andrews’s enthusiasm and animated delivery was the perfect antidote to the slightly quiet room. He upped the tempo of the delivery nicely proving that he was experienced to read the situation and adjust accordingly.
Material wise, Andrew’s twisted observations and concepts on the world were bang on the money from start to finish. His Australian accent routine being particularly hilarious. I have a sneaky suspicion that Mr Bird could breathe life into the dullest of material with his unrelenting zeal and fantastic play-acting.
A true talent and a pleasure to watch.
Next was another energetic performer, local lass Lisa McGinnis with her scally-based humour and the occasional sick gag for Tribe Malarkey. Tall tales a-plenty from the current ’king Gong and a good quality, consistent set. There was the odd gag that fell flat but Lisa recovered the energy well. The gags were well delivered and Lisa’s timing is excellent.
A quality debut from a fairly new comic that has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few months.
Next up was another London based act and ex-vet Jem Brookes.
Jem launched himself on to the stage with a supercharged opening section and used the venue nicely with a few impromptu comments. Jem had obviously studied the room and knew exactly how to get the laughs. His combination of twisted puns, tall tales and observations were for the most part bang on the money. Groanworthy in places but Jem soon brought the energy back up.
Jem looked totally comfortable on the Malarkey stage and handled the audience with the skill of a seasoned professional. Even a disturbance at the door wasn’t enough to throw him. An extremely confident comic with an infectious style.
After the break, the main support of the evening came from Mick Davies and his fantastic Xmas jumper.
The main problem with Mick’s set on Tuesday is that he didn’t seem to take the cue from the other comics and up the energy and pace of delivery. As a result of this the momentum never got going. There were some obvious peaks, like the fat club routine, which was fantastic, but by Mick’s standards, this was a lacklustre performance.
The headliner on Tuesday was Mike Wilkinson, and this was probably the best performance I’ve seen him deliver.
It took a little while for him to win the crowd over with his brand of fairly disturbing gags, but once he had them, he was on fire. And the "Barcelona took my sexuality" heckle was a gift from the comedy gods and Mike knew exactly how to run with it.
Comic of the night? Got to be Andrew Bird. Looking forward to more.