"If you play the Girls Aloud single backwards... it sounds better."

Paul Betney Bit of a strange one at Malarkey on Tuesday, the crowd were a bit subdued and I'm not sure why. Possibly to do with the central heating which was knackered and made the place hotter thana vindaloo.

First up was scouser Paul Betney making his Malarkey debut.

Paul's humour was quite self-deprecating (due to his shakes) but the set wasn't based entirely around that fact; there were plenty of observations and anecdotes which generally Allan Wilde went down pretty well with the crowd. The only problem was that he did about seven or eight minutes too long, especially for an open spot. A good set, but needs to be shorter (unless doing a paid spot).

Next up was something of a local leg-end - Allan Wilde.

Allan last played Malarkey's when it was over the road at 'the other place', so it was interesting to see if he'd changed much. To be honest there wasn't a great deal of difference from what I remember (he's still doing the beans joke) but I think Mike Landers he'd generally improved a bit. The act is still a bit chaotic, a bit of a mish-mash of different elements, but it got enough laughs (although sometimes accidentally).

Third on was Mike Landers with some new material (and a couple of older gags).

There were some great new lines and gags in there (although one or two which didn't quite hit the mark), and one or two interactions with the audience. It seemed a pity that he couldn't read his own writing on his hand or the set would have been longer! I think the John Warburton delivery needs speeding up just a touch, but on the whole it was a good set.

The next act up, making his Malarkey debut, was John Warburton.

John's slightly twisted brand of humour got the crowd laughing nicely, and rightly so, there was some great observational material in there. The plane crash in Wythenshawe was a great idea.

A couple of lines got discreet ripples of laughter but for the main part it was spot-on. I'm sure John will be back before long.

Don Dube Penultimate act of the night was Canadian comic Don Dube.

Although Don's set was generally good the crowd were starting to flag a bit, probably with the heat, and so they were a bit quiet towards the end, through no real fault of Don's. He did get a fair few laughs, and the material was generally good, with some great lines (the bit about losing umbrellas in particular). Bit of a tired crowd I think.

Finally, headliner of the night was the awesome Anthony J Brown Anthony J Brown.

You could tell it was a bit of a strange night, even Anthony struggled a little bit. The set works best when people aren't talking but the murmers were starting around the bar area, unfortunately.

That apart, the set was largely the same but there were some great new lines ("The remaining Beatles are making a new album. It's drum 'n' bass.")

Hopefully they'll have the heating problem sorted out for next week - see you then.