Friday, 19 January 2018

GSOH: New Year Delight

Much of the western world likes to celebrate a four-figure digit of their calendar changing. It's supposed to inspire you to reboot your life, give things a fresh start.

Unfortunately, when Pope Gregory XIII instigated our calendar system, I don't think he took into account that the end/start takes place at possibly the bleakest and coldest time of the 365.25 days on offer. I'm usually nesting under a thick duvet nursing a cold, which is how I saw in 2017, and 2018.

You can make great plans for the 'new you' when 1st January hits, I always do, yet I'm often sidetracked by unexpected opportunities and pressures. I'm still freelancing where I was just before Christmas, but not complacent about it lasting much longer, plus there's been more evening work offered to me as of last week.

Anyway, let's concentrate on comedy, which is what these GSOH blogs are about. On the first Wednesday of the year, comedian/promoter Colin Hayward announced there was a spot going at the monthly Coffee Aroma comedy night in Lincoln the next day, which I grabbed. I'd got over my cold and all that stood between me and resuming as Trisha Timpson was a long shave. Oh, and a 100-mile drive.

The only time I've gigged in Lincoln before this, was also for Colin, at his Tap & Spile night. The line-up had the amazing musical comedian Friz Frizzle, who I saw in Leicester a while back. It was also one comedian down, so after doing my Trisha act, I scrubbed my war paint off, threw on a t-shirt and jeans and then did an old straight ten spot. It's nice to double up as yourself.

The organist Friz Frizzle entertains

The return to Lincoln, and the resumption of lipstick application, was a great decision. I had an phenomenal time back behind the mic. It's a well-lit room, so I could see the audience very clearly, and this time noted that it was the women who were laughing the hardest. Specifically, the rather rude bits I do (from a female perspective) generated a lot of laughter and quite a few heads being thrown back.

One superb thing to see when you're out and about, is a new comedian smashing it. 'The Angry Scotsman' Jim Tweedle certainly did that in the middle spot, with an astonishing stage presence. I assumed he was fairly experienced, but was really surprised to learn he'd just done his third gig.

When a newbie does it that well, my assumption is that they've had experience with speaking in front of large crowds. Teachers tend to make good comedians. My suspicions were affirmed. Jim's a cracking comic.
Jock and roll
As for headliner Stephen 'Friz' Frizzle, well, he just went out and smashed it. I'll come out and say it, musical comedy isn't a favourite of mine, the likes of Instant Sunshine being a baffling turn-off whenever I came across them on telly or radio, and when the Two Ronnies did an innuendo-filled number, I'd mentally tune out.

That's not to say I hate the genre. After all, the first time I performed comedy on television, it was in a musical sketch. There are some good musical acts on the midlands circuit, like Hannah Silvester and the shuddering mirthquake that is Rob Kemp's The Elvis Dead.

Frizzy Rascal, as Stephen doesn't like to be known, has a spectacular repertoire of pop song covers with new lyrics, covering a startling array of topics. From Claire's Accessories to cannibalism, the affable keyboard warrior weaves together a tapestry of laugh-inducing musical mockery. Book him for your comedy nights.

Happy New Beer
I'd conclude this blog entry on that positive note, but my ego has to go down a few notches. Firstly, I did my make-up in the dark, assuming my smartphone's torch feature would be the only light in there. Colin surprised me by turning a switch on.

It was a nice start to the year, having my first gig be a paid one. Although when I got to my car, the windscreen had the unwelcome adornment of a parking ticket, wiping out what I earned that night. Grrr.

Trying to sum up this experience with a pun on Linkin Park is just a tedious exercise, so I'll allude to the second gig - right at the other side of the country - being covered in my next blog entry and just end this overly long sentence here, concluding this post with no viable payoff.

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