Thursday, 3 March 2011

You know the rules sweetheart

The Pub Landlord
Los Quattros Cvnts is one of my favourite comedy nights on the first Wednesday of the month at The Phoenix in central London. I've written about it before here and here. Fun, silly, and extremely friendly. I brought along Cvnts virgins Ken, my big brother, and Priscilla who I work with as well as meeting up with a couple of Cvnts stalwarts - Sir Bob, Graham, Neal and Rob.

After a now traditional bit of grub in the Old Explorer opposite, we headed into the extremely busy Phoenix and lurked by the door. We were called downstairs at 7:15, which was remarkably early, although we soon realised this was so we could stand on the stairs. This was actually lovely as it was a lot cooler and less noisy here.

Thanks to the ever lovely Muki, we got seats right at the front. This worried my brother and I reassured him that it was safe and he wouldn't be picked on! Although having watched an Al Murray DVD earlier in the day, he didn't believe me.

The Cvnts opened with a sketch about the film Inception, but having never seen the film, it went a little over my head. Michael had said before the gig that he was exhausted from his travel to the far east but luckily had to drink a can of Red Bull in this sketch. What a stroke of luck. It's almost like he wrote that in deliberately! The moved on to a job interview sketch where the job being interviewed for was job interviewer. This was pretty intricate involving Dan and Jeremy playing three characters at once. I think I mentioned before about some of The Trap's sketches reminding me of The Two Ronnies, and this was another great ronniesque sketch.

Paul and Jeremy's jaded babies were back, and then it was the turn of the extremely erotic Sean Goldsworthy, with another attempt at "choose your own" erotica where he asked a member of the audience to pick from the options he had written. When I saw Paul do this last month I had assumed he had scripted it so it would always be the same, but he has in fact written pages of it, and his "jump to page 44" instructions are totally genuine.

Jo Neary closed the first half with some character based comedy, my favourite of which was the new comedian who had just finished a comedy course.

Interval time next, and it was so good I can't figure out words to describe it. But quite possibly the best interval ever. Then again, there was that interval in the late '90s I remember so clearly, so scratch that. The interval was alright I guess though.

During the interval, Paul had mentioned it was a shame they didn't have time to do one of the sketches, but luckily they managed to fit it in for the second half. Dan was reading us a story from Fiesta to let us know the literary merit of such porn stories, while Paul was revising his London A-Z. This was a lot of fun with Tourettes style interjections of "Cockfosters" and "Mudchute". Very very silly, and a lot of fun.

Finally it was time for Al Murray to perform. I think everyone in the room was very excited. Usually at LQC the headline act will be someone known in the comedy scene, but it's rare they get a household name. I guess the only person as big as Al that's been on there would be Jason Manford quite a long time ago (He was superb by the way)

Al confirmed to us that he's one of the best comedians around to riff off the audience and the first 40 minutes or so was just him talking to us and obviously giving us some cheeky abuse. He noticed Priscilla's pint, asked her what it is, and told her that it was unacceptable. He picked it up, and to Priscilla's astonishment, downed it! He also cnofiscated a glass of white wine from a lad in the second row. He sent a young lad with emo type hair that he had already nicknamed "Crowboy" to the bar with a tenner out of his own pocket to get a replacement and came back with a white wine for Priscilla, although I ended up sneakily drinking it when Al wasn't looking. After abusing people for their lack of "proper" jobs (such as marketing, publishing, and writing for Torchwood - or Touchcloth as Al named it) he went on to ask us to name any country in the world and he would explain why Britain was better which he managed to do with an impressive knowledge of history!

After the gig we had a brief chat with Mr Murray at the bar, who by now had changed out of his landlord's uniform and was now sporting a rather dapper hat, and I mentioned to him that Priscilla was unaware of "the rules" and he told us that for the landlord, there are no exceptions. Very funny man and a true gent.

Next month the special guest will be a rather tall man who works with "extras" in movies and used to have an "office job. You'd be totally mental not to come. See you there!

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