I got to the pub around 1230 and met Neal for lunch, soon to be joined by Bob, Hitch, Heather, Jack and Sarah and others and got downstairs nice and early, in plenty time to grab a front row seat.
Anyway, the announced line up was ace, including Robin Ince, Simon Donald, Tony Law, Thom Tuck, Cariad Lloyd, Liam Mullone, The Trap, Richard Herring, Tiffany Stevenson, Matt Kirshen, and Dan Antopolski, amongst others. It works out at around 25 acts for £20. I decided I would attempt to be relatively sensible as it was obviously going to be a long long day. I've decided not to write about everyone as this blog would be far too long, but concentrate on the acts that I loved the most.
The show started with Michael welcoming us to the show, raging against the weak female comedians who were unable to come to the show as they were ill, before speaking about Kate Smurthwaite's accusation of Robin Ince's sexism for wearing a Hefner t-shirt. The phrase "paper mache bastard" was mentioned. Can anyone guess who he was referring to? After a short while he introduced us to the first act, Matt Kirshen.
Matt presents "Set List" which is an improvised show where comedians don't know what the topics of their set are going to be till they flash up on a screen. These have all been selected by the audience. Today Matt was going to do it himself with topics written by Michael, and on an appropriately low-tech sheets of paper. Most comedians say that Set List is a terrifying, but ultimately great experience where they are free to experiment even though the results can be very varied in quality!
Matt is a very likeable comedian whose baby face disarms you at first. He got through such topics as "fizzy houmous" and "what's the deal with airline foo" (no, I haven't misspelled it!) with the same expected mixture of success! We also learned what people on each side of the Irish divide call a vagina. Go and see Set List if you get a chance. I went to a recording a while back as they are turning it into a TV series.
Liam Mullone was on next. I had never seen him before but had heard a lot of good things about him. With his thick glasses and delivery style he reminded me of Harry Hill. He discussed how much hard manual labour his wife would have to do in order for him to be happy for her not to change nappies. He's definitely someone I would much prefer to see a full show from.
After a brief interval, it was time for Rachel Parris who gave Michael a bit of stick back for his comments earlier about the sick female comics! normally I dread musical comedy but Rachael is genuinely excellent. She did a great song that she has "submitted" to the new High School Musical, followed by the next X Factor winners song, which had all the cliches you would expect: the inspiring verses, the wobbly show off vocals, and the chorus "I'm Amazing". She also did a middle class blues song, which reminded me a lot of Diamanda Galas's blues vocal style.
|Stuart Goldmith and victim.|
Marlon Davis is someone I had never seen before. And my, wasn't he lovely. He brought out my maternal side, He has a lovely smiley face, which he acknowledged doesn't give him any authority at all, along with his voice.
Cariad Lloyd came out as Joey Bechemal. Joey is a kooky,clumsy and extremely annoying Californian girl. she broke character a couple of times just to make sure we all realised this. She took a liking to Hitch, bellowing at him "Are you hard yet?" as she tried to make herself unthreatening to the girls, but attractive to the guys. "I'm not a model, I'm a geek!" She left the stage, doing the "call me" mime to Hitch.
|Michael Legge and Robin Ince|
|The Trap (Paul, Dan and Jeremy)|
We were now on to the final section opened by the amazing Aisling Bea. Again, I've seen her before at Los Quattros Cvnts. She spoke about women dancing like men having sex and her theories of dancing. "Dance music is the easiest form of music to dance to as it is named after the main form of dance, which is dance". Unfortunately this wasn't as long as I had hped for as I think they were running over time.
Without further ado, Tony Law was introduced by a babble of Irish words by Michael. Tony tried to carry on the accent but gave up after a few moments thankfully. Tony is one of my favourite comics on the circuit today. he spoke about his part pirate part iking look, and about the times he spent on Viking raids and playing the old traditional game of scoopmud. His stream of nonsense was almost hypnotising as you became part of his extremely silly world.
The penultimate act was one of my favourites, and the reason I got into the stand up scene in the first place, Richard Herring. I had hoped for the mini-RHEFP, but this was not to be. He gave us a short 10 minute section of his current show, Talking Cock, which I have talked about at length elsewhere. It's always good to see Richard, and looking forward to seeing him "interview" Dave Gorman on Monday at RHLSTP!
And finally we were here. the final act of the night. The Penny Dreadfuls closed the show 2 years ago, and tonight it was one of them, Thom Tuck that had the honour. Thom's stage persona of a rather posh ex-student is surprisingly likeable. He told us that Thom Tuck was his real name and he wasn't from a fairy tale as his name might suggest. His Tescometron joke was his opener (if you haven't heard it you won't get it) and spoke of his problems with coming across as masculine and his annoyance with the lack of semi-colon in cigarette packet warnings.
Soon it was all over, and Michael brought Peter Buckley Hill to the stage to say a few words. Peter is a lovely man, like your favourite uncle and I think anything people can do to support his free fringe is worth it.
A few of us stayed till the Phoenix closed, which was sooner than I thought. We headed to The old Explorer which also closed. Eventually Hitch and I went to a bar in Kings Cross I know and had a couple there. to be honest, things were getting a bit fuzzy by then.
Michael had earlier told us that he woldn't be doing All day Edinburgh again, as it is so hard to organise, but I for one am looking forward to All Day Edinburgh 2013. Bring it on!