Monday, 18 October 2010

The Grinning Idiot. 3 very different nights.

Dan Willis from the Grinning Idiot invited me along to see one of their shows last night. It was the first 'regular' night I have seen by them, having seen two shows by them before.

Last week I went to see a charity gig run by them. It pretty much followed the same format apart from the punch up in the middle. Yes, someone got slapped, there was quite a lot of palava. Long story short there were people making noise during the acts, no one was happy and they wouldn't leave. They left eventually but not before leaving a mark on someones face. The night was great overall (the acts followed the same listing as a bookable non charity night happening in Sunderland) and included John Scott, George Zach and Gary Delaney. Top quality all round. Gary is a great one-liner act and was fantastic to see him enjoying himself just as much as we were watching him.

My first Grinning Idiot experience involved Michael McIntyre in Sunderland. Me and a large group of friends managed to get tickets for one of his gigs in August. It was great to see him try out material, at one point reading jokes off a piece of paper because they were so new. He just stood in the same place, no skipping or prancing around. It made you realise he isn't all just a massive stage persona, really great to see, and did I mention hilarious? Just fantastic (and just as good as when we saw him at the arena, at a third of the price! Oh and literally 10 feet away, rather than 1000)

And we are back to last night. What a crazy night it was. I mean seriously, insane. I had not seen any of the acts before but was aware they were 'unpredictable'. Charlie Chuck was the first up and went down a treat with his ever so convincing character comedy. Convincing to the point I had to google him to figure out if that was just him or if he played other characters. Charlie Chuck seems to be the most famous, and to say the least he has left a lasting impression.

Keeping the sanity of the night was Barry Dodds and finishing off the gig was Phil Kay. Phil Kay has this unbelievable talent to create comedy out of thin air. Someone I was sitting with (I went alone, but met some very lovely Grinning Idiot regulars who had travelled all the way from Hartlepool) shouted out a heckle which Phil then went onto improvise an entire song around. He truly gives off the impression that none of his sets are the same, you cannot tell what has been said before and what hasn't. Definitely one I want to see again from a comedians perspective, just to see what his 'methods' actually are.

My Hartlepool friends asked me if I try to watch out for things to do and not do when on stage. I think I shall leave this topic for another time, it's late and this post is long enough! Tune in next time...for something else!

Friday, 15 October 2010

First booking!

Somebody has asked me to do standup! If you read my last blog post you will know I gathered a bit of  interest at my last gig, well one of the people who talked to me wants me to do a set for the opening night of a new comedy night in Sunderland called The Sordid Squirrel Comedy Club.

The night is an open mic night so will be performing a 10 minute set (maybe a bit longer if I get an influx of comedy inspiration). As an open mic it's not a paid booking (after 4 gigs, you crazy?!) but I'm classing it as a booking none the less! Getting my name on flyers and everything! :D

The date of the gig is Monday November 1st 2010 at The Victoria Gardens, Hendon, Sunderland.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Becoming a sought-after comedian?

Performed another successful gig last night which has gathered me a bit of interest from some very established comedians! Very exciting times indeed.

After the show I got approached by 3 seperate people who all told me that if I was to create a 15-20 minute set of that quality, they would have me perform at one of their nights. As the set stands it is 7 minutes long (I have other material but its not of the same quality) so I need to get writing! One of the comedians was Dan Willis, a co-founder of The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club (he also introduced me to the other co-founder John Smith, who had not seen my set). The fact that he thinks I'm good enough (or potenially good enough, he will of course need to see what I come up with) to grace a Grinning Idiot stage is quite simply fantastic. He advised me to go to the Dog and Parrot (where the Long Live Comedy show is perfromed) every week as sometimes people drop out or they might have a spare slot. His top tip was to just keep gigging (I strongly dislike that word. Any word where 50% of its letters are G is just not right), and that gigin (see what I did there?) is the only way you are going to get anywhere. He has got to where he is by doing thousands of gigs, I have done 4. I have quite a long way to go!

The other comedian to chat to me was George Zach who runs a comedy night at The Three Tuns. He also likened me to comdian Alun Cochrane (who I'll be honest I hadn't come across, but I can see where he is coming from, maybe its the face? Similar smile?)

As George told me after my second gig, the first 100 are just practises. I have 96 practises left. I really need to get a move on!

As a final thought, the feeling after performing a good set is just phenomenal. And getting the amazing feedback I got last night just compounded it! I was still buzzing (that's right, like a bee) when I woke up this morning. I will quite happily experiance this thousands of times, quite happily indeed.

Long Live Comedy have fantastic acts every tuesday night at the Dog and Parrot. You can find out more at

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Getting recognised at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival!

After only doing 3 gigs (not including the couple I did in 2008 :P) I managed to get recognised by a 'fan' at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival! The chances of me talking to someone who had seen me perform are astronomical (or at least very high)! When you consider that at the most 300 people may have seen me do standup, and the fact that the population of Edinburgh doubles during the fringe (to about 1 million people, so I heard) the chances of me talking to anyone who had seem me are 1 in I don't even know, a crazy number!

We saw many fantastic shows, some of which we go back to see on a yearly basis. Two of my personal favourites I make sure I never miss are Jason Cook and Nick Mohammed, they are worth the trip just on their own! Jasons style of comedy is not only hilarious but from the heart and in past years has invoked many a 'choking up' moment. I go to see his shows again when he performs in Newcastle (he's a Geordie!) I cannot recommend him enough. Nick Mohammed is just pure genius. The best character comedian I have ever seen, he is the only Fringe act I have gone to watch again in the same trip, just genius.

Other standout shows we saw this year were Chris Ramsay (from South Shields, had Jason Cook and Al Murray sitting in the row behind us! Al has a very hearty laugh), Jack Whitehall, The Penny Dreadfuls and Simon Munnery. We of course went to see Jocks and Geordies (with Dan Willis as MC and Simon Donald as the headline, brilliant). We also saw the daytime Best of the Fest (Axis of Awseome were mind blowing, check out their 4 chord song on You Tube! Do it now!) Oh and we also saw a improv comedy 'battle', the one that Keith suggests in the video and doesn't go to see. I think he knew what he letting us in for.

9 shows in 2 days. Cannot wait for next year!

'Inception Review...or is it?' with behind the scenes.

Inception Review...or is it?

Inception - Recreating the Beach Scene (Behind the scenes of the review)

At the time of writing the review is just shy of reaching 700 views on You Tube, whereas the Behind the scenes is just shy of 1800 views! I think this means that more people must be searching for behind the scenes footage from the movie, only to find me lying in the sea! This just shows that if you make a video that is topical with an interesting title people will find it one way or another. I can safely asume despite 1800 people watching it the behind the scenes video is not what people would have been expecting. The review has a large number of 'Likes' and comments, whereas the behind the scenes video has a lot less despite having more views. Facinating.

If you want to add to those 'Likes' and comments click this link! :D

My Latest YouTube Video