Monday, 24 August 2009

The Hob - Chambers & Nettleton, Glazz Campbell and Andrew Bird 22/08/09

I've been to The Hob quite a few times now, and it makes for a very good night out. Opposite Forest Hill station, the downstairs pub is nice and friendly, and the upstairs comedy venue (with its own bar, an important fact) is great for any type of comedy that you fancy seeing.

Saturday was the first time to the hob since starting to work through my list. The evening kicked off with a realy good set by Chambers & Nettleton. I'm not entirely sure how the describe this duo of feisty northern women, but I thoroughly enjoyed their slightly mental banter and I do love it when you can see that the acts are enjoying themselves too... I think that really helps with the feel of the gig.

Next act up was a newcomer going by the name of Taff. He only did a short set, perhaps about 5 minutes, but it showed good promise. And you can definitely see what he means when he describes himself as Marty Feldman's Afghani cousin. Taff was followed by Glazz Campbell who had a bit of a hesitant start before getting into his stride and enjoying some good (read bad) puns.

Headlining the evening was Andrew Bird. And for some reason, I'm having a bit of a blank mind as to what he was actually like...but I did laugh a lot.

MCing the whole shebang was Mark Felgate, who did the job very well... working with a small audience he was forced to pick on a few audience members repeatedly, but did this in a way that didn't feel intimidating at all. He also through in a few clever little ventriloquism moments that worked well and I would be really interested in seeing him do a proper set.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Downstairs at the King's Head - Barry Cryer & Ronnie Golden

I've recently developed a plan to visit all London comedy venues and this kicked off yesterday, taking us out to the deepest darkest reaches of North London - Hornsey in fact to Downstairs at the King's Head. We knew we had definitely reached the right venue when we walked in and saw Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden sat at a table together, discussing set lists.

The King's Head is quite a nice pub (and makes a good fish finger sandwich) and the comedy venue itself, as you would guess from the title, is downstairs. Quite an intimate venue, and I would recommend getting there when the doors open to ensure good seats (we were sat right at the front, and it was marvellous).

For those who don't know, Barry and Ronnie often get together to do a comedy show based on a combination of funny songs, Barry's marvellous collection of jokes and Ronnie's infinitely malleable voice. The end result is something absolutely hillarious and I thoroughly recommend it to anyone ... they're heading up to the Fringe shortly, if you are there make them a must (they're on at the Gilded Balloon).

Yesterday's set, a preview for the Fringe, was a good combination of old favourite songs (such as Stannah Stairlift and Peace and Quiet) and newer material as well. It was actually a rescheduled gig, Barry having been ill for the previous planned date but that didn't slow him down at all ("But then," he tells us, "I'm a gynecologist told me so"). The songs are hillarious, and their interaction between Barry & Ronnie is marvellous. And watch out for Ronnie's yodelling.

If you can't make it to see them, spend a tenner and get the album (Rock and Droll), it's worth every penny.