Its odd how gigs can be so different in audience and quality despite being only 45 minutes apart. Yesterday I had one solo preview to 15 lovely people in Leicester above an Indian restaurant, then one set supporting Tony Lee again to 300 massively stupid dick heads at Uni College Birmingham, a venue where ‘they just don’t really get comedy’. There was only 50 miles between those gigs, but somehow those 50 miles span a whole cycle of evolution in a way that would both astound and shock Darwin all at once.
Gig number one, the solo gig, was again, much better than I thought it would be. This has now happened twice with my solo show, and while I don’t want to jinx the next one, I may have to stop panicking quite as much now. Layla accompanied me for my day of shows and so she kindly drove up allowing me to fret and read through my notes 50 times on the way up, making myself car sick by reading at the same time. The car sickness only panicked me more and by the time we arrived I was a small ball of Tazmanian Devil like stress. Only with less spinning, as I was car sick. The venue itself looked a bit wrong too. I’d been there before in previous years and remembered it as a serene comfortable room, however as I popped my head round the door, it seemed all a bit odd and noisy. My panic was then only increased when I was told that my show had to have an interval in it. I hadn’t planned for an interval. If anything I had only planned to build on the shows natural energy allowing the ending not to plummet horrendously into a lifeless and structureless mess. Mulling over where a break would take place, Layla and I went for a coffee. This was a terrible idea and the caffeine made me only more fidgety. I realised at this point that there was very little I could do to calm my nerves besides a tranq gun to the face.
Then when I returned to the room, there were 15 lovely people eagerly awaiting my show. The room had somehow settled since I had been there before, and I instantly calmed down. The first half of the show then proceeded to go very well, and I stuck in an interval where I thought it worked. It did work there, but sadly it also dropped my energy levels a tad and while the second half went well too, I felt it hadn’t gone as well as the first, so added a few old gags at the end to make it better for everyone. All in all though, I was fairly pleased and to celebrate we went downstairs and stuffed our faces with curry. Curry as a reward is up there with gold and medals. In fact I have once tried to bite a medal and I can honestly say that in that field curry is better.
Two hours after nice LCF gig, Layla and I found ourselves driving in circles around Birmingham looking for the venue, called Bar One, where I was meant to be gigging with Tony. The satnav kept taking us to the postcode which looked just like a residential area. Assuming it couldn’t just be in someone’s house, we asked a bunch of students who directed us miles away near their campus. At this campus there was a Bar One, but it was having a quiz on that night and no evidence of hypnotism anticipation whatsoever. After a 5th call to Tony we ended up back at the residential area looking for some large black gates. We spent 10 minutes waiting at the wrong large black gates and then finally were led through the correct ones into an area that looked not dissimilar to Holloway Women’s Prison. In this prison was another Bar One. Why anyone would put two bars with the same name in two different campuses of two different universities within 5 miles of each other is beyond me. Then in closer inspection we realised this was not a Bar One but a BarOne. The lack of ability to use a space bar indicated that we had stumbled on a bunch of fuck wits.
I was not incorrect. The audience consisted of people doing courses that will no doubt leave them unemployed and fighting for crack. Subjects such as Sports Therapy and Culinary Skills. The phrase too many cooks sprung to mind, especially when none of them could recall anything they had learnt one their course so far. I suddenly realised where Wetherspoon’s and McDonalds acquire their staff from. After a false start due to the microphone not working (always a bonus) I managed to do 20 minutes to a bunch of mindless drooling idiots. They only laughed when I mocked them and as soon as I did any jokes about anything else in the world they shut down quicker than a PC with Vista trying to do anything ever. When I had finished I asked the venue manager if they had comedy there regularly, and he said they used to. They had previously had some really top acts, but he said the problem was ‘they just don’t get comedy’ so he stopped it. Who doesn’t ‘get comedy’? To laugh is a natural human reaction! The only way these people could not get comedy is if they are barely human. Although after looking at some of them post-gig, this was entirely possible.
This blog took me far too long to write today due to many phone calls and random stuff. I’m spending today looking at finances and Edinburgh possibilities. There is nothing fun about realising that whatever you do, you will lose a crap load of money. Part of me wonders if instead this year I should not do a show at all and just burn two grand in cash for a similar result.