Mardis Gras

Fat Tuesday returned last night. Everytime I consider not running it anymore, my mind is immediately changed by the actual gig happening. Its a total pain in the arse running a gig. I’ve probably written about this before, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. I don’t want to cry. No. I want to write about Fat Tuesday. Then cry. So, yes, promoting, running and hosting a gig is rubbish. You have to deal the stress of whether or not tickets are selling, then making sure all the acts turn up and on top of that I get at least 2-3 emails a day from acts I’ve never heard of asking to do the gig. They have an incredible level of gall some of them. My favourite was a while back when someone explained that they’d ‘seen the line up with Stewart Lee on it and now I’ve done 30 gigs I reckoned I’d suit that group of acts very well.’ Dick. What you would suit is a big wooden thing in your face for such insolence. On top of that, the show never earns me any money and ultimately I struggle to realise what the plus points are of having such a venture. Its a huge drain on my time. My time, that I could be using to try and build things out of objects in my room or generally staring at people on tubes until they feel uneasy. I did this twice yesterday. One person simply got up and moved seats. The other stayed there and refused to look up. I liked this person best. They were like the tube Andy McNab. Only more boring. Andy McDrab.

But then people, but then indeed, nights like last night happen. An audience that were instantly warm from the word go, and four acts who all stormed it with brilliant comedy. Andrew Maxwell ended up doing 50 minutes of nearly all new, and the whole evening had that glorious feeling of a little secret gig that will never be repeated. Nearly all my new material worked and it was lovely seeing some of our regulars pour back and actually ask how they are and what they’ve been up to. Suddenly its less a gig and more a little community gathering or something. Eventually we’ll dispense of the acts and just have a pool table and squash and talk about the town fete. Or we probably won’t as the regulars might not come back. Sigh. So lonely. Cry.

It does still make me sad that we didn’t sell out for the first time in ages. I try so hard to book in acts that our crowd will like and still, unless one of them has been on telly enough, it has to be constantly plugged. Again an indicator that while McIntyre’s Roadshow and other programs are doing wonders for comedy in one sense, they are also making people think that unless an act is on the telly, they aren’t any good. It rang true in Edinburgh this year too, and I wish there was a way of saying to the general public that only a handful of acts get to do those shows, but out on the circuit are some of the most interesting and exciting stand-ups you’ll see. After five and a half years of running Fat Tuesday, you’d think people would trust us in our bookings. Still, I’ll keep doing it. I’m sure there’ll come a point where I wake up and decide that’s it. No doubt we’ll then have another gig like last night and I’ll be persuaded to book it for another six months. Long live Fat Tuesday.

Mega thanks to all the acts from last night who were all excellent. Go see all of them if you can. Andrew Maxwell, Hal Cruttenden (who’s about to go on his national tour and is well worth catching), Mike Wozniak and Colin Hoult.