Warning! I am not a professional reviewer; This is perhaps not your typical review; Part review, scatty journal, photolog and reminiscences from days long gone. Like two weeks last Thursday. What a day. We shall never see it’s like again.
The Faffing Around Bit At The Beginning
A reviewer’s lot is not always a happy one. Long gone the days of complimentary tickets, free drinks and back stage shenanigans. These days we have PayPal. Not as exciting but very streamlined. Plus all those shady internet purchases conveniently obscured on one’s bank statement behind cryptic codes. Like spank1. Brilliant!
A reviewer gets no respect either. Only today, I was awoken by a gang of ants at the front door. There must be a designated collective noun for ants, but they looked like a gang to me, and what’s more they demanded entry. Effective immediately.
“Why’s that?”, I ask.
“Because you evicted us from our home, so now now we take yours. Ha!” Stated one of the taller ants with his chest all puffed out.
‘Oh God’, I thought, ‘Sarcastic ants. The worst kind.’
“That was no home”, I protested, stamping my foot to add greater resonance, and thereby killing three generations in the process. “That was our hydrangea bush that needed pruning. You shall not pass”, I adjoined firmly, just as several began climbing the inside of my trousers.
Unfortunately my lingual skills in Ant clearly need work, as they promptly invaded the lounge. True story. Some of it.
Thankfully the comedy on offer at the itinerant Black Cat Comedy club was far better than the above introduction to this piece.
Recently moved to The Wedgewood Rooms, and still to settle on a new permanent venue, last minute compere Joe Wells did a fantastic job following regular MC Richard Brophy‘s car breaking down. Which was doubly unfortunate, as this was due to be his last night as regular Black Cat Comedy host, as he’s off back to his native home, New Zealand – having finally cleared his name. That last bit is a lie! So on behalf of all the Black Cat regulars, perhaps I can thank you on their behalf and wish you bon voyage, and well done for putting up with us Brits for so long with no visible signs of degradation. Following the links below to see more Richard Brophy.
Joe Wells openly admitted to being called in at the last minute, but clearly he’s one who feels comfortable when put on a stage, and manages successfully to take the audience along with him. We went everywhere with him. We even had to accompany him to the toilet. Which some of the women found a bit embarrassing.
Describing himself as a Marxist Comedian, he’s neither political ranter or self-righteous. Deserves to be seen performing a gig of his own I’d suggest. Based on tonight’s hastily prepared appearance, I’d mark him down as far above average. Despite his youthful appearance, already possessing confidence and his own style. Definitely not one of the have-a-go stand ups, or, part of the rent-a-careerist-comedian mob that seem to proliferate the scene. Comedy should never been seen as a career choice. Joe Wells is worth keeping an eye on. Why not try these dates? 17th June – Oi Oi Comedy, London. 2nd July – Marxism Festival 2010, London. 15th July – Foolhardy Comedy, Brixton. 29th July – Downstairs at the Kings Head, London.
To think of Simon Munnery as a stalwart of British comedy, sounds rather disingenuous, as if he’s something that ought to be removed by precision laser work. Beginning as a staff writer for NME, he created the character Alan Parker Urban Warrior, caricature of a naive and youthful political activist. But rather than embarking on a recapitulation of his potted history, visit Wikipedia instead. Later.
Smartly suited Munnery performed two sets tonight and held us in various states guttural laughter, perplexity and bewilderment. No characters tonight, just pure unadulterated Munnery. Among the double helping of stories, jokes, sketches, songs and poems were, If London Could Speak, The Aubergine Sketch, Venn Diagram, The Real-Life Confessions Of Sherlock Holmes, and the wonderful Richard Dawkins’ Fingerbob Puppet!
Not the ‘bang ’em out, joke after joke’ comedian as you should doubtless already know, but more performer or perhaps even wandering minstrel. Taking you on a singular journey through his life and casual observations. But it is his strong visual writing style that he truly shines. His strange meandering journeys through worlds that exist only in his mind, made real through attention to detail and sheer energy. Father of three and no longer a spring chicken, he’s lost nothing of his ability to engage and connect with his audience, and many wanabee-trainee-comics should have been here tonight to see how it should be done. Making it look all so deceptively easy.
Usually friendly and quite charming, he did walk off the stage at one point, and face to face with this reviewer threaten to, “Rip your nuts off”, followed quickly by the reassuring and pseudo-confidential, “Not really”. All in aid of his superlative If London Could Speak routine.
It’s no use trying to explain Simon Munnery to you, otherwise there would be no reason for him to exist. Go and see Simon Munnery on tour.
Simon Munnery should be on everyone’s Must Not Miss list. So here’s a few of his upcoming gigs:
23rd June – Opera House, Jersey
24th June – 1 Mighty Craic, The Washington, Hampstead
25th June – Glastonbury Festival Cabaret Tent
2nd July – Inter Gender Wrestling, Tate Modern
It’s an indictment that shows how bland mainstream society and the media is, always has been perhaps, when has to resort to watching one of the best comedians this country has ever produced, on YouTube only. Mind you, the best work is usually to be found outside of the mainstream. Maybe that’s the way it should be, but it’s poorly paid for those who deliver the best.
Next Black Cat Comedy night is to be confirmed, but you must not miss it so follow on facebook.
Simon Munnery Gig Photos At Flickr
Strongly recommended is the independent – that’s means ‘of high quality’ – Go Faster Stripe, who are selling the excellent Simon Munnery live DVD Hello for only ten nicker. Worth every penny. And it wont show up on your bank statement as LateNightLatex.
And don’t forget. Support Live Entertainment!
Simon Munnery gig photos at flickr
Black Cat Comedy@ facebook
Black Cat Comedys website
Simon Munnery’s website
Simon Munnery @ facebook
Simon Munnery @ flickr
Simon Munnery (League Against Tedium)
Simon Munnery @ YouTube
Simon Munnery (New Statesman archive)
Richard Brophy’s website
Joe Wells’ website
Joe Wells @ facebook
The Wedgewood Rooms
Go Faster Stripe