I went to work in a different office, dressed down for the occasion. Dressing down allows me to work better. That's my theory. There's no evidence for it. Also, a change of environment means I can do less of the sometimes bordeline OCD stuff I seem to do when I get too comfy in the same environment as I always work in.
At the end of the working day there was a gig to go to. Off I went to Wolverhampton, as is my way. I arrived in plenty of time, giving me the chance to get settled, talk to the other acts, do my sound check and generally get ready for what was to come. As always, I worried about whether I'd look a dick. The first two acts were also musical. This means that not only do I end up worrying about whether I look funny, but I also end up worrying about whether I look musical enough. Given that the last act also sings, I felt that I'd been assembled as part of a fairly musical bill and fair enough, eh?
I've played this room before and I know that the audience can have a lot of energy if hit right. All I had to do was go out there all guns blazing and I was certain we'd all have a loverley time.
The first act was dressed as a giant badger. As such he couldn't see, nor could he be heard as he had to stick the microphone into his badger head. It looked like there was a wild-animal fellating the sound equipment. I've no idea whether I would have enjoyed his set if it were not for these technical difficulties. Musically, he really managed to achieve an impressive feat, playing drums, tambourine and guitar. The thing you have to bear in mind, from a guitar point of view, is that he was wearing big fat badger hands. So, cleverly, he open-tuned his guitar and equipped his suit with a slide.
Big Badger playing slide guitar. Is it art? Maybe. It bemused and entertained in various measures. Laughter wasn't really forthcoming - at least not scripted laughs.
Second up was a female musical duo (with one song accompanied by a separate guitarist). They had long pieces with glorious harmonies, that required persistence and tenacity to be played to the exceedingly well-received conclusions. They were lovely, but quite short. I believe that was one of their points. Their McFly take-off/send-up left me with a song in my head, but prompted my own McFly material to come out.
My set went nicely - some stuff hit the roof, some stuff didn't. That's the nature of the cookie that crumbles.
A lecturer of most of the students present (I should have said, this was largely an audience composed of a drama course at Wolverhampton Uni) closed the second section and he was very enthralling to listen to.
In the closing section, the headliner, Mrs Barbara Nice, did a raffle and then a stage dive. It's hard to see why that's the behaviour of a national headline comedy act... it's hard to see when you read the words. Had you been there, you would have known. She is 100% A1 class. When I first saw her, she was introduced as a "show-stealing bitch" and though that sounds a little harsh, let's just say that I wouldn't want to compete with her in any way.
Luckily, you don't have to. In a bill like tonight's, you go, do your thing, get the laughs/stares, and then sit back and enjoy. That's how comedy should be.