day 5: a healthy amount of obscenity

Who needs phones? Yesterday was a really good day.

Rachel made me a bagel; I bought some really nice coffee; and then I did three great gigs.

I also – although this isn’t what made it a great day, honest – saw two different sets of mens genitals.

The first gig, which didn’t include any genitals but did at least prepare the ground for their – ahem – appearance, was Al Cowie’s gig at Cabaret Voltaire. I co-compered with Patch Hyde, which was as much fun as you might expect if you know Patch (or you read my previous blog about him).

Also included on the bill were Rik (and it was nice to see Rik’s stand-up again after so much Flashbacking) and Tony Dunn. With all the politics of Scurvy last year, I’d forgotten how much I like Tony’s act and how much sheer nerve the guy has. But I should never have forgotten it. It was mid-afternoon, there was at least one child in the audience, and Tony opened with a routine about having big feet which (if you’ve ever seen it before, you’ll know) was entirely and deliberately done to alienate most of the room and it was hilarious.

Afterwards, I went to the Carphone Warehouse to see if my replacement phone had arrived (it hadn’t) and stopped in at the Hive to pick up flyers and see if Bob Slayer, who does an earlier show at the venue, was doing something hilariously disgusting in his show (he was. When I looked into the room, Bob was standing on a chair, spinning around blowing into a melodica, with his pants down and his cock out. The next time I saw him, later that night, I had to try and explain why it wasn’t gentlemanly to be trying to grope the barmaid in public. He seems to be a law unto himself).

Anyway, by the time it got to my Showcase gig, I’d done plenty of flyering and it pretty much filled the room. I think the best thing about doing more compering is that I’m finally getting comfortable with it. That gig was the happiest I’ve been with my compering yet.

We had a good audience in too; including one middle aged couple who were standing outside the show just before we started, wondering what to see. When I told her that the lineup was Luke Benson, David Whitney, Paul Ricketts, and Rachel Anderson, her ears pricked up.

“There’s a female comedian – Rachel – in this one?” She said, and the man she was with audibly sighed.

“Yes,” I said, “in fact she’s going to headline.”

“Right,” said the woman to her companion, “we’ll watch this one!”

The show then included David Whitney’s gloriously filthy (and, to be fair, very clever) oral sex material, and Rachel coming on and singing her song about dealing with low self-esteem by embracing one’s inner slag. Rachel’s song is, of course, heavily tongue-in-cheek and actually comes, I think, from a point of quite strong moral principles. But the woman who had come to see ‘a female comedian’ left after her act, stoney-faced.

Which serves her right for being both sexist and completely devoid of any sense for irony. I just wish she’d been able to see Tony too. Or even Bob Slayer. She’d have hated that and it would have been brilliant.

Apart from that of course, it was a great show. The Flashback show was good too; It felt like there was still a good energy in the room (even if there wasn’t a great smell) from Dr. Brown who is on right before us – when we arrived at the caves I looked into the room and he was revealing his genitals as well, albeit to much greater laughter and applause than Bob had got).

Anyway. It felt from the start of the Flashback show that Rachel had hit exactly the right kind of pace and energy, and even though the audience didn’t give up as much love as I thought the performance merited, it was still a pretty good performance.

We even got a fairly early night – I was in bed by four.

All in all, a good day; and one in which, surrounded by I think I managed to appreciate the obscenity of Edinburgh comedy without really needing to join in. Still, there’s a lot of festival yet to go, and it’s not too late…

Showcase: Audience 48; Performance 7

Flashback: the best performance yet

Overall: BIG WIN

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