It is always a nice feeling when a set that consists of largely new material and it goes down well. In fact, the feeling is probably up there with those of the best kind when it comes to stand-up.
From the intro, you may have established that I had a gig last night where I was doing largely new material and it went down well. I’m not going to claim that I stormed it, because I didn’t. But what I did get were consistent laughs throughout the four minutes I had trialled previously on Thursday and it received a patchier response.
I spent Sunday afternoon rewriting it and cutting the bits which didn’t work and it seems as though it paid off. But there is still a long way to go with it before it is finished and it can be improved quite a lot more, but it’s nice to get some encouraging signs for all the toil that has gone into it. About six months of writing, in fact. I think I’ve fallen into the dangerous trap of overwriting here. You can spent an infinite about of time writing and rewriting material, and you can be really proud of it; but until you try it out in front of an audience, you really have no idea how it is going to be received.
This particular piece of material is probably the most personal stuff I have performed so far, as it revolves around a lot of pain. ‘What is it about?’ I hear you internally wonder. I couldn’t possibly say on here. To find out, you’ll have to come and see my Edinburgh show. Shameless plug over.
Also at last night’s gig, I heard what I think must be my favourite ever heckle. An act was on stage, reading bits of new material from a scrap of paper, it was towards the end of his set and as he was looking on for what else he was going to say. Then, a very well spoken man, who must have been in his 60s, sitting at the back of the room, said in a loud but very measured voice:
“Tell us about your family.”
It was a brilliant moment. When the compere spoke to him later, he said his name was: “Wilson. Mr Wilson.” So the compere asked for his first name and Mr Wilson responded simply with: “Let’s keep things formal, shall we?”
I love audience members like this. They inject a sense of uniqueness into a gig. Mr Wilson came up to me at the interval and said he enjoyed my set, so that’ll do for me.
Talking of Mr Wilsons, my friend Philip Wilson has took some pictures of me and Paul for our Edinburgh show at the weekend. You can have a look at one of his beauties at the bottom of the page here.