Memorable occassions

This week, we celebrated the fourth birthday of Ruby Tuesdays. Or what used to be called Ruby Tuesdays, before we recently switched to Mondays.

We had Richard Herring headlining and a room that was nearly full of audience. It would have been full too if it hadn’t been for those pesky people who asked me to reserve seats but dropped out on the day.

Everyone who came enjoyed themselves and all the acts did very well, apart from Langton trying out a deliberately bad take on his first stand-up routine about a moustache. He abandoned this and went into his ‘topical’ material about the Royal Wedding, which still works. Damn him.

The only downside was some controversial cake I grabbed before the gig that was supernaturally dry. I mistakenly tried eating this on stage for comic effect. No-one found it particularly funny and I couldn’t actually speak afterwards due to a lack of moisture. This wasn’t the best way to introduce one of my comedy heroes, but it is too late to change this now.

It is quite an achievement to keep a comedy night going in London for a year, let alone four. The founding 16-ish members have all mostly fallen by the wayside, or actually gotten on with their real lives instead of pursuing this ridiculous vocation.

We don’t know how much longer it will continue, because it is dependent on audience numbers. If we can keep the audience numbers solid, then we will continue. If they fall, then so does the night. There are too many nights in London that have low audience numbers and I don’t want to steal their USP.

However long Ruby’s goes on for, people will remember it as being a good comedy night.

Talking of which, I performed at a gig in Depford last night to celebrate the release of a documentary on the legendary Tunnel Club. It was an anarchic club that unfortunately closed some years before I set foot on a comedy stage and was an experience that people certainly remember.

Last night, the idea was to have a few new acts doing spots before the documentary and then a few on afterwards. It was at the back of the main area of a pub and people had very little interest in actually listening to the comedy.

In situations such as this, you can’t win. But at the same time, no-one really cares and the gig isn’t there to be won, so you also can’t really lose. Part of me enjoys such extreme levels of apathy and I have performed in many similar circumstances.

I was the penultimate act and by this time most of the crowd had gone, with the people left not really caring. I was determined to do my five minutes in the face of overwhelming apathy. I can’t say it went particularly well, but I at least managed to get some sort of reaction out of the crowd and I did my time.

Although the gig was a struggle, the organisers cannot be faulted for their hospitality. They provided the acts with the best gig rider I have ever seen. A truly mediaeval banquet for what was a medieval battle.


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