Review – Screaming Blue Murder, Derngate, Northampton, 18th February 2011

Another night in the Underground in Northampton for this excellent value comedy night out. Dan Evans was our host again, as always in a very good mood and interacting cheekily with the audience.

Ivo Graham First main act was Ivo Graham. He’s only 19 and that must be really tough to cope with a crowd like ours, but he did it admirably! He had nice lines about facebook like hiding what he was really doing online by discovering which Disney Character he would be. I also liked the idea that he would describe a reviewer with the alternative job title, “c*** with a pen”. He also rose to the challenge of an unpredictable audience when a very alluring young lady left her seat during his act and when he challenged her she announced she was “going for a poo”. It very much threw the rest of his act away but he interacted with it very well, he sustained the humour of that moment extremely well and turned it to his favour. One to watch, methinks!

Barry from WatfordSecond up was a change to the billed proceedings, Barry from Watford. Now I was very surprised to hear that Barry from Watford would be there as I thought he was something of a superstar in the comedy club world, as he is prominently on Radio 2 with Steve Wright and I believe fronts some very large gigs. So I was delighted at the prospect of seeing his act.

What didn’t help was a problem with the sound. Barry’s act impersonating a wheezy and vocally strained octagenarian didn’t come over well as his audio mannerisms just sounded painful with the sound feedback. And also, although I thought he started well, to me a lot of the content of his act was rather crude and had more bad language than I thought was appropriate for the Barry character as I’ve heard him on the radio. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Northampton comedy audiences are not that sophisticated; if you do a political act it’s likely to be met with silence; on the other hand we’re not in a Jim Davidson timewarp either, and any humour based on racism or homophobia gets met with the same stony silence. Barry did a bit of racist/homophobic stuff and it didn’t work. So for me the act was a bit disappointing. Steve BestI heard some people at the bar afterwards saying how hilarious he was, but also I noticed others not applauding much. So I guess he’s the kind of comic who divides his audiences.

Last act was Steve Best – fast and furious, engaging personality, clever use of props, although I thought his finale was borderline disgusting. He kept the energy up and certainly delivered loads of laughs. All in all a good night.

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