Another two weeks has come round which means another bunch of comics at the Royal and Derngate on a Friday night. Our compere was the inimitable Dan Evans, and he introduced the usual combination of three great acts and two wonderful intervals for our entertainment. Not such a big crowd this week – odd how the numbers fluctuate; and we were a bit of an odd lot too. Not even Dan’s usual self-deprecating mix of old and new banter really got us warmed up and I felt that, as an audience, we remained pretty unmotivated throughout the entire evening, until perhaps the final act. The sexes were a bit unevenly matched mind you – there seemed a large number of all male groups in the audience; I don’t know if that made a difference to our common funnybone?
Anyway the first act was Paul B Edwards; new to us, full of attack, armed with an electric guitar and not afraid to use it. Some good material, mainly centred on comedy songs; he did a happy version of a Radiohead song I don’t know, so I didn’t quite get the joke, but then he did a minor key version of Captain Sensible’s Happy Talk which was very funny. I liked his song about Unemployed People, even if there wasn’t much to it; and was slightly nonplussed by his final number, Everybody Dies – to the tune of Billy Bragg’s Which Side Are You On, incidentally – which was a bit savage for my taste. Not at all bad though, and he got a pretty good reception.
Next was Juliet Meyers, whom we had seen before last year. We remembered her because she did her opening routine about using the C word with a Scottish child present, which we recalled as being absolutely hilarious the first time round but not quite so second time around. Her material was alright but the act never really soared in the way one might have expected. She probably needed more women in the audience to appreciate her insights.
The last act was Rhodri Rhys, another new act to us, and he was definitely the pick of the bunch. Blokey in an identifiable-with way, he had lots of really inventive observations about relationships and life, and he played on his Welshness in a very amusing way, without overkill. He had some great material about black satin sheets that really hit the spot. We liked him a lot – he can come again.