Gig Report 172: Komedy Inkubator, Victoria Vaults, York – Monday 25th March 2013
I’ve been trying to cast my mind back to the last time Peter Marshall & The Lomos played a purely comedy Open Spot night in the back of a pub as musical duo. I honestly can’t remember when it was without trawling through the blog archives but I know for a fact it was over two years ago (Edinburgh Free Fringe aside, which is a totally different vibe). Nowadays we’re much more inclined to play cabaret nights or acoustic music nights; the latter of which is at the complete opposite end of the performance spectrum musical-comedy wise to Open Spot comedy nights. The convenience of last night’s venue being literally the closest gig to our front doors that we’ve ever played was of course a factor in us playing it.
Straight away the vibe of playing to very few people (but for other acts) hit us. What few actual punters there was did their very best to make it look like they’d rather be anywhere else. (I don’t just mean when we were on either!). It’s that paradox of free comedy nights: where it should send the message “it’s free, what have you got to lose?” it tends to make people assume “this is free, it must be shit.” Now of course in some cases the latter is the correct assumption; however there is no doubt that even with the worst comedians, if more punters turned up with a happy-go-lucky mentality then it would mean a better time for everyone all round. Of course, this ideal almost never happens.
At least this gig was almost literally on our doorstep. (For the worst example of above who could forget the gig where we drove to Redcar to discover there was literally no audience only to turn round and come back.)
As it turns out we didn’t have that bad a gig really. That’s from the perspective of the fact that some of the other acts seemed to enjoy us, we weren’t too loose considering we hadn’t rehearsed for a while, and BEARD ENVY got it’s second ever run out which was a lot more accomplished than the first time.
In other points of note, there was a heckler type in the crowd that was so OTT in his entrance that we assumed it was another act who was already in character. He turned out not to be though, leaving before the first interval having not performed. During our 1st number, Hello-mo, when Pete did his ego-tripping “check out my face” shtick, the heckler, obviously embarrassed about being sang directly to, shouted “What is it you want me to do! I don’t know what you want me to do!” in an attempt to derail Pete. Pete’s reply? “I want you to check out my face! I thought that was obvious when I sang ‘check out my face’.”
At the opposite end of the heckler spectrum was a woman who simply said “No!” when Pete asked her what her name was.
At least we were home and tucked up in bed by 10:30. (Not together I hasten to add. Don’t get the wrong idea. Not even a Burt and Ernie or Eric and Ernie style one.)
So there you go, a reminder of the glamour of free stand-up comedy! Next gig…a music night.