decoded_ Something for your mind… Something for your mind…

April 28, 2011

LOL!!

Filed under: Live Comedy — decoded_ @ 4:53 pm


Sydney Comedy Festival

Over the last month or so my partner Joanne and I have been having a whole lot of laughs, out at a heap of live stand up comedy performances, leading up to, and as part of the 2011 Sydney Comedy Festival, which is running from the 11th of April until the 8th of May.

More info at the link below:

http://www.sydneycomedyfest.com.au/

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Here are some of my thoughts on what we’ve seen so far…

11.03.11 : Billy Connelly (UK) ‘The Man’ Australian Tour’ @ Hordern Pavilion

Billy Connelly
Billy Connelly

I enjoyed seeing Billy Connelly, another of those long time legends of comedy to cross off the list having now seen. He’s a fantastic entertainer, very laid back, wandering about the stage, with that very recognisable accent/voice.

His show is basically a whole heap of funny stories that all splinter off from one another. Sometimes he finds his way back, other stories are left hanging, never to be completed, which is a little frustrating, but it’s a fun ride.

A lot of laughs, but not to the point of laughing till I hurt/cried, that’s my usual measure of how good a stand up gig is. I think I was perhaps expecting more energy from him, but understandably he is getting on in years now, as was the majority of the audience, never seen so many old people in wheelchairs at a comedy performance before.

I found the way he’d bend over laughing at his own jokes/stories a little much at times, first few times we’d laugh along, but then you’d just want him to get on with it. I remember he got quite pissed off at the noise of the air-conditioning in the Hordern when it cut in half way through his performance, refusing to continue until it was stopped a few minutes later, which messed with the vibe a little.

Overall I’m really glad I saw him, but I don’t think I experienced anything more than what I’ve already seen via his TV appearances over the years.

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15.03.11 : Eddie Ifft (USA), Stephen Grant (UK) @ Comedy Store

Stephen Grant
Stephen Grant

I’ve seen Eddie Ifft a bunch of times now, I like his style, some great laughs, but a lot of the same old material from previous performances, please write some new stuff! I think I’ve heard that dog/condom story every time I’ve seen him.

English stand up comedian Stephen Grant is someone I’ve not heard of or seen before. I really enjoyed his performance, lots of laughs, heaps of energy, fast pace. I loved how he tore shreds off a group of (rude) people in the front row, talking with each other during his performance, who does that?

The MC and warm-up acts were enjoyable too: Steve Phillp, Jennifer Wong, and Bruce Griffiths who did that deadpan (dad) joke/one liner style I love, like Elliot Goblet in years gone by.

We even had a wedding proposal at the Comedy Store that night, bizarre, a young Asian couple got up on stage, she said yes.

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18.03.11 : Weird Al Yankovic (USA) @ Enmore Theatre

Weird Al Yankovic
Weird Al Yankovic

Wow! Weird Al Yankovic live was awesome! Never seen him live before, and had no idea what to expect, but ended up being really impressed. I had a whole lot of laughs too. It’s a really well put together, fast paced, well rehearsed, entertaining show.

Basically he plays all his music hits live, with a really tight 4 piece backing band, who are all excellent musicians, and the keyboard player even adds all those crazy little sound effects. The whole set was really well mixed/audio engineered too.

Between songs, Weird Al and band go off stage to do a variety of costume changes, while Videos play across 3 screens on stage to keep us entertained. Featuring clips from his movie UHF (The Vidiot From UHF), clips of his very funny fake interviews with music stars (Al-TV), and lots of clips of various TV shows over the last 2 decades, where Weird Al Yankovic has been mentioned. During a few songs, the actual video clip to the song they’re playing live is running on the screens, in perfect sync!

Some of the songs performed live: ‘Polka Face’, ‘Fat’, ‘Eat It’, ‘Dare To Be Stupid’, ‘Smells Like Nirvana’, ‘You Don’t Love Me Any More’, ‘Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies’, ‘Another One Rides The Bus’, ‘Amish Paradise’, ‘Gump’, ‘Couch Potato’, ‘The Saga Begins’, ‘eBay’, ‘Canadian Idiot’, ‘White & Nerdy’, ‘Trapped In The Drive-Thru’, ‘Bedrock Anthem’, and ‘Craig’s List’ to name a few. No ‘Like A Surgeon’ though.

During ‘The Saga Begins’, Darth Vader and 10 Storm Troopers walk on stage, at first standing strong/still, but by the song’s end they’re all moving, much to Darth’s annoyance, but then he gives in to groove at the end too, bloody funny.

2 standing ovation encores!

I’m going to see him again next time he tours, no question about it.

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11.04.11 : Stephen K. Amos (UK), Reggie Watts (USA), Craig Hill (UK), Tommy Tiernan (IRE), Mark Watson (UK), Gina Yashere (UK), Seann Walsh (UK), Glenn Wool (CAN), Dead Cat Bounce (IRE), Fiona O’Loughlin (AU), Steve Hughes (AU/UK), Chris Wainhouse (AU), Sammy J & Randy ‘Cracker Night – 2011 Sydney Comedy Festival Opening Night Gala’ @ Enmore Theatre

Cracker Night 2011

This time we got in early, and got tickets for the Enmore Theatre Cracker Night, the opening of the Sydney Comedy Festival gala night. Last year we saw it at the Parade Theatre at N.I.D.A in Kensington, I wrote about it here.

You never know which acts your going to see until the night, which is exciting. FOXTEL was filming and broadcasting from the Enmore Theatre on this night too.

I had a lot of fun, lots of laughs, value for money with the amount of comedians and how long the show runs for. Stephen K. Amos was the MC for the show, and did a fine job.

I really enjoyed Reggie Watts and his crazy sample/loop music and crazy voices, Tommy Tiernan was excellent too. I’m usually more of a fan of UK/USA comedians than Aussie ones, but Aussie now living in London comedian Steve Hughes said some bloody funny stuff, keen to see him again. A few acts were not really my type of comedy, never been a fan of Fiona O’Loughlin (AU), but still got some laughs out me.

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12.04.11 : Daniel Sloss (UK) ‘My Generation’ @ The Yalumba Wine Bar Enmore Theatre

Daniel Sloss

This year Joanne and I decided we would make sure to check out some stand up comedians we’ve never heard of/seen before. Having a quick look on YouTube for clips of all the comedians featuring at the Sydney Comedy Festival, we found some we liked.

20 Year old Daniel Sloss from the UK was one of them, he’s been working as a stand up comedian since he was 16.

He performed in the tiny side room/bar of the Enmore Theatre. He was great, young but not in an annoying way, quite humble, a nice range of topics, some good laughs. You can tell the rough/dark side off life is something he’s yet to experience though. He’ll get better with age for sure.

There were a handful of kids under 13 with their dad at this gig, which made for an uneasy vibe, and probably altered some of the material. Kinda scary when the guy on stage is closer in age to them, than a lot of the small audience there that night.

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23.04.11 : David O’Doherty ‘Somewhere Over The David O’Doherty’ @ The Forum Theater (Melbourne)

David O'Doherty
David O’Doherty

In Melbourne for a few days over the Easter break, during the last days of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, which is massive compared to the Sydney one, with 100s more performers, and so much better organised, hyped and advertised. So Joanne and I thought we should at least see something while we’re in town.

David O’Doherty, saw him in Sydney almost a year ago, thought he was hilarious, so decided to see him in Melbourne, which was actually his last show as part of the festival. He was excellent, lots of laughs, but a much shorter show, with less songs than the previous time. He seemed happy and in good spirits, bouncing around the stage in his cape, quite the opposite of the last time we saw him, poor guy was suffering from a nasty gastro bug then, guess that’s why he was so narky. A great show, but was left wanting more.

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28.04.11 : Steve Hughes (AU/UK) ‘Conspiracy Realist’ @ Factory Theatre

Steve Hughes
Steve Hughes

Back to the Sydney Comedy Festival, out on a rainy Thursday night at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville. As I mentioned I saw ‘The Heavy Metal Comedian’ Steve Hughes at the Cracker Night, and thought he would be great to see again… and he was, bloody funny, almost laughing till pain/crying. A great mix of intellectual pondering, questioning our ways in society, paranoia and true-blue Aussie grit, some really funny and interesting observations. Love the way he takes the piss out of bogan/sport culture. Having Enya play at the end of his performance was nice too. At the Cracker Night he mentioned he loves Heavy Metal and Enya.

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28.04.11 : Guy Pratt (UK) ‘Wake Up Call!’ @ Factory Theatre

Guy Pratt
Guy Pratt

Not many people know of this guy, as was obvious by the really small amount of people (muso nerds) who saw him last night, but it made for a much more intimate show. He’s a fantastic bass player, turned stand up guy, who loves to tell tales of his adventures in rock’n’roll touring, and playing bass with many big names in music. Have a read of these:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Pratt
http://guypratt.ricardopadua.com

I thought he would be really interesting to go see, and he was. I really enjoyed his show, he’s very charismatic. Heard some great stories about him touring with the likes of Robert Palmer, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and Bryan Ferry, recording with Madonna (he did all that awesome bass work on ‘Like A Prayer’), and Michael Jackson, and much more, could have listened to him for hours. Each now and then he gets out his bass, and plays us a bit of what he’s been talking about, impressing us with his phat bass licks. I wish he had a Q+A session at the end.

I actually saw him play live with Icehouse way back in the 1980s.

He’s got a book out too ‘My Bass And Other Animals’, which he signed for us, purchasing from him after the show, top bloke.

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More comedy coming up next week…

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