Friday, 1 April 2016

Mostly Morriss & Acaster.


I found yesterday’s Mostly Comedy frustrating, though this was probably more to do with my mindset, than the gig itself.

James Acaster at last night's Mostly (photos by Gemma Poole)
It was an exceptional line-up, with Mostly old-timer James Acaster making his first appearance at the club in a couple of years to preview his new show, and an acoustic set from The Bluetones’ exceptional (and thoroughly nice) Mark Morriss to round things off. It was nice to see James again, having not crossed paths for a while, and my kid inside was all worked up to hear Mark’s distinctive voice ringing out in our venue. When I introduced his set, I made reference to the fact that I have a clear memory of my old band Big Day Out jamming our way through the Bluetones’ song Solomon Bites the Worm in the front room of our then-guitarist’s house, when I was just seventeen (not the magazine). If you told me then that I’d one day play host to their frontman at my own club, I would have (1) questioned how you got in Rich’s house, (2) how you were privy to this information, and (3) why you felt the need to spoil this happy ending; life is improved by the occasional unexpected twist.

Mark Morriss.
So what was the root of frustration, I hear you ask? I just found myself a little irked by the fact the gig ran late, and that the audience seemed a little confused by proceedings. Things started well, then got a tiny bit strained as the night went on, perhaps partly because the crowd may have been a little irritated by the long queue to get to the bar to buy an interval drink, leading to an extended break and a later finish. I did ten or fifteen minutes of solo stand-up before Mark went on, to try and run in some more new material, but felt acutely aware of the tiredness and slight uncomfortableness of the room. I signposted this a little too much, through being pretty shattered myself, creating more awkwardness, and slowing things down before Mark’s set. Oh well; it was still very useful for me, plus Mark finished things off perfectly. We had a nice long chat with him after the gig, which made up for not recording the podcast. We decided to not do it, to give us one less thing to think about, which is a shame in hindsight, as we were both particularly keen to interview him...but there’s always next time. At least by then, we should be more settled in the new venue.

Channelling The Krays.
Before the gig, we showed a short video clip of Paul Daniels’ appearance at November’s Mostly Comedy as a tribute. Watching it back, I was struck by just how razor-sharp he still was. Seeing it again was bitter-sweet. I’m honoured that we got to meet and play host to him. It’s a night I’ll always treasure; my God, the man was good.

It's only bloody Glyn Doggett.

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