I did a short spot at a gig in Finsbury Park tonight; my second in that part of town in so many weeks, though they were at different venues.
I used tonight as a chance to try out a bit of new material I started the day before yesterday, and to solidify some of the stuff I tried at a gig last week. Inevitably for the sort of show it was, the room was tough; it was in a lovely pub restaurant with a lot of character and a warm feel, but the stand-up took place in a room adjoining the bar with no door to separate it from the main area; consequently, the gig had a underscore of whatever music happened to be playing in bar - and, while this could have been a lot more distracting than it was, attention was still difficult to keep hold of, particularly if the audience started to talk.
I went on at the beginning of the second half when concentration was starting to wane. I don’t enjoy five-minute spots as a rule, as there’s not time to settle into a rhythm and get your style across, particularly if you're prone to try and fit a lot in. Tonight went pretty well, though I ended up doing some of the material in an arse-about-face order, which meant it didn’t hit home as much as I’d have liked, but I always expect too much in these situations; if nothing else, it was nice to get the new bits out in the open, and even in its slightly scrappy state, there were some definite laughs to build on, particularly with the newest stuff. It will be nice to do it again at Thursday’s Mostly Comedy in a more focused environment. Either way, tonight was still pleasant despite the distractions, and it was good to find another potential space to try stuff out.