Today, in an unprecedented moment for Mostly Comedy, we sold 150 tickets (our total capacity) for Jack Dee’s appearance next month to our mailing list in just fourteen minutes; a remarkable way to mark our club’s ninth birthday, which was sullied by a slew of complaints we received almost instantly from a few of the punters who missed out.
Not all of the emails, tweets and Facebook posts were like this; plenty were balanced and understanding of the fact the gig sold out so fast purely to the huge influx of interest. But while some people quickly grasped the situation, others couldn’t get to grips with it and continued to hammer the point, even after we posted the following statement - all within an hour of the show going on sale - to explain why things fell the way they did.
The comment that sticks in my mind the most came in an email from someone who said, “I’m so disappointed in you guys”.
That hurt. So much work goes into what we do and even into just confirming that line-up - and the fact it was such a coup was illustrated by how quickly those tickets went. Fourteen minutes: that’s no time at all; up until now, the fastest we sold out was in just an hour, and that was in a smaller room. Yet despite trying to clarify the situation as much as we could, someone felt the need to tell us they felt we’d personally let them down; as Alan Partridge would put it, “This country”.
Thankfully, tonight’s ninth anniversary gig at our old haunt the Market Theatre went a long way to redress the balance, even though I felt I’d spent more time responding to people’s complaints today than in preparing for what we'd do onstage. It was a cracking sold out night to add to the long list of cracking sold out nights - and to top it all, we avoided being lynched. Personally, I’d pictured a 'Blues Brothers singing Rawhide behind chicken wire to a room full of Country & Western fans while they threw bottles at them' situation, which thankfully didn’t play out - though there’s still time, I guess.
The nicest moment for me was at the top of the gig when we showed a video of Sean Hughes performing in the space, as a tribute to the fact he sadly passed away last week. When I watched it while we setting up, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end; it’s such a sad loss. We’ll miss him.
|Tonight's line-up (left to right): me, Frank Sanazi, Katy Brand, Glyn and Paul Sweeney.|