Josie Long/Lou Sanders/Michael Fabbri – Amersham Arms (10 February 2014)

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So, down the road from me, at the Amersham Arms is a regular comedy night called Happy Mondays. It’s one of them comedians try out new material type deals. And, manages to get some fairly decent folk on it. Which in turn brings in the crowd for the slightly lesser known. I’ve been down a few times since moving here and have learnt that you really want to do the whole thing, not just the name headliner. A lot of which is to do with the compère Holly Walsh. One of the few ‘lady comedians’ you may have seen on the testosteroned bearpit of Mock The Week. Obviously well used to the hosting malarkey, the thing that I note about here is just how absolutely filthy she is. She most definitely works blue. But, also, really well. Bloody funny. But, in a good way. There’s none of the omg-did-she-just-say-that nonsense. Instead, just well crafted brilliantly observant comedy. Really looking forward to catching her Edinburgh preview. (Although I suppose I could go to an actual gig sometime too. Yes, THAT good.)

Michael Fabbri delivers a pretty good set of solid observational content. Tempered by some personal embarrassments, based round a genital operation he once had. He does wander into some stuff about porn that makes me a little uneasy. Not really down to the content, but more that the whole joke seems to be “who would like something like that?!?!?”. Yes. Who indeed…

I don’t know when I first became aware of Lou Sanders, but she’s always, to my mind, been really funny. A few years back, I caught here show mid-Edinburgh and it was an absolute disaster. She spent the entire site visibly getting unnerved at the reaction she was getting. Which – if not storming – was fine. It’s afternoon, through the week, small crowd, AND they’re enjoying you. Yet, she even got to the point of picking people out of the crowd and commenting on how much they weren’t enjoying the show. It was quite painful to watch, especially as the entire crowd were with her, willing her on (maybe that’s tougher than baying at you in comedy).

Well, everyone has a bad day at work. And, it’s difficult to judge a live performance. So, I’d been eager to catch her again. This time she took to the stage, was enthusiastically received, did about 5 (also very well received) minutes, seemed to crumple, said thanks, left the stage. Nah, never again. Although it did give us more of Walsh as she desperately had to make up the time.

No such fear with Josie Long, who it’s more likely trouble getting to shut up. Many a night I’ve ended up on several night buses getting home from her Lost Treasures of the Black Heart night. You often end up with the staff sweeping up round you. This, of course, is half of appeal of JoLo; an abundant enthusiasm for the small and personal moments of joy that make life interesting/worth living. The other half is a righteous passion for justice, a hatred for the inequalities of our planet. So, topics will swing from how much fun it is to wander round your flat kidding on your a talking avocado to just how much Cameron and his cunt-bunch crew of chums want you to stop doing that. Only funny.

Of course, not all new material is going to work. Long’s latest centres heavily on how she’s given up her penchant for fat Scots blokes with ginger beards. No-one like that at all. Lead balloon situation. She can bin all of that.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

11 February 2014 at 10:28 am

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