It’s easy to start to compare the two recent comedy nights with Stand Up Stand Out Scottish Open special falling a little after a week after Hush’s Just Laugh Night. In reality we are talking about two very different beasts indeed…
Interestingly one of the similarities was actually one of the biggest contrasts, Bruce Fummey took the headline slot at SUSO whereas he took the compere duties (where he will at the forthcoming Edinburgh fringe special) at JL. It came as a surprise that Bruce headlined SUSO, given that Michael Redmond was also on the bill (it was to our error actually Michael and Bruce co-headlined). We had expected a significant change in material which did not occur, although it did feel that it was the longer headline line slot that he appeared more comfortable. He capably dealt with the increasingly er buoyant and occasional punch line stealing crowd.
Talking of headliners, it was Mark Nelson who took the headline slot for JL, and it would be fair to say that a fair bit of anticipation had preceded the spot (we would dearly have liked to have seen the corresponding gig at Ceol-Mor the night after). Our thoughts were that he probably was not as risqué as we would have expected, although we suspect there was an element of sussing out the crowd , whilst coping with the similar rowdiness experienced at nearing the end of the end of the night at SUSO. Mark’s pedigree is acknowledged and I think his future gig at the Eden Court (28th of September) will certainly be one to watch.
As previously mention SUSO had joint headliners and taking the earlier slot was Michael Redmond whose Irish droll took a bit of adjusting to, well worth the effort though where his slower more considered approach contrasting with the fashionable ratatat approach adopted by many comedians on the scene. Michael’s experience shone through with a good grip of the crowd accompanied with well received tales. Letting his hair down literally you can see the likeness with EInstein, eerily so and certainly he may be a genius of his art.
Compere for SUSO was ,the newly professional comedian, Gus Lymburn, clearly enjoying the new found freedom that his career choice has given him. The role of compere to host but to build a relationship between the crowd and the comedians and you saw a great comparison between that of Bruce and Gus although both had there share of challenging audience members. Bruce tended to persevere with the audience waiting for the funny to appear where Gus used improvisation when an audience member was clearly not playing ball.
Opening act for SUSO and we think one that will stick with us, was Obie, very Glaswegian, very shouty and ultimately funny. Taking a path between self deprecating humour (he has made £37 from comedy this year) to the dangers of copping off when drunk. We have had a soft spot for Teddy (opener for JL) since an earlier appearance in the year. there is a comparison to be had with Jimmy Carr, with a reliance on one liners but for us the cheeky charm of Teddy pays dividends.
From a perspective of acts there is currently a fair bit of over-lap which allows people to decide based on the whole experience. The two nights are very different catering for different clientele, the intimate club style of Hush contrasts with the increased informality and pub feeling of Ceol-Mor. Both venues struggle with environment issues, wether it’s the L shape of Ceol-Mor (adressed by a souped up sound system and tv screens) or how to ensure a view for all of it’s customers (creating an innovative space for acts) . It should be noted that it is our feeling is that basing a decision the cost or otherwise of a ticket is not a fair way to judge these nights, you pay you money you take your choice…
The next Just Laugh event will be on the the 28th of July full details here, details for the Stand Up Stand Out night will be on this site as soon as we get them.