Gig 62: Perth International Comedy Festival Gala

It is amazing what ten days between gigs can do. On the one hand I was quite refreshed.  I like walking away from things (gigs, cities, friendships etc) for small amounts of time because I believe it not only brings you a new energy when you return but also allows you to be reminded of what you love about said thing in the first place.  Yet at the same time it is quite amazing to discover how quickly you can lose your rhythm and feel mildly out of sorts.  My gala spot at the Perth International Comedy Festival was a prime example of this.

Between the Moosehead Gala and the PICF I had managed to knuckle down and sort out some other work while catching up on some every day aspects of normal life.  I was also lucky enough to avoid catching a cold after the MICF.  I'm very good (as are many comedians) to discover that once you stop performing your body often says, "Right, a bit of slow time?  That means you can have an illness of some sort."  I was even bragging about it to some friends that I had looked after myself enough during the festival that I had managed to avoid the Dreaded Lurgi.  Then I subsequently caught a cold that kicked my arse for a few days.

I had pretty much recovered by the time I had to fly to Perth.  There is a strange Ryan Bingham calmness that washes over me these days when I head to the airport.  Checking in, waiting for the flight, boarding the flight, the artificial lighting, the recycled air are warm reminders that I'm home.  Well, of late anyway.  Ask me how I feel after I return from the States in June.  The flight to Perth was as smooth a flight I've encountered and I was picked up from the airport and whisked to my hotel with the briefest of stop overs at PICF headquarters to say hello.

The Gala at the Astor Lounge was possibly the tightest run gala I've ever been a part of. At half time I was looking at the running order and checking the time feeling like something wasn't quite right only to realise that the show was running was on time.  This was quite bizarre as galas usually run way over time.  In fact we were all practically high fiving each other at the Moosehead Gala because the show was only half an hour late.  I was on third to last in the second half right after Tommy Dean and before Paul Foot.


Here's my setlist:


Turning 40

Car Crash in Adelaide

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Tripping and Farting




This was one of those gigs where everything went well even though I know I was mildly suffering from word salad onstage.  There were certain words that didn't feel quite right as I delivered them and just tiny moments of timing that were slightly off.  It was a good kick up the pants to remind me to just walk through some of my routines tomorrow night before my solo run opens.  This is also a warning for new comedians who think they'll take six months off six months into their career.  I've had this explained to me many times by new comics who think a sabbatical will be good for their career but after 19 years of performing I can take ten days away from gigs and return off my game. When you start you should stick with it, especially if you want to make a living out of it one day. That time off won't rejuvenate you, it will just put you behind in your quest to improve.

Still it was a fun gig and your perception of your performance can be very different to anyone watching.  While nobody noticed what I'm picking fault with it still doesn't excuse the fact that I am correct in my review of my skills.  It was also great to see so many of my favourite people there especially Mike Goldstein and Tommy Dean who I didn't know were coming to Perth.  That is the great thing about a festival:  you never really know who you're going to bump into.


Justin Hamilton

1st of May, 2013

Perth, Western Australia