Gig 74: Brackets

Brackets is a new comedy show that has just started up at the totally "Doctor Who regenerated" The Butterfly Club.  Now situated down Carson Place (just off Little Collins St) The Butterfly Club has found a way to continue to bring their unique sense of brilliant theatre coupled with tasty kitsch to the punters of Melbourne.  With their new comedy show Brackets they are attempting to offer a show that is a little more up market and not afraid to attempt some bigger themed and/or more articulate stand up. With that in mind I hope you enjoy further down the page how I decided to start my headline spot off. With my fellow The Shelf buddy Tegan Higginbotham hosting and Melbourne legend Andrew Goodone in the opening half it proved to be a fun show for an enthused audience.  I went into this gig with some definite ideas of what I wanted to achieve.  I had played around with some new material on Wednesday at Death Star Canteen and felt I had possibly discovered a new set.  What I mean by this is a bunch of routines that fit together as a whole.  Usually this can happen thematically, one long story that is full of diversions and side notes or even just the deft use of call backs.  I felt that maybe this material had shown some promise by a good use of a specific call back that helped to tie everything up at the end.

Here's the setlist for you:


“You Can Shit In Your Hat”

Meth Fans

Country Folk vs Inner City Living

“Are You Aboriginal?”

Bomb Chucker and “I’m Sorry”

Afghanistan:  Marching on ANZAC Day

“Hey, be careful!”

Soldiers are funny.

Port Power Supporters in Adelaide

Journey into Kabul

Afghanistan:  The Worst Sentence Ever

Bronzing Up!

Today’s Tragedy is Tomorrow’s Bouncy Castle

Tripping and Farting

Laughing at a Funeral

Sargent Richard Long

Laughing in Greek Class

Make-A-Wish Comedian


It was only about a week ago that I started to believe that some of the material I have performed solidly for the last six months might be coming to the end of its stage life. Specifically the material that revolves around me turning 40.  Some of that material will be easily rejigged for when I hit the next birthday but it is always important to continue moving forward when you have the opportunity.  These routines feel like they could easily turn into something more.

I know from looking at the setlist that is bordering on the vulgar but the opening routine is inspired by my practice of inserting new sayings into my every day life.  I also fear this might not be the most grown up thing to do, especially amongst other so called adults. Later the "Tripping and Farting" routine is more about not connecting with people, specifically if you don't share a similar sense of humour with someone.  From the outside there appears to be a lot of poo related routines.  Actually from performing the routines I concur.  Yet they all speak to bigger themes and on a night when I was definitely talking about more important aspects of life I enjoyed the fact you can still be tapped into a certain childish behaviour with your material.  Contrasts are funny, right?  Especially when you have to explain bronzing up to an audience.

The interesting part of trialling new material is that you can never be 100% certain that what you're working on will work for a long period of time.  Sometimes new material takes a while to find a rhythm.  You know it will work but you just haven't quite nutted out the correct arrangement of words to get it there or it is one idea short of where it needs to be.  The flip side of this is that you can have a routine that absolutely nails the audience first time onstage and then just continues to deliver diminishing returns after that.  Who knows why that happens? Maybe it worked the first time because adrenalin was needed to fuel it?  Maybe you forget one important word or sentence to set up the routine? Whatever the reason it just has a small used by date that leaves you eventually have to concede defeat and retire it to the sidelines.



The gig was a lot of fun and I found more jokes in the new routines.  There might be something beginning to brew with this set of material and after I return from overseas I might continue with this setlist to see where it leads me.  At this stage of the year with material I have only been performing for a couple of months, it is exciting to know I might have a new 40 minutes ready to go.  That has been the most important aspect of not writing and performing a solo show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival this year. The freedom with which material has come and go has improved me as a comedian, knowing I can let routines drift off whenever I feel like it because they're not a part of the greater show.  Even with the possibility of a new solo show on the horizon, I think I might work on show routines independently of club routines to hopefully keep the way of been improving intact.

This is my last blog for a couple of weeks as I'm taking Mum to America for her 60th birthday so I'll be back in touch early June.  Until then take care and hope that whatever you're doing is a lot of fun!


Justin Hamilton

24th of May, 2013

Fitzroy North