Gig 121: Public Bar Comedy

It is fun tackling a new room you have never seen before.  It is even better when you hear good word of mouth about the new room before your first gig there.  Public Bar Comedy has already cultivated a good buzz in a few weeks and I was keen to check it out. Knowing that it is produced by Steele Saunders and his experience with the highly successful Spleen Comedy, my expectations were high and well met. It was an excellent line up as well with Ben Lomas, Geraldine Hickey, Xavier Michelides, Ryan Coffey and Steele all on the bill.  It is a nicely priced show and the audience was packed with a very young crowd who were more than up for the gig.  I immediately liked the audience before I even stepped on the stage.  While Steele was testing the microphone giving it a bit of "Yes, yes, yes, yes" some members in the audience replied "No, no, no, no" until the microphone was turned on.  This might seem like an unimportant moment but it informed me as the host that the audience was not only paying attention but had the right amount of cheekiness to them too.

My goal for this gig was to build on the momentum with the same opening routines I used at The Local on Monday night.  I am slowly rebuilding the rhythm in the Homeowners routine and wanted to take this opportunity to try it out one more time. The set lists were as follows:


Set List One

The Election and Star Wars


Biker Gig


Set List Two

Tripping and Farting

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

Watching Movies Out of Context

Glitter in Invitations

People Wearing Your Glasses




Ben Lomas crouching down and getting into it!


This gig was as good as everybody had said.  I had a lot of fun on the stage and loved the intimacy of the small room chock full of people.  All the acts killed and there was a nice give and take with the audience that encouraged the comedians to take risks and play with their material.  It was also a tight show with the gig starting on time and the break only being as long as it had to be.  This type of approach to running a room can not be underestimated as it adds to the experience of the punter.

I was a bit dark on my performance at one point though.  Knowing it was a younger audience I made the decision not to perform the Spooning material as this is a gag that people who are older or have been in long term relationships enjoy more.  I had a completely different routine to perform at the beginning of the second half but to be honest I was having such a fun time talking to people at half time that I lost concentration and launched into that piece.  The joke has been in and out of my repertoire for over ten years.  It stays in my set for a while and then it disappears and then reemerges stronger and funnier than before.  When I say it disappears I mean it was actually at one point dropped for around three years.  This was around the time of writing Three Colours Hammo, The Killing Joke and Goodbye Ruby Tuesday.  When it does return it always takes me by surprise, like an old friend popping in for a drink.  It is a solid routine and it still worked last night but I could have chosen material that would have been better suited for the room.  I was kicking myself for not being quite on target as I would have liked to have been.



Geraldine Hickey kicking it!


Apart my mild brain fart it was a great gig and I'm looking forward to returning.  It was the type of room that I would like to do some open mic spots in as well because it feels like you could trial some new material without fear that the audience isn't going to give you every opportunity to succeed.  Not only was it a great night to hang out with friends but it also gave me the opportunity to meet people I'd only ever known through social media before (Hello Reid!)

Public Bar Comedy is an excellent addition to the Melbourne Comedy scene which is continuing to thrive and kick goals with no sign of faltering.


Justin Hamilton

12th of September, 2013

Fitzroy North