2014 Gig Ninety Seven: Spleen

Last night I was a late call up to host the comedy night at Spleen. When asked I jumped at the opportunity because it is one of my favourite venues to work and I had new material that I wanted to work on.  Yesterday was a relatively busy day though so the majority of my preparation was dealt with while paying invoices and traveling to and from my radio job for Perth's Mix FM.  It was a haphazard way to work on new material but there wasn't really any opportunity to take the prerequisite time to carefully go over notes. If you haven't been to Spleen before the night consists of two halves with roughly 10-12 acts on all doing 6 minutes each.  More established acts will get up to 10 minutes but the night works better when everyone is sticking to time and doing shorter spots.  I had two spots and they were the following:

 

Set List One

 

Budget Fury

The Dark Knight Documentary

How I Deal With Trauma

If I Were A Superhero

The Kid at Captain America

The Geeks Won

No Need To Share All Your Opinions

 

Set List Two

 

Biker Corporate Gig

 

I made a little mistake in my opinion upfront and that was placing two different ideas together.  I had always planned on working with the Kid at Captain America story and the ancillary material around it because I'm not entirely certain if both pieces should be placed together.  It feels like the stuff about Batman might be a different idea that is worth exploring and the only reason I have placed them together is because they both have superheroes mentioned in them.  I wanted to get a clean look at this routine but at the last moment I decided to throw in the material about the budget.  While it worked fine in the room it also meant that I was now playing with three ideas and that may have muddled my opening a little.  I'm not certain anyone would have noticed but I felt like the crunching of gears was quite audible.

 

As you can see it was a big show last night.

 

I also had to rely on an older piece for the closing routine in my opening set because I'm still not certain where the piece is heading.  This is why I think maybe they're two different ideas that don't need to be together.  A muddled message means it is difficult to write a strong ending and I might have to pick them apart to work on them.  Still there are some ideas that appear to be bearing fruit so hopefully I can sort something out to test at Dave O'Neil's show tomorrow night.

For the beginning of the second half I did what I always do at Spleen and I use material I know back to front.  This allows me to hit hard and have some fun.  I like to play to the ethos of the room and work on new material upfront.  If I do this and do it well enough then I can relax and have fun with a tight set to start the beginning of the second.  I am so glad that I have rediscovered this routine because it is so much fun to perform.  I don't know if I'll keep performing the set on a regular basis but I might strip it clean to use some of the ideas and jokes in new routines.

 

Adam Richard popped in to say hi to Tiffany Stevenson and possibly this idiot too.

 

A really great night at Spleen and the best aspect from my point of view was that eleven acts and a host managed to bring the show in bang on two hours.  Everybody on the night had great sets and the audience was focussed for most of the show. There was a point after saying yes that I wondered if I'd made a mistake and should have stayed home instead.  After the gig I was pleased that I had made the effort. Hopefully I can work on this new material and have it in a much strong state by the end of the week.

 

Justin Hamilton

17th of June, 2014

Fitzroy North