2014 Gig One Hundred and Two: Spleen

After the Sunday night show I was spending some time with the comedians who had performed that night having a great time.  A brilliant time.  Such a good time that I decided to stay out longer.  Later.  Suffice to say when I woke Monday morning I was firing on roughly half a cylinder.  I can't and don't like drinking like I'm a young man anymore but sometimes the mood captures you and inspires you to hit the booze like you don't have a care in the world. Then you wake up the next day and know you should have concentrated on caring a little more.  My Monday was slow, really slow.  I wasn't hungover but I was definitely vague and at certain points had to deal with the fact that the English language at certain times could feel foreign in my mouth and what I was actually dishing out was more akin to word salad.  Did I have a great Sunday night?  Yes!  Did I regret having a great Sunday night on Monday?  At times.

I'd booked in a spot at Spleen to work on some new material and possibly some older stuff to see if it was still up to scratch.  Yet as the day progressed and I bounced between meetings and radio commitments I noticed that everything I attempted to do took much longer than was necessary.  If you had seen me walking about Melbourne I am certain I would have looked a little fuzzy, like an image on a TV that isn't receiving a clear signal. I was a little down on this situation because I hate wasting stage time and really wanted to work on some new ideas.  I definitely hate wasting stage time at Spleen too.  It is the perfect room to trial new ideas and if I walked onstage and only did exactly what I knew I would have felt like I was shortchanging not only me but the spirit of the venue.

With all of that in mind check out the set list below:


Riffing with the audience

My Best Traits Make Me Annoying

Never Act On A Crush

Girl at the Theatre

Rolf Harris

"I Don't Give a Hoot!"

Hushed Angry Conversation



This photo with my friend Claire was taken the night before everything turned drunkenly pear shaped.


Before I walked onstage I decided I would finish on two pieces that I have been using quite a lot lately.  Up the top I would segue into the new idea the same way I did the night before at Comedy at Crown by chatting with the audience and then slide into the new ideas.  I was on last in the first half so I felt a certain responsibility to finish as strongly as possible so the audience went into the break on a high.  Once again the audience at Spleen was sold out and switched on.

I ended up sliding into the theatre piece a little earlier than I planned or wanted to but it just seemed so natural to go there that I trusted my gut and went with it.  That piece has me walking through the room and using the space that has a funny effect on the audience. I think at first when the audience sees me moving toward them there is that mild panic I am going to engage with each and everyone of the punters.  When they realise that they're completely safe the laughter is usually a nice mix of finding the situation funny and relieved I haven't spoken to them.  I have been wondering where I came up with these ideas and I think they harken back to when I was a teenage boy seeing the Doug Anthony All-Stars playing live.  I'd feel such relief that they weren't delivering anything aimed at me that when I laughed it would be mildly hysterical.  I recognise that laughter and enjoy using it to my advantage.

In the end I felt like a dodged a bullet.  The gig was a fun one (as they always are at Spleen) and Karl Chandler placed me in one of the best positions for the show so I was pretty lucky with that situation.  I would have liked to have run in more new ideas but at least managed to work some older stuff that up until yesterday hadn't been used in at least two years.  I will definitely be avoiding any heavy drinking nights like that in the lead up to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh!  Jesus, that is less than a month away now.  Time to get to work.


Justin Hamilton

1st of July, 2014

Fitzroy North