BLOG FOUR: GIGS 14 -22 SYDNEY EDITION

I’ve just completed a cracking run up in Sydney at the Comedy Store.  Every gig was a sold out extravaganza and it was not only great to perform in the venue but I also had the opportunity to spend time with some comedians I don’t get to see too often.  I had initially baulked at the idea of shows where the headliner only has the opportunity to knock off a 15 minute set at the end of the night but having been a part of these line up shows a few times now I have to say I’m sold.  I think it is even better than it used to be because now you not get the opportunity to see more acts but I also got to meet a lot of the younger comedians coming up through the ranks.

Since it was only 15 minutes a night I made a deal with myself that I would change up the material as often as possible.  This was for a couple of reasons.  First up I have a new show that is about to begin in Perth this weekend (you can find tickets for the extra show here) so I wanted to make certain as much of the material was getting a run as possible.  I also like to keep the techie (Joshie!) and the rest of the staff (Jack and the waiters) as engaged as possible so if I changed up the material enough it would save them from feeling like they were trapped in a time loop while dealing with the punters.  Finally it would stop me from entering each gig on auto pilot so by changing the material for each gig I would have to be in the moment.

The first three gigs had the following set lists:

5th of February – The Comedy Store

-Little Boy at Cap

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-Before The Internet

-“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

-Hushed Angry Conversation

6th of February – The Comedy Store

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-Can’t Drink Anymore

-Fix Your Flaws

7th of February – The Comedy Store

 -Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Entitled To My Opinion

-Speaks Islamic

-Opinions are like arseholes

-Bjork Album

-Hushed Angry Conversations

-Scouts

My basic aim was to keep a similar opening that would get me into my sets as quickly as possible and then take it from there.  The first gig I kept to a similar set list that I used for support for Wil Anderson at the Opera House.  I wanted to remind myself what 15 minutes felt like so I wouldn’t over plan for the following gigs.  The second I wanted to run in a longer set and the third gig was an opportunity to work on the latest new material. I’ve also re-worked a couple of older routines (or jokes really as they’re possibly a bit small to be declared a routine) that haven’t appeared in a show in Australia before.  Sometimes club material stays in the clubs but I’ve enjoyed reworking these pieces for the new show.

The line up that week included RayRhys NicholsonJames SmithGen FrickerSam CampbellDan Rath and Gearard McGowen.  It was an excellent show and I really enjoyed the breadth of acts the Store had booked.

I had the Sunday off before two gigs on the Monday.  The first one was a trial show for “Snacks!” which gave me an opportunity to see how all the material felt in a one hour show. After the heavy narrative of “Johnny Loves Mary Forever 1994” I wanted this show to be thematically linked but at the same time not be tied to an over arching story. That way I can chop and change each night if I feel like doing so.  If anything this feels like it will be more in the spirit of “Idiot Man Child” from 2010.

After my trial show I headed to my friend Nick Skeer’s new comedy night “Comedy@616“. Nick is a friend of mine from Adelaide who lives in Sydney now and has opened this show that combines comedy and jazz.  I’ve seen this attempted in the past with varying results but for the opening night I thought Nick did a great job. The mix was solid, the acts were excellent and the audience was up for it.  Here’s hoping that it sticks around and continues to build on what was already an excellent opening night.

Here are the set lists for the night:

9th of February – Trial Show

Snacks!

Comedy@616

 -Little Boy at Cap

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Entitled To My Opinion

-Speaks Islamic

-Bjork Album

-Fix Your Flaws

-Scouts

I had the Tuesday off and took that opportunity to record a new podcast with one of my favourite comedians and friends Ben Ellwood for “Can You Take This Photo Please?”  That will be released in a few weeks.  I managed while I was in town to score some people who haven’t been on the show before including Cam KnightGen Fricker and Becky Lucas with a cameo from Susie Youssef.

From Wednesday to Saturday it was back to the Comedy Store and a variation on the previous week.  With a new line up that included Rhys hosting, SusieJamesDanPaige HallyBev KillickCameron DugganNikki Britton and Marty Bright it was another week of great shows. I hadn’t seen some of the younger comics from this week and it was great to see them four nights in a row.

The set lists were:

11th of February – The Comedy Store

 -Little Boy at Cap

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-Before The Internet

-“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

-Hushed Angry Conversation

12th of February – The Comedy Store

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Entitled To My Opinion

-Speaks Islamic

-Bjork Album

-Hushed Angry Conversations

-Fix Your Flaws

-Scouts

 13th of February – The Comedy Store

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-Can’t Drink Anymore (Truncated)

-Before The Internet

-Hushed Angry Conversation

14th of February – The Comedy Store

-Getting older is bullshit

-20s, 30s, 40s

-NYE 2015

-Snacks Song

-If I wanted to be rude

-Entitled To My Opinion

-Speaks Islamic

-Opinions are like arseholes

-Bjork Album

-“I Don’t Give a Hoot!”

-Hushed Angry Conversations

-Scouts

A few variations there but as you can see a similar working of the set lists to the previous week.  It was a stack of excellent shows that made me feel like I was in a good place leading into the festival season.  A big thanks to everyone at the Comedy Store for looking after me and placing me in the context of a great gig.  

Justin Hamilton

16th of February, 2015

Fitzroy North