Gig 72: Five Boroughs

Well that was a great gig. My appearance on Thursday night was sorted relatively late in the month and it turned out to be one of my favourite gigs of the year.  I always enjoy performing at Five Boroughs but there was a good vibe in the room with a great audience that lent itself to a gig that was just a lot of fun.  The cold snap that kicked in this week in Melbourne really let us know that winter is here.  To be honest there has been a bit of "dragging the feet" for me to leave the house but I'm glad that I did because I had so much fun on the night.

It was an excellent line up that included Adam Zwar, Demi Lardner, Aaron Gocs, Anne Edmonds, Jack Druce and Randy.  Three brackets, two acts in each bracket, show started at 8.30pm and we were finished by 10.30pm.  Everyone was in excellent form (especially Gocsy who had the line of the night for me...I won't repeat it here as you had to be in the room at the time to enjoy the throw away gag but it was hilarious) and it really made you feel good to be a part of such a creative scene.

As I said before the audience was switched on too.  When they're that clued in to the show you find yourself playing with your material and having a lot of fun in the process.  These were my three sets:


Setlist One:


Meth Fans

Afghanistan:  Marching on ANZAC Day

“Hey, be careful!”

Soldiers are funny.

Port Power Supporters in Adelaide

Biker Story

Old Lady and Scrabble


Setlist Two:


"Are You Aboriginal?"

Twitter and Felix

“That Won’t Get Him A Job.”

No Need to Share All Your Opinions


Setlist Three:


Tripping and Farting

Laughing at a Funeral

Laughing in Greek Class

Make-A-Wish Comedian


There was some new material in "Are You Aboriginal?" which was inspired by a cracking conversation I overheard at Marios Cafe recently.  I thought I would throw it out there and see if it had some legs.  It seemed to find a natural groove which I will now build on. The "Make A Wish Comedian" had only been performed once before and when I searched through my blogs to find where I had performed it last it turned out to be Five Boroughs! Normally I don't like to repeat any material at successive appearances in a room but I guess since it had been a while since I had last performed there I could get away with it.

This year I have been approaching my material in a slightly different way that was inspired by my conversation with Tom Gleeson last year (you can hear this conversation on my podcast "Can You Take This Photo Please?", just click on the link here.) where there has been less writing and more working it out on stage.  In the past I have been 50/50 with my approach:  a lot of writing and then leaving room to find more gags and ideas on stage.  In the last year I would say it has been more 80/20 in favour of working it out on stage.  I have found it to be a lot of fun and quite freeing but now I am starting to have the itch of writing more so we'll see what happens from here.  I'm not certain it will return to the 50/50 model I have used in the past but there will definitely be more writing.  I feel like I've made an improvement in my act in the last year though. One of the most gratifying responses I have to my podcast is from people who contact me to let me know they have learned something from the interviews.  The reason I love this is that I feel like I am learning too so it is nice to know you're sharing an experience with your listeners.



Karl Chandler runs a rock solid room and you always go into a night of comedy that he has produced or co-produced with the confidence it has been set up to succeed.  That is all you can ask of a promoter and Thursday night was another confirmation that with a bit of elbow grease before a gig begins you can produce a successful night.  If you haven't been to Five Boroughs before you should check it out as you never know who is going to pop in and the night is a constant winner.


Justin Hamilton

16th of May, 2013

Fitzroy North