Tour picks no.7: Justin Moorhouse People and Feelings

With northern charm on tap, Justin Moorhouse comes in at seven in my recommendations for comedians currently on tour.

His material is instantly relatable, almost as though you’re having a laugh with him down the pub. However, his execution is what sets him apart. Once the laughter starts he rolls with it expertly, adding jokes to the anecdote to create the belly laughs.

There’s always a dig at someone from the Mancunian, but his friendly tone makes it impossible to be offended. No one’s ever been fat shamed by a teddy bear, and Justin is just a teddy bear.

His new show was performed at the Edinburgh fringe and with the 46 year-old well versed in touring, as well as numerous appearances on TV, tickets offer excellent value.

Check out his dates here, with shows running up to February.

Thanks for reading, and look out for the next in the countdown.

 

Tour picks no. 9: Sam Simmons Not a People Person

Next in the countdown is Sam Simmons. He’s possibly the silliest comedian currently touring. The Australian’s material is refreshing however, very different from mainstream stand up but despite this he’ s popped up on several TV shows including 8 out of 10 cats and Room 101.

If you like your jokes to have structure and make sense then maybe Simmons isn’t for you. He appeals to anyone with a childish sense of humour, the type of things that adults shouldn’t be laughing at.

He stretches the tools available to a stand up comedian, making novel use of props, clipboards and voiceovers. He also exploits his physical features, much like other comedians, but Simmons has considerably more to go off which I don’t think’s rude to say.

Simmons likes to mess with his audience, particularly when his material doesn’t quite land, with his aussie hard edge and, like anyone from that part of the world, he’s great at swearing.

 

If you like absurd humour then check out his tour dates and as always thanks for reading, look out for number 8 coming soon.

 

Tour Picks No.10: Miles Jupp Songs of Freedom

Kicking off my list of top stand ups currently on tour is the disdainful comedy of Miles Jupp. Always with a gripe to get off his chest, Miles cracks audiences up with his middle class loathing.

He’s appeared on a wealth of panel shows and played many roles in film and TV, most notable being Balamory in which he played Archie the inventor, brandishing the delightful pink sweater and kilt combo.

Turn of phrase and carefully chosen expressions of wit drive the laughter in his sets. An undertone of condescension only adds to the comedy. His stand up has earned him spots on the coveted Live at The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow.

He’s not a gag man, instead he crafts anecdotes to display his annoyances at the world, which are often very relatable. He’ll then exaggerate his privileged background to rise above his audience, maintaining an amusing allure.

If you like your comedy more laid back and less intense, his new show is certainly worth considering. Check out his tour dates. Tickets range from between £17 and £20.

No.9 in the countdown coming tomorrow, thanks for reading.

Review: James & Seaburn – Pigeon Trousers

James & Seaburn

[First published on Quays News 18/07/16]

SKETCH double act James & Seaburn performed their very first preview of their new show Pigeon Trousers at the King’s Arms last night (July 16). I was there for us to see the show that will be making its way up to Edinburgh next month.

The King’s Arms is a lively pub perfect for comedy, however, James & Seaburn would have had the right to be a little aggrieved with the pokey studio they had been given, far from ideal for their show full of props and swift costume changes.

Pigeon Trousers is the double acts second show at the Greater Manchester Fringe and consists of a mix of songs, sketches with bits of stand up and improvisation thrown in. The title of the show is meaningless; in no way is it a bird fashion show, but it sums up the sporadic jumps between contrasting sketches rather well.

Both comics are accomplished musicians, but strike the balance of songs to sketches well. Ian Seaburn appears to be truly at home with a guitar around his neck and Nicola James has a voice that many a professional singer would be proud of.

One musical sketch that stands out focusses on an all mythical horse glam rock band called Rockin’ Horses. The costumes alone are funny and the unique idea allows for a wealth of character based jokes which are delivered superbly. The characters reappear to conclude the show, however, the song didn’t work on this particular night due to the fact that it was the first time they had performed it together.

Many of the sketches contained the idea of bringing either inanimate objects or animals to life by giving them a human perspective. A pair of socks that went through a break up, a hand bag and dagger moaning about securing film roles, a poem from a cat and of course the Rockin’ Horses are all inventive ideas that are performed with high energy and enthusiasm.

A call back to an earlier sketch at the end of the show is one of the most surreal moments, but the twisted logic it derives from is a hilarious piece of sketch writing. The homemade costumes presented a side-splitting image that sticks in the memory.

There’s no getting away from the fact that the show is silly. The duo know this better than anyone, their smirks throughout the show indicating that they themselves love this type of comedy. They hilariously allude to the silliness of the show when they seemingly attempt to perform a serious section about hoe some idioms contradict each other. The explanation that ensues uses dubious mathematics and is done at a comical speed to ensure maximum stupidity is achieved.

Tonight’s show wasn’t slick, and even though it was a first preview and you would allow a wide margin for error, the two experienced comics missed the professionalism mark by a distance. Improvisation held the show together but in a way the mistakes and mishaps added to the mishmash feel of the show.

As was said at the end, the duo learnt a great deal from the first outing of their show. The sketch ideas are unique and although eccentric, they are easy to follow with good jokes, and a smattering of clever puns. With more efficient transitions and stronger assurance in their performance, Pigeon Trousers has potential to be a big hit in Edinburgh and beyond.

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