Last Thursday marked the beginning of the comedy events of this year’s Southside Fringe. The awesome guys from Bright Club Glasgow decided to mosey on down to deepest, darkest Shawlands to set up a comedy outpost amongst the quiet and serene streets of the Southside. In Lok’s Bar and Kitchen, the audience was treated to a weird yet wonderful night of some of the most intelligent, scientific jokes that I have ever heard. Each act introduced the crowd to their own facet of science and lifted the curtain upon a world of lab-coats and hijinks that the average person rarely gets to see. The audience were receptive and eclectic, having travelled from such exotic destinations as the USA, Spain and Possil. Bright Club is certainly original, in that they put on gigs that are equal parts funny and informative. I look forward to the next time I can don my lab-coat and safety goggles and go and see this group of hilarious scientific misfits pour out their entertaining and sometimes ridiculous tales from the laboratory (coats and goggles are not required, I just happen to be a very paranoid individual).
Fast-forward to Saturday evening and ‘Empty at No.6,’ the Southside’s only Living Room comedy night. Taking to the stage (bay window), were some of Scotland’s top comedians: Scott Agnew, Bruce Morton, Christopher MacArthur-Boyd and Phil Differ. Despite the immediate hiccup of the microphone stand breaking, the comedians were absolutely exceptional and had the small yet raucous audience red-faced with laughter from the first moment to the last, although that could have also been the fact that we forgot to turn the heating off prior to the gig. Yes, running a house gig brings with it a whole new set of technical problems that other venues probably don’t have to deal with; such as having to disassemble the doorbell halfway through the second act so that your mates who are running late don’t interrupt the show, or having to warn all the comedians of the developing ‘bumfle’ in the carpet in case they decked it on their way through the crowd.
Once the comedians had finished and the crowd had caught their breath, everyone was invited to the kitchen for scran; I am biased but it was the greatest chilli I have ever had the pleasure of not tasting as everyone got some in front of me. I ended up settling for some Mini Cheddars. Still pretty decent to be fair. After the chilli, the people who were left decided to put on an impromptu music session in the downstairs room. After all, what is an empty without a sing-song? The room sang louder and louder as the musicians got drunker and drunker until the night reached a fitting end as, during the crescendo of Prince’s Kiss, one particularly enthusiastic punter smacked a crash cymbal with a previously unseen maraca. The maraca burst open pretty spectacularly, showering the room with whatever it is that’s inside a maraca. I don’t know the exact term but I do know that they are an absolute nightmare to hoover up. It seemed to be a fitting, ridiculous end to a fun-filled and ridiculous evening. The night actually went on from there for a while but due to my own rapid consumption of alcohol I find the rest of the evening relatively difficult to recall. I did wake up fully clothed clutching an empty bottle of Amaretto that I definitely don’t remember buying -always the sign of a successful party! Here’s to many more living room gigs at No.6 as part of the Southside Fringe over the coming years. It might not be the biggest venue in the world but it is certainly the craziest!
And this evening concludes our comedy events for this year. Christopher MacArthur-Boyd is playing a solo show at The Glad Café. If my living room was anything to go by it is sure to be an absolute scream. Unfortunately I shall not be in attendance as I will be serving pints on the other side of town. I’ll probably still have fun but it won’t be near the fun that you shall have listening to this genuinely special talent ranting about the big issues in life.