Last Thursday brought the latest comedy night at the University of Birmingham, and, not wanting to break tradition, I obviously went along.
The compère for the evening was the lovely Laura Lexx, a comedian I had never heard of before, and proof that going to comedy nights such as these are vital for comedy fans who want to expand their knowledge and understanding of who is actually out there performing material. Laura is one of the sweetest and most delightful comedians I’ve watched perform, who was able to balance her well-spoken, polite voice with the occasional dark humour and abstract concepts. She was also the first person to ever pick on me in the “who-are-you-what-do-you-do?” sort of sense which is surprising given the number of gigs I’ve attended over the years, but maybe more of a shock for my friend who was also singled out and had never been to an event like that before.
There is something a little magic about hearing stand up material about the specific area you live in, and, coming from Birmingham himself, Andy White was able to give that to us. Referring to an audience member from Harborne as “Your Majesty” and making humorous digs at Birmingham City University (not to be confused with the university he was performing at), Andy crafted a set that was meaningful to the people in the room. With his naturally chilled manner and remarkable red velvet jacket, this comedian comes across very confidently on stage, which is always reassuring as an audience member in a relatively small crowd.
Christian Reilly was the only comic on the bill who I’d heard material from before, by which I mean occasionally hearing him sing a couple of songs on TotalRock radio with Jeff Leach. As well as obvious musical skill, Reilly has an aptitude for pushing boundaries with risky subject matter which gives his songs an extra, often sinister, layer. His style of comedy is all-or-nothing; he takes a stance regarding a topical issue or popular celebrity and works from there, incorporating harsh criticisms hidden in between bouts of silly humour. A highlight would have to be an Avril Lavigne song in the style of Brian Ferry.
As always, the comedy night at the University of Birmingham certainly did not disappoint and, again, I encourage you to join me at next month’s event on April 9th.