Sorry its been a while since ive bothered to type anything here, mostly because Ive been remarkably boring with my life and hadnt actually been at any gigs (except maybe a project 52) since Sydney Fringe Festival. But all this changed when I returned to the Factory Theatre on Friday Night for Axis of Awesome’s 5 Year Anniversay Sow* [sic].
When I went to this gig I thought that a large proportion of the crowd would be friends, family and the current university comedians. But although each of these groups were represented there was a much larger proportion of true fans and a bunch of first timers (you can always tell the first timers as they laugh at the right moment, not at the start of the song or just before the punchline). I am very familiar with AoA’s material and have seen them live many times, to the point that I found myself going to their gigs just to hang out with the guys and the other people who frequent their gigs. But as this was the first time they’ve played in Sydney for about a year (theyve been overseas working hard) I found my self really excited to go to the gig and had more fun than I had expected, not that i hadnt expected to have fun i was just a bit surprised at how great i found it.
Michael Hing supported and warmed the crowd very well. Relying on older material whilst throwing in a couple of new bits he impressed the audience and was greeted warmly afterwards.
The Axis gig was brilliant, although there were a few missed lines and a technical difficulty. The audience was definitely enjoying themselves; laughing and bobbing along to the increasingly more dancey numbers. The rhetoric between the lads complimenting their hilarious songs lifts the room giving the audience exactly what it wants.
Highlight:New floppy man song, with a hilariously timed reprise
Lowlight: Sitting through the increasingly very long too well known more clever than funny everyones seen it on YouTube 4 chords song. No comedian is still doing the same material as 5 years ago, but i hear you say they are a band and bands repeat their hits from 5 years ago, but in these circumstances the audience is dancing and singing along not sitting politely waiting for it to end so they can applaud. Sorry rant done.
Tonight I dragged my housemate along to the Factory Theatre. The last time I dragged her to a comedy show she a) fell in love with one of the guys from Dead Cat Bounce (who wouldnt those boys are adorable) and b) dragged me to a rugby game as repayment (i dont understand sport).
We had only planned on seeing two shows tonight but soon after arriving Pat Magee convinced us to see his brilliant little show again.
We started the night with Matt Okine: Bullets and Bear suits which had many funny moments, but seemed unpolished and not quite 100%. We were also informed early on that his girl friend was in the audience and her over zealous laughter a second or two before the punch line was off putting. This show definitely has potential, and I’m contemplating seeing it again late next week to see how it has developed.
Highlights: ”Maximus Povonius” The entire Jube jelly fish conceit and the crumpet guy, ill never look at crumpets without having flashbacks.
Lowlights: Trying to make horrible murder funny
Rhys Nicholson: Social Liability left me in stitches. As is always expected from Rhys. Nothing starts a show better than glitter and finishes it better with a life lesson (?). With Rhys no topic is off limits and the audience he now attracts knows this and can find what he does hilarious. My housemate (did I mention she hadnt heard of Rhys Nicholson before and I may have failed to mention just how much he talks about gay sex) still loved the show although she felt slightly confronted and left feeling a little less pristine. This show oozed with confidence and was nicely polished.
Highlights: the spark and spangle of the entire show. flawless.
Lowlights: Dabbling into politics lost a chunk of the audience for a moment
From Rhys’ show we moved straight into Pat Magee’s Do Not Trust The Following Animals. Tonight this show had been moved to a dramatically bigger venue that had less character. Despite this Pat still proved that he has chosen the correct career path. James Colley opened the show with many funny lines about spiders, looking forwarded to an hour of Colley, hint hint nudge nudge (i doubt he will ever read this). The show was as fabulous as last night. The only real difference I noticed was that the lack of segues had dimished, both good and bad.
Seeing Matt and Rhys tonight perform for an hour each was a fantastic experience because normally you are lucky to catch 5 minutes as they perform (normally along side Hing and Gen) as a warm up for another name. All four of these comics will very soon be the head liners they currently support.
SHUDDUP I KNOW THAT DIDNT MAKE MUCH SENSE, ITS LATE, IVE SEEN 5 COMEDY SHOWS IN 2 DAYS AND IM SEEING ANOTHER TOMORROW NIGHT AND I HAVE A BREAKFAST DATE TOMORROW AND WORK. SO SHHHHUSH
Sydney Fringe. For me this means 5 big nights of comedy at The Factory. Over the next 2 weekends I plan on seeing Michael Hing - I’m only doing this because they wont let me be a rapper, Pat Magee: Do Not Trust The Following Animals, Matt Okine: Bullets and Bearsuits, Rhys Nicholson: Social Liability, Gen Fricker has too many feelings, Cyrus Bezyan: I like being conscious and Nice Kicks.
So far in my comedy watching career my record for shows in one weekend is four. I achieved this during the Sydney Comedy Festival earlier in the year when I actually ran half the way from The Seymour Centre to The Factory Theatre so I wouldn’t miss the beginning of Story Club.
But this weekend I plan on beating my PB by seeing 5 shows in 3 days followed by 3 in two days next weekend. Tonight I started with Michael Hing and Pat Magee’s shows.
Ill be honest, I know both of these guys and have seen them tell funnies before. I half went into their shows expecting to see the same old material and to just laugh along with the crowd.
But this was not what I experienced.
Hing was quickly impressing the audience and showing them that he is more than just a five minute comic with bucket loads of new material and quick wit. This new, relevant material played perfectly into the hands of the audience. Highlights: All the new material he wrote for this show, so brilliant. Particularly using drug mule money to buy comic books.
Lowlights: When he went off track he ran the risk of looking like he’d lost the plot of his show and loosing the audience. Even I was amazed when he did finally finish the story, and the joke.
Pat’s show blew me away. Alex Lee opened with a few funnies about animals before Pat started his Aesop’s themed comedy show. Pat alternated, with no obvious pattern, between reading particular fables, telling short and hilarious anecdotes and creating (and drawing) and original fable. The balance of different forums was executed with precision. Any more or less of any of the three would have dramatically, negatively changed the entire feel of the show. Highlights: The quick pace and no segues. Also “I’m Bike-Curious.”
Lowlights: The final part of the fable felt a little rushed, as though we had run out of time and it had been forgotten.
I left The Factory absolutely amazed by the comedy I had experienced. Now I am very keen for tomorrows shows and very excited to see Gen Fricker on Saturday as all her shows have been sell outs.