The Stand, Glasgow, Fri 12-Sat 13 Apr; The Stand, Edinburgh, Fri 26—Sat 27 Apr

Everyone in the wonderful world of showbiz likes to recall the moment they got their first break. But the award for the uncoolest break in stand-up history can go to only one man. According to Andy Parsons, his came on the famously awful late 80$ yoof TV show Press Gang. ‘Yeah,’ he chuckles winsomely, ‘whatever happened to Dexter Fletcher? That was where it all really started for me. I played this animatronic cat. I was hiding behind the sofa pulling stuff and then you had the Andy Parsons voice coming out the cat. It was great fun and it led to where I am now - playing at The Stand comedy club.’

Parsons has spent as much time behind the scenes as he has on stage, with writing credits including Smith & Jones, Lenny Henry, Spitting Image and (rather less credibly) Auntie’s Sporting Bloomers. He’s perhaps best known for his Festival shows with Henry Naylor which began in 1993 and have enjoyed an almost

unbroken run to 2001, mixing oddball

observation with political skits with

no small success. One of the most memorable moments from last year’s set was when the pair dissected Northern Ireland, substituting the word ‘tea’ for the word ‘troubles’. But Parsons says people shouldn’t look too deeply into his set for political messages. ‘You get my slightly idiosyncratic views on the world and there’s political stuff in that. It’s good if you can get people to think a little bit more about things, but laughter is what it’s first and foremost about’

He hasn’t done a bad job of inspiring it either. In January, Parsons won Time Out magazine’s Outstanding Achievement award for 2002. This month represents the chance for him to try out his humour on Scottish audiences and Parsons is enthusiastic

Pre tweenie Iobotomy

about the trip North. ‘l’ve never done The Stand,’ he says, ‘and people have always said that I should do it. This is the first chance I’ve had. I’m actually really looking forward to playing to regular Scottish comedy-goers instead of the Festival crowd.’

Indeed, if you’re hoping to catch him this year, you best do so now. For the first time in a number of years, he’s not putting a show on at the Fringe. ‘When I first came,’ he explains, ‘there was this element of getting pissed and enjoying myself as well as performing. But I was starting to take it more and more seriously, and this year I quite fancy just going up, seeing some shows and getting pissed and enjoying myself again. I feel like creating some mischief.’ (James Smart)


THE TRINITY 0F MIRTH The Comic Club, Blackfriars, Glasgow, Sun 21 Apr

Before meeting The Trinity Of Mirth, I remember thinking. ‘don't use the word threesome] Trio. not threesome. Threesome might demean their artistic integrity. undermine their comedic standing. How wrong can one person be. Threesome is the ideal word to describe what they are.

Edd Hammill, Darren Henwood and Neil McFarlane met whilst students at Glasgow Uni. Edd's from a farm near Manchester ibut is an on-stage Geordie). Darren's a hyperactive pup from Hamilton. and Neil is the token posh lad from Bearsden. They're all good stand-ups in their own right. but together they have an affinity which belies their ordinary appearance. For instance. Edd and Darren got pissed one night. whilst completely rooked, by snogging each other in front of girls in return for drinks. They get half—naked guite regularly on stage. have had audience members poledancing. and

do strange things With Comic Relief red noses. It shOuId come as no surprise that their weekly Comedy Module gigs are more about creating a Vibe than a conventional stand-up night. ‘We rotate it so that one guy will compere. one guy Will do a spot. and one guy will do the door and just faff abetit. explains Edd. 'Because there's three of us. it gives the club the feel that you're just over at someone's flat. In a lot of the bigger clubs you go into huge big rooms and yeti've got a wee guy on stage about half a mile away. and you're all sitting there in yetir little chairs like yOu're in economy class on a chartered flight. whereas ours you've got nice tables and it just feels more homely.‘

The Blackfriars basement should be a good home from home for the lads. Their new monthly show Will involve more sketches. songs and abstract silliness. and help build up material for their stint at the June Glasgow Comedy Feshvat

The Trinity Of Mirth have already established quite a foliovving. With punters and comedians alike. ‘We had

Making threesomes fun

Sandy Nelson doing the door one night.‘ says Neil. ‘There were only two of us there and they play this heavy thrash rock IIIUSIC next door.‘ ‘Yeah,’ continues Edd. 'so we employ one of the best comedians in Scotland to close the door. The guy's done like Hollywood productions and we're on stage going. “Sandy yOu little scrub. shut the bloody door. We might buy yOu a pint'” (Maureen Ellis)

I The Trinity Of Mirth also compere The Comedy Module. Solid Rock Cafe. Glasgow, week/y Mondays.



The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 16 Apr

Garth Cruikshank and Eddie McCabe revel in sexual innuendo. ‘We like a little bit of manly fun. Where appropriate tOuching.' says Garth. Really.“ interjects the seemingly appalled Eddie. ‘she's talking about Our working relationship.‘

Cruikshank and McCabe aka Harry Ainswodh and Dave Strong are not your standard comedians. Since throwing themselves onto the comedy circuit the lads have received notable acclaim. Last year saw them romp home with the Perrier Newcomer award for their show Let's Have a Shambles. Ever modest. the pair reel it off like it's simply one to add to a growing list: ‘We did the Perrier. we did POprokit and we do the Three Sisters.‘ says Eddie. 'Although.’ interrupts Garth. 'we don't do them literally. At least not together.’

Perrier party poopers

What they actually do do at Edinburgh's cavernOLis Three Sisters is a weekly shambolic pop quiz. When asked how that compares With their experiences of the comedy circuit. Eddie QLllely enthuses: 'At the quiz we get an hour or two to be our characters. Our style isn't really stand-up; it's mere character based. So in many ways we work better as a duo doing the gui/ than we do in a cold ten minute spot.‘

So they must be excited about their hour-long slot at the Stand this month then? ‘The Stand's great." says Garth. 'Very up close and personal.‘ And fans of the likely lads needn't worry about a huge change to their routine: ‘l'm not going to use the word rehash or revamp. or the same show as it was last year only slightly different. but it pretty much is the same show as last year only slightly different.‘

Any worries that their new show. or indeed the Festival show won't live up to the expectations of their critics appear non-eXistent. 'The show last year just kinda happened.‘ explains Eddie. ‘We aren't pinning our hopes on a Perrier proper. we know how lucky we were to get the Newcomer award last year' ‘Besides.’ interrupts Garth. ‘last year we got a Perrier and no audience. this year we want an audience and no Perrier.‘ tAnna Millarl

I l 79:") Apr 2001’ THE LIST 75