Pleasance Cabaret Bar, Edinburgh, Tue 15 Oct
I fear ‘or Daniei Krtscn olaying student gigs. Not because of his Weer dress sense and unkempt facial hair - he'll be a revered style guru. Not because of his rather endearing stutter - aren‘t students open-ir'nded. militant campaigners for human rights? Not because he'll ruin his career by cncosng the :ive g 9 over a crap Sitcom/gameshow. And not because he'll be mistaken for that hybrid paedo-lecturer he says he resembles. and conseduently lynched. It's for none of those reasons; rather because of what happened the ast time he played a student gig in Glasgow.
It was part of the Comedy Network university tow and Kitsch. was becoming severely hacked off by persistent heckles from one very drunk student. ‘It was fucking horrendOuS; I ended up challenging people to fight.‘ says the young Yorkshireman. ‘It was a small room. it was a small crowd. I was working really hard. it was gcing well. and then this bloke just started neckling. and l was doing funny things with his heckles. Normally in that situation the rest of the crowd would say: “Shut-up. you can see he's beaten you. just shut-up." But they didn't — they laughed and cheered him on because they were idiots as well. I just fucking lost it and kicked a table up in the air and threw the mic on the floor
and called them all cunts and had to leave.‘
Bearing this incident in mind. it seems strange that Kitson, fresh from his Perrier-winning performance at this year's Edinburgh festival. should choose to follow up that glory with a tour of universities. But avoiding the expected and refusing to conform is becoming Kitson's forte.
Who else would give Bob Holness lip on Blockbusters at age 16 (the clip of which is now downloadable from his website)? No one else shies away from a solo Edinburgh show until they're good and ready (the adorable Love, Innocence and the Word Cook was well worth the wait). and I would doubt any other comedian would take a booking from an Aftershock-sponsored comedy tour only to publicly brand the product a drink for kids (Aftershock weren't impressed and sacked him on the spot).
How his career progresses from now on will be interesting to watch. Kitson is just 25. and. aside from appearing in two series of Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights. he is rightly wary of television and the mainstream popularity that entails. If further proof of his groundedness were needed. while making his Perrier acceptance speech and accepting a cheque for a cool £7.5K. Kitson said he had considered staying away from the ceremony. He read from prepared notes. thanked his manager. and then thanked his mum and dad for not making him get a real job. Bless. (Maureen Ellis)
Comedy’s boy wonder takes the Perrier in his stride
GRAEME THOMAS The return of the prodigious son In tne world of stand-tip comedy. a break from the old rOutine is commendab-e. Graeme Thomas must have miSunderstOOd. The ‘,’Olir‘.g Edinburgh comic booed sticks at the peak of last year's festival. teang hIS regtllal' Sunday night comoering stot at Edinburgh's Stand. arc ventured off to Canada for a yea." And tne reasOn? To sight-see. a little work. and generally have a break from the norrn.
So did stand-up his itinerary while he met there? ‘! did a feu‘: says Thomas. ‘it was gcsc: l was aware that they it‘iig'” ’>’ get
some of the thirgs said and that they call thl." f; by different words. but by tne time I'd been there for a few months. everything slotted in and it was no O'ODlem to talk for 20 minutes ard actualzy get laughs from it: not just stand on stage talking to myself'
Travelling all over the c0untry.
starting in Toronto and working to Vancouver and back again. allowed Thomas the chance to experience the country's different idiosyncrasies and pick up some new material. 'l've got some material about what Canadian people do and different wildlife stuff. Although I already had animal-based material before. so peOple won't be too Surprised' Returning to Scotland refreshed and motivated. Thomas. a graduate of the Stand's comedy classes. has qwckly got his foot firmly back in the comedy door. His travel dates meant he effectively missed out on playing two Edinburgh festivals. but bookings are increasing and his experiences in Canada set him apart from other comedians on the Circuit. ‘YOu know the old saying that if comedy is truth. or at least well-constructed lies. rather than just leaving it to yOur experiences at school and uni and Edinburgh and Scotland and whatever holidays you've had. it's a little bit different going away for a year and just pleasing yourself.‘ (Maureen Ellis)
NEW VENTURE THE COMEDY COOP O’Neill’s, Glasgow, Sun 29 Sep
Steven Dick hatches another bundle of laughs
lf professionally packaged stand-up is your thing. with comedy merely one course in a carefully laid-on drinking. dancing and food bingeing spree. then head to Jongleurs. If. however. you appreciate laughter that's lean and hungry for appreciation. contrary to the appearance of the fat bastards delivering it. then make your way to the back room of O'Neill's in the Merchant City. Run and slightly shambolically organised by a collective of seven local comics. the Comedy Coop is stripped-down. few-frills entenainment. and as Such deserves your patronage. The small but cosy set-up seems an ideal venture for nurturing new talent. and the Merchant City can only prosper from having regular comedy again. What's more. at just £4 entry. it's among the best value venues in the city. On the night. Scott Agnew overcame his nerves and initially iffy material by baring a vulnerable soul. and the crowd responded well to his effort. Dave Heffron gave an amiable performance. though almost an entire set about a well- known ice cream only goes so far. Jamie Mackenzie was an adept compere. but the evening only really got going with the arrival of Steven Dick. whose touchingly crap magic tricks and confident delivery made for easy laughs. Talking us into the back straight was Des McLean — his insights into bookmaker mentality. tanning salons and 'Coco Banjo' lingo ensuring the night ended on a high note. one which ought to be sustained next week with the appearance of top comedy
Local hero returns to fight his corner
76 THE LIST 53~ l 7 Oct 2(L02
troubadour. Sandy Nelson. (Jay Richardson)