Ascending to glory at Maltby St Market

I’ve not been gigging as much as I should recently, mostly because of being too lazy to get any spots booked in. I sometimes forget that doing stand-up actually requires a shitload of admin at this level, and unless I’m constantly on the ball with applying for spots then it’s all too easy to find myself without anything booked in my diary. 

Sometimes last minute spots can pop up to fill in those gaps, but Sod’s Law dictates that they’re never available when you need them. So it’s been a quiet few weeks – I did a ten spot at We Are Funny Project and another at The Lodge Tavern in Ealing, which is running a Monday night show again.  

But the highlight for me was a Friday night spot at the Malt bar in Bermondsey’s Maltby St Market, which is rapidly turning into a great regular gig. I’ve been there a few times before, and on this occasion the promoter (Sam Rhodes) offered me the chance to close the show at the end of the night. 

There was a respectable audience in – it’s an intimate venue, but they can easily fit 20-30 people in there, and when it’s full there’s a really nice atmosphere. Sam MC’d, and was joined by Amy Xander, Duffy Connors, Kalid Raheem, Simon Hall, and Richard Stott, who all smashed it.

So by the time it was my turn to go up the audience was way past warmed up, and practically simmering, which made the job a lot easier for me. Although I’ve not been gigging much, I had done the ten spot at WAFP just a few days before so I was feeling well rehearsed and the material flowed naturally, even with a couple of new bits thrown in. 

Everything landed well right from the opener and the whole set felt really good. At one point I blanked for a couple of seconds, but managed to cover it up with a call-back to a previous act’s joke, which worked nicely. Even with that slight hiccup it was one of the best sets I’ve done in a long time, and I left the stage feeling pumped up. One of those shows that reminds me I can actually do this.

I’ve been planning to film some sets to get a reel together that I can send to bookers so I can start maybe getting some more open spots in clubs, and I’d even gone to the trouble of taking my camera and tripod along. But at the last minute I decided I couldn’t be arsed setting it up, since I’d had a run of mediocre gigs it probably wouldn’t be worth the hassle, and I’d be better off just mentally preparing myself instead of faffing with a camera. Of course, I now regret that, but at least I got a nice pic from Sam…

That was a couple of weeks ago and I haven’t done any shows since then. Feeling annoyed with myself for losing momentum, so right now I’m making a conscious effort to book gigs in – especially new ones at nights I’ve not done before. Next week I’m doing Rats Open Mic at the Night and Day in Islington – it’s completely new to me, so I’ve got no idea what to expect from it. 

I’ve been writing more recently, but only half-arsing it – I’ve got some stuff that I think could work, but haven’t got as far as structuring it into proper bits so I can road test it. Lazy, lazy, lazy. I think I need to be more disciplined and promise myself to try out at least one new bit at every show.

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