The third and final week of my Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival experience began with probably my favourite comedian, Josie Long at the Y Theatre. I have watched Josie’s ‘Trying is Good’ DVD, which also contains her ‘Kindness and Exuberance’ show, and I have seen her ‘Romance and Adventure’ show which she put on Youtube but nothing could prepare me for just how wonderful she is live. Her ‘Cara Josephine’ show has received really good reviews and deservedly so. It is such a hysterically funny, heartbreaking and uplifting show that it is easily the best thing I’ve seen at this year’s festival. I find Josie’s work so inspiring and her positive attitude so refreshing that it encourages me to work harder on my creative ‘stuff’.
Support act for Josie was Tom Allen who I had seen last year supporting Sarah Millican. His set was of a really good length so he could engage properly with the audience and his material had some really thoughtful moments as well as being hysterically funny.
I have been following the career of Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer for some time but this year was the first opportunity I’ve had to see him live. In a nutshell, he dresses and speaks like an English gentleman and performs hip hop on the banjolele. His mission is to reconnect hip hop with the Queen’s English and he performs wonderful medleys of hip hop, indie and techno classics in his own unique style as well as his original songs. His lyrics are hilariously funny, his uke playing is excellent and his manipulation of a loop pedal to build up the backing for one of the songs was very clever indeed. I was lucky enough to meet the man himself after the show and he kindly allowed me to take a photo of him. I also took the opportunity of purchasing his latest CD, ‘Can’t Stop, Shan’t Stop’ which is excellent.
For my final show I was back at The Wee One in Hansom Hall to see Hal Cruttenden. He was a bit late but that might have been to do with the fact that most of the city centre had been demolished that day so trying to find a place to park among the rubble might have been awkward. Tonight Hal was doing a work in progress show but he said he was going to mix in some old stuff too. Work in progress shows are really fun but what can make them great is when a really good comedian doesn’t make them feel like a work in progress as they just become a hugely enjoyable night out and that’s how this show felt. Hal’s show was really funny and he mentioned the fact that someone had described him on Youtube as the safe comedian’s safe comedian when in fact there are a lot of darker things going on in his material. This was a great show to finish off my Leicester Comedy Festival experience for 2015.
I chose to go and see comedians I already liked so it’s not like I took chances on having a rubbish night out but I thoroughly enjoyed every show I saw and I’m already excited about next year. It’s a brilliant festival showcasing many of Leicester’s great venues from the biggest to the smallest and it must take so much organisation to pull it together every year. I feel really lucky to have this amazing annual event going on locally.
My favourite show of my experience of the festival has to be Josie Long with Tom Allen supporting, but I also really enjoyed Sarah Millican’s Q & A, Angela Barnes, Dylan Moran, Stewart Lee, Count Arthur Strong, Sara Pascoe, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer and Hal Cruttenden.
The whole festival was a wonderful experience.