The Wrong Show is an independent and alternative comedy night in Leeds. This is our blog. Here you will find comedy reviews, features, and interviews. We were formally known as HOWL. Our home is The Fenton, Leeds.
So Leeds Comedy Festival is under way. That would be awesome news if we were part of it. Sadly we’re not, because we’re too out there. That’s not true, but we still have a show going on during the festival at Santiago Bar on Thursday 3rd May. That’s right: HOWL #4!
Joining us as guests this month:
Master of Ceremonies: Red Redmond
HOWL Alternative Comedy Night Episode IV
1-3 Grand Arcade
So, HOWL #2 was on Thursday night, and if you weren’t there you definitely missed out. We had the oddity Alex Mettrick as Master of Ceremonies, who never fails to bring a brilliant strangeness to the stage and always goes down well with an audience. Chris Lumb was up first. Chris is a great impersonator who never fails to delight, and one bit in particular - setting Die Hard in an old folks home - was brilliantly received. Chris was a great way to kick off the night.
Following Chris was Matthew Fong. A great performer and a charmer, Matthew brought confidence and exuberance to the Howl stage. Si Finnigan was the next to grace the stage. Si expertly crafts small tales that never cease to surprise. He brought a more personal feel to his act at HOWL #2, which served to add even more funny to an already humour filled act. Jonny Addy was up next. Quick on his feet and good with the ol’ ad-lib, you could tell Jonny was natural performer a crowd would really enjoy.
After the break we resumed with Laura Machin. A confident woman who is fearless in her willingness to be open and intimate with an audience. Next, the packed room quickly warmed to a charming and laid back set from Thom Milson, his dark whimsical treatise on pop culture, society and the perils of lion ownership proving why Mr Milson is the comic the other comics watch from the back of the room. Michael Sterrett finished the second section with style. Fresh off the back of a performance that has given him a place in the final of Mr Bens Comedy Club New Act Competition, Mickey was full of confidence and natural [Irish] charm. If you’ve not seen Michael before you’re missing out. Fearless and honest, Michael has no reservations about tearing down the bullshit of life, and being uncompromisingly funny while doing so.
The first act in the final section was Callum Scott. At first glance you would say Callum Scott likes to take on the big issues. Tonight’s targets being the English language, Capitalism and sexuality. Look a little closer and you might see the story of a young man trying to figure out where exactly he belongs in this strange world. Jokes on working for Disney, playing rugby and being head-hunted by girls as their ‘gay best friend’ show a keen eye for observation but it’s his tendency to self-deprecate which lifts the material higher. He laments that “he is not what a gay best friend should look like,” but to HOWL’s audience, that doesn’t matter at all. He went down a storm!
The night was then brought to a close by Simon D. Heaven. Simon is a joke writer, or more to the point, he is in love with the joke writing form. Beneath the sardonic style and unswerving delivery lies the heart of a man who can’t stop putting pen to paper. Simon goes through all the gears for HOWL’s crowd tonight, one-two punches, one-liners, paraprosdokians, wordplay; the works! Purely economical in his use of words, each joke is delivered with all the fat trimmed off. Occasionally Heaven likes to keep his audience on his toes, making them work for the payoff: “I just split up with my girlfriend; she actually left me for comic affect.” Tonight HOWL got to see a man in love with his craft, superb.
Last night HOWL officially kicked off, and what an awesome night it was. We had a nice full house, and the cool sound of Jazz. Peter Marshall did a fantastic job warming the crowd up, on what was a chilly, chilly evening. He kept the crowd at bay with charm, and extremely effective wit. He was able to create a great relationship with the crowd, that grew stronger, and stronger as the night went on. Literally a MASTER OF CEREMONIES. Eddie French was first up, and took to the stage like a bad boy Clark Kent. Eddie set the bar for the night with cool confidence and sharp, precise wit. Couple that with an array of spot-on impressions and his ability to become the envy of every smoker in the room, and the night was off to a flying start.
Enter the surreal and amazing darkness that is Simon Gutherless. Simon has the ability to make the audience feel comfortable with the uncomfortable in the best way possible: sharp one-liners that explore the darkness of the human soul through a demeanor of charm. The only comedian we’re aware of that brings a shovel, and rubber gloves for his opening. Fantastic. Thom Milson is me, and I feel weird writing about myself. I think I did okay: people laughed.
Rich Austin is not the million dollar man, but his performance was worth a million dollars. A family man in the truest sense, Rich is not afraid to talk about the sinister fantasies of fatherhood that many are afraid to admit. Imaginary friends, Horse murder, and Venn Diagrams, make Rich Austin, and infectious and highly entertaining comedian. Si Finnigan then graced the stage with his presence, kicking off with some left-field moralistic tales and quips. To the point and extremely effective, Si was loved by the crowd.
Michael Sterrett is hilariously honest, and lovingly perverted. He says it exactly like it is. To see a comedian open up this personally is a treat, at Howl, Michael was just that. I can’t watch Apocalypse Now Redux again without thinking of Michael. Jed Salisbury has a habit of being the funniest man on the stage. Energetic and Hilarious, he was the perfect way to end the night. If you get chance you should see him (as well as the other acts here) you will not be disappointed.
Next month we will be bring you the same high quality, and awesomeness. If you want to come down, we’ll see you on Thursday 8th March, Bar Santiago, Leeds, 8pm.