Thursday night at The Stand Comedy Club

This Thursday I visited The Stand Comedy Club on Edinburgh’s York Place. The Stand have this basement club in Edinburgh and another through in Glasgow. The performers were Aaron Counter, Niall Browne, Pete Cain and Mandy Knight, with Bruce Devlin as compare. And the cost was a very reasonable £6, or £5 if you’re a student.

Performers stage at The Stand Comedy club, Edinburgh

It’s an intimate affair with little pub tables and stools right up to the stage - you literally sit right at the performers feet. A small bar keeps the drink flowing with draft Heineken and many bottles of beer, spirits or glasses of wine available at reasonable prices. The food here is excellent value for money too with such delights as chicken wraps or beef chilli. The staff create a genuinely friendly atmosphere, where the club feels totally relaxed and personal (unlike the competing Jongleurs). It was very busy on Thursday with most of the chairs already taken - I, and my friends, managed to get seated but some persons had to watch the show standing up at the back. I think this is all part of The Stands attraction where people are literally packed around the performer, but personally I’d prefer to sit down when watching and enjoying a drink or three. So if you take only one message away: “Get there early!”.

The actual show started at 9pm with doors having opened at 7.30pm. Now I am not a fan of the compare, Bruce Devlin. I went to see his awful Fringe show, Selkirk Bannock, last year when the few audience members who had turned up fled the room as he changed outfit behind a partition. His humour, for me, revolves primarily around sexual references to audience members that I find involves little skill. His constant appearances on stage were a source of irritation for me throughout the night and I won’t be back when he’s on.

The first comic, Aaron Counter, gave a calm, relaxed delivery of his material through his narrative suiting Australian accent. He was a great way to start the show. Niall Browne, the Nothern Irish comic, had some moments but never brought the house down - it seemed a tired performance to me. Pete Cain delivered his act with confidence and directness; beginning the show with a claim to be so lazy he’d prepared no material. But he soldiered on with an anarchist tint to his whole message, including a muttering of how we could storm the bar and get free drink as “there were more of us than them”. A decent performance, but no moments of true hysteria. Mandy Knight, who wrapped the evening up, had a good stage presence and a more empathetic style and voice. This hid the sharp, witty and sometimes downright dirty remarks she would suddenly direct at someone in the audience though.

This enjoyable night ended about 11.15pm and I felt a tinge of disappointment that none of the performers, apart from Aaron Counter who had started the night off well, had really hit full throttle and delieverd a constant attack of humour. It seemed a random kind of affair, without any logical progression to mass hysteria. Still, it was a Thursday night and it had only cost £6. Comedy is often hit and miss and what is not funny to me is another persons blood of laughter. I love The Stand as a real venue and have totally adored nights I have had here in the past and will definately return in the future. If you’re after a night out with entertainment, then The Stand comedy club could be just the ticket.

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