Over the years, if you’ve been coming to Arch One, as either act or audience, it will have a special place in your heart. It’s as unique a venue as you find in London, largely I suspect due to Robert, its owner, barman and regular MC heckler. But every now and then you get a special night there, a night where the audience and line-up are a perfect fit for each other and comedy magic happens. Well last night was one such evening. Opening the show we had Jim Brown and the difference between electric and acoustic toothbrushes. It was then over the happy clappy ray of sunshine that is Doug Graves, a cabbie who has only crashed twice, which in the grand scheme of things is technically only once more than Facebook. It was then over to Sam Adamson and the joys of entertaining the kids of the super-rich with little more than a bag of rope and a grafted on smile. We then had our first new face of the evening,
Oli Riordan, doing his first G&B set. From an Irish family, they were only too pleased when he came out as a comedian because this meant he was a virgin, not a perv. The glitzy fabulousness that is Gemma Barry was next with an excerpt from her upcoming one woman show, Flaps of Steel, which if her wardrobe was anything to go by should carry a full range of merchandising. It was then over to Seam Anderson and the 21st century’s most niche form of racism: anal bleaching. After Seam we had the man, the legend that is Jimbo. Jimbo had been on stage for a full two minutes before he so much as spoke and had the audience in stitches by just getting the mic from the stand. Priceless. We love a bit of Jimbo. Next was Paul Little, or as his neighbours call him, the silver fox…largely because he keeps tipping their bins and having noisy sex in their garden. Closing the first half was Duke of Edinburgh Silver Medal Award winner, Phil Green. Now much to the disbelief of the room, Phil confessed to having turned 40 over lockdown. This gave Phil the impetus to make more of an effort to achieve, so he signed up for a triathlon and therapy so he can get ahead of his midlife crisis to-do list.
After the break we jumped straight in with another new face to G&B, Danny John Scott. Danny shared a neat little life hack: always break up a relationship on New Year’s Eve. That way you will always know to the day how long you’ve been single. Keeping with the new faces it was then over to Joe Walsh, whom we’re all hoping managed to get home with his relationship intact…at least until the New Year. Nicu Tematoru was after Joe. Nicu is only just beginning to wonder if coming over here to steal our comedy jobs was the best plan for financial success. Our next act was another new face, Cisco, how proposes nothing good ever came from nailing yourself to the cross of fitness. And as a recovering Catholic he has one very good example of this theory. Our next act, doing their first set at G&B, was Dee Allum-Gruselle. Coming out as trans days after getting her Pfizer vaccine, her mother is now convinced this is one of the vaccine side effects. Can’t help thinking Dee has some serious timing issues, but not with her comedy! Now after Dee’s set, which had left the crowd sore from laughing, there was no one in that audience who wasn’t thinking how the fuck do you follow that. Well, we followed that with someone doing their first ever gig. So no pressure whatsoever. I don’t think I’ve ever felt for an act as much as I did for Harry Pettitt as I brought him to the stage. Your first gig is tough enough without having to follow someone ripping the roof off. Well, I needn’t have worried, because Harry hit that stage like a seasoned pro and took that crowd’s energy and ran with it, hitting us with some sage advice on the worst place to put a West Ham tattoo: on your 3 year old! If I’ve seen a better first gig in nearly 8 years of G&B, I can’t recall whose it was (sorry Gary). Our final new face of the evening was Greg Houston, a true, modern man how has helped many women sober up and turn around their lives…mainly the morning after meeting him. The night’s penultimate act was the wonderful Shuang Teng who has an issue with marathons and muggers and sees them as being much the same pain in the ass. Closing the show, we had the utterly hilarious Henry Ginsberg. First introducing us to the word schnoop, Henry then confessed to wanting, just once, to experience a little objectification as wonders if it’s entirely right to feel insecure amongst his peers because he’s never had an STD. Awesome set.
So that was last night at Arch1 and it was an amazing evening of great comedy. Headlining next Wednesday we have the fabulous Jo Fletcher-Cross and Kirsty Hudson. Hopefully see you then.