So we were back at Arch1 last night and I was so looking forward to the evening, especially as we had two awesome headliners on the bill. First up, though, was the hilarious George Tothill. During lockdown, George decided he was going to get buff, but ambitions of ripped muscles fell away when he learned how to cook a particularly delicious mussels skordalia. Lilian Belli was next with tantric telepathy and the Totness family fun dynamic. It was then over to Rohan Sharma, who is no fan of nominative determinism…or baby food. Barbara Fernandez was after Rohan with some interesting decorating tips. Or, as the police described it, removal of vital evidence. It was then the turn of Guy Fagan whose money not so well spent on Ancestry.com told him nothing more than his Irish middle names had already let him in on. Henry James was next with the revenge of the millennial: Covid is payback on the Boomers for Brexit. Hot on Henry’s heels was Dominic Burrell, half Spanish, half sex legend, all blonde bombshell, Lily Savage styled irony. It was then over to Daniel Vallender a man who has maybe watched too many cop dramas as his burning desire is for his boss to see him as a maverick, an unpredictable free spirit…in the stock room. Closing the first half was the fabulous Benny Shakes. Benny was a bit of a star on the G&B Online shows over lockdown, and this was our first chance to have him on our live stage. Well, Benny didn’t disappoint. Photographer by day, he blames his subjects when they aren’t satisfied with their blurred imagery; they need to shake in time with him FFS. And if you ever had a notion to try speed dating, take Benny advice: all that up and down is just too exhausting!
After the break and some mind-reading and, frankly, amazing artwork we had Mark Nicholas and his confession that him working in a special needs school is a bit like the blind leading the blind. It was then over to Paul Grover and the Croydon Happy Meal: a tourniquet, syringe and salad. Robert Enciu was after Paul with how to deal with the most horrendous insult that could possibly be hurled at you… It was then over to the man, the legend, the one and only Jimbo. It seems Jimbo lost several friends over lockdown, not from covid; they just wandered off from and haven’t been found yet. After Jimbo was Sam Trudgill, a man who’d gotten so desperate for gigs he’d happily paid for a lapdance and asked if instead, they’d let him do a set. The evening’s penultimate act was the awesome Neuroses (aka Robbie Fox). Now I long for the day Netflix gets their act together and just gives him a special, or better still a series. No idea what they’d get him to do, but whatever it was I’d watch it. Last night he brought us a Neuroses day at the races, baying at the moon during a Cockney lycanthropic transformation. As always, you really have to be there. Closing the show was the simply brilliant Hatty Preston. Hatty was on storming form last night, pointing out no NHS worker has worked anywhere near as hard as her vibrator over lockdown and that any new parent who says they could never hit a child simply hasn’t had a speeding scooter to the ankle yet. Brilliant, just bloody brilliant.
So that was last night and it was a load of fun. Thanks to everyone, acts and audience, for bringing the laughter. Headlining next Wednesday we have the hilarious Jake Cornford and BGT’s amazing Darren Altman.