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Sunday 30th March 2014

4144/17063

During the tech at Glasgow my mic was cutting in and out. Sometimes that can be due to accidentally touching the release button between the cable and the microphone or because the cable is dodgy and you're swinging it around, but it didn't feel like it was connected to anything I was doing. "Is that you or me causing this?" I asked the tech guy. I wondered if he was adjusting some knob in the booth and consequently turning the sound on and off. That's what it felt like. But he wasn't doing anything, so he came to the stage, said it was something to do with the cable and we swapped over with another one. It seemed to work fine now. Problem solved.

Or was it?

No it wasn't. Sorry to prick the suspense immediately there.

It was a packed Oran Mor tonight, though unlike the last time I was here there weren't dozens of angry Christians outside holding up placards. Maybe they hadn't heard that in this show I talk about bumming God. Or maybe they've all just decided to turn the other cheek. Which is no fucking fun. Jesus was on to something there.

I came on stage and began the show, but on my first joke the mic cut out during the punchline. Which in comedic terms can be quite a problem. Sometimes my loud voice can make up for a microphone dropout but this was a very dead room for sound and nobody heard the punchline. I said it again and it got a laugh, but not as good a laugh as it should have got. That could have been a fairly disastrous start. Maybe the Christians had sent God along to disrupt the show this time. Though you'd think he could have sent a plague of something to get me, rather than cause mild audio interference. The first few seconds of a show are a delicate time, as you're winning the audience's trust and proving (hopefully) that you are funny. So I was a bit concerned. Especially when the mic kept on cutting out. There was a spare mic at the side so I switched the heads and carried on, but that mic too was screwing up, so I guessed that it was actually the lead that was at fault. So then I went to get the off stage mic which seemed to have been working fine, but comically that had a much too short flex on it and I didn't seem able to get to the front or the left hand part of the stage. I adjusted it as best I could, but I was rather trapped on the right of the stage. It felt like a horrible dream, though the audience were enjoying the chaos and I was remaining calm and talking them through it. It seemed to have been going on for hours, but no one was appearing to try and help me. I didn't think it would be possible to do the whole show like this.

Finally the tech guy appeared and disappeared through a door at the back of the stage. I commentated on what was going on, wondering what was in the secret room, all the time knowing I was in danger of totally losing impetus. The tech guy squirrelled around behind me as I tried to plough on with the show. Luckily the audience were with me and perhaps the problems were making it more enjoyable for them. I wished death on the tech guy, which was probably a bit harsh (if not a little fair), but he was enjoying the joke and being a part of it. In the end he just disappeared off stage, seemingly having solved nothing, leaving me with the short lead mic, which I used for the next hour. It was a bit restrictive, but at least it amplified sound. And thankfully I was full of energy again and giving one of my best performances of the material for a while, finding lots of subtle new ways of doing stuff, the appreciative audience spurring me onwards.

It turned out that the problem, as I had sensed during the tech, was with the technician's desk. There was a loose connection at his end and every time he was near it it would cause the sound to cut out. It was sorted for the second half and I had the freedom to move again. Another night that car crash of a start might have ruined everything, but I remained calm and collected and we made it through together. It was one of my favourite shows of the tour. Just to add to the technical issues the tech guy didn't go to black out at the end (and actually didn't bring the lights up at the start until too late) but aside from messing up two of the three cues and giving me a microphone that didn't work he did a great job! We were a good double act on stage at least. Might sign him up for the rest of the tour.

It's been a great run of four sold out gigs, playing to 1500 people, though tomorrow in Banchory will bring me down to earth with a bump as I think we're looking of an audience of about 60 there. But as long as the microphone works I will be happy and if it doesn't then I will just go round the room saying each line to everyone individually. Still a few tickets left for Newcastle on Tuesday and about 10 left for Shrewsbury on Wednesday and I imagine a bucket load left for Margate on Friday. Not too many more chances to see the show now. Details here.



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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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