Open Mic Gigs

My 4th Ever Gig! — Angel Raw @ The Camden Head (Angel, London)

I walked into the room upstairs at the Camden Head in Angel, where people were setting up for the Angel Raw event tonight. They asked what I was planning to perform. I said “a little story”… which was met with a slightly confused look.

Why the hell did I say that? I should have said Observation Comedy Gold’ in a calm controlled ‘I’ve done millions of gigs before’ voice.

He then asked me how many gigs I had done. I replied “This is my 4th gig” 

What! Oh God…” was his reply!

I was clearly the newbie on the bill tonight. Christ I hope I don’t completely balls this up! ‘This is where I want to be, need to be… hanging out with the bigger boys’ I knew this was true but it didn’t exactly help with the nerves!

The gig was meant to start at 8pm though there was no sign of Barry Ferns! Luckily James Loveridge jumped in to start the night phew…

James Loveridge - Hosting  at the Angel Raw

James Loveridge — Stand-in host

The order went up on the wall and I was in the second half. Great, I noticed there was about 7 people called Dan on the bill. Crumbs I hope I don’t mishear and try to get on stage when it’s another Dan’s turn.

Armed with a pint of coke, a rather expensive bottle of water, and a hand covered in bullet points I was as ready as I’d ever be. Why is it that a bottle of water costs more than a pint of beer in pubs these days? I would drink London tap water, but I fear you’re shaving a year off your life per pint!

There were about 60 people in the room this time. With 2 grown up looking camera crews at the back of the room! Crumbs, this was getting serious! Word must have spread about my previous 3 amazing gigs, Christ things were moving fast.

Oh no, they were for someone else…

Rory had already sunk 3 pints before the night even started! Supposedly his ‘Architectural Career’ is a full-on one, so we shouldn’t judge. I always imagine Rory trying to complete drawings at lightning speed with pens in both hands, ink flying everywhere, desperately trying to keep those hungry clients at bay!

Rory also wanted to sit in the most difficult seats to get to, which involved us having to climb over several people. I felt it wasn’t the best place to sit, as I would be called up at some point and have to climb over the crowd’s heads in desperation to get to the stage! But this could be a great entrance onto the stage, like a crazy animal who had just spotted some yummy jam dripping off the mic.

The first half of the show was good, with a variety of acts both male and female. As we went into the interval someone in the audience congratulated me on my set! I had to tell him “I actually hadn’t done my set yet! I’m in the 2nd half” he looked confused and then said, “Oh in that case I have a great story you can use if you like?” 

We named him ‘Crazy Barry!’ that night and I’m hoping it stuck.

It’s almost time for my set, I get my trusty dictaphone ready. As I hear my name being called out I start walking toward the stage. “This is it, this is my moment… Oh what the…” I’m beaten to the stage by another comic! Balls it’s one of the other Dan’s on the bill. Shit I thought they said Dan Tambling! They actually said Daniel Townsend! As I walk back to my seat, I feel like I’m doing the walk of shame…

When my actual name finally gets called out I walk on stage, and at that exact moment a girl in the front row decides to walk off to the toilets. I wouldn’t have minded, but she had to actually walk onto the stage to get to past. Christ this is an absolute balls up.

To make things worst I happily say ‘facie’ instead of ‘selfie’ in the opening line of my set and completely trip myself up! AHHHHHH!

Dan Tambling Performing at the Camden Head (Angel, London)

Dan Tambling performing at the Camden Head (Angel, London)

The set of new material actually went really well, but I wish I hadn’t got a bit tongue tied at the start (damn you ‘Crazy Barry’)

A great act on the bill tonight was Darius Davies, chatting about the rules in relationships when it comes to needing to pass wind in the bed, and the need for a no.2 on a date! The whole room was crying with laughter throughout his set.

Comedian - Darius Davies

Comedian — Darius Davies

I want to have more energy like Darius as it’s the actions I always remember, not the words


Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.


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