If you don’t laugh…




When you get caught in a depressive dip you need something to lift you and since I can’t really drink on this medication (well I can but why would you take mood stabilizers and antidepressants to then fill yourself with a liquid depressant?) I have to find other releases. They certainly aren’t coming at work – in fact today I had to seriously bite my tongue or it would have been an interesting way to hand in my notice – so thankfully I have lots of comedy to look forward to in Aberdeen and last night we started with the hugely underrated Simon Evans.

He’s been on the Comedy Roadshow and Stand up for the week but he’s not a panel show regular so I was pleasantly surprised that there was such a good crowd in to see him – especially up again Rich Hall at the Music Hall. I have to say that I’ve seen a lot of comedy over the years and he goes straight into my top ten I’ve seen. Word play, dark humour, subtle aside and great big belly laughs all combined to make a great night. He is a really good comedian and I wouldn’t hesitate to go and see him again. Tomorrow it’s Josh Widdecombe, Saturday is Hal Cruttenden, then next week Sarah Millican and Alan Davies are on the to do list. The other plus is that we’ve decided to go to the Fringe again this year as we missed it last year because we were still doing up the house after buying it the year before.

If you’ve never been to the Fringe in Edinburgh you are really missing a treat. The city is wonderful anyway, but add the atmosphere and the crowds and the place really comes alive. We’re going down for five days and I usually try to squeeze six or seven shows in a day – the challenge is that I want to try to see people that are new and maybe haven’t quite broken through yet. Over the years in smaller rooms we’ve caught people like Jack Whitehall, Russell Howard, Michael McIntyre and Russell Kane before they were really famous and it’s always great to see performers developing their skills. Quite often if we catch someone at the Fringe and they then tour the show the following year I’ll go back to see the show and see how it has developed. I’d love to have a go at stand up but I’m too much of a coward – at least with the music I can have a bit of banter and if it falls on its arse I can just start singing!

I really admire stand ups and the skill involved – it’s like watching a great artist or musician if it is done right. There are some really gifted performers that I’ve seen over the years like Dara O’Briain, Ross Noble, Eddie Izzard, Rhod Gilbert and Russell Howard that can just grab hold of the audience and take them with them on wild and ridiculous journeys through their minds – relaying stories and ideas that outside that room are not funny when you try to retell them but in that moment you think you might die laughing. That is a wonderful gift to have – to make people smile and laugh and forget about the crap in their lives for a couple of hours.

Hopefully with the line up over the next two weeks, the rest of the year here in Aberdeen (Jimmy Carr, Katherine Ryan, Mark Watson, Jon Richardson, Dave Gorman and others) and the Fringe my funny bone will be tickled enough to give me the boost I need just now. As they say “If you don’t laugh…”


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