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Review: Matt Reed, Mike Newall and Nathan Hudson - Blake’s Coffee House, Newcastle. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Dipper   
11 06 2010
ImageBlake's Coffee House in Newcastle is a beautiful venue for comedy. Sure, the price of a sandwich is disgusting and the drinks are served by women who are possibly too attractive, but it's an ideal location for good stand-up. Hidden behind a life-size statue of an archetypal blues singer, I and a full house of sixty or so others in the room awaited the arrival of compere Jim Smallman to the makeshift stage inside the cosy and extremely warm coffee shop.

I'm going to be straight with you - I found Jim a little scary. Don't get me wrong, he was very funny, especially when the former alcoholic discussed the faux pas he committed whilst intoxicated; but at times I felt like if I didn't laugh he could well beat me ‘til I did. Full of action, animal noises and some strange tattoos (including one of Anchorman character Ron Burgundy on his right bicep), Smallman did his job well - he warmed up the crowd with a forceful yet somehow friendly routine, before handing over the microphone to first act Mike Newall.

ImageAs with most comedians, Newall introduced himself not by name but origin, discussing the merits of hometown Stockport, neighbouring Manchester's gay scene, and his friends back home - none of which he appeared to like. The Manchester-based comic was measured and confident, providing funny anecdotes about football chants, his apparent fear of exotically-named drinks, and scooter man, perhaps the greatest business idea ever. He was a friendly, enjoyable, but ultimately average first act of the evening.

Following the short break, MC Smallman welcomed middle act and stand-up newcomer Nathan Hudson to the stage. Though Hudson left the female section of the crowd uneasy with his ‘women aren't sex objects...they can cook, too' comment, his set provided many laughs, especially during his hilarious but slightly mischievous routine centred on kidnapped children. Indeed his line, ‘That Shannon Matthews was a right git, wasn't she?' was perhaps the funniest of the night, and Hudson's set was a lot more polished than my last experience of him at Sunderland's New Music Rooms in 2009.

ImageClosing the biweekly Hilarity Bites show was local Matt Reed, who was quite frankly brilliant. Despite the unwanted distraction of several drunken hecklers at the front - who Reed immediately discarded with witty, off the cuff insults - the Sunderland comic delivered a near-perfect set deserving of his tag as headliner. Like Newall previously, Reed joked about his hometown, the Tyne-Wear rivalry, and the North/South divide, with his remark about ‘[moving] to London to escape conversation and manners' especially tickling the Newcastle crowd.

The comic was a joy to watch, and in between routines about sex toys, geeks and TV show Lost, Reed even found time to proposition a woman at the front. Reed is a quality act.

If you're looking to see some comedy at Blake's Coffee House, Grey Street, the next event is Thursday 24th June, where Tom Wrigglesworth, Danny Deegan and Tiernan Douieb will be performing. Tickets are available for all Hilarity Bites events by visiting:


http://shop.hilaritybites.co.uk/


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