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Review: Adam Bloom, Craig Campbell and Callum Cramb - The Corner House, Newcastle. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andrew Dipper   
20 06 2010
ImageThe strangest comedy gig I've ever been to was on the Juliet Stage at Lowlands Festival in Holland. The penultimate act of the festival had put on a brilliant show of energetic, close to the bone comedy, packed with one-liners and finished off with the comic oddly stripping down to his underwear on stage. In case you were wondering who I was referring to, it was a comedian from Richmond named Adam Bloom.

After exchanging a Friday night in watching the England match for two tickets to Bloom's gig, I was anticipating a repeat of his performance in Holland; though I couldn't imagine a show even stranger than the one last August.

We arrived at The Corner House at precisely the wrong time - early enough to witness grown men anguishing over a predictably lacklustre performance from the national football side, but late enough for us to be forced in to the only two available seats in the front row of the room. However, despite my poor start to my evening, the night soon picked up as stand-in MC Kai Humphries took to the stage to welcome a stellar audience to The Grinning Idiot Comedy Club. Humphries was a friendly but firm host, providing the audience with the first laughs of the evening with quips about the front row and his girlfriend, before introducing the first act, Craig Campbell, to the stage.

ImageAfter recently supporting Frankie Boyle on his U.K tour and possessing a wealth of experience in the comedy industry, a lot was expected of Campbell - and he delivered. The Canadian comedian focused on his internationality throughout his forty minute set, supplying the crowd with anecdotes on airport security, living in America, and finally escaping to Devon, and his routines were appreciated by the crowd - barring a few Canadian audience members who felt that his stereotypically Canadian guise was excessive. Still, Campbell was a fantastic first act, warming up the audience before thanking them for, ‘coming to see a Canadian man from Devon on a Friday night in Heaton'.

Following the short break, MC Humphries introduced Callum Cramb, a.k.a Al Key to The Corner House stage. Cramb's character comedy was met with a lukewarm response from the crowd - despite its witticisms - and the Leicester-born stand-up responded by accepting that his comedic style had compromised an ever-difficult position as the middle act of the show. Indeed it was only when Cramb broke character that the atmosphere picked up, and thus the comic finishing his short set strongly.

Closing the fortnightly comedy night at The Corner House was Ricky Gervais' - and my - favourite comedian, Adam Bloom. The Richmond-born comedian took to the stage with a charisma and effervescence that was maintained throughout his hour-long set, providing a delicious combination of brilliant improvisational comedy and well practiced routines about his life. Despite only being contracted to a forty five minute set, Bloom remained on stage ‘til after the bar had closed, and  his energetic style, akin to earlier act Craig Campbell, blossomed as the gig came to a close, with the comic determined to tell ‘just one more' joke before calling it a night. Bloom quipped, ‘I realise some of you have to leave for taxis and what not, but I'm going to carry on, if that's all right with you'.

Most stayed ‘til closing time at The Corner House; however a few trickled out of the function room, and when two audience members sat at the front stood up to go home, Bloom dove from the stage and clutched the ankles of the pair. Bizarrely, he then offered to pay for their taxi home in exchange for them watching the end of the show, and, as he finally brought his superb set to a close, he walked over to the two lads now reseated beside the stage and provided them with the money to get home.

I was one of those lads. Bloom isn't just an outstanding comedian whose never-ending energy infects you, but he's also a decent guy who's made a living from doing what he loves. You have to respect that.

This was the last Grinning Idiot comedy event of the summer, however keep checking their website below for information on upcoming gigs.


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