A Buddy Good Laugh Paisley Review.
Interview by Peter Greenwood of Paisley.org.uk
Paisley’s annual comedy festival, aptly named A Buddy Good Laugh, returned to the Paisley Arts Centre in February. I must admit, going in I wasn’t sure what I’d be able to write about. As I said last time, comedy is such a subjective thing that it’s difficult to get a handle on to review.
Another aspect to writing a comedy review, is that you have to be careful what you actually write. Some comedians take weeks and months to perfect their set, then some bozo like me comes along and writes “then big Stevie said this about the microwave” and it ruins their act.
So going into this, I’ve chosen to write from a few angles; firstly, touch on the elements that the comedians spoke of, and secondly, I went with my friend Emma to this event, and I picked up on what I think she did and didn’t enjoy, so I’m going to try to look at this through Emma’s eyes as well.
We arrived at the Arts Centre and took our seats. The stage was decorated with banners for the Dead Sheep Comedy, something which immediately grabbed Emma’s attention. “Why do the sheep need to be dead” she protested. “Because living sheep aren’t as funny?” I suggested.
The audience filtered in slowly, and the show started with host Scott Gibson coming out to welcome us, and inform us how he felt about a performance going on at the Paisley Town Hall that night.
As he likes to do, Scott turned to the crowd and started chatting with a member of the audience, who informed us he’s a cow farmer. During the course of the evening we’d find out that you can get £1,000 for a cow, farmers tend not to have favourite cows and that Scott can do a pretty decent impression of a cow giving the “come hither” look.
The first act onstage was Kier McAllister, which started a slight East Coast takeover in the room. A regular at the Strand comedy club in Edinburgh, as well as a pod caster, Kier started talking about Scotland, and his observation that we don’t really do anything proper for tourists in this country. He then shifted over to a story about an unfortunate accidental stalking incident in Edinburgh, which I think every man in the room could relate to at some point in their lives. As an opener, he was great fun and as he left the stage, Scott came on to tell us it was the first break, but that we had a special surprise guest coming on directly after.
I only got the surprises first name, Gareth, but he was pretty great. He looked like he was about fifteen though, something he immediately addressed and admitted to by sharing a story about how a group of teenagers outside asked him to buy them alcohol, and how well that ended up for him. Gareth was only on for a short amount of time, before giving way to Owen McGuire.
Owen came out, and divided the crowd, but by the end of his set he won people back with stories about how he was a teacher, and the highs and lows of vegetarianism before we were released to our second break.
Then headliners Stu and Garry came on, and I’ve got a slight confession to make. I’d already seen these guys perform live at the first Spree festival, as part of Scotland’s only improv group they come through from Edinburgh and play Glasgow sometimes too, and I knew they were hysterical. And right I was. Emma was beside me, tears streaming down her face with joy, as Stu and Garry re-enacted a scene set on a train in different styles, such as Star Wars characters, from the suggestions of a delighted audience.
A Buddy Good Laugh gets better every time I go, this is something every Buddy should get behind and support as much as possible.
Interview with Stu and Garry by Peter Greenwood and S.J Gribben