Bryan Malcom reviews the gig on March 26:
Last week’s comedy club at Burscough Wharf was truly exceptional. With a bill including the likes of Tom Stade, arguably the best comedian on the UK circuit at the moment, there was a serious buzz of anticipation in the room, no one was ready for the next three hours of mayhem.
Red Redmond was, as ever, on top form. As the club’s resident MC for over two years, he is not only a familiar face, but also friends with most of his audience - even those faced with the potentially terrifying prospect of front row seats are put at ease by his friendly and funny chatter. Tony Jameson opened the show with some terrific material, his high energy Geordie humour setting a high standard for the night.
The middle section of these shows give the opportunity to lesser-known acts to show us what they have. Cynics would suggest this might be a weaker section of the programme, however Karl White and Marc Smethurst proved those wrong. Birkenhead lad Marc flashed a smile and cheeky jokes around the room whilst Karl was, well, just Karl - a droll Yorkshire man with wonderful stories, extenuated by some spectacular use of the English language.
Headline act Tom Stade is one of comedy’s most exciting characters. The Canadian is most certainly at the peak of his career. A real coup for The Ha Ha Club to welcome him to such an intimate venue, he delivered a stunning set, which had the audience in raptures whilst fellow comedians picked their chins off the floor. Not content with his contracted 30 minute set, he returned to the stage for a 35 minute encore.
Stade is a unique character in comedy, an off stage persona that reflects his true self. As he signed DVDs and chatted with fans over a post gig beer, he was still at it, delivering a 20 minute private gig of “new stuff” to his newly found friends, or Stadinese as he refers to them.
The Ha Ha Club returns on Friday 25 April – Tickets are £10 and on sale from www.hahacomedyclubs.co.uk