Photo of Mr Kerr at Connie’s Comedy Night

Connie’s Comedy Night | The Old Con Club (Malvern) | 6/8/2021

The lack of urgency with Mike Newall’s entry introduced his laid back and avuncular style; the engaging smile, knowing wink and reassuring chuckle winning us over effortlessly. You could see the audience leaning in with confidence. After all, it was Newall’s Friday night and he was taking it easy, just so happened we had been invited along as well. Clearly, we were in welcoming and capable hands both on the stage and at the bar…

In a small Edinburgh bar some years ago – for a £1.00 – I witnessed a comedian who spanked the rest of the night’s entertainment and then went on to do alright for himself: Josh Widdecombe anyone?

Mike Newall the compere
Mike Newall the compere

Anyone heard of Simon Lomas? Lomas is the antithesis of a stand-up comedian. His awkward mannerisms and awkward social skills inspired nervous giggles, to begin with. The glasses are too big and his slender limbs are too long. He defied accepted expectation and even refused to look at his audience (coping mechanism?). The spoken delivery is robotic, mechanical and lacking any real emotion. To begin with, collectively, we were all thinking W.T.A.F?

Distinctively different by comparison, Jack Campbell is verbose and garrulous and introduced his comedic narratives with a boyish enthusiasm. A performance like this after a three hour drive to get to the gig? Respect. I must confess, I too would have been perplexed at his physical conundrum involving the toothsome girl at a house party and the introduction of his own appendage for no apparent reason. You had to have been there – no really, you should have been there! – as The Old Con Club knows how to put on a show.

Photo of Simon Lomas
Simon Lomas

Simon Lomas does not put a show on as such. His stagecraft is limited, much like his limited movements and the word count is both terse and laconic. Yet Lomas is in FULL control. Nothing is wasted in Lomas’ performance. Even when he threatened an audience member the effort used didn’t match the effort required to change a tv channel. However, what a seismic impact he had on his audience.

The audience embraced Micky P.  Kerr and hisguitar. Along with the DIY lyrics and a nice patter in throwaway observations Kerr was a fitting denouement to the evening’s proceedings. His well-rehearsed spontaneity and just-thought-up-adlibs gave way to a splendid 25 minutes of jestering. Although, as a teacher he still gave us something to think about; Mr. Kerr might not have educated us as such but another comedian on the bill certainly did…

Simon Lomas is as original as Johnson’s reason for the pit closures and accompanying communities being destroyed. To begin with, parts of the audience were laughing at Lomas but in truth he was laughing at us, moreover, by the end we were laughing along with him and willing him on. For me his exit was as choreographed and polished as any vaudeville act; simple in its execution and nearly emotional as the Lomas family taking ownership of their new puppy. The uniquely oblique Simon Lomas corrupted the horizon of expectation, spanked it, pushed a quid up its arse for its trouble and did so with a style all of his own. I genuinely hope Simon Lomas goes on to do alright for himself.

The impromptu one man standing ovation was a fitting finale.

By: The Swilgate Scuttler

Ps The Old Con Club fully intend to orchestrate more comedy nights to add to their other events…you too could be witnessing comedians as they make their way on the circuit.

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