Pete Starr

Review: Joe Bromehead, Nick Cranston, Karl White, Mark Rough and Tony Jameson – Bar Rouge, Halifax

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Joe Bromehead | Giggle Beats

Joe Bromehead

Blinking into the world on a balmy evening in West Yorkshire for the first time, The Halifax Comedy Club debuted, offering five comedians, including two advertised headliners in the shape of Mark Rough and Joe Bromehead.

MC Tony Jameson earned his corn early doors as he worked hard with a tepid crowd. Aided by strong confidence on stage and perseverance with the front row of the audience, the likeable Geordie did well to work up some good energy from scratch before handing over to the evening’s first billed headliner, Mark Rough.

Rough, a fairly blue veteran of the Northern scene, hit the stage in a strange mood, as he repeatedly attacked one member of the audience with questionable comic upshot, first moaning about being ill, then his fee and finally complaining he wasn’t closing the show himself.

And once into his act proper, I was disappointed with the material Rough offered. Perhaps his illness affected his performance on the night, but he seemed to struggle with the young age of the audience, pitching jokes beyond their years and resorting frequently to tired insults about nearby villages. His direct style seemed to lack the finesse required to prevent it feeling outdated – at least to this crowd – however Rough’s charm began to win through later in his set and the audience eventually warmed to him.

The evening’s middle spots were occupied by two bright comics, who offered contrasting styles much to the audience’s approval. First up, local act Karl White took to the stage. I spent much of White’s set trying desperately to decide whether he was a fantastic anti-comedy character act or a terribly poor stand-up, riding on a wave of home support. In the end, I just about plumped for the former, and genuinely enjoyed White’s hugely entertaining introverted delivery of the mundane and absurd in his life.

Following on from the popular White, Nick Cranston delivered 10 minutes of slick and well written stand up. An assured stage presence, his routine about a letter of complaint provided plenty of laughs and a strong end to his set. Expect to see more of this man soon.

Closing the first Halifax Comedy Club night was Joe Bromehead. From his first word, Bromehead’s cheeky persona and brilliantly committed prop gags were a winner with the crowd, his opening routine about government adverts a particular favourite for this reviewer.

His set throughout was well received and the material generally strong, though I felt at times Bromehead’s blunt delivery and a couple of punch lines lacked tact; his Lady Gaga material in particular let him down. But Bromehead finished in fine style with a couple of cracking prop gags, leaving the audience thoroughly entertained and eager to see more when this promising comic returns to Halifax supporting Frankie Boyle in the near future.

The Halifax Comedy Club is a welcome addition to Yorkshire’s comedy scene, offering strong bills in a decent space at a modest price. Keep your eyes peeled for more offerings on the first Thursday of every month.

  • Tel Banham

    I’d like to thank Gigglebeats for the brilliant preview and review of our very first night and all of the support.

    The night was brilliant, all of the acts were amazing and on form which was good to see. Tony especially.

    I think the above review is very harsh on Mark, I think some of his gags have been taken out of context above. Even though VERY ill Mark performed over and above what was asked of him and was brilliant as usual.

    Looking forward to our next show now :D

    • Giggle Beats

      Tel, you’re welcome for the preview/review and I hope your night is a successful one.

  • Jim

    Yet again a review has caused offense to people performing for a low fee whilst trying to support a new night. And look, one of the people given a shit shit review previously has piped up in support on FaceBook. I know what GB is trying to do but you really are going about it the wrong way. Andrew, if you want this to work you have to review yourself and not let open spots review pro nights. There is no consistency otherwise. Steve Bennett makes sure that (outside of the fringe, where he uses reviewers with a decent comedy background) he reviews mainly for Chortle. Using open spot in the area to write for your site does damage not only to your site but your reputation, the reputation of the reviewer who wants to break into comedy and the reputation of the act onstage who may earn their crust through comedy.

    PLEASE have a serious re-think about how you are doing things.

    • Giggle Beats

      I’ll take your comments on board, ‘Jim’, but I’d much rather you emailed me and put a name to your opinions. That’s what we do here, after all.

      It also means we’d be able to have an adult conversation about the pros and cons of Giggle Beats (which I’m more than happy to do…) rather than exchanging comments on the website.

  • Jim

    And while I’m at it, could I post up a review of Pete Starr? If we are all allowed an opinion on comedy that can be posted on the net and read by potential employers then he is fair game as well. I’ll write it up, let me know if it can be posted here.

  • Mark Rough

    I just want to address a couple of points.
    Me performing for only £13.50 was a running gag throughout my set.
    My only mention of me not closing the gig was when some of the darker material got an intake of breath from the audience I said “Normally, when I’m
    on last you’d have all had a lot more to drink and laughed at that”
    So, you’re reviewer is an open spot? Suprised? Moi?

  • Mark Rough

    Ah! So my reviewer was THIS Peter Starr a man with taste enough to wear a backwards baseball cap
    I shall rest easier now, my career safe


    • Dave

      You can try and discredit the reviewer all you want but the fact is its a fair review that cuts through your usual bullshit.

      Its interesting that you choose to criticise a comedian based only on what their wearing but wont accept what sounds like a perfectly fair review of your act.

  • Steve Walker

    Could someone tell me what’s the difference between an ‘open act’ reviewing a gig and anyone else reviewing a gig? I’m sensing from the comments above that an Open Act is a lesser being and not allowed to have an opinion – by that token as a mere novice Promoter with NO stage time then I suppose I won’t be doing any reviews anytime soon. I’ve seen all the acts in this review and it’s contents are very fair.

    I note that the one act who wasn’t reviewed so favourably as the others, then set upon and dismissed the reviewer for being a circuit open act – someone working their way up. I’ve watched the link posted and baseball cap front or back – he’s seems a capable enough lad and has promise. Someone on the inside and working their way up is going to be a lot more incisive than an outsider – and maybe even more cautious with the subject matter. Regretably I think the poor lad just got his card Marked.

  • Dave Twentyman

    I gigged with Joe tonight in Goole. 1st time I’ve seen him do a set. He was very good & going off what I’ve seen he’s more than worthy of closing, that includes the above bill.

    Tony’s a top compere too.

    Good luck with the gig x

  • Mark Rough

    I agree with Dave the lad has come on a lot, through sheer hard work.

  • Greg Cook

    Fuck me. It’s all going totally bonkers at the click of a mouse. Last I knew I was trying to buy some photograph frames, in which to display images of my nearest and dearest (and probably a few cunts I don’t like, but in whom I have a financial interest somewhere along the line, so I’m best keeping them sweet) and all of a sudden I’ve wandered into what can best be described as a comedy vienetta. Ooh err, I’m off back to me right-wing sites. You know where you stand with them short-haired blokes.

    • Steve Walker

      Now look what you’ve done, you’ve kept Mr Cook from his bed. Wait until Vincent hears of this – it’ll be everywhere. Tut tut. And may I say that the venue had an abundance of purple – you could hide a legion of Ribena berries in there.

  • Mike Taylor

    I don’t see any problem with an open spot doing a review, I imagine most people who do reviews at Edinburgh and elsewhere have never even done an open spot, I don’t know the answer to this, has Steve Bennett done stand up?

  • Mike Taylor

    Just found out the answer to my own question, Steve hasn’t done stand up, obviously he has lots more experience than Pete, but even Steve has to have done his first review at some point, was it therefore invalid because it was his first one?