Canalside Chuckles at the Glee Club Nottingham
After a long week, a trip to the Glee Club Nottingham seemed like the perfect way to start the weekend, promising food, fun and plenty of laughs of a Friday evening.
Located an easy walk from Nottingham’s railway station, on the banks of the canal, this well respected comedy and music hub is nestled inside the spacious interior of the former British Waterways Building – meaning there’s plenty of room inside to spread out and grab a drink or a bite to eat, before the main entertainment gets going.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the actual comedy. My only previous experience of this type of event was a grubby, overpriced comedy club in New York, where we weren’t allowed to sit down until we’d bought a minimum of three expensive drinks, and the audience basically spent the evening having insults shouted at them by increasingly desperate comedians.
From the friendly welcome offered by the bouncers at the door, to the bucket of iced beers already waiting for us on our table when we arrived, it was immediately clear that this was going to be a completely different proposition to that night.
We were shown upstairs, where there was a friendly hubbub in the room, as the mixed crowd of couples, students and friends geared up for an evening of quick fire comedy, and live entertainment. Despite the size of the building, the comedy venue is surprisingly intimate. No-one’s too far from the stage, and it’s always easy to jump up and grab a drink from the bar, or pop to the toilets.
Before the comedy, there was the important matter of the food. We were fuelled up for the belly laughs that were to come with some tasty pizzas – I can definitely recommend the nice and spicy Reggae option – along with a generous servings of chips.
Then, it was time for the main event. From the anticipation building music, to the flashing lights, The Glee Club helped to make the show feel like a real event, building up the atmosphere in the room perfectly, before the compère for the night, Clint Edwards, arrived.
He bounded onstage, and instantly won the crowd over by exchanging light-hearted barbs with a slightly sozzled Welsh stag party. He also impressed the locals by sharing his amazement at the fact that Nottingham is home to the village of Gotham – read the bizarre story of how this tiny Notts village lent its name to the home of the caped crusader here.
Handling hecklers is always a fine art in stand-up – and it’s an enjoyable part of any live show the fun to see whether the comedian can outwit the inevitable loudmouthed audience member. He managed perfectly, ensuring that everyone enjoyed some off-the-cuff laughs at the interrupter’s expense, before he delivered some deft slap-downs, which left everyone free to enjoy the rest of the show without any further disruptions.
First on stage was Andrea Hubert, whose stage persona and penchant for sharing a little too much about her private life, got the night off to a great start. A short break to refill glasses, and she was followed up by Radio 4 regular, John Moloney, who mixed slick one liners with a superbly surreal story about taking his ‘stressed’ cat to the vets. His set was beautifully delivered, and the applause was thunderous when he wrapped up his routine.
Andrew Bird rounded off proceedings by delivering a bouncy set of gags, and his affable style left everyone in high spirits, having enjoyed a fantastic evening.
If you’re looking for something a little different to do with your Friday or Saturday night, The Glee Club offers a hugely entertaining night out, with a consistently high quality bill of in-demand comedians. The quick fire style means there’s no let up, and the evening never starts to lag, keeping a strong momentum throughout.
Having a bill of four very different comedians gave the evening some real variety, and seeing four great performers on stage for just £11 is a pretty darn good deal in my eyes. So give it a go for yourself, and get your weekend off to a glee-filled start!