Ok, so Russell Howard isn't even going to the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and this wasn't even strictly an preview for DO'D (or at least not advertised as such), but hey I've set a precedent with the Horne Section/John-Luke Roberts blog so I'm sticking with it.
This gig was at Up The Creek in Greenwich - a new one for me, mainly because I'm spoiled with lots of good comedy in North London and have therefore rarely made the effort to venture south of the river, let alone east of Canary Wharf. But with David O'Doherty's headlining gig at Union Chapel on Saturday cancelled (also featuring Tom Wrigglesworth who I was really looking forward to), I was delighted to see he'd been added to the bill at Greenwich, so I happily trundled along the DLR for the gig.
Kiwi Al Pitcher was MCing, and a fine MC he was too, despite getting a matter of a few minutes at the start of each half. Great at audience banter, he got the crowd suitably warmed up, though many were clearly excited to be seeing Russell Howard off't'telly in any case. I have to say, while I like Howard on Mock The Week and the like, I've never been massively convinced that I'd be enjoy a full show - the proof of the pudding is in the eating though (the proof is NOT in the pudding - why does that bother me so much?) and he was much more enjoyable than I'd imagined. A real ball of energy on stage, and quite a surprisingly exasperated, if not angry, one, he has some new ideas on reducing the deficit (pimping out Robert Pattinson) and a real way with bizarre imagery. Funny stuff.
And so to David O'Doherty, a comedian who - and I know I've said this before, and it's getting boring, but it's said with complete honesty - just gets better every time I see him. This hour-long set saw DO'D start with him embellishing a little bit of older material, (an extended rant on the modern tendency towards ridiculously strong and polarised opinions was particularly fun) but he quickly moved on to brand new stuff in readiness for the Fringe. There's a great couple of new songs - one on human failings and another listing David's awesome qualities ("This might make me a bad person", he says by introduction) and a fab story about taking his crappy plastic Yamaha on the train. His performance gets bigger, his confidence stronger and yet, the sense that he would be the bestest best mate - ultimately his point of difference - remains unabashed. Quite a trick to pull, that.