Category: Comedy review

Scottish music, a familiar sound during the Edinburgh Festival.

After last night’s shenanigans I had a long lie-in before heading off to the souvenier shops for a last-minute shopping spree. After that we both had a massive cottage pie lunch at BHS. Honestly, the meals were so big they lasted us all day.

In the afternoon we went to the Pleasance Courtyard for Emily Watson-Howes’ show, Seminar. As we were waiting in the courtyard I spied Mark Watson for the second time during our stay here. At first he was talking to someone, then he was chatting on the phone, but I saw him a few minutes later all alone, so I seized the opportunity to have a quick chat… Yes I know, Chris calls me a stalker.

After our quick chat with Mark, we went and watched Emily’s show. At first I was a bit uneasy, but as I got to know the character, I enjoyed it more. Emily played a rather flawed self-help speaker called Kimberly Jane Feldhauseur, all professional at the beginning but gradually unravelling and becoming more unstable as the Seminar played out. The show was engaging and funny and different to the usual comedy.

After Seminar we did a bit more shopping and then we went back to the hotel room, where I caught up with Facebook, Twitter and my blog notes while Chris had a nanna nap watching Terry and June on the TV. Understandable.

We left our room quite late to watch our last show of the fringe, so by the time we got to the venue, the queue for The Boy With Tape on his Face was pretty long, and we ended up sitting three-quarters of the way back. This meant Chris felt quite safe as there’s quite a lot of audience participation in the Boy’s show and Chris is not one to join in: but the people who did join in were great. I was mesmerised by this show, how he can hold the attention of a room without uttering a single word for a whole hour is just amazing. So that was our last show of the Fringe. A good show to end on. More information on the Boy can be found on his website.

The next day we trudged down the 67 steps of our hotel, The York Place and walked along to Princes Street to catch the bus to our car. We had arranged to park in someone’s drive for five quid a day via, which is much better than nineteen quid a day in the car park near our hotel.

As we left Edinburgh we listed to David Tennant being interviewed on the radio. Listening to his Scottish accent and his choice of song, The Proclaimers, I’m on My Way. I realised how much I’d miss the place, and we hadn’t even left yet.

To be continued…


Chris and a cannon at Edinburgh Castle

On Tuesday we had a nice meal at Olly Bongo’s Cafe Bistro, a Turkish place with a warm and friendly atmosphere, a nice contrast to the busy, wet and cold street outside. It was a bit more expensive than most eateries we’ve been to, but it was a good meal and we wanted to be close to Udderbelly to minimise our time in the rain.

That night we had tickets to see Heath McIvor’s show, Randy is Sober. Randy is a purple puppet, we knew what to expect as we’d seen him before in Rickett’s Lane back home in Brisbane. It is a show so hilarious that we went to see it twice, so I didn’t book it for Edfringe. What I didn’t expect from Randy is Sober, was the fair amount of audience interaction we got. Just because his eyeballs aren’t real, don’t think Randy can’t interact with the audience. In fact I enjoyed those bits best, Heath has a very quick wit, or should I say Randy? Anyway the show was excellent and played to a full house.

Talking of full houses, Tim Minchin tweeted the other day for folks in Edinburgh to go and see Anyone for Tennis? This was very good publicity for them and ensured a well deserved full house for their next show. They rock very hard even when the audience is small like on the night we went to see them, so it’s nice to know they are playing to bigger crowds in their first Edfringe. I bumped into Doody and Jase in the street the other day, and they’re lovely guys.

Anyway, after Randy’s brilliant show we went to see The Horne Section, a shambolic (in a good way) show incorporating the jazz band Horne Section plus other guests, and a large spinning wheel to dictate the elements of the show. We got a game of Top Trumps between audience members, a hilarious Morris Dance by three of the band and then one of them was stripped, yes, all the way to a bare bottom. My favourite guest performer of the night was The Boy With Tape on his Face. We are seeing his full show tomorrow. There was also a funny and talented guitar player, Antonio Forcione, Swedish group Fork, and lastly poet, Tim Key.

Yesterday was quite sunny so we went to Edinburgh Castle and spent three hours wandering around with earphones and audio guides. As usual for Edinburgh there were many hills and steps.

Lang Stairs at Edinburgh Castle. 70 steps.

My overall impression of Edinburgh is oldness, comedy and steps, and to a slightly lesser extent, drizzle. We finished our castle visit with a latte in the coffee shop and by nearly 4.30pm we could see big grey clouds rolling in so we made our way back down the hill while ducking in and out of the many souvenier shops to find presents to take home and to drip dry all over shop floors.

Chris at Edinburgh Castle. Grey clouds coming.

We grabbed a delicious chicken and cheese melt from The Square, just around the corner from our hotel and took it back to our room to have with a cup of tea. Then we went set off into the night to see The Pajama Men’s show, In the Middle of No One.

We saw the Pajama Men’s show last year so we knew we’d probably spend most of the show watching a multitude of different characters played by two men in their pajamas, with only two chairs for props, and wondering what on earth was going on before everything tied up nicely at the end. The show did exactly that, again it was bewildering, funny, clever and silly at the same time. The stand out character for me was what I imagine to be an eagle type of bird with a very unusual cry.

After that, the night took an unexpected turn as we met up with some online forum friends for a drink at the Guilded Balloon. It was brilliant to meet the comedy fans I’ve got to know online for the past couple of years. After a pint and a half of cider and lots of comedy-talk some of us went to a one-off free Sammy J gig, which was also recorded for a DVD. Jase and Doody from AFT? were in the audience, along with lots of venue staff, and a few other people silly enough to still be up this late. We ended up walking back to our hotel room at 3.30 am. I was a very happy fangirl.

We climbed the 67 stairs to our room and eventually rolled into bed at 3.45am. This is exactly how I wanted Edinburgh to be: but not all the time, I’m too old to cope with this much awesomeness every night.

Today the forecast is for rain… all day. A good day to do the laundry and catch up on my blogging duties. This morning Chris and I trudged through the rain for about 25 minutes to Ace Cleaning Services to do our laundry, we had an early lunch at the very friendly and inexpensive Flip! café while our clothes were washed and dried a few doors down the road. We wimped out and took the bus back to our hotel for a very reasonable one pound 30 each.

The past few days have been a blur of Festival Fringe comedy shows and sight-seeing. Two days were spent just wandering around to get our bearings, but mostly getting lost. We were amazed by funny and talented street performers, while we dodged the drizzle and enthusiastic flyer-hander-outers, and spent a fair amount of time finding free toilets. Quite by accident we came across the Elephant House, place of Harry Potter’s birth, well, where JK Rowling wrote the first novels anyway. We had a cuppa in there, it was hot but the ambience was nice.

Tea at the Elephant House, a place full of elephant pictures and ornaments, wood panelling and mis-matched wooden tables and chairs.

By day three our feet were screaming for mercy, so we took three open top bus trips in a row to sight-see while sitting.

The Scott Monument. For 3 quid you can climb all 287 steps to the top, given our fitness level and sore feet, I think this will not be high on our agenda

We got off the Majestic Tour at the Royal Yacht Britannia for a tour of the yacht and afternoon tea.

Chris posing with a pretend pint on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

It felt a bit voyeuristic to be looking at the double bed that Charles and Di slept in, but it was a pretty interesting place to visit and my lemon drizzle cake and Earl Grey tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room was very swish.

Afternoon tea at the Royal Deck Tea Room

We went to the Military Tattoo on Saturday night, there was a little drizzle but it didn’t matter as we wore our shower proof jackets just in case. In fact we have been carrying them around all over Edinburgh and they’ve been very handy. The Tattoo was good, my favourites were the Band of the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments, they were on bicycles, very funny. They came back later without their bicycles and played something from Harry Potter too: excellent. The night ended with the Massed Pipes and Drums then spectacular fireworks. The DVD will be out in October so we will be ordering that online so we can relive the night.

Military Tattoo massed pipes and drums

On Sunday we spent a few hours wandering around the Scottish National Museum. It’s a massive and grand building. Chris was very happy to see a bubble car and I was amazed to see a ZX81 computer. I remember when they came out, they were 50 quid. There were lots of Christian religious artifacts, a fantastic collection of rocks and a huge amethyst geode. There were stuffed animals, including Dolly the sheep, and dinosaurs bones, fossils and Egyptian coffins, it was all very interesting.

Chris and a bubble car

The comedy shows so far have been extraordinary. I’ve already blogged about Sammy J’s show, Potentially, since then we’ve seen five more shows. Alex Horne’s, Seven Years in the Bathroom was very good, tightly scripted to keep up with the momentum of living a whole life in an hour, but it didn’t feel too rushed. Next up was Melbourne duo, Anyone For Tennis in Prepare to be Tuned. Doody and Jase sang beautiful harmonies about Margherita pizza, that time of month, and finding your one true love (among other things). They rocked very hard with their guitars for a tiny audience of about a dozen people. They so deserve a full house for their first Edinburgh Fringe.

On Tuesday we saw three shows, our first was Chris Cox in Fatal Distraction. A mind-reader who confesses straight away that he can’t read minds, but it doesn’t matter a jot. By the end of the show, I’m sure everyone in the audience was amazed by what they’d just seen. During the show he’d recited a bit of Tim Minchin’s beat poem Storm for me, so I was a very happy fangirl. Next up we saw Asher Treleaven in Matador. We saw him last year in Secret Door so we knew we were in for a slick performance. This show tackled racism in a hilarious way, he’s quite a physical performer and my personal favourite was an impression of a squid. You had to be there. Lastly we saw The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic,  quite possibly the most physical and weirdest show of the Fringe. Think of Angus as Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean, but more socially inept and child-like, and wildly changing into other characters along the way. There’s a messy encounter with chocolate cake and some dancing too, this is a show that you think about for a long time after it’s over.

So that’s the story so far. It’s still raining outside but tonight we are seeing the purple puppet Randy in Randy is Sober and Alex Horne again, but this time with jazz comedy band, The Horne Section. Can’t wait.

We are three floors up, in our hotel room in Edinburgh, and after several trips up and down them, I’ve already decided I hate the stairs. However, this lofty room is our home for the next seven nights and I am very happy to be here in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival.

The weather is damp, we’ve had showers on and off all day, but thankfully my cold has gone, although husband Chris is still coughing his guts up.

We have had a look around The Royal Mile, watched some street performance and seen our first comedy show, Sammy J in Potentially. The venue, Underbelly, is an amazing labyrinth of a place, full of character, comedy posters, and I’m sorry to say it, more stairs. Sammy J was in White Belly, one of goodness knows how many rooms in the building.

Tucked in at the back of the tunnel shaped room, sat Bristol comedian, Mark Watson. He caused a buzz among the first couple of rows where we were sat. He wore a bright green T shirt and stood out like the green man you have to wait for before you can cross the road, except he didn’t flash… to my knowledge.

Sammy J, in a natty looking shirt and waistcoat, looked very dapper and performed brilliantly. Potentially is dialogue-heavy, he does sing a few songs to backing tracks but there’s no keyboard in this show. The story-telling incorporates some cute animals, some heartache, a red G-string and a happy ending, just like one of Sammy J’s favourite Disney movies: except maybe the G-string bit.

I’d have liked to have said hello to Sammy J and Mark Watson after the show, but I thought I’d better take Mr Cough-a-lot home to our hotel room for a Lem-Sip: and unfortunately for Chris that’s not a euphemism for anything.

Don't know what this is, but it looked impressive. Will check it out tomorrow in the daylight.

Fellow musical-comedy fan friends have often mentioned Eddie’s work to me, so he’s been on my radar for a while. But money is tight and my comedy dollar has to go a long way, Eddie has never made it onto my schedule until now.

Misanthropology is Eddie Perfect’s latest show and he performed it at the Brisbane Powerhouse from July 20 to July 23. I was there on Saturday the 23rd with some of those aforementioned friends. The room was dark, we were sat around a table to the left of the centre-stage cat-walk. A deep voice echoed in the darkness. “In the beginning… there was nothing, and then our universe was created with a bang, (small noise.) a BIG bang, (bigger noise,) and then lots of stuff happened…”

The ‘lots of stuff’ seems to have slowed down in recent years, and Eddie, resplendent in an 80s looking silvery suit lamented that man has done so much great stuff, but there are always those that let the side down. They betray our humble beginnings as sea animals that happened by some accident of evolution to have crawled to the shore, and then went on to evolve hands and use tools.

As a species we have made great inventions but still manage to do some very stupid things, and think some very stupid thoughts. We have ourselves on a pedestal above all other animals and presume to know what they think, when really we don’t have a clue. And although we should know better by now, we are still doing awful things to the environment, messing up our world, and almost worse than that, awful pretentious things in the name of art.

You wouldn’t think that such a depressing subject would be so funny, but the seven songs with stand-up in between, had the room laughing all the way through. He mocked humanity, with great wit, touching on several examples of how we seem to have hit a glass ceiling in evolution. Having the three-piece backing band on bass guitar, electronic drum kit, and keyboards, left Eddie free to walk about the stage and onto the catwalk. From my vantage point I could clearly see the perspiration on his forehead glistening as he energetically belted out the songs.

He did pop behind the keyboard for a brief stint during his song about a father who bought breast implants for his 22-year-old daughter. That song was my favourite one in the show, full of razzamatazz, brilliant lighting and just a fantastic performance. Be warned, it’s the sort of song you can hum after only one listen.

One of my friends has been watching the Tour de France and she enjoyed ‘Self-Righteous Cyclist’ a lot, the tightly clad in lycra Eddie was enjoyed for other reasons by other members of the audience. Possibly those that watch him on Offspring. He also impersonated a well-known female presenter who seems to think sportsmen who behave appallingly with young girls are OK, and the girls really wanted what they got, which was raped. Another song about how living with a primitive tribe may not be all it’s cracked up to be, saw Eddie wearing a headpiece that would not look amiss on Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.

If it all sounds a bit dark and twisted, well, it is. But it’s dark, twisted and funny.

Me and Eddie after the show on July 23, 2011. Thank you Kim for taking the photo. 😉

The encore was a semi-serious song, performed solo, with just Eddie on the keyboard. I was enjoying it so much that I didn’t get the poignancy of it at first as I was too busy enjoying the performance to actually listen to the words. In fact there were a few instances throughout the show, where I’d hear a laugh around the room and realise I’d missed a punchline during a song because I was too busy enjoying the voice and music without actually listening to the lyrics. But that’s my fault, I tend to drift sometimes when listening to good music.

Thankfully Eddie had CDs of the show, recorded at The Famous Speigeltent, at the Sydney Festival for sale in the foyer for $25.00. And although he had not been well, he still stayed behind after the show for autographs and photos. What a lovely guy.

For more information on Eddie Perfect go to his official website.

Last night my husband and I went to our last two shows of the Brisbane Comedy Festival for 2011, today is the last day of the BrisComFest. If it wasn’t for the live broadcast of Tim Minchin Vs The Sydney Symphony Orchestra tonight on ABC2, I’d be feeling pretty sad.

We saw London comedian, Stephen K Amos, and Australian, Harley Breen. I had not seen either of them live before, but I had seen Stephen on TV, so I had an idea of what to expect from his show.

Both were very good at what they did, which prompted the pondering of value for money. Harley’s show I Heart Bunnings, was less than half the price of Stephen’s show The Best Medicine, and yet, I enjoyed Harley’s show more.

Stephen’s show was first at 7.00pm, we had centre-stage, second row seats in the big Powerhouse Theatre. I was careful not to meet his eye as there was quite a lot of audience interaction which was funny and seemed to crack him up as well as the audience. I also enjoyed the short readings from the diary of his 15-year-old self, but I felt the rest of the show jumped around a lot without a cohesive thread. Some of his show sounded familiar too, I’m not sure if I’d seen him do the same routines on TV or whether he was just covering familiar ground for comedians such as technology and stereotyping young vs old. Saying that, I did laugh and grin all the way through, and he only told one joke that failed, and he blamed that one on jet-lag.

His show did yield one surprise; I did not know that Stephen is gay. This year we’ve seen Asher Trealeven, who because of his performance style, I presumed to be gay but he isn’t, and Stephen, whom I wrongly presumed to be straight: comedy is full of surprises. It seems that my show choices this year are one-third openly gay comedians.

After the show, Stephen had a merchandise table for the sale and signing of a couple of DVDs, but due to me being out of work for six weeks now, and no money for such frivolous purchases as DVDs, or expensive drinks, we went down to the Brisbane River and watched the party boats and City Cats going about their business. Then we went for a walk along the river, chatting and listening to the fruit bats in the trees. I noticed it was pretty dark as the street lamps seemed to be broken on the river path but still working on the main entrance path. I didn’t think of it then, but I later realised we’d been walking during Earth Hour so perhaps they were off on purpose.

After checking out the racks of Council push bikes near the ferry terminal, we hurried back to the Powerhouse for our last show of the BrisComFest, Harley Breen’s, I Heart Bunnings. This show was downstairs in the tiny Turbine Studio. It was a bit unnerving to see him wandering around chatting to the audience before the gig instead of hiding backstage. But it was all part of the experience, knowing a bit about his audience meant he could interact with ease later on during the show. Unfortunately, not long after the show started, three drunken girls interrupted the flow by coming in late and talking loudly. They continued to talk several times, until eventually Harley had them ejected. I don’t blame him, the atmosphere was much better after they had gone.

The show was cleverly written, original and down to earth, and I felt much more of an emotional connection to him and his material. Whether it was the more personal content or the small confines of the room, I’m not sure, it was probably a combination of both.

Harley talked about his brotherly love for his younger brother Clifton and older brother Randall, and his feelings of not being manly enough to be a role model for his 8 month old son. He also gave some wonderfully accurate insights into the tradesman’s world. He referenced Brisbane’s sometimes scary weather and floods, and he had the audience in the palm of his unblemished hand, unlike the hands of his construction site-scarred brothers.

I’m glad I took a chance on someone I didn’t know. I thought it sounded like a good show and my carpenter husband might find it funny. Chris did enjoy it, he said it was ‘good’, (he’s a man of few words). He knows people just like the tradesmen Harley described, including one with ‘one nut hanging out of his shorts’ ewww!

Harley ended the night with a lovely sight-gag that I didn’t see coming and I’d have liked to hang around after and thank him for writing such a good show, but Chris felt pretty tired so we went straight home.

So that’s it, for us the third Brisbane Comedy Festival is over: for everyone else, there’s one more night to go. I recommend Harley Breen, tickets are only $20.00 and he deserves a full house.

Around this time last year we saw our first Sammy J & Randy show 30 Ricketts Lane (with puppeteer Heath McIvor). It was amazing and I became a fan. Since then we have seen Sammy J solo a couple more times,  so we knew what to expect of him in his festival length show of, Skinny Man, Modern World.

Chris and I and our daughter Sarah and her boyfriend Daniel, all went to see Sammy J at the small Rooftop Terrace room at the Brisbane Powerhouse. We arrived with ten minutes to spare, but because we’d never been to the Rooftop Terrace before, Chris insisted I ask the box-office lady how to get to there. I said, ‘but it’s obvious we go up in the lift until it can’t go any higher, the name kinda gives it away,’ but I asked anyway. Sure enough, we were directed to the lift. Duh! The room was quite wide but not very deep, and not as dark and dingy as the Turbine Rehearsal Room downstairs. We sat roughly in the middle of the room and a few minutes later Sammy bounced onto the stage. He seemed genuinely pleased to have such a full room for a Tuesday night, it probably held close to 100 people.

Sammy J is not just a stand-up comedian who happens to sing songs and play the keyboard, nor is he a musician with funny talky-bits between songs. He is an all-round performer, linking funny songs at the keyboard with his stories and views on such topics as the future and death. He tells revealing and embarrassing anecdotes, such as his account of a run-in with a very angry fan, a dick(s) joke from his adolescence, and one grossly unpleasant but hilarious story about a very confusing and alarming ‘morning after the night before.’

His pin-striped, on-my-way-to-an-interview look stayed intact throughout the night, which is unusual for Sammy J. There is no stripping off in this show. This show was talk-heavy with only a few songs punctuating the insightful, silly, or naughty humour. He performed; Delete, and Driving, Time To Go, and The Mermaid Song, a narrative about his boyhood and an ugly, old mermaid called Ruth.

After the show he sold and signed his DVD 58 Kilograms Of Pure Entertainment (for only $20.00) and posed for photos.

Autographed by Barack Obama and Sammy J, well he doesn't have to sign as himself. He also asked me, "but do you know MY surname?" and I'm afraid I couldn't remember: how embarrassing.

As usual he was lovely to all of us. When he signed our DVD, he asked if we’d met before and asked my name, I said Sue and he said “Sue Coles?” I’d forgotten he reads his Facebook page. It was unnerving but nice to be mutually stalked, the last time that happened to me was with Tim Minchin back in 2009, but back then it was MySpace. How times have changed, now it’s all about Twitter and Facebook, and Tim is a pseudo rock star playing arenas and Sammy J… well, he’s still playing small rooms, but he is appearing on TV a lot more these days so I hope word spreads and he plays to more full houses, in bigger venues. He certainly deserves them.

Sammy J and Daniel pretending to be disinterested in getting a photo.

Sarah and Sammy J marvelling at iPhone 4 forward facing camera.

Sammy J and Randy now have a new show, a follow-up to Ricketts Lane called Bin Night and they’ll be bringing their fantastically clever theatrics to Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival. It’s a shame I’m such a geographically challenged fan girl. Until Edinburgh that is…

Me and Sammy J. For once I'm not grinning like a loony.

… see you there Mr McMillan. 🙂

Find out more about Sammy on his website.

Last night my husband and I braved the rain, traffic, and road works to get to the Brisbane Powerhouse for shows by Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

We’d not seen either of them live before, although we had seen Hannah on TV. I’d booked tickets for Asher’s show purely on recommendation from another Tim Minchin fan. I haven’t been steered wrong by a Tim fan yet, having been recommended The Pajama Men’s Last Stand To Reason, and Sammy J & Randy’s 30 Ricketts Lane last year by Tim fans, so I knew we were in for a good night.

Anyway, Hannah’s show Mrs Chuckles was first up in the Visy Theatre, a cosy room with seating for up to 200 people in a sort of semi-circle around the stage.  We knew what Hannah was like from watching Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight. Her style is the same as on TV, a slow, even delivery, with brilliant timing, sometimes she doesn’t even have to talk, a pause and a few funny expressions caused many chuckles throughout the room. Her mind is anything but slow though, she can also improvise quick responses to the audience. I suggest you don’t arrive late or go for a wee unless you want to become a part of the show, but don’t worry, she’s not nasty with it, it’s all in good fun.

The show mainly covers stories of her social ineptitude, along with her concern at choosing exactly the right last words to sum up her life. Her lack of people skills often causes her to walk away from any situation in her ‘too hard basket’. In one of the stories she tells us of her high school reunion where she over-compensates for her social inadequacy and ends up having a conversation she really didn’t want to be a part of, I think the awkwardness of that situation was my favourite bit of the night.

Hannah did have a merchandise stall where she sold and signed her DVDS ($25.00) but we decided to buy it when we’re more financial: especially after splurging on Tim Minchin merchandise the night before.

Then, after the embarrassment of trying to enter the Visy Theatre again and finding out we’d been standing in the wrong queue we scurried across to the Turbine Rehearsal Room opposite for Asher Treleaven’s show, Secret Door. The room was dark and tiny and already full of laughter as we managed to sneak to the back row without being noticed. We must have missed about ten minutes, which was a shame. At first, I didn’t know what was going on, but I soon warmed to him. The delivery could not have been more different to the show we’d just seen. Asher is very confident, and his body language physical and expressive, sometimes explosively so. If Hannah and Asher ever did a double act, he’d be the flamboyant, gregarious funny man to Hannah’s ‘straight man’. Yes I know that sounds a bit weird.

At first I thought Asher was gay too, turns out he’s not, but that was typical of the show, there were surprising twists and turns and the pushing of  boundaries all over the place. But it wasn’t crude for crude’s sake, it was absolutely filthy in places, but for comedy’s sake. He said at the end of the night that we’d been the best crowd all week, he also mentioned during the night that he’d slipped in a joke that he hadn’t dared to with the other audiences that week: we must have been a pretty ribald lot in that dingy den of iniquity on a dark and rainy Saturday night.

My favourite part of Asher’s show was the reading aloud of his sex bible, a Mills & Boon novel. His showmanship really shone brightly during this reading. I would definitely like to see more of Asher Treleaven, but due to some audience participation I’d probably try to sit at the back again… but next time I will not be late.

Last night, along with 3,600 other people with good taste in comedy, we saw Tim Minchin Vs The Orchestra at the Brisbane Convention Centre. We got there very early thanks to a ‘heads-up’ email from Ticketek advising us of limited parking due to the recent floods. Thanks to our early arrival we had time to check out the merchandise stall before the doors opened. If you’re a Tim fan yet to see his show, I recommend you budget accordingly (i.e. take lots of money) because there’s lots to choose from. While I went to the box office to do some ticket admin, I left my husband in the merchandise queue to buy the CD Tim Minchin and the Heritage Orchestra recorded live at the Manchester Arena, however, my sneaky but lovely husband also purchased a Rock ‘n’ Roll Nerd mug and a tour T-shirt while I wasn’t looking. He knows me very well.

For the past few months I’ve stayed as spoiler-free as possible, as I knew that roughly half the songs in the show were new: I’m glad I made the effort last night as the ‘reveals’ and punchlines had their full impact. I won’t go into too much detail on the content of the new show as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. The talky-bits in between songs were all new too, and I don’t know if it was the lack of a poem, but it seemed to be a much more music-heavy show than normal? Tim probably wanted to get his money’s worth out of the orchestra. 😉

Our seats were in the mid-priced range, half way up the first tiered section. Usually for Tim shows I have seats closer to the stage, as his face is so expressive, but thanks to the two big screens I could still see his eyebrows doing their thing. At one point Tim caught sight of the back of his head on-screen and commented on how good his hair looked at the back. I must admit, it was very bouffant.

There were plenty of old songs to keep me happy, but I was especially pleased to witness my first live performance of Not Perfect, and it was about then I remembered that I’d forgotten to bring a tissue for the occasion. I well up every time I hear it, I also well up at orchestral music, so it stands to reason there would be tears at encore time. If you are a reader who has yet to see the show, stick around, don’t run away to the car park too fast, there are two encores!

I think it’s his heartfelt semi-serious songs I love the most. One of the new songs fits in this category, it is a thing of beauty. The other songs are a mix of silly, clever, insightful and as usual a couple of songs to convey his godlessness.

Tim is easily my favourite comedian. He was my gateway drug to the world of live comedy. I became addicted in 2007 when I first discovered him performing Not Perfect on a quirky little ABC show called The Sideshow. Since then I’ve seen him every time he’s played Brisbane, that’s nine times including last night. He articulates my thoughts much more eloquently than I ever could, and he does it in rhyme, while playing the piano… I think that is fantastic.

If you don’t already have tickets to Tim’s sold out Australian shows, don’t despair, ABC2 are televising a live broadcast from the Sydney Opera House on Sunday, March 27, 2011, If you’re not going to be home, record it, it’s going to be ace.

UPDATE: Due to gremlins in the audio when originally broadcast, the show will be rebroadcast on Sunday, April 3, 2011.

Saturday, 12 March. Tonight I went to see Scottish comedian, Danny Bhoy at 7pm and English comedian, Mark Watson at 9pm.  Although Danny Bhoy seems to be the better known of the two in Australia, I was actually more excited to see Mark as he’s from my home town of Bristol and I’ve followed his daily blog since March 2010.

I’d booked the tickets as soon as they went on sale so I had excellent, centre seats in the first and second row. My husband missed out on the fun because he had to work (he’s a mobile DJ,) so I arranged to go with my friend and fellow comedy fan, Kim.

It was my first time seeing Danny and Mark live, they are both observational comedians, but they deliver their stories in completely different ways.

Danny’s work was unfamiliar to me so I didn’t really know what to expect. I found his style easygoing and relaxed. He’s the sort of person you invite to a party, knowing that he will have your guests in stitches, confidently telling stories from his past with great flair and hilarious accents. And of course his anecdotes are always much more colourful than everyone else’s in the room.

I really enjoyed Danny’s mimicry. He brought his observations and imagination vividly to life with funny and convincing characters; from drunken girls on a night out, to camp vikings. He told one story from his schooldays  incorporating a French accent and smoking a pretend cigarette. It looked so real I expected smoke rings. Danny is an excellent performer, and I was left wanting more, so after the show I bought one of his DVDs, and I definitely want to see him live again.

After Danny’s merch-queue and autograph, and a shared bowl of chips from the restaurant, (thanks Kim, I owe you a coffee,) we went to see Mark’s show. As I’ve mentioned before, I know more about Mark, not only from reading his blogs, but I’ve also read all his novels.

Mark is less like your gregarious happy-go-lucky friend and more like your slightly dishevelled friend, who’s always a bit ‘glass half-empty’ but tries hard to be ‘glass half-full’. His humour is insightful and sometimes darkly delightful, and he’s a genuine person, just like you, well, like me, I can’t speak for you.

Anyway, he rambles on, well actually ramble is not really the right word, it implies a leisurely pace. Mark speaks quickly and earnestly, more like a power-walker on a caffeine-high with no defined route as he goes off on tangents.  I couldn’t let my mind wander, or I’d have been lost.  He talks about things which most people can relate to, like how to cope with confrontation, or the terrors of being a new parent, or indeed that niggling worry of  “did I lock the door?” All the usual stuff.

I’m sorry to say that the mosquitos of Brisbane seem to have been on a ‘seek and destroy’ mission with Mark Watson as their target. His arms were covered in nasty, red bumps, he told us he was allergic to the bites: poor Mark. Mossies just love thick, fresh English blood. Although I think the blotchy arms probably added a new layer of vunerability to his pale and scrawny look. I just wanted to dab his arms with calamine lotion and invite him over for a sunday roast with Yorkshire Puddings. Hmm, there’s that motherly instinct again. The same instinct that made me want to comb Josh Thomas’ hair and give him a hug last week.

After the show, we went to Mark’s merch-stand where instead of the usual fare of comedy CDs and DVDs, and possibly posters or Tshirts, Mark had his latest novel “Eleven” for sale for $30.00. I had already secured a signed copy thanks to a fellow comedy fan in Melbourne when Mark visited for his book launch last year, (thank you Witchy). So, in the spirit of bringing something interesting for him to sign, I brought him a plate with a picture of Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge that had been given to us when we emigrated from Bristol to Brisbane in 1988. He was chuffed to see it and I told him it will be proudly displayed on my kitchen wall: and for that I was later immortalised in his blog.

Not wanting the night to end, we also went to Chalkboard where we were lucky enough to see Mark again, along with Josh Earl (MCing,) Geraldine Quinn, and a couple of local comedians. If I had more money and time and could travel down to Melbourne I think I’d go and see a full Geraldine Quinn show. Her performance and singing was so amazing I wasn’t actually listening to the words half the time, so I’m sure I missed out on a few funnies. By this time it was obvious that Mark was really dying to give his arms a good scratch, but he performed well without repeating too much of what he’d said earlier that night. The room was so tiny, he didn’t even use the microphone, which made it all the more like having your friend there on stage, just talking earnestly about his view of the world we live in, and life in general. (Sly inclusion of Depeche Mode lyric.)

So that was it, my second night at the BrisComFest. Next weekend I’m seeing Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

Oh, and I do have two important reminders:

  • When going to a Mark Watson gig, make sure you get there early for bonus laughs.
  • Mark Watson’s books are very good. Do go and buy them.

We went to see Josh Thomas on Saturday, March 5, it was my first show of the 2011 Brisbane Comedy Festival. There will be a lot more shows to come. I may write about them all, or not: we’ll see.

So, Josh Thomas: I wonder what it is about him that people like so much? That is, those people who don’t find him squeaky and annoying? By the way, I don’t think that… I think Josh is funny.

Josh talks about himself in his shows, so we know about him and he knows precious little about us, so I think it’s a plausible idea that girls see him as a friend. Some deluded girls seem to want to marry him; and older women (like me) want to mother him, give him a hug and comb his annoyingly wayward hair.

As for men, well, I can’t really speak for all of them but I guess most men also want to befriend him, deluded ones may also want to marry him, but he’s already got a boyfriend, and Queensland still doesn’t allow gay marriage which strikes me as ironic. I can give one man’s opinion, my husband said the show was ‘alright’. He’s a man of few words.

In Josh’s latest show, “Everything Ever” he tells us stories of his chubby childhood, his angsty adolescence, and shares sordid tales of being a grown-up on holiday somewhere I can’t remember the name of, it’s got a name like Poontang, but it’s definitely not that, he doesn’t go there anymore, like I said, he has a boyfriend.

He tells tales of his Mum and his siblings, and shares a hilarious account of his Grandma and a robber, (if it’s true, his Grandma rocks). Actually, even if it isn’t true Josh’s Grandma rocks anyway. He also gives us his very funny version of events surrounding the Ruby Rose Twitter incident.

He talks a lot about sex, both straight and gay, and he drops the C-bomb a couple of times, so this show is not for everyone, there’s a reason for the no under-15s rule. This content is not the same as you get on Channel Ten’s “Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation”.  This is Josh Thomas stand-up comedian, closer to the Josh you’ve seen on “Good News Week” (shown in a much later time-slot).

I saw Josh’s show “Surprise” at last year’s Brisbane Comedy Festival and liked it enough to buy the DVD of it this year after seeing his new show. There was a long line up for merchandise and autographs, but it moved pretty quickly as he doesn’t chit-chat and hold everyone up. No hugs were allowed either, so my motherly instincts were thwarted: never mind, I didn’t have a comb anyway.

On the merch table Josh also sold posters for $10.00, with all proceeds going to Beyond Blue. A very good cause, dear to my heart. Good on him for doing something selfless and defying Gen Y stereotypes. Like someone probably famous once said, “labels are for cans not people”.

We also have Josh to thank for curating the first ever Brisbane Comedy Festival three years ago: and for that I shall be eternally grateful.

I’ve had the live comedy bug for just over two years now; at the end of 2008 I dipped my toe into the live comedy scene with Carl Barron’s show Walking Down The Street, and Frank Woodley’s Possessed. Then I visited the inaugural Brisbane Comedy Festival seven times in March 2009, (six times to see Tim Minchin’s Ready For This, and once to see Adam Hills’ Inflatable.) The bug was well and truly in my system by then and I felt I should broaden my comedy horizons and see more acts. So during 2009 we went to see Bill Bailey, Jimeoin, and Dylan Moran, and when tickets went on sale for the 2010 BrisComFest I booked tickets not only to see comedians that I know, but acts that I’d never heard of, or just had a vague idea of what they did. Basically I booked purely on recommendations from online comedy fans. Yes, I’m infected with the comedy bug, and I’ve never been happier.

So, now the BrisComFest is over; we saw some big names and some lesser known ones and had a ball! Over the course of a month we saw Adam Hills, and his show Mess Around, then Josh Thomas with Surprise, and Frank Woodley with Wilderbeest; they were all bigger names and therefore in the big theatre. Then we saw David O’Doherty in the smaller Visy Theatre; a very funny man with a very tiny keyboard. And finally, best of all Sammy J and Randy, and The Pajama Men in the tiny Turbine Rehearsal Room – more about them both later. We also went to ‘chalkboard’ twice where I caught smaller doses of Melinda Buttle, Greg Sullivan, and a drunken character who shouted jokes at us for two minutes; also, Tom Ballard, Felicity Ward and Michael Chamberlain.

Out of all these performances, the two acts in the tiniest room were the most memorable; and we went to see them both in one night.

At 7.30 on Saturday 20 March, we went to see Sammy J and Randy, in 30 Ricketts Lane. This was absolutely brilliant, just two men, well, one man and a puppet called Randy, (operated by Heath McIvor) but I was entranced from the opening scene to the last, and it was all killer no filler. I did watch it through a haze of sinus pain and it was funny enough to carry me through and make me forget about it. I won’t give the plot away as it’s got a long run and lots of people have not seen it yet. But there are some scenes that will stay etched in my mind forever, catchy tunes that I can hum along to after only two listens, (yes it was so good I went again on Sunday,) and a good moral lesson – Don’t mess with the law: specifically the tax office!

After Sammy J’s show we went to see The Pajama Men. It is difficult to describe what The Pajama Men do. There are two men, and two chairs, they wear pajamas, (the men, not the chairs.) The pajama clad men are inhabited by many characters, and after the first bewildering few minutes where I wondered what on earth was going on, I started to follow the plot. ‘Blue pajama man’ plays an amazingly scary-looking dead girl and a convincingly crazy serial killer. ‘Grey pajama man’ is an annoying magician and a small lobster-like alien being? And these are just four of the characters, there must be about thirty of them! It was a fantastic show, very, very clever.

Then we went to the ‘Chalkboard’ show, a collection of comedians on at the Powerhouse that week. We saw Felicity Ward who also MC’d the night, Michael Chamberlain who for some reason did his whole routine without a mic, the Pajama Men who did some of their show plus an amazing reenactment of feeding a horse an apple, and David O’Doherty whom we’d seen on Friday night and was very funny, particularly singing about his ‘Beefs of 2010’.

Those three shows put me on such a high that I didn’t want the night to end. We’d bought the signed DVD of Sammy J’s previous show Sammy J in the Forest of Dreams and watched it when we got home, finally getting to bed just before 3am. 30 Ricketts Lane is a little tamer than his previous show, but I think it’s funnier.

Because I’d had such a good time on Saturday, Sunday was a bit of a let down and after much sighing and dropping of hints, my lovely husband said, “Oh go on then, you know you want to” and my sensible side booked tickets to just one more show on the very last night of the BrisComFest. I wanted to see 30 Ricketts Lane again, without the haze of sinus pain.

So Sunday night saw us at the Brisbane Powerhouse again. This time I took my daughter, her boyfriend and Kaitlyn, she’s a 15-year-old neighbour/friend of my daughter’s. The show was just as good if not better than the night before, and we were there early enough to get front row seats in the small, general admission hall. It was much more packed than it had been on Saturday, this made me happy, word must be spreading, this show deserves to play to a full house. It was Kaitlyn’s first comedy show and she will never forget it as she took part in it! We stuck around until Sammy came out and he was lovely to talk to and posed for photos on a crappy camera phone and we had a nice chat. I love it when people are just as nice as you imagine them to be. My only regret is that I didn’t bring a proper camera, and next time I would like to hug Randy the puppet as well as Sammy J. Well, even us 44-year-old ladies still have a bit of fan-girl in us: especially when infected by the comedy bug.

Tonight we went to see Frank Woodley at the Powerhouse as part of the Brisbane Comedy Festival. ‘We’ being myself and my husband, and our son and daughter. I’d booked the seats last year sometime so they were great seats, only five rows back from the stage.

Anyway, we left home late and scooted in there with about three minutes to spare. I was a bit worried that we might arrive after the show had started; because we all know that tardy audience members are fair game to comedians. It turns out Frank is no exception, the late-comers did cop it a bit. Especially one poor group who didn’t get the ‘in joke’ that they’d missed. 😉

I won’t go into too much specific detail as it’s a new show and I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone that happens to read this blog. But I can confirm that it really is fun for all the family.

I hadn’t seen any of Frank’s stand up before, so I wasn’t  sure what to expect. I am familiar with the Lano & Woodley shows and my daughter and I went to see Possessed back in 2008; which, by the way I adored. But Possessed was a one-man play sort of deal, not stand-up, so I was in (bad pun alert) frankly unfamiliar territory. However, a fan told me that it’s nearly all new material and just a small amount of his old stuff.

When Frank walked on stage, he reminded me of someone and I couldn’t  put my finger on who it was until about half way through the show. Then I realised the elusive doppelgänger in my brain was David Tennant, the Doctor on Dr Who. Frank wore a brown, striped suit, and of course Frank also has brown, slightly tousled hair, then at one point during the show he also wore glasses. I think it was the glasses moment that finally clicked the  Dr Who switch in my aging neurons.

Frank not only does stand-up material in his show but also a few songs; some long, some short, and one very short. He performs all his songs while playing an acoustic guitar, and one song is dramatically enhanced with some rather theatrical lighting and a smoke machine. There is also one semi-serious (he called it whimsical) number which is quite sweet. Oh, and there is a mimed section, with props. This part of the show nearly made me wish I’d invested in some Tena Lady (it’s OK folks, even though were late getting in I still made sure I visited the loo before I took my seat). There is no damp patch on seat EE20.

Frank also had an absolutely dead-pan accomplice in his show. He generated a lot of laughs, and I can’t explain why, but he was very funny.

Well, that’s all I’m going to say as I don’t want to give anything away. If you go to see this show and you remember nothing else, I think you will remember the mimed section and a great ocelot joke, which by his own admission, isn’t even one of his.

Frank was charming and funny, being both awkward and professional at the same time. We really enjoyed the show and I would definitely go and see him again. So until the next time you’re in Brisbane Frank, so long and thanks for all the (oily) fish.

This is a rather long review and covers Tim’s Ready For This? Again shows at Brisbane’s QPAC Theatre on December 1st and 2nd, 2009. As I’d already seen the new songs from Ready For This? back in March 2009, this review mostly covers the older songs that I hadn’t seen before and some technical glitches. And for those that want to know, Tim wore his frilly, vienetta shirt and his black, skinny jeans with the skeleton-hand prints on the back pockets.

Firstly, I have to say that I was so happy to finally see Darkside performed live, I knew he would play it from reading spoilers on the forum, but knowing it was coming didn’t mean I was ‘ready for this’ live, rip-roaring rendition of Darkside; it’s my favourite song all over again. Now when I hear it on my iPod I can relive those live performances; the red smoke billowing everywhere like he’s writhing in the depths of hell, and the fan blowing his long hair around so it was almost on end. The heart stopping bit where he breaks down, and you think, Oh no! He’s really upset, and those childlike yippees, when you know the darkside of Tim is just an act and he’s really not that dark after all. It was just brilliant: that song alone was worth the price of admission!

Darkside did have its technical glitches, and of course they made the performances all the more memorable. On the first night, the smoke machine didn’t start when it was supposed to; Tim pointed at it while looking up to someone, (I assume to press the remote trigger switch). On the second night the on-stage lights turned multi-coloured before he had time to get back to the piano, and when the lights were still supposed to be red. Tim made the lighting guy change the lights back to red and then back to the normal colours at exactly the right moment. He said something about having to start the show all over again because the lights had been stuffed up: and I’m sure none of us would have minded one little bit!

This was also my first time seeing the classic anthem Canvas Bags, and it was fantastic. The moment with the fan when he self-consciously makes sure his shirt is billowing nicely and hair is catching the breeze properly, it makes me laugh so much.

Apart from Canvas Bags and Darkside there were two more old songs that I had not seen live before; one of them was If You Really Loved Me; I squealed a bit on the inside when I recognised it! This song was totally unexpected and Tim played a beautiful bit of piano randomness before it, so at first we didn’t know it was coming. Tim really bashed at the piano during parts of this song. I love it when he plays so passionately, although it must hurt his fingers. He also played the piano very forcefully during The Song for Phil Doust. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the hands properly on either night, as I was slightly right of centre; left of centre is the place to be to watch the hands in action.

Our encore on both nights was White Wine In The Sun; this was my first time seeing this song performed live as he played Drowned as the encore for his Brisbane Comedy Festival shows back in March 2009. Anyway, on both nights I teared up during White Wine, as I knew I would. I had guessed that Tim might play that song, as it was December after all, and this was his Christmas song; still I wasn’t properly prepared for hearing it live. Later on that night when I read in the souvenir booklet that he’d spent a whole day sobbing while writing that song, I welled up again: I’m such a sook.

On the second night as Tim was preparing to play White Wine, the smoke machine annoyed him because it kept puffing out smoke randomly. Tim seemed to think it was not good for people to be laughing at the smoke machine while he was performing a serious song, so he went to unplug it; but the connection was taped up, so he had to go to another place to unplug it, (I assume it was where the extension cord was plugged in). However, the smoke machine still kept puffing out smoke! I know they do this because my hubby’s a DJ and until a smoke machine cools down, it will still hiss and spit out puffs of smoke every now and again. Anyway, Tim ended up milking the situation for more laughs and got on his hands and knees and pushed the smoke machine off to the side of the stage, (left). We were all in hysterics by this time, so he decided to eke out the laughs a bit more by pretending to remove, or adjust the light nearest his piano, before sitting back down again to get serious for White Wine In The Sun.

So, on to the mishaps, there was an, “Oh! I fucked that up” during If I Didn’t Have You when he started singing the wrong verse. He picked it up again really quickly though. There were no wiggle wobbles or anything like that. The wiggle was very fast and reigned in tight, more of a shimmy I’d say? It got its own cheers from the audience… as it should: some of them may have come from me.

Technical things didn’t seem to agree with Tim in Brisbane. On the first night there was no sound from the keytar during Bears Don’t Dig On Dancing. He said, “not happy about this Paul” and then he had to urge the bear to dance as I think the bear was thrown by the lack of keytar and was standing there doing nothing, when effectively Tim was doing the same thing (until he gave up on the keytar and ran to the piano). After the song, he said he’d gone to a lot of trouble bringing that keytar all the way from the UK, with bags and children and everything, all for that one moment on stage… Then he said he’d actually left the children behind, implying that the keytar was more important than his own flesh and blood. So even when things were not going to plan Tim still got a laugh out of it.

Thankfully on the second night the keytar worked. This was the first time I’d seen him use it, as it was not a part of the show in March 2009: It was just brilliant. Tim stood on the bear’s chair, rocking out like some hot-rock-sex-god. The look suits him.

By the way, the bear was a plant on both nights and his name was Dane, (he also danced at the Brisbane Comedy Festival gigs in March). He spun on his head for absolutely ages; he’s a great break-dancer. Dane sat next to us at one of the shows in March; he said that a friend had given him the ticket, and he wasn’t sure whom he was seeing? He was such great dancer but not such a great liar. MAS.

On the second night the acoustic guitar wasn’t working for I Love Jesus. It was plugged in but no sound came out from the speakers. A manly tech-type guy came out and stood behind Tim and fiddled about behind him, trying to get something to work. “You’ve changed Evie,” said Tim, keeping his eyes straight ahead to the audience. (He’d introduced us to the lovely Evie earlier as she put the guitar strap over his head from the right hand side of the stage). But still even after being fiddled with by the tech guy, there was no sound from the speakers… Tim started singing a couple of random things; I think there was Cym By Yah? (but I’m not sure and I don’t know how to spell it,) and there was definitely The Lion Sleeps Tonight. In the end Tim gave up on it and ran back to the piano, grabbed his vocals-microphone and stand from there, and set them up front of stage so the microphone was in front of the guitar; then he called himself a genius and carried on with I Love Jesus.

Storm was mesmerizing and perfect on both nights, and I don’t remember any mess-ups during The Good Book, The Song for Phil Doust, Confessions or Prejudice, have I missed any out? Oh yes, Ready For This: How could I forget that? It was great on both nights, although I think he rocked harder on the second night. In fact I think the second night overall had a better vibe. I’m not sure if this was because the first night was Tim’s first show after a break from performing, or because the venue was only about three quarters full on the first night, but the show definitely ‘popped’ more on the second night.

Oh, talky-bits, I mustn’t forget those. There were big changes in the talky-bits since March. The autistic fashion designer, the New York deli, and the coin in the mouth talky-bits had all disappeared. I loved the coin in the mouth routine, but I suppose Tim had his reasons for dropping it. Now, in place of that material there was all this new stuff about causal correlation and the importance of words. Of course now I’ve heard all these new talky-bits, I now understand all the references on the forum to Mr Whippy, and new user names such as Wit Of The Staircase now make sense!

So, on to after-show shenanigans – because the venue is huge, probably 2000 seats or so, we knew there wouldn’t be any organised signing of merchandise; the queue would have been a mile long. So we made our way down to the stage door along with a couple of other Feeters. There weren’t many people waiting, maybe 20 or so? We managed to talk to Tim for a while on night one. He said it was Paul’s 30th birthday (which he had also mentioned during the show) and he couldn’t stay for long, so we tried not to hog him for too long.

I did say to Tim, had we been nearer the front he could have picked on my daughter, seeing as her name is Sarah and she’s 17. Smac is also a Sarah – and she is 17. What are the odds on that?

Before he went I did ask to give him a hug, and as usual he replied, “I’d love a hug.” He’s so generous with his time and hugs. It felt all the more precious as I feel there may soon be a time when he won’t be able to do that any more.

Because Tim was in a hurry I didn’t ask for autographs or a photo, but before he went on his way I did tell him to get Paul or whoever, to fix the interval song as it was skipping and jumping quite badly. I joked that this made it even more annoying than it already was, and he said that maybe he should leave it as it is then, but he wrote it on his hand, and it was fixed the next night.

On the second night my daughter got a lovely photo of herself and Tim taken by another Feeter (yet another Sarah, Tim certainly attracts a lot of Sarahs) and she got some things signed.

So that was it for me. I won’t be seeing Tim again until the next time he comes to Brisbane. One day I might make it to the Melbourne Comedy Festival, but until then I remain a geographically challenged Tim fan and I will wait patiently until he comes back to Brisbane again.