One of the coolest things about setting up your own comedy blog where you’re in charge of all the rules is that you get to highlight brilliant acts that you really enjoy. We’ve not seen many better than Simon Lomas, whose wonderfully deadpan style had us won over in no time.
So when we found out he was performing at Comedy for Sale’s first night at VAO Restaurant (more of that here), we couldn’t pass up the chance for a chat.
Hi Simon. What made you want to try comedy?
I just always enjoyed watching it, on TV and DVDs and stuff like that, and I thought I’d like to give it a go myself and see how it goes.
I first realised I wanted to be a comedian when I was 16, 17. It took me a while to do my first gig, I was in my 20s when I did my first one and I’m 25 now. I’ve been going regularly for just over a year. I’ve wanted to do it for a while, but only recently got the confidence to give it a try.
Did you ever imagine you’d end up gigging in an Italian restaurant?
No, that seemed like just a pipe dream really.
How does Manchester compare with other UK cities when it comes to comedy?
Well, I haven’t really done that many gigs outside of Manchester, but there are a lot of different kinds of gigs here. Obviously you’ve got the Frog and Bucket and The Comedy Store that are at the higher end, and you’ve also got smaller gigs, more indie nights.
There are nights like XS Malarkey that have a really good mix of pro acts, new acts or acts testing out material, and open mic nights like Comedy Balloon. So there’s just a really good mix of nights for all different levels of comedian.
You recently won Southport New Comedian of the Year, which was held in a Nando’s…
Yeah, I say Nando’s New Comedian, because it sounds more impressive.
Did you get a black card?
No, but you get a gift card.
What have you done with the trophy?
It’s just in my bedroom. I think it’s on a speaker.
Where does Nando’s rank among the most unusual places you’ve gigged?
It wasn’t actually that weird. Obviously it’s in a Nando’s, but it’s set out really well, so you wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from a properly-run gig.
It was nice, but it’s probably one of the more unusual places.
If you could do a gig anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I think the Comedy Store is probably the best venue for stand-up. I know that’s a bit boring, but I’m from Manchester and it’s just perfect because it’s like a little theatre in the way it’s set up. I’d say that was probably the ultimate venue for comedy really.
The first time we saw you was at Beat the Frog, where you were back as a former winner. What’s your top tip for success there?
Just be funny. Gong shows are weird, because you’ve got to try and keep the audience interested.
I’m not much of an expert on it. Just start with your funniest joke. I’d say front-load your set. Have all your funniest jokes, because obviously you don’t have to worry about finishing strong, because you’re going to hear the music if you survive.
Have you always had the same style?
It’s always been the same style, but the deadpan thing kind of evolved more slowly. I used to be a lot more natural onstage.
Who else have you gigged with that we should go and see?
Oh, wow. Loads of people. Liam Pickford is really good. Tom Lawrinson is one of my favourite new acts. Tom Little’s really good as well, have you seen him?
Sean Morley, Sean’s absolutely brilliant. I don’t know if he’s still doing it, but he did a stand-up workshop. His style is based on improvisation and he does a workshop teaching his methods and that’s really good. Do you want any more?
Go on then.
Christopher Cantrill is really good.
From Delightful Sausage?
Yeah, and Amy [Gledhill]’s really good as well. That’s fine, you don’t want to swamp people, do you?
Definitely not. Which world leader do you think would be best suited to a career in stand-up?
That’s a good question.
I dunno. Probably Vladimir Putin. I think he’d be quite funny. Yeah. Is that alright?
Yeah, that’s fine. Where would you like to be this time next year?
Back at this restaurant.
For more information about Simon, and the find out where you can see him next, take a look at his website.