Dead Cat Alternative Christmas @ Sandbar

This was our second Dead Cat Comedy night within a month, but we enjoyed it so much last time we had to come back! This time it was across town in the midst of studentville at Sandbar, a quirky labyrinth of a bar with a vast array of real ales.

We arrived early (which has become the standard!) and were initially unsure whereabouts the gig was being held in the hodge podge maze of rooms which make up Sandbar. However, we were grabbing a drink from the bar, when as if by magic four huge Dead Cat banners appeared in a side room. MC for the evening Scarlet SoHandsome was busy adding some festive cheer to the room and getting set for an Alternative Christmas.

Alongside her was an impressive lineup, including the highly rated Liam Pickford, the non-stop party that is Birthday Bread Man (who has bizarrely blocked us on Twitter) and winner of the 2014 Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award Phil Ellis. To kick off the evening, Scarlet danced around to Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas showering the audience members with Christmas gifts whilst decorating the first act Liam Pickford with tinsel whilst he stood stoney-faced and hating life.

After a slight mix up in which he started his act before the MC had warmed up the audience, Liam Pickford dived back into his routine. A mix of self-deprecation and observation humour, he was actually at his best during his exchanges with the audience, comparing their own success to his self-effacing failure at life with great comic effect. This was an act we’d been wanting to see for a while and he didn’t disappoint.

Next on the bill was Birthday Bread Man. I’m really struggling for words for this one! The evening was billed as an ‘Alternative Christmas’ and they don’t come much more alternative! Birthday Bread Man came bounding onto the stage through the crowd with a speaker around his head and a loaf of bread in hand. Wishing everyone a Happy Birthday and showing off his glockenspiel skills.

He caught the audience in good spirits (well, it is Christmas!) and they got on board with him. Although he worked well as a middle act, I’m unsure he’d have the legs for anything longer, but a great addition to the evening all the same.

The final act and headliner for the evening was the experienced Phil Ellis. An act billed as a ‘bitter divorcee’ who discusses his misfortunes and downturn in career success since his wife left him. Phil has an anarchic style, testing out new material whilst rearranging furniture and even pausing to charge his phone.

After some coercing from fellow comedian and friend Mick Ferry (who had arrived later on after his gig at the Comedy Store) he breaks into his soup routine of yesteryear. However struggling to remember the act he proceeded to play the Youtube video whilst acting out the scene and providing an ongoing critique of his former self. We don’t usually like to give away Comedian’s jokes but we’ll break the fourth wall on this one, the aforementioned video can be found below…

All in all a great festive treat and another enjoyable evening at Dead Cat Comedy. Information about their upcoming events can be found on their website.

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