48 Below (Phoenix Bar Basement),
48A Broughton Street, Edinburgh
Hosted in the basement of Phoenix Bar, scene of many a drink-addled birthday celebration, the venue has undergone a revamp since my last visit. Think boudoir-kitsch complete withhipsters, guinness and cocktails, a smattering of ponces, perms and dynasty style ‘doos. It’s an intensely compact venue so if you like your personal space you will have to adapt. The close proximity of the crowd certainly makes it a good place for comic teeth-cutting and it’s good to see another venue hosting comedy nights outside the Fringe.
Tonight’s stand out was definitely Gus Lynburn who was a genuinely funny guy full of nervous energy and clearly with a head full of nonsense that he needs to let loose lest he might go a bit mental. His infectious enthusiasm got the crowd going and a mix of gags and adlibs got the biggest laughs of the night. He overran his timeslot but was urged to stay on and admirably adlibbed another few funny minutes.
He upstaged cocky headliner Liam Withnail, who let himself down with his frat-boy humour that assumed everyone at the gig was at a university fresher-week event. If you are going to come on stage boasting about being invited to foreign comedy festivals you better have the material to back up the swagger. He didn’t – more of a stagger I thought.
There are obviously different comedians every night and part of the fun of a stand-up show is you never know what you are going to get. There are also shows starting up on Wednesdays. The venue gets packed so if you want a seat – come early.
Reviewer: David McCaramba
Host: Gareth Mutch (@GarethMutch)
Headline Act: Liam Withnail (@LiamWithnail)
Scot Laird (@ScotWithOneT)
David Callan (@MrDavidCallan)
Gus Lymburn (@GusLymburn)