The Late Show
The Beehive Inn, Edinburgh
I walked into the heart of Edinburgh and felt the low key buzz of pre-fringe vibes. The Grassmarket, warm with laughter, was lit up; the smell of ale and good food in the warm dusk air ignited my senses. I was greeted with a smile by the friendly doorman who showed me to the top floor of the Beehive Inn & into the famous Comedy Attic. The venue holds 50/60 seats neatly packed into a dark square room.
I waited for the sold-out seats to fill, enjoying the background music while periodically peering out the window to the fun streetside. The lights dimmed at 11pm and Rick Molland took to the stage. As comperes go he was a little nervous and his voice shook for the first few minutes, but I was enlightened to his abilities once I realised how tough the crowd were that he was dealing with.
Three stag-do’s were present and Rick set about firing questions at them. The front row could not have been more boring. A dull combination of accountants and project managers, Rick had his work cut out for him so he impressed me by receiving a good few laughs.
The warm-up act was Gus Lindberg. He entertained with the inevitable covid chat, childhood anecdotes, audience interaction and some great Scottish banter. He pumped the room up to almost boiling point, before ending on a rather dark joke which gave a little more context to his potential versatility. I would like to see him headline sometime.
After a twenty minute interval, Rick got us prepared for more of the show. Headlining was Danny Deegan. He took the stage and introduced himself by explaining he had driven 4 hours to get to Edinburgh from Manchester and to be honest, what followed made me wonder if he’d wasted a his petrol. Self-proclaimed working class scum, Danny was more versed in rants, rather than bants. His timing was studied and seemingly well practiced, but he only hit on average a 20/30 percent audience laughter rate and it didn’t particularly tickle me. A pretty dry story-teller, he reminded me of a guy spraffing his life story to you while waiting in the queue for red bull and a packet of Lambert and Butler at the corner shop; someone you’d like to walk away from but that you’re OK with tolerating for the sake of being able to buy your essentials.
As for the forthcoming Scottish Comedy festival – a part of the Fringe – I have faith that its organiser, tonight’s very own Rick, will smash it this festival and the venue is just what u want if you like intimacy. Watch out for Gus Lindberg though, he was the top talent tonight!