In charge of the evening’s shenanigans was camp compere Bruce Devlin, who succeeded in warming up the crowd with his biting humour before introducing the first brave performer to the stage.
Opener and firm highlight Carl Hutchinson showcased his laid-back comic style to entertaining effect – his keen observations on the workplace and the evils of Channel 4’s T4 received the first notable laughter of the night.
Following him was Stand regular Lucy Oldham, whose bovine-centric routine on the artificial insemination of cows was smoothly presented and told with enthusiasm.
John Ross’ conversational stand-up differed greatly from that of the composed comedienne, drawing on his own familiar relationships and odd stoner behaviour for inspiration. Despite a solid set, the Glaswegian seemed to lose his flow when leave-taking; finishing off on a bum note about nylon underwear.
Headliner of the evening was veteran comic, Nick Wilty. With the advantage of being the most widely-travelled comedian in the line-up, he related acerbic anecdotes of his global misadventures, from the perils of skiing in the French Alps to combating the issue of Moroccan carpet peddlers.
Such stories were embellished with wry one-liners and underhand insults, exposing Wilty’s cunning wit behind the Jack-the-lad persona. However, some of the seasoned comic’s material exceeded the boundaries of good taste with jokes about homosexual paratroopers and Ramadan failing to be satirical or “postmodern”, instead remaining downright offensive.
Overall a welcome antidote to mid-week, post-festival blues despite the varying quality of the acts on offer.