Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Open mic stand-up comedy links

Open mic stand-up comedy links London
Over the last 12 months, I have performed at a few venues across London that host open mic stand-up comedy nights, so I have put these useful links together for anyone who is interested in giving stand-up comedy a go.

The Comedy Bin
The Comedy Bin arrange several open mic comedy nights at different venues right across London. It is certainly worth getting in contact with Comedybin Jay on Facebook or following on Twitter for more information on how to get on the mailing list and how to book spots.
- Venues include: The Carnivale, The Alchemist, The Retro Pub, T-Bird, The Bowery, The Old School Yard, Dr Inks, and The Railway.

The Cavendish Arms
Every Monday and Tuesday, the Cavendish Arms host Comedy Virgins. This is where I did my first ever stand-up gig and it is one of the best open mic venues on the circuit. The crowd is really supportive and get behind all of the acts. For more information you can follow on Twitter at @CavendishArms or check out the Facebook group.

The Railway
I have a soft spot for the Open Mic nights at The Railway. This is a fairly new night on the circuit, promoting new comedy and music acts. I was there on the first night and I keep going back. One of the few venues where you'll get more than five minutes as a new comedian. Send Openmic Matt a message on Facebook for more information. UPDATE: This is now part of Comedy Bin.

Dirty Dicks
Open mic comedy in the city every Wednesday night called Toyching Cloth. Check out the Dead Comedian's Sock group on Facebook for more information, or email with the words "Touching Cloth" in the subject title, your name, the date you would like a spot, and if you would like to be filmed (costs £5).

5 Minutes of Fame
These guys host open mic comedy nights at two venues: Rudy's Revenge in Holborn on Wednesday nights, and the Camden Head in Islington on Thursday nights. To book a spot email with either Wednesday or Thursday in the subject line.

Tuesday and Thursday nights of comedy at The Torriano in Kentish Arms. If you want to book a gig then email

The Laughter Lung
A weekly comedy night at The Kings Head in Clapham. Check out the Facebook group for details of how to book slots.

East Meets Jest
Covent Garden open mic comedy at Belushi's. New acts looking for open mic spots can email

West End Comedy
Open mic night in Leicester Square, not a stones throw from the legendary Comedy Store. Check out details on Facebook by contacting Paul Laight.

Great Comedy Nights
Organisers of the Golden Jester new comedy competition across the South East.

Lions Den Comedy Club
Open mic comedy in the West End at Bar Rumba every Tuesday.

Comedy Cafe
Now into its 20th year of promoting comedy. Every Wednesday they have a New Act Night.

Hoopla hold open mic nights for people who want to try stand-up for the very first time. Check out Steve Roe on Twitter to find out more.

Monday, 16 January 2012

New Year, new reader reviews!

New Year, new reader reviews!
Book reviews for The Drought by Steven Scaffardi
So The Drought has now been out for around four months, and it looks like it might have ended up in a few Xmas stockings based on these recent reviews on Amazon...

Amazon Reader Review #16 (Kindle Edition): Funny, Cringy and suprisingly sentimental
The Drought is a very funny book. What Steven the author has managed to do, is create a little world that we have seen before as men growing up, and put it into print. When you read the book you will not necessarily see your experiences, but you will definitely see those of some of your mates or friends of friends. What the book also manages to do, is to not alienate women. Yes it is a lad book, but it is a great insight into men for women, so they can see what is actually going through our minds, even if we don't really like to admit it! It is the sort of book you could take on holiday with your girlfriend/wife, read it yourself, and then she could read it after and find herself really liking it even though it wasn't the sort of book she would have thought to have read. Looking forward to the next book. 4/5 stars

Amazon Reader Review #17 (Paperback Edition): Cracking read
'Laugh out loud' funny and a real page turner, I enjoyed this book immensely, can't wait for the next book from Steven Scaffardi 5/5 stars

Amazon Reader Review #18 (Paperback Edition): A laugh a minute
This book was written by an acquaintance of mine that I have never actually met in person but, after reading this, if I did ever have the privilege of doing so, I would shake his hand and say something along the lines of 'mate, I am in absolute awe'. This novel is an absolute riot and had me in stitches on the train both on the way up to and back from Manchester over the New Year break - I must have looked a right fool sat in that carriage chuckling away, but I didn't care; there was soooo much here that I could relate to and I'm glad that somebody has finally seen fit to put a comical slant on the sexual pursuits of the average thirty-something male into print. Well written and cleverly constructed, this is a compulsive page turner that will have you cackling with laughter the more you read. Mr. Scaffardi, I applaud you. 5/5 stars

Amazon Reader Review #19 (Kindle Edition): This book is sooooooo funny!
I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading a book! Seriously, this is one of the best books I read last year. The story is about a character called Dan who is desperately trying to get back into the dating game (or at least the mating game!) after splitting up with his girlfriend. What follows is nothing short of hilarious! It is like one long episode of The Inbetweeners. This has been positioned as lad lit, but I am a girl and enjoyed it just as much as my boyfriend did. It would make a fantastic holiday book! 5/5 stars

Monday, 2 January 2012

Lad Lit Book Reviews: Donnie Brasco by Jospeh D. Pistone

Books For Men Book Reviews! Donnie Brasco by Jospeh D. Pistone
The term ‘blew me away’ is perhaps used far too often when it comes to book reviews, but I can safely say that this is one book that left me truly astonished and open-mouthed with every page turn.

Special FBI Agent Jospeh. D Pistone spent five years working undercover as a mafia associate in the Bonnano New York crime family. A film was made in 1997 based on his life starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino, but like most films based on books, you only get half the story on the big screen.

Pistone’s memoirs delve deep into the background of his story of how a 3-month undercover operation going after a truck hijacking ring turns into a him living, breathing, sleeping, and eating his way through the Mafioso lifestyle.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s, the US government waged a war against the powerful crime families running New York, but unlike today’s sophisticated techniques of undercover operations, Pistone was almost left to make up the rules as he went along.

He encounters some very dangerous people along the way, including an incident when he is led down into a basement and told that unless his story and background checks out, he faces a bullet in the head. Not your every day boardroom situation!

But this isn’t just a book about the violence and cold stark reality of mobsters who once ran the American underworld. Pistone tells of the impact this ‘lifestyle’ had on his family. And at times you can’t help but laugh at some of the situations and stories Pistone relays, especially those that involve Lefty Ruggiero; the gangster ‘Donnie Brasco’ becomes closest to.

Pistone’s story is one of true courage. His testimony eventually led to hundreds of arrests and played a major role in the foundations of the American Mafia crumbling to its knees.

This is a truly enjoyable thrill-ride of a read, and one which you need to keep reminding yourself is true! If you only ever read one more gangster book (after The Godfather of course), then make it this one!