Adam’s Nectar Two – Part One
Hello and welcome to the first of the weekly wrap ups of the Nectar Lounge Trial Shows for 2009, or as they will forthwith be known – Adam’s Nectar 2.
If you are not familiar with the concept of these shows, the idea is that comedians can try out material for the upcoming Melbourne Comedy Festival and touring season, in front of a generous, supportive and appreciative audience. Entry is via a gold coin donation at the door, and all proceeds this year go to Beyond Blue.
Since the same audience turn up every week, I as compere get to have an ongoing six week adlib session with them, in what eventually becomes some sort of cult-like affair, while reporting the results the day after in a weekly blog. I have already received messages from people around the world, keen to read of the soap opera that is the Adam’s Nectar audience, so here goes:
The first familiar face in the crowd belonged to Jono from Shepperton, a veteran of the 07 and 08 Trial Shows. In 07 Jono was involved in a Perfect Match dating scenario with another audience member, but was pipped at the post. In 08 he began doing weekly comedy spots known as “Jono’s Minute”.
This year Jono revealed that he will be performing in Raw Comedy, a national comedy competition, at The Evelyn Hotel on Feb 14. I immediately challenged Jono to try out his five minute spot next week at the Nectar Lounge, and I promised to put word out about his gig. Next week we’ll see what kind of shape his set is in, and in order to keep up my end of the bargain – check out Jono at The Evelyn Hotel on the 14th, and give him your support!
Next up were Evan and Emily, who last year established the official website of the trial shows at www.adamsnectar.com. Not only is that website still going but E and E offered to film the shows from now on, and upload them, so those of you unable to make it to Melbourne can watch the goings on of a tiny downstairs cellar in the city. Mark the site as a favourite now, and stay tuned people.
It was as I was naming the people that may make appearances (both Mick Molloy and Glenn Robbins have expressed interest) that a woman called Ruth pulled a strange face. Turns out it was at the mention of Dave Hughes’ name who in Ruth’s words “shits me”. Seems Ruth has a problem with Dave’s voice.
After someone suggested that Dave should promote his own brand of laxatives “guaranteed to shit you”, I found out that Ruth happens to teach secondary school boys. I asked her if she had ever had an inappropriate encounter with a boy. This made her daughters blush and Ruth look wistful.
Ruth told what turned out to be a particularly non-sordid tale – to which I replied “That went nowhere. You know what you have to do for next week?”. Ruth then said “I’ll see what I can come up with”.
Ruth’s task for next week is to either concoct a better story about an inappropriate moment with a schoolboy, or have an inappropriate moment with a schoolboy. She seemed to suggest that each is a possibility. Whatever happens, it should make for an interesting tale.
It was around this time that Ruth also asked about the Adam’s Nectar cocktail, a concoction that became the official drink of the Trial Shows 08. Turns out the bar staff have forgotten the recipe, so I vowed to search through last year’s blogs, find the recipe, and make sure those cocktails are available again next week.
A man called Greg was the next person I spotted in the audience. Greg and his wife had been dragged along by their daughter, and after a few quick queries we established that Greg works in Customer Service, but he wouldn’t tell me for whom. After canvassing the audience to find the worst customer service in Australia (Telstra came in first, followed by Connex, Banks, Centrelink and Monash Uni) Greg admitted that he actually worked for Western Water.
I then decided that our task, and that includes you dear reader, is to call Western Water during the week, ask for Greg in Customer Service, then do something to make him smile. All day long, I figured, he has to deal with people’s complaints. So it is now our job to do something, anything, that we think will cheer Greg up over the phone.
I should stress now, that these should not be pranks, or in any way mean-spirited, but should simply make him feel happy. Greg has promised to catalogue these calls, and return next week to report what happens. So, now you have your task, do your best to make Greg smile at work.
Another familiar face made an appearance, in the form of a young lady called Britt. Britt was forced to watch the 07 shows in the foyer of Nectar Lounge when the staff realised she was 17. She returned last year with some friends, with whom she had formed a band, and the four of us performed a song on stage.
This year, Britt informs me, she has begun to play some solo gigs. Of course I asked her to come down next week and perform one of her songs, then I let the audience choose which one they wanted to hear. Britt gave them the choice of “Wake Up Call” “Monumental Fuck Up” and “Inevitable”. No prizes for guessing which one won. So next week, Britt will perform “Monumental Fuck Up” a tune that may well sum up the Nectar Lounge Trial Shows.
Perhaps stupidly, I then set us all the task of getting Britt’s music out to the world, either via the net, or through the video efforts of Evan and Emily. I may have even gone so far as to suggest that by the end of these trial shows, we should aim to get a record contract for Britt. I may have overstretched myself there.
Finally, I realised that there was actually a musician in our midst. Earlier in the afternoon I had bumped into someone I met at a trial show back in 2006 by the name of Jessica Paige. I remembered chatting to her during that 06 show, and afterwards she gave me a cd of her music. I hadn’t seen her since, but coincidentally just last week visited her myspace page to see how she had been getting along.
Jess was in town to have a jam session with a friend, who she had brought along to the gig, along with her guitar. I asked Jess if she would open the second half of the show with one of her original songs, and she duly obliged, stunning the crowd with a song she wrote a few days ago, about having all her gear stolen from her car.
Despite a sound system that was designed for speaking, not so much for singing, Jess received a massive round of applause. I then suggested that perhaps Jess and Britt could have a weekly battle. I quickly realised that I had turned a lovely moment into an unnecessary competition, and then asked politely if Jess and Britt would like to perform a song in each half of the shows form now on.
Not only did they say yes, but another audience member called Jules said she would bring down some recording equipment, so we could make an album of the performances at the end of the season. Evan and Emily piped up to say they host a radio show on SYN FM, and would give the songs some airplay. Within the space of an hour we had gone from a possible solo performance to radio airplay. Imagine what a few weeks will bring!
Of course, in amongst all this, there were some stellar performances from Adam Vincent, Hannah Gadsby, Adam Rozenbachs, visiting Canadian comedian Steve Patterson, and a late minute spot by Danny Bhoy, who came directly from the airport after flying in from Mt Gambier.
Next week will see the next step in all of the above audience malarkey, as well as more comedy from Adam R, Hannah G, and Nicky Talacko, and whoever else feels like dropping in.
The following week will see the launch of my very own company Dick The Horse Productions, with appearances from the acts I will be producing at the Festival – namely Adam V, Hannah G and Wilson Dixon.
So there it is, the first blog of the third series of the Trial Shows, in a season now known as Adams’ Nectar 2. Thanks to all the staff at Nectar Lounge, and especially the audience, who last night donated $150 at the door for Beyond Blue.. If you’d like to come down to the shows, doors open at 5.30pm at Nectar Lounge, Flinders Lane, Melbourne, and we’ll be running every Sunday til March 8.
There’ll be another update next week, but in the meantime Aussie readers can catch the return of Spicks and Specks on Wednesday at 8.30, with guests Rebecca Barnard, Felicity Ward, Dave O’Neil, and Hollywood star Guy Pearce. Stay tuned for his closing number too – it is a ripper.
Til then, stay well and happy