Words By: Jack Smith
Hosted by Orphan Child, a semi-impromptu comedy set was the main event at the 7th issue of Amplifier Wednesdays last week. For the past couple of months, Amplifier have been hosting a band night every Wednesday to fight back against the trend of music venues going out of business in Perth recently. But to shake things up a bit for issue 7, they decided to showcase some local comedic talent in support of headliner Beth Stelling.
First on the bill Sam Cribb begins by deconstructing idiosyncrasies in Australian culture. As well as having genuinely funny jokes and observations, Sam exudes physical comedy. In the nicest way possible, he is funny looking and funny moving, which is exacerbated by his tall stature. He discussed his unfortunate running with the fictional Mayor of Darwin, who I gather is a bit of a c**t. But the funniest moment of the set had to be when Sam relived, and explained a scenario where it’s acceptable to piss your pants in a public place.
Anglo-Australian Rory Lowe was the second comic to make his entrance, politically incorrect and chemically suspect he began with a defence of marijuana use. More specifically he described the similarities between weed, ice cream and cocks. I learned a lot from Rory’s set, I learned about the diversity of people and their abilities, case and point: I learned that he can “put more stuff on a shelf than a midget”. Rory is a gag comedian; he doesn’t really employ narrative comedy, most of his jokes are beefed-up one-liners, but if that’s your thing, check him out.
The headline comic of the night, all the way from Ohio, USA, Beth Stelling took to the stage like the child-catcher. At the beginning of her set there was a feeling in the room that she needed to prove herself to win over the crowd. This may have been because she is a woman, or because she is an American, in either case, she proved that both can be funny. This was helped by the initial good-natured heckling, which she responded to acerbically and hilariously. Beth’s style could be described as minge-cringe-comedy. A reference to her vagina, sex, rape or sex toys is made; this makes everyone uncomfortable, then a Sarah Silverman-esque confused pout is used as if to say “is that wrong?” I didn’t think so, I thought she was one the funniest up and coming comics to come out of Ohio. Beth’s closing skit was to explain the gender disparity in the world of stand-up comedy, perfectly illustrated by the fact that she was given a comedy festival gift pack containing a fleshlight. Luckily she kept it and re-gifted the inverse dildo to a lucky audience member.
Post-comedy music was provided by AJ Wigwams and David Craft, both of whom have a pop-folksy style. David Craft’s voice is something like soft-baritone and the use of a harmonica interspersing his acoustic guitar produced a very pleasant ambient sound. AJ Wigwams probably had the greater vocal range, reaching higher notes which I thought would have worked nicely if the two musicians collaborated.
It’s back to musical acts next week at Amplifier Wednesdays with Shit Narnia, Yokohomos, The Chlorines, Jcal X Pho and Vol Rokxir. You probably won’t be given a fleshlight but it still might be a good night out.