Dalton Trumbo's Reluctant Cabaret
Dan Renton Skinner
Dara O Briain
Dead Cat Bounce
Deborah Frances White
Delete The Banjax
Dominic Elliot Spencer
Donnchadh O Conaill
Footballers Lives Teaser
Footballer's Lives teaser. Written by Dave Spikey.
More Dave Spikey videos
|Footballers Lives Teaser|
|Dave Spikey's monologue in training|
|Dave Spikey's monologue after being dropped.|
|Dave Spikey's monologue in changing rooms|
Former NHS haematologist Dave Spikey’s stand-up career started in 1992 after many years writing routines and sketches for other comedians, TV and radio.
He performed with Rick Sykes as the double act Spikey and Sykey, appearing on ITV's New Faces show. They split up soon afterwards.
In 1991 he won the City Life North West Comedian of the year title.
He went on to host gameshow Chain Letters in 1997, following on from Jeremy Beadle, among others.
His next big break came with his writing collaboration with Peter Kay, first on That Peter Kay Thing and then on Phoenix Nights, in which he also starred as club compere Jerry St Clair. It won the Best Newcomer award at the British Comedy Awards in 2002.
He has performed two tours, Overnight Success (which sold 75,000 copies on DVD) and Living The Dream.
In 2005, he wrote and starred in the ITV comedy-drama, Dead Man Weds, which he also co-starred in, and in 2006 he presented the revival of darts gameshow Bullseye on Challenge
And since 2005 Spikey has been one of the regular team captains on the Channel 4 panel game, 8 Out of 10 Cats.
Leicester Comedy Festival Preview Show
How do you sum up a whole festival of 520 shows in just one night? It’s a puzzle organisers of the Leicester Comedy Festival always face when programming their preview show... made all the more tricky as the audience is a mix of hardcore stand-up devotees and the most casual of comedy-goers, lured by the annual sense of occasion and probably a face they recognise from the telly.
But any gala that starts with the old-school stylings of Jimmy Cricket and ends with the wild-haired surrealism of Tony Law can rightly said to have captured the full gamut of the eclectic comedy scene.
This is the second year that the full 17-day event has properly been titled Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, thanks to the TV channel’s sponsorship, so it’s probably only right they have a Dave to introduce it. Mr Spikey faced an initially cold audience who didn’t warm up much as he indulged in some once-topical material about the German cannibal Armin Meiwes, who was in the news nearly a decade ago. Yet as he reappeared after each act, he found an increasingly cordial reception for both his personal anecdotes his collection of misprints and badly-phrased signs and song lyrics; no wonder he’s a regular on Countdown’s Dictionary Corner. He conveyed his disbelief with a cheery sarcasm that’s impossible not to warm to.
Cricket suffered from that initial tepid environment, though. When last Chortle saw him in the intimate confines of an Edinburgh Fringe venue, his cheesy silliness was infectious, but in the sizeable De Montfort Hall, it dissipated too thinly. For all his usual exhortations to ‘Come here’, the audience never really stepped into his world to savour the mix of corny old gags... and corny new ones. But it’s all delivered with an impish twinkle, even at 67, that keeps him loveable.
‘Corny’ isn’t an adjective you could attach to the ever-inventive Pat Cahill, the epitome of the confident but misguided British bloke, but in his case holding court on oddball matters such as the life cycle of the mayfly. His 15 minutes involved a fast-paced mish-mash of ideas and images, and the verbal gymnastics of his tricksy chat as much as guarantees a round of applause when he executes the conversational dismount. He offers a contradictory blast of mundane surrealism at such a head-spinning rate that he leaves the audience happy, yet struggling to catch up.
Matt Rees earned his place on this showcase after winning the Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year competition last year – but he doesn’t have a show at the festival. There was almost palpable disappointment when he announced that fact at the end of an endearing and witty routine about the main facets of his life: ‘junk food, alcohol and laziness’. Yet the deadpan, self-effacing Welshman has been industrious in writing a sparkling new routine about the embarrassment of finding a sex manual in his parents’ bedroom, which sits comfortably alongside the rest of his resigned material. His is a distinctive voice, and a funny one, and he delivered one of the stand-out sets of the night, despite his relative inexperience.
But a comedy stalwart took us to the interval, with the cult, mild-mannered musical offerings of John Shuttleworth, who perhaps overestimated the reach of his back catalogue as he struggled to get the crowd singing along to Yamaha-backed ‘hits’ such as Austin Ambassador Y-Reg. There’s delight in the detail of his tracks that cover not the great themes such as love and loss... but the more quotidian concerns of having two margarines on the go (‘it’s a nightmare scenario’). He’s quietly, wryly funny - ‘oof’ing away as he gets the wrong tempo button on his keyboard – but not quite the footstomping half-stopper that was probably planned.
Piff The Magic Dragon restarted proceedings with a thoroughly entertaining trick. He certainly stamps his idiosyncrasies on to the traditional variety turn, dressed in sparkly dragon suit and accompanied by his chihuahua Mr Piffles, who seems to have inherited the same world-weary sadness of his owner. The near-monotone delivery provides a comic juxtaposition to both the sparkle of the props and wardrobe... and to what proves to be a particularly impressive ‘pick a card’ routine.
Nothing so remarkable about Suzi Ruffell, unfortunately. She’s a wonderfully likeable personality - but that’s not the same as a being a great comic, and she falls into a vast category of amiable, attractive, fashionably-dressed, unthreateningly quirky, skinny-jeaned comics with dynamic performance but instantly forgettable material and barely-discernable jokes. That she’s female and gay isn’t enough of a point of difference as she chatted about being single, nights on the booze, and spotting the sprawling pubic hair of fellow gym users in the changing rooms, all of which is unexcitingly generic. She should use her great stage presence for better ends than this.
Gary Delaney, on the other hand, is all about the jokes. And how great they are: his densely-packed one-liners encompass the full range from the childishly silly to the devilishly dark, though there’s clearly never any evil intent behind any of them. The sharp writing is wrapped in a nicely self-effacing delivery, and he engages in chatty dialogue with the audience as he offers a running commentary on the gags and how they are received... though his fiddling with the water bottle, forever putting it down and picking it up, is a little distracting. Not that much can distract from the quality of the jokes.
Then came the hugely distinctive Tony Law, who’s almost all distraction, as he barks out non-sequiturs and asides on his own eccentric performance. He gets instant laughs from his odd rhythms and odder looks, and though his stream of consciousness can easily lose audiences along the way, he’s only ever one sharp turn away from another bit of nonsense that will allow them to climb on board again. I’ve seen plenty of gigs where he’s got more laughs than this, but when he left the stage after his ‘two elephants walk into a bar...’ joke, there was a definite sense that the audience wanted more. Which is presumably the very point of a preview show.
Before that sense could settle, though, came the announcement of a surprise finale, courtesy of The Greatest Show On Legs. And it surely did come as a surprise to most as Pat Cahill, Martin Soan and Bob Slayer took to the stage with nought but party decorations to cover their modesty, ready to perform the hilarious balloon dance made not-quite-famous by the late Malcolm Hardee.
As if this wasn’t anarchic enough, the naked Slayer then scurried through the auditorium, and even on to the balcony ledge, some 20ft above the ground, no doubt giving some health and safety officer a stress ulcer in the process. A wonderfully unpredictable end to the the night to serve as a reminder that sometimes comedy is as much about cocking a snook at conformity as it is about well-crafted jokes.
|Date of live review: Sunday 13th Jan, '13|
Review by Steve Bennett
Monday 30th Nov, '09- Bloomsbury Theatre
Show - Tour -
Show - Misc live shows -
Dave spikey Oldham Coliseum Thurs 4/4/13: Lazy, duplicitous, mildly funny - and I felt conned as I saw most of this show 18months ago at the Coliseum. Mr Spikey even kept apologising for the fact that we'd probably seen this before during the show. He lost a lot of followers last night judging by the comments as we were coming out.
I saw DS in Sheffield on the 15th October, having seen him previously about four times, and whilst parts of his show were very funny, overall I was disappointed. There were two main reasons firstly it wasn't as slick as previous shows as he seemed hesitant, this maybe because its early on in his tour. What was worse was how much of the material was exactly the same as it was when I last saw him a few years ago. Admittedly some of it is very funny, but it is short changing the audience to brand it as a new show when large parts of it weren't.
Nothing wrong with recycling material from working men's clubs. After all who goes to them anyway? Without DS working hard, maintaining the history of stand-up where would we be. He's a joke curator taking us on a tour of extinct pub comedy only less smelly and with the racism cut out. He's a hero.
Went to see DS recently at the Lowry, He went down a treat, very funny and original, shaking off the Phoenix Nights baggage and delivering a really fresh and enjoyable stand up performance. Lot's of memorable moments, like flatlining on Mr Freeze ice pops and a great end to the show with a sequence of ridiculous song lyrics, that had the audience in the palm of his hand. A great night out!
He has plenty of charm but you'll find much funnier comics at your local comedy club. One for the old dears, I think.
Does no one realise that Dave Spikey is & has just been recycling the oldest pub/workingmen club gags in the world & almost incredibly passing them off as his own! or is it just me? + very poorly to boot, he should thank his lucky stars the day he met Peter Kay other wise he would probly calling bingo in Blackpool because that is where he belongs. Quite frankly the man may be a nice person but as a comedian he is shite!
I used to think Dave Spikey was the poor-man's Peter Kay - similar jokes, similar accent, similar delivery. However, he seems to have grown into his own over the past couple of years. I think he's good value on 8 Out Of 10 Cats. In my view he now has a world-weariness and a penchant for clever wordplay that puts him ahead of Mr Kay.
|Under The Microscope: My Life, By Dave Spikey
Book review by Steve Bennett
01/12/2010 Permanent link
Under the Microscope: My Life, by Dave Spikey
Dave Spikey: Best Medicine Tour Live
8 Out of 10 Cats: Claws Out
'All the bits too rude for TV'
Dave Spikey: Overnight Success
BBC Comedy Presents... [Manchester 2008]
An Audience With Dave Spikey
Dave Spikey: Best Medicine Tour 2009 - Repeat Prescription
Dave Spikey: Overnight Success
Dave Spikey: The Best Medicine
Dave Spikey: Words Don’t Come Easy