Drink Up Stand Up Tour

Liverpool City Centre
15th July 2006

Reviewed by Alicia Rose

Did you know that laughing uses your transversus abdominus, one of the deepest layers of your abdominal area? This surely bodes well then for the Liverpool Comedy Festival, which commenced Sunday 15th July with the Drink Up Stand Up tour. Now in its fifth hilarious year and growing ever more popular, more than one hundred punters got their bellies toned as they laughed and crawled their way round four different venues to listen to four very alternative comedians. Starting in the ‘Flute and Firkin’ on Hardman Street, the ‘sold out’ gig got on its way with cracking compere Chris Cairns, whose quick wit and bold charm has earned him a slap round the kisser on previous bar crawl comedy. He immediately had the crowded pub laughing and smiling with his cheeky grin and wacky one-liners. First up was Duncan Oakley (who has his own ’68 Bumcrack Special Hour Long gig at the Cavern Club this Tuesday 18th). His was a rare aberration of pulling a laugh from the crowd. For some, it was funny, for some it wasn’t. The comic from Nottingham was not deterred and valiantly finished his set to a generous round of applause.

The hot mass and rabble next made their way to the Metropolitan Bar on Hanover Street, where they found ecstatic and awesome entertainment from Daliso Chaponda, a stand up comedian with raw Eddie Murphy confidence, cheek and super-polished style. The laughing was continuous, transversus abdominus’ utilised fully.

From there it was a quick trot round the corner and up the hill to The Pilgrim. Scouse comic Anthony O’Neill was given the humorous task of performing on two pub chairs pulled together to create one of the most precarious stages in the city. The venue was hot and sultry and O’Neill’s amusing angle on life gave laughter to everyone’s lips.

The grand finale was the quick march step up to The Magnet - a hive of activity round the bar (100 people, 2 barmen) - and then downstairs to witness the highwired jinx of comical raucousness that is Paul Betney. Betney suffers with a rare disability known as Benign Essential Tremor and this has been pulled inside out to positively hilarious consequential comedy.

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