Seann Walsh’s journey has followed an unusual route – from televised shows to the Lerwick Legion and Hillswick Hall.
Bounding on to the stage he took a moment to introduce himself, before telling the packed room, “This is nice … I don’t know about the back drop, though.” He was referring to the grubby sheet that is rolled out in the Legion when performances are on.
“It used to be white – once,” he said as he ran a dusty finger over one of the mic stacks. “I have been on Live at the Apollo…”
His disarming laughter ensured nobody actually thought he was the “Big I Am”.
Having got the crowd on side he took us through the trials and traumas of turning 30 and the sobering realisation that at that point your wildest years – for most of us at least – are behind you. In your 30s, he said, you start repairing the damage done in your 20s.
On the plus side – “You know things.
“Like I know how I got home.” Yeah!
Health fads (“courgetti”, anyone?) and detoxes formed a good chunk of the routine and Walsh cleverly identified the ridiculous way we all try to “cut down” on the good things in life. He’s talking about the fags, booze, drugs – and gluten.
Only after eating gluten free bread did Walsh realise what it was … “the good bit”.
His sketch about sneaking from a restaurant table to the toilets to do a bit of sourdough was brilliant. “You can tell it’s good because it’s uncut.”
The good old British class system also got the Walsh treatment with him railing against those posh pals who call him to “meet for a coffee” rather than downing a few pints.
“Who has had ever had a good story after a coffee? I never had to ring anyone the next day and say ‘what happened after I left?’.”
It seems he’s of the opinion that the carefree 20s were much more fun than his burgeoning 30s. Whatever, he’s managed to mine the monotony of his life to come up with heaps of excellent material.
There were parts that did not quite work, like acting out how long it takes to get you bill in a London restaurant. Evidently, a long time. But who cares? Life in London is meant to be rubbish.
That slump apart his hour or so on stage fairly flew past and I was not alone in wiping tears of laughter from my cheeks.
An impromptu diversion sparked by one crowd member apparently yelling out what his neighbour was called was hilarious.
It’s a sign of Walsh’s talent as a stand-up that he knew to go with it, and knew when to quickly skip past some of the morestupid heckles.
The night began with Mark Simmons on stage, who also joined Walsh when it came to the encore.
His gentle joke-telling style was refreshing and clever. Pick of the bunch was his line about the time he worked in a garden centre and was asked: “What water feature should I buy?”
“I was like, well…” Get it?
Although there were a few too many of the “do you get them up here?” questions Simmons was a hit and you can expect to see more of him soon.
It was a treat to get the opportunity to see two such accomplished performers up close and personal.
Here’s hoping more can be persuaded to follow the same route as Walsh.
He made the step from the Appollo to the Legion look easy.