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Giggling Gig at Cross Kings

Review of Giggling Gig at Cross Kings

September 3rd, 2009

Giggling Gig, a monthly night merging comedy acts with live bands, has found its perfect home in the basement of Cross Kings, a colourful arty space just under what appears to be your normal pub of 126 York Way.

Opened by The Quirky, a dynamic yet hippyishly friendly three-piece outfit, whose name could be a perfect description of the whole event itself, the night looks well populated indeed – apparently giggles are very sought after. In fact, being the permanent residents of the night, The Quirky are the very guys to keep an eye out for, with their first album coming out soon, non-stop line-up changes and the frequent guest artists involved. It might be hard to put your finger on their musical genre, which floats in and out of prog-rock, a very guitar-heavy pop or even folk, and does it really matter? In the end, it sets the standard of the whole night: as opposed to your usual showcase type of bash you’d normally get in a basement of your ordinary pub, Giggling Gig is a lot less about massaging the artistic egos, and a lot more about the audience, about their “feel good” factor.

Which is escalated to the next level by Amir Durgahee, a comedian having a cheeky go at his Muslim roots and his extended attempts to ready himself for being at Ms Sexy’s disposal. Come think of it, comedy in itself is the child of ones wits and that very embarrassing situation you could have never dared to talk about. In fact, I’d recommend doing a little sketch of your own on whatever makes you cringe – you might not make a living out of it, but save on counselling costs for sure.

More to come from Viv Albertine, the hip chick, the ex-guitarist of the known punk rock devotees The Slits, whose sulkishly seductive voice is backed up by a 3string bass, keys and drums, and two additional vocal harmonies. The three most prominent features of Viv’s music are a) a drown; b) folksy guitar licks; c) grounded, punk rocky vocals without that touch of shouting you’d normally hear within the genre. Nothing airy about her voice, in fact it comfy sits in her chest resonator alone, but the tunes and the artist herself are so confidently feminine that you can’t possibly want her do anything more acrobatic with it.

Be assured, Giggling Gig has been superb fun so far, and what more could you possibly want? A Norvegian? You’re joking, right? Daniel Simonsen – winner of So You Think You’re Funny New Act 2008, has that fresh perspective on the social habits and capitalistic ways of the capital that only an outsider can have. Come on, have you ever thought that the piss from Richmond would be more important that the one from Brixton? Huh? Well, I guess the lesson there is to pick your local NHS service provider carefully, but widely speaking, I have just realised that seeing a quality comedy act live is a superb way of exercising ones mind. Engaging the audience with true ease, Daniel is well worth his winner’s badge!

The bits and bobs of fun we’ve had are well wrapped up by Silvanito, Oxford-based rascals coming up with some pretty happy rock. Controversial? Surely not, it’s just the latest trend! Which is what Giggling Gig is all about – new ways of entertaining (well, two well-known means put together, to be exact) whilst creating a lot more friendly, audience-orientated vibe, the up-lift feel and tons of genuine laughter. The night creates an avalanche of positivism – comedy seems to take the edge off of the angst you’d expect from your typical rock gig. Nothing wrong with the angst, mind you, it works well on a huge stage of a festival picking up those lazy, bristly, two-nights-in-a-tent-smelly hedonists, but it can get far too much in a smaller and cosier a place.

So, all in all, Giggling Gig is exactly what its title promises it to be.

© Zee Kalnina, 2009

About the author

Zee is a vocal teacher, singer and music journalist, currently working in London.

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