Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Summer meltdown, this weeks preview

it's July already! When did that happen? It's like we've just unwrapped our Christmas presents and then boom it's summer and the country is having some kind of meltdown with people still getting upset about the vote, honestly I've not seen this much bickering since Gareth Gates and Will Young went toe to toe but hey, this is Britian, whatever happens we will all be laughing about it soon enough and speaking of laughing it's comedy preview time.

This week we see Rob Mullholland and Paul Rickets among the new material acts at Jaceranda in what is a superb line up.
My fellow loiner Rob is smashing this comedy thing right now and rightly so, he is engaging, thoughtfully and ballsy if that's even a thing and it's only a matter of time before he's massive metaphorically as he's already massive vertically (if anyone can lend him an iron for his shirt though please do)
Rickets has a cheeky cockney charm and an eye for observation that make him a joy to watch, his jokes do come from a London centric style but these aren't lost on northern types as he can master the art of bringing us all in.
Also performing are fantastic acts such as Liam Pickford and Nick Clarke who I once described in my blog as fingerless Nick when he performed the day after slicing his finger off!

The weekend at Holiday inn looks as epic as ever with Dan Nightingale, Adam Staunton and Andrew Ryan
Nightingale is one of those acts that having seen him perform I have wept! I mean, I'll never be that good!! He can tell a story like no other and it feels like you're with a mate down the pub! Amazing.
Staunton has such well crafted stuff it's hard to imagine he's been performing less than 10 years, although to look at him it's hard to imagine he's older than 10 years! He hit the nail on the head for me with his stuff about applying for jobs and I'd say he's one of the best acts around right now.
Ryan has that thing that all Irish people seem to have, an Irish passport... Oh and the gift of poetic storytelling. His cheeky friendly demeanour alone are enjoyable to behold but let's not make out that's all there is to him as he packs in some brilliant punchlines.

Sunday sees new acts test their stuff or seasoned acts with new bits so if you can't make the weekend shoes but still want a funny fix pop to Holiday in for Hayley Ellis, Liverpools new wonder kid the superb Simon Wozniak and Tez Ilyas among some fresh new faces too.

Monday at Jacaranda is Ed preview time.
Patrick Monahan will be there with a free hug for everyone and the kind of stand up that makes everyone just want to be his friend, that won him TV's show me the funny and that has seen him rise up to be one of the most sought after comics in England.
Addy Van De Borgh will also bring his preview, Addy doesn't need jokes!! He can make you laugh just by being there! That said he has some of the most original material around and this show will no doubt be one of the ones to see at the fringe this year.

Have a belting week

J x

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Rain and pain but no remain, this weeks preview

Stark contrast from where I was when I last looked up hot waters line up as today I sit in rain soaked EU departing, Euro knock out embarrassing England looking for things to take my mind off the bickering about votes, the rain and those idiots that earn more in 10 minutes than most of us in a year!

This, a shorter post than usual given that line ups are still being worked on tirelessly but the hot water team and that I have been inked on my right arm today and it's swollen like the ego of Fargae but less of the need to race Bob Geldoff along the Thames.

I'll start with the one confirmed act for Jaceranda, the gig that is rapidly becoming a cult favourite with audiences and acts alike will once again be hosted by Paul Smith.

Joining him this week is Kat Radley, not an act I've seen before. I'm told Kat is clever with a Penchant for potty humour, that in mind I had a quick Google and was excited by what I saw as the American confidently goes about her set with style that British acts can't and probably shouldn't replicate. She is skilled in her writing and deliver and you won't be disappointed.

This weekends shows include 2 absolute masters of their game in Eddy Brimson and Danny Pensive.
Brimson is confident and has his own abundant charisma, to use the words of chortle "Brimson manipulates the mixture of laughs and pseudo-shock masterfully" he has a style of delivery that is perfect and confidence that helps carry the performance.

Pensive the creation of John Cooper is an odd and endearing performer with a slice of surreal and a huge chunk of funny, I've seen Pensive several times and not once tired of his superbly crafted stuff

This week also sees 2 more Edinburgh previews with Dave Longley and Laura lexx bringing a taste of their shows to Liverpool.

Longley has had 4 previous Edinburgh shows and is about as audience adaptable as it gets in as much as any audience can adapt to him, this should be a riot.

Lexx is easily one of the most loverly humans ever! But lovely can't be funny?? My god yes it can and Lexx has funny plus 12!! She also has had previous solo shows at Edinburgh festival and is certainly a name you may hear more of in the future

J x


Tickets for all shows available at

Monday, 20 June 2016

Complicated relationship, this weeks preview

This Thursday we could be ending our relationship with Europe, its been complicated, we have had so may good times and the odd drunken night where we said some things about France and they got upset, but all in all its a relationship that I think has brought about a lot of divisive debate among friends and family alike... so when a video of Jim McDonald AKA Charles Lawson celebrating Northern Irelands win over Ukraine in the rain I think its fair to say we remembered to laugh like proper Brits.... and if its more laughter yer after so ye are then lets have a gander at who's gracing hot waters stages this week.

Wednesday at Jaceranda 2 of the cheekier up and coming acts that are absolutely destined for big things and making an appearance. Ben Briggs is wonderfully honest and has a bit of the devil in him that you can't help but enjoy. joining Ben is English comedian of the year Brennan Reece who as I have mentioned before is embarrassingly good for one so young.

The weekend shows at Holiday Inn have an eclectic and insanely talented line up that of course will be introduced by the best MC in the country in m humble opinion our very own Paul Smith. We have Chris McCausland, Tony Cowards and Micheal Fabbri. 
McCausland, a local act that has been smashing gigs all over the country and the world for 13 years is one of the most engaging story tellers I have ever had the joy to see. He talks of holidays to hot countries, his wife, being blind and all kinds of other wonderful anecdotes. 
Cowards is a different act altogether, a gagsmith, one liner merchant he has jokes on almost every subject and has the ability to make every type of audience laugh with clever, subtle writing or outrageous puns. 
Fabbri like McCausland began making audiences laugh in 2003 and starred in 'so you think you're funny' that year which was covered by channel 4. He effortlessly slips between topical, controversial or just plain silly material and has a style about him that you cant help but enjoy.

Don't forget this Sunday id the final of the new comedian of the year too, 10 bright stars of tomorrow will be performing for your appreciation and the chance to get themselves a kick upwards on the comedy ladder... could you witness the next big thing before they are discovered??

Monday at Jacaranda is Edinburgh Preview time again and this week we have Peter Brush, I did a preview of my own in Hull a few weeks back and Peter was there too running through his show which was amazing! Peter is so talented and churns out such well crafted material, this show will be amazing... go check it out!

Now I have some Spanish sun and English football to go enjoy, catch you all next week.
J x

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Review: Heat 2 - New Comedian of the Year 2016

Review by Paul Smith:

The last few Sundays have seen the annual new act competition heats one and two. I know I bang on about our Sunday nights a lot but they hold a very special place in my heart and I truly believe that, of all the things we do at Hot Water, Sundays are perhaps the most important. Over the last six year we have tried every week to provide a friendly place where new acts can get stage time and in turn we have seen many new acts go on to become pros. I feel maybe that this will be our lasting legacy in comedy. I have no doubt that our pro weekend nights will continue to grow and get stronger as the have consistently over the last few years, but, it is in the Sundays that I think we truly see the future.

Each year in June we invite the best acts we can find that have less than 12 months experience to compete for the coveted title of Hot Water Comedy’s New Comedian of the Year. I don’t know if it is really happening or whether I’m just getting old but each year it seems the standard of these new acts rises by an incredible amount. This year in heat one we have already seen two of the most promising dead-pan style joke tellers that I can remember in Moses Ali Khan and Simon Lomas get through to the final. Then this week we had to put three acts through. (It’s normally two but I feel it should have been four…. I’ll go into that in a minute).

We had in joint first place Dan Fitzpatrick, a very confident former priest with some excellent material, not only about his time in the clergy but on a range of topics which was nice to see. I really enjoyed Dan’s. He is an act that I feel would flourish over a longer set, something I look forward to seeing. The other joint winner was the scarily talented character comedian Shell Byron (Ally Allerton), who after twelve gigs, was able to not only construct a very good set but also manage some brilliant crowd work. Not an easy feat. I don’t think I even looked at the crowd for the first year and a half doing stand up. Also going through in second place we had John McDonald, a solid performer with some killer lines and a very comfortable delivery.

On to the controversy of the heat. In doing these heats over the years, and in everything we do really, we try our best to be fair and unbiased. We have found that selecting random audience members to judge, as well as ourselves, usually gives an even view of how well each act has done and also gives a different perspective to the one we would get if we simply judged ourselves. During this heat however we had an anomaly. Scott Liversidge, a young performer, took to the stage proclaiming ‘I’m a transvestite’ and proceeded over the next five and a bit minutes to do brilliantly with his weirdly surreal set about travesticism and cheese. I have to be completely honest here I was surprised when I was handed the results to announce and Scott’s name was not on it. Not to take anything away from Dan, Shell and John, they all deserved their place. When we got the judges score sheets back and collated the results we found it all to be really close, except for one judge, who had scored Scott completely against the grain, giving him two out of ten for his performance. (outrageous!) Alas we do not know the motivation for this judge’s decision. He simply may not have liked surreal comedy or it could have been a darker bias which steered his scoring. As the judging is random we do not know. All I know is that Scott Liversidge was excellent in my book.

The same can be said for Tom Bates and Ben Turner, both excellent acts who missed out narrowly in going through. Controversy aside, as our new act competition heads into its third and final heat, one thing is certain. These new acts coming through are of a very high standard. A couple of years ago the comedy circuit took a big hit but if these new acts are any indication then comedy is very healthy indeed. They have sharp writing, crowd work, stage presence and above all they all seem to love comedy. In five, ten, maybe twenty years time, these will be the big names. These new acts, who grace our stage, are the future of stand up and I feel glad that our Sunday nights are helping in some part to nurture that future.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

This weeks preview

Greetings from Sunny Spain... Figured I'd enter Europe one more time before the possibility of us not being friends anymore (can't happen can it?)
Also I have some gigs here, yeah that's right 'international comedian' now!! But what's going on back home?

Well I'm in hot weather but there are some amazing acts in Hot Water... I dare say one of the most outrageously exciting line ups this week at Jaceranda (which will be tonight by the time this goes out)

Paul Smith again hosts as heavyweights Daliso Chaponda, Gary Delaney, Caimh McDonnell and Kiri Pritchard McLean all take to the stage.

I don't need to say much about Delaney, his act is one of the most sought after in the country as he continues to wow audiences with his joke writing skill and as proven with appearances on mock the week.
Daliso is the only Malawian comedian (that we know of) and can turn his hand to most types of comedy from biting political satire or filthy stuff! He's a joy to watch.
McLean is well known for her non performing role in Geins family gift shop, she is both and excellent MC and... Well go see for yourself.

The weekend is no change of pace in quality. It's getting easier and easier for me to preview this with superlatives given the standards the boys at hot water have.
This week there is Rory O Hanlon, Erich Mcelroy and Steve Day making the triple headline show another epic one.
O Hanlon is a Dubliner with an observational style that's endearing, entertaining and expert (I wanted to try some kind of rule of three thing here and expert was all I could think of... He is expert though!!)
McElroy moved to the UK from Seattle in 2000 and a year later he was performing stand up a decision that has served him well. He has a natural ease with audiences and can talk about British life from an outsiders point of view with hilarious accuracy.

Steve Day was the 1st headline act I booked many years ago when I 1st started to get involved in comedy, he still to this day was one of the best. He is warm, engaging and has rapid fire jokes as well as some superb annecdotes about being a dead man in modern society.

There's more this week
Sunday we have a heat of new comedian of the year, the Sunday night shows are always great and this has the added edged new acts competing to be crowned Hot Water new comedian of the year an accolade that can really help acts get going.

Even better there's still more!!!
Monday at Jaceranda two of hot waters top performers are previewing their Edinburgh festival shows.
Adam Rowe needs no introduction to Hot water audiences but this is a show you've not seen before and his standards are high so this will be a treat and Danny McLoughlin is bringing his show to Liverpool and if his usual style of cheeky amiable comedy that takes the joke 3 steps fur than than you expect then this will be another one not to miss.

Right I'm off to make ex pats laugh before they all get packed off back home next week!! 😉


Book now at

Sunday, 12 June 2016


We're very excited to announce that international stand up comedian Paul Sinha will be performing at both of our Liverpool NYE 2016 shows & also our Wirral show.

Paul is one of the very best comedy acts available in the world right now and we're very excited.
Our NYE shows are super popular and have sold out the past 4 years running well in advance. We'd advise very early booking to avoid disappointment.

Another absolutely incredible special guest will be announced soon for our Liverpool shows and 2 more for our Wirral show.

In the meantime, here is a little more about Paul.

Medically qualified Paul Sinha is now a critically acclaimed international stand up comedian of many years standing who first achieved media recognition in 2006 when his solo show Saint or Sinha was nominated for the If.comedy (formerly Perrier) award at the Edinburgh Festival.

Since then he has been something of a fixture on Radio 4 with the series Paul Sinha?s Citizenship Test and Paul Sinha?s History Revision as well as one off shows on cricket, the 2012 Olympics and Magna Carta.

He has also made frequent appearances on Radio 4 favourites News Quiz, Just a Minute, and The Now Show and has registered several victories on Radio 5?s feisty weekly sports panel show Just a Minute. As a live comic, Paul has performed several extremely well received solo shows, has had two national tours, performed in Beijing, Munich, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Tokyo as well as many non Olympic cities across the globe.

He appeared in the first two series of the Stewart Lee curated tv show Alternative Comedy Experience and in 2014 Paul was voted ?Best Club Comedian? in the annual Chortle Awards.

In addition to this Paul has carved out a further career as a professional quizzer, attaining grandmaster status in 2014, reaching a career high UK ranking of 7 in 2015.

Since 2011 Paul has been one of the regular 'Chasers' on ITV?s awardwinning quiz show The Chase.

Tickets from £23.


LIVERPOOL (Holiday Inn)
EARLY SHOW - Details here
LATE SHOW & DISCO (3 Course meal option) - Details here

WIRRAL (Gladstone Theatre)
SHOW - Details here

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A bit good, weekend preview

I've had a day gardening today! It's about as exciting having done that as it is for you to read that I've spent my Monday in the garden being all half hearted in my attempt to make it tolerable to sit out as we have another 2 day burst of sunshine that convinces everyone we don't need to visit Spain any more let's not worry if the leave vote wins and we need visas because British summer is having a go!!!

I also at the age of 36 discovered what secateurs are today, they are those things I've never used ever kinda like vacuum cleaners and a toothbrush (in case it's not clear that was a joke!!) anyway I'm rambling about my Monday when I should really be talking you through this weeks live stand up comedy in Liverpool as hot water comedy club again brings you brilliant entertainment and big laughs! (You should read that in X factor voice over guys voice, its way better!!)

This Wednesday once again there is another brilliant line up live comedy from Jaceranda basement with MC Paul Smith introducing more pro acts playing with their bits!
Among the pick of the acts this week are Will Duggan and one of my lovely mates in this comedy world Amy Gledhill.

Will has to be one of the most enjoyable acts to watch I've seen in a while, his brilliant mind and cheeky smile make his comedy somewhere between brilliant and really bloody brilliant!

Amy is someone who I 1st met when she was doing (originally a spelling error led to the autocorrect saying Doug!! I am glad I spotted that, funny as it is she was not Doug back then) her 5th or 6th gig and she was nervous claiming to be struggling with her confidence and that should would struggle... It was a competition gig that she wiped the floor with all other acts myself included and won at a canter!! She's a bit good if by a bit good I mean one of the comedians I most look forward to seeing each year because everyone gets better at this and she was already amazing from gig one!!
The other fantastic acts on the line up are Pete Otway and Wendy Watson making this another stellar line up!

The weekend triple headline show at Holiday Inn sees an act I 1st saw smashing a butlins gig in front of about 2000 people at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon!! Steve Shanyaski is just funny!! He not only creates moments of jaw aching laughter from everyday life but he really brings the story to life and has a delivery and style that are majestic.
Local comic Rob Thomas once again graces the stage of his home gig and the charm he brings to the stage along with the funnies make him stand out over other acts. Having seen him twice deliver killer sets on tricky nights I can safely say you would want to see more.
Jen Brister is half Spanish half English all hilarious! She has been performing for over 14 years including sketch but it's her stand up that she has well and truly established herself as one of the top headline acts working today. She has a superb 5 star solo show called wishful thinking and is a real treat for you lovely humans of Liverpool.

Go catch this weeks live comedy, it's going to be awesome!!

J x


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