Buffalo Comedy, Sunday 2nd April, Buffalo, reviewer: Hannah Hopkins
Acts: Rhys James, Tanya Spence-Kelly, Calum Stewart, Leroy Britto; MC: Clint Edwards.
Buffalo is one of the more vibrant and trendy venues in Cardiff, and of course, I was pretty happy to see that the venue hosts a regular comedy night. It’s been running for quite a while, but I’ve never had the opportunity until now to see what it was all about. Taking place in the upstairs bar, this was quite an intimate affair (by which, I mean there was literally about 20 people there), which is calling out for some attention. In summary: if you’re a fan of stand-up or if you’ve never been to a stand-up gig before, this is the place to go.
Taking to the stage to begin the event was MC Clint Edwards, who took no time to familiarise himself with the small crowd. His observational humour is particularly great and he gets the audience on board straight away by calling out the incredibly, sarcastically high stage.
Leroy Brito was first up on stage. Runner-up in the 2014 Welsh Unsigned Awards, Briton has an easy-going stage presence and even though he was trying out mostly new material he seemed relaxed with the crowd
Next up was Tanya Spence-Kelly, who at 23, wasn’t even the youngest performer of the evening. Her set was a little different to what you might expect, singing two songs: one about creepy guys on Tinder and one about her love of wine. She even got the crowd to sing-a-long, which was a little out of everyone’s comfort zone but was fun nonetheless. Having first stepped up on stage in 2016, Tanya is confident, daring and incredibly witty. Following was Calum Stewart, who, like Tanya before him, hails from Port Talbot. His self-depreciating deadpan humour has seen him reach the Wales Unsigned Stand-up Award semi-finals in 2016. One thing that stands out for him as a performer is that, at eighteen, he is so young and that he uses his Aspergers as a topic of interest. Calum was refreshingly honest and got quite a few laughs for his great comic timing.
Rhys James (Mock the Week, The Chris Ramsey Show) was the headline act. “Nothing bad has ever happened to me,” he tells us. He asks whether this is a barrier to making great art, such as comedy, and leaves the audience thinking: probably not, this guy is funny. Rhys is charismatic and smart, with a teeny bit of a superiority complex which plays into the persona he adopts on stage. He makes use of the space, telling well-crafted jokes and teasing out stories of privilege – one of which he can’t quite finish because one audience-member’s laugh makes everything just too hard to continue – which end in one place but finish somewhere you’d least expect.
Buffalo Comedy wasn’t without its hitches, but this is what made it so great. As a venue, it’s an intimate affair, yet expect some big laughs.
John Robins is headlining the next Buffalo Comedy show on Sunday 7th May which is sure to be a cracker.