By the time the evening's star attraction hit the floor around 10pm I'd lost count of the number of comedians that had plied the enthusiastic audience. Each Thursday evening, the Friend in Hand Hotel in Glebe hosts the "Mic in Hand" comedy gig in its upstairs main function room. If last night's performances were the "rigeuer" then Friend in Hand is one of the more uplifting ways to spice up your midweek evening.
The room itself is reason enough to swing by. Cosy lounge chairs butt up against a tiny stage at the same level as the seating. As was pointed out by the headline act, the crowd won't need to throw things at the performers as they are close enough to be spat on.
MC for the night Andrew Barnett was the ideal conduit between each short set and is a laugh-a-second stand-up himself. Comedy for Barnett though is a casual hobby. 9 months of an uncompleted Arts Degree was the perfect non-qualification for his current full-time dream job of Stay at Home Dad.
Each comic cameo he introduced had their own quirky routines and this mishmash of styles had the audience cackling all night through.
The main act was the not so proud Novocastrian Matty B. Apart from being the headline, Matty was also launching his comedy album "Philosophical Bogan".
Could a moniker be any more on the money? Matty B wears as a badge of honour his physical Bogan appearance. To quote the man; "You know you are a fully fledged Bogan when you have a going out flanno". His eyes glazed over, monotone delivery was something of a portal into a dubious history of some questionable choices on substance consumption.
Whether that languorous persona is role play, genuine self-parody or somewhere betwixt, the character is complemented by a dialogue high brow enough to let the audience know there is more to this guy than meets the eye.
Best Local pub in Sydney
The philosophy rarely transcends reason or pragmatism but it did demonstrate an edgy thought process. The big plus, it's hilarious, somewhat indispensable in the comedy game.
There isn't a lot in the way of world shattering social comment and you won't find the meaning of life in a Matty B show but guaranteed you will be entertained. What there is no dearth of are witty observations and hypothesising on an arrangement of banal topics; "There are certain cars I won't buy just because of their names. The Toyota Jazz for example. No way I want to be sitting on 110kph and my car starts improvising. Even worse is the Mitsubishi Mirage. What's the use of a car you can't see unless you are extremely dehydrated"?
The 45 minute set rolled on seamlessly one quip after another. If you can catch this guy then do so. If not, his album is available on iTunes for a measly $10ish. That cost mimics the entry tariff to the Mic in Hand night. Where can you find that much entertainment for a low end note?
What's On at the Friend in Hand Hotel
Even if comedy isn't your itch, the Friend in Hand has plenty more happening each night, just check out the website. Either that or simply call into a pub voted Sydney's Best Local 2014 at the MasterCard Lokies. The facade is before electricity retro cool whilst inside the decor is knick knack meets thematically asymmetric memorabilia. If you are a taxidermist this pub is hog heaven.
The demographic leans towards student bohemia but grandparents down can comfortably apply without feeling like a fifth wheel.
Hungry as well? The bistro serves the type of pub grub that never intends to challenge Michelin for a hat but it's creative enough, scrummy and won't break the wallet. As are the tap brews with standards and a couple of boutiques.
Ferret away a paltry cover charge, park the vehicle across the road in the rare as hens' teeth in Glebe free car park and the Mic in Hand is your one stop shop for breaking the Thursday night boredom in Sydney.