Just funny business every Wednesday at The Workers, Balmain
I hate Wednesdays. I mean, I hate Mondays too, but I hate Wednesdays a little more. Your weekend memories aren't as fresh as they were on Monday morning, and you're looking down the barrel of two more full days until that beautiful moment – Friday night.
So it was with great relief and anticipation that I checked out Wednesday Night Comedy at The Workers, Balmain. This is a new event for The Workers and, if the 200-strong people in attendance on opening night were anything to go by, it will be a regular feature for many a Wednesday night to come.
I'm going to be brutally honest here. I'd never even heard of The Workers until just recently. Upon learning that it was once a Labor Party meeting place, the bar intrigued me even more. Look up at the ceiling as you enter the bar and you'll see portraits of Labor Leaders such as Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. For those interested, there's also a lovely beer gardeny-balcony too (I peeked my head out to take a quick look, but it was cold, and the mulled wine at my table was warm, so I chose to head back in). The rest of the bar's décor was made up of comfy, plush armchairs and inviting red bench seats making up the various booths. It could've been a watering hole in Newtown, eclectic in style as it was.
Staff at The Workers were wonderfully laid-back and friendly, ready with a quick joke and easy banter. If you're after unpretentious bar people, and you're ready to welcome a smile with your beer, thanks very much, then you can't really go wrong here.
The MC for the evening was comedian Jacques Barrett, who, in the typical self-deprecating style of comedians the world over, spoke of his grief of growing up with the name "Jacques" in regional Queensland. His blokey Aussie humour and his insistence on picking on the poor Canadian in the front row made him my favourite entertainer of the night.
The first act was Ray Badran, who reminded me of someone who wouldn't look out of place in a Seinfeld episode. He had the unsettling weirdo humour down pat, talking about downloading Facebook pictures of his real estate agent and displaying them proudly around his flat – in photo frames – when she came in for a site inspection.
The next act was Cameron James, a hipster-type dresser with floppy hipster hair and the hipster distaste for heavily made-up club girls. Best quote of the night came from James comparing Iced Vovos to said club chickie babes (underneath all that jam, they're just ordinary biscuits). You've probably also seen his work on ABC2 so my guess is he will most likely be returning for upcoming nights here.
The final act for the evening was Cameron James and another odd dude named Jared Jekyll. I'd seen him do a little sound check prior to the event and I wondered why. He beatboxes, that's why. He does funny stuff and he beatboxes. Together with James, they performed a short musical number simulating a demon possession, and then, after the demon possession song was done, the beatboxing emerged. Meh. He's also performing during this year's Sydney Fringe Festival so if you're into that kind of thing then you definitely should check him out.
All in all, although my attention faded a little after the second act, Wednesday Night Comedy at The Workers is likely to be an event I would check out again. As with most other venues offering live entertainment, some acts might hit the spot, and others may miss the mark altogether. But that's no reason not to support local talent and check out comedians who could potentially be your favourites for years to come (I'm keeping my eye out for Barrett again). Besides, it's an awesome way to reward yourself for making it through the first half of the working week.