[2011021] The Worlds Only Saxophone Playing Stand-Up Comedian Who Used To Be A Goat Farmer

The Worlds Only Saxophone Playing Stand-Up Comedian Who Used To Be A Goat Farmer [FringeTIX]

Gary Bradbury @ Gelatissimo – The Upstairs Lounge

11:00pm, Wed 16 Feb 2011

As I ascend the stairs at the back of Gelatissimo, a young chap motions to me – “glad to see he’s got someone in the audience,” he says. “I overheard them saying that only had one ticket sold; that’s probably you.”

Now, I’m no stranger to empty shows, but it always makes me a bit sad to see a thin crowd, especially at the start of a season; but in this long, narrow room that holds maybe fifty, I figured you’d only need about a dozen people in the first couple of rows in order to pull of a decent gig.

I talk to the bar-guy while waiting for the show to start, hoping that more punters come up the stairs; the Shiraz being served upstairs at Gelatissimo is not too shabby, and the conversation was… interesting (he was keen to know if there was any… “you know, kinda racist” comedy being performed at the Fringe). There’s a rabble of voices ascending the stairs – half-a-dozen kids (we later learn they’re nineteen) wander in and take to the second and third rows.

Some saxophone notes drift up the stairs, followed by the unassuming form of Gary Bradbury. He sizes up the crowd of (now) seven, thanks us all for attending – “even you young ‘uns, who are here for free.” He singles me out – “you’re the guy who paid! Cheers mate.”

Bradbury is dry, and – with constant references to the trials of being forty-two years old – immediately likeable… to me. The others in the audience, lured upstairs by the promise of free comedy, were admittedly not his target audience; a large number of his jokes were lost on them (grey pubic hairs? who could imagine such a thing!), but Bradbury turns this age-gap to his advantage with a lot of sly digs that have me quietly chuckling knowingly.

And that kind of personal connection to the comedian onstage is priceless.

Bradbury’s jokes revolve around the minutiae of daily life, growing up, his girlfriend… you know, the usual stand-up fare, but delivered very casually. His forays into goat husbandry were equal parts mystifying and hilarious; tales from life on the road, taking comedy to the troops in Afghanistan, were fascinating. There’s a little bit of sax (the sax orgasm was a hoot) and a song or two (Road to Kandahar, to the tune of Road to Gundagai, straddled the line between cynical and fun).

One by one the youngsters drift off to catch their last bus home; in the end, there’s just me and a “platonic couple” left – she with the loud, infectious laugh, he with no laugh at all (and staunchly defiant when questioned of his age: “yeah, I’m nineteen – but I’m on my full license.”) And, in closing the show, Bradbury announced that he had sponsorship – and was giving away a bottle of wine at every show. I, as the only paying punter, got the bottle – a Wirra Wirra Church Block Cab Sauv / Shiraz / Merlot. I love my blended wines :)

All I can really offer is this: if you want a decent laugh, with a likeable comedian, and are in a slightly older age bracket, you could certainly do a lot worse than The Worlds Only Saxophone Playing Stand-Up Comedian Who Used To Be A Goat Farmer. And hey, you might get a free bottle of wine out of it.

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