[2014009] 36 Hours

[2014009] 36 Hours

Aidan “Taco” Jones @ Astor Hotel – Roof Top

8:30pm, Fri 14 Feb 2014

The Astor Roof Top is an interesting little venue – there’s synthetic grass underfoot, creating an odd base for a room that holds maybe forty or fifty people. On the plus side, there’s a convenient little bar on the Roof Top; on the minus side, the back to the area is open, allowing sound bleed from the teeming throng downstairs to buffet the stage.

As soon as Taco walks onstage, he announces that his show was supposed to be about the events leading up to a 36 hour hallucinogenic trip and the resulting decision to volunteer in Bolivia, as described in his précis; however, he goes on to say that he tried the show out a couple of times, and it didn’t really work. So, whilst he would be presenting some of that material, that was not what this show was about.

And that made me a little bit sad, because I was really looking forward to the material as described in the Guide; there was something bittersweet in the précis that made me think that it could provide a framework for comedy gold. Plus, it suggested the faint possibility of Ted Danson.

But Taco’s material was good nonetheless. He still uses the hallucinogenic trip as the spine of his show, but there’s little discussion about his Bolivian experience (or Ted Danson); instead, there’s a lot of side stories involving drugs, the torching of a car, being a poor artist, and callbacks about the lies he tells his mother (she still thinks he’s a doctor).

Taco really looks like he enjoys himself onstage; he’s got a bubbly confidence that doesn’t become too overbearing, and he’s constantly bouncing from one side of the stage to the other. Every joke and pun (and, for better or worse, he loves a pun) is delivered with a genuine grin on his face… except when some of the audience (of around 15) start quietly talking amongst themselves or duck out to grab another drink. Then a flicker of doubt crosses his face, and a touch of fear creeps into his eyes… but they’re only momentary lapses.

Despite 36 Hours not being what was advertised, I had a bit of fun laughing at Taco’s exploits. He’s a decent storyteller – engaging, and with an openness that gets the audience immediately onside. It was hardly a blockbuster show, but for a measly eight bucks it’s pretty hard to argue.

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