The Glee Club, Cardiff Bay
Thurs 4 Apr
words: ANGHARAD BROWN
Since seeing Elis James at the Cardiff Comedy Festival back in 2010, I’ve considered myself a bit of a fan. There isn’t really anything not to like about him. He comes across as an incredibly gentle, nice guy, his story-telling ability is a pleasure to listen to and he’s Welsh. Perfect. This was something of a home-coming gig for the Carmarthen born comic who told us he’d lived in Cardiff for 10 years until his recent move to London. He started by telling us a few of his stories of his time in Cardiff and some jokes that involved the use of his Welsh mother-tongue, including the fact that the literal translation of cannabis from Welsh to English is ‘naughty smoke’.
From here on in, James regaled the eager audience with childhood stories involving a choking incident during a panto performance at the Swansea Grand, a peeing incident in the Carmarthen leisure centre and then moving on to adult life and a recent wedding that involved his friend and a failed attempt at the Dirty Dancing life. Most of the stories involved Elis gently mocking himself and those around him, but never in that uncomfortable self-deprecating way that some comedians rely on. On one occasion he lost his way with a punch line and you could see how frustrated and annoyed he was at his mistake, but by this point in the evening the audience had grown so fond of him that it really didn’t matter. After his hour long set, Elis avoided the encore by simply staying on stage and treating us to some older material, including the hilarious paintballing story. It was definitely the hardest I’ve laughed at a comedy gig for a good while and by the sounds of those sitting around me I’m sure they’d say the same. Both Elis and his warm up act, local comedian Clint Edwards (one of the hosts of Drones Comedy Club), are part of an exciting scene of emerging Welsh comics that could and should look to do well in 2012.