Joining the Tig Nation – Tig Notaro Live at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Okay I think a lot fewer people would have “the Mondays” if they managed to stat their week off the way I did – with a superb comedy gig. Stumbling about on LiveNation yesterday, hunting for some fun stuff to do while I’m in London, I came across a comedy gig by Tig Notaro (a known comic if you’re from the States, lesser so here in England or back home in India) and was delighted when there were still tickets available for the show. So of course I booked immediately!

Before I get into her set though, a few words about the support act – Matt Rees. In his own words, his set is all about junk food, sex and drinking – “Are you okay with that? Good. Coz that’s all there is.” I wasn’t familiar with Rees before yesterday, but I’d be happy to come to a show again. He dry humor and often deadpan delivery were a good match up for Tig Notaro’s style, though the content was far blue-er I suppose. If I had to describe him to my friends I’d say, “think Louis C.K meets Milton Jones” – funny, a bit crass, self-deprecating and with lots of confusingly humorous jokes.

The real shame however, was that despite the great warm-up, it took forever for the headliner to come on stage – I mean like, 15-20 minutes! Presumably this was so Rees had the opportunity to sell some merchandise and sign some autographs in the foyer. Okay, I get that, not easy to move product in the digital age, but still… It’s a shame to give the crowd such a good laugh and then have them be impatient by the time the next act comes on…

But the irritability soon faded when Tig Notaro took the main stage! For those of you not familiar with Tig, she is a Southern US born comic and working actress, and I think this was her very first time playing a crowd in London. Unlike a lot of comics, who are all joke-joke-joke, she is more of a story-teller – Her jokes may run long and sometimes take a while to get there, but the punch-line is really worth it. And there aren’t a lot of comes who can makes weird silences and awkward pauses so damn funny! She is also so great at engaging the audience. It felt like 20% of her set was just gaming with the audience and eating constantly (and hilariously) sidetracked. Not to mention that she is also unbelievably brave – I don’t think most people, even comedians, would have the balls to laugh at their own bought with breast cancer; and I can’t imagine many women joking about having to get a double mastectomy. And despite the fact that she has been on TV and in the movies (admittedly mostly as a bit player) she just seems really friendly and approachable. She was outside selling her T-Shirts and CDs and happily signing autographs after the gig – Which led to the hilarious instance of her trying to fathom how to spell my name!

So I hope I’ve turned some of you on to something new, something fresh. Sadly, she was just scheduled to do the one show here in London, but try to remember this glowing recommendation next time you see a play-bill or advert… “Oh yeah, that Indian guy on the internet said she was pretty funny. Let’s check her out…

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