AS the Glasgow International Comedy Festival drew its closure, it was time to catch one of the most talked about rising comedians in action: Glasgow-based Joe McSloy.
Joe, a former fledgling funny man from the Viv Gee production line of rising comics, comes with glowing praise and recognition – and that’s from his fellow contemporaries. He must be good, right?
Three years of stand-up comedy under his belt, Joe McSloy was about to launch himself into his debut solo show – and all this right in the middle of a packed holiday weekend frenzy full of revellers. Nothing like a bit of piping hot pressure.
Family members, friends, comedy associates and a packed audience crammed one of the most popular comedy venues in the city of Glasgow, The Yesbar.
Joe is hardly a stranger to the comedy festival; having performed in a troupe, previously, but this was an entirely different proposition. This was Joe solo time.
The much-anticipated occasion had arrived and the audience were ready. So was Joe McSloy. Viv Gee – mentor to many – knew it and said it… and Joe believed it.
The humble and well-liked comedian had taken every care in making sure his debut show, titled: I Am Joe McSloy, went according to plan. Meticulously he structured his forty-minute set to as near as perfection as possible, whilst neatly arranging some leftover space for some unpredictability – a feature in Joe’s act that has endeared him to crowds and earned, rightfully earned, his badge among his peers.
Joe also chose his supporting acts carefully. In Scot Laird, who opened the early evening extravaganza, showed a healthy promise with some terrific material flawlessly sculptured and defying his newness to stand-up comedy.
The young comedian warmed the crowd with a resounding set. It’s clear why Joe cherry picked this fine outstanding comedian.
A definite name to watch out for.
“The young guy (Scot Laird) was funny as hell, too. He set us all up for the night…which went great, thanks” – Mags
Edinburgh-based Kimi Loughton produced a marvellous performance that included a host of quality material and delivery on a wide assortment of subjects: including her hilarious life-changing self-promises.
Kimi’s Tripadvisor/Tinder piece is worth the entrance fee alone. Obviously, we would never disclose the punchline, but if you get the chance to see Kimi Loughton perform, snap it up!
The audience certainly loved her.
The attractive east coast lady definitely has a punch to her routine. It’s very easy to see why Joe selected her to perform at his solo show.
Kimi is a clever and witty comic armed with a twinkle and a cutting edge. The perfect combo.
The Edinburgh lassie Kimi Loughton was lovely and extremely funny. I will never feel guilty ever again about my pizza cravings or for having ‘bingo wings’ under my arms…hahaha!!!” – Angela
The evening flowed smoothly. The organisation like clockwork and full credit to the staff at the Yesbar. The night surely couldn’t get any better?
Enter the Dragon…
Joe McSloy, one of the most promising comedians around, was about to unleash himself in front of an audience who had already been warmed by two wonderful supporting acts.
This was his show. This was his moment. This was all that he worked so hard for. This was everything to the former kickboxer, who took up comedy as a way to reignite the buzz he felt in the ring. This was the moment that had to be seized.
Joe took up his stance in front of the mic but this time, there was no conflict. No blows to be delivered and no blocking to be anticipated. This was the time to execute something greater. The only inflicting that would be done would be the words and the context in how those words would be deployed. Words Joe had painstakingly crafted over a period of time.
His family was there, proudly and affectionately showing support. Friends and acquaintances nobly fulfilled their moral obligations to back the big man. Did Joe flinch?
Not at all. Joe brushed everything to one side and switched on his professional focus, as all serious performers do.
He didn’t waste time. The former fledgling is now a very calculated and extremely funny comedian with a work ethic that would scare a hard labour prisoner.
Did Joe live up to expectation?
Did Joe deliver a set fitting for a solo show?
No question. He over-delivered.
Moreover, the term ‘potential’ no longer applies.
Joe is a credit and poster boy for those who have aspirations to aspire. He works tirelessly and writes constantly and applies himself. Ingredients so often required but sadly, too often overlooked.
After three years Joe McSloy’s hard work was beginning to pay off.
His debut show tuned to a purr. Demonstrating how hard work really does fruit results.
Joe didn’t hesitate in getting down to business. Quashing any family present fears, he got straight down to his reason for being a stand-up comedian.
A blinding set was about to unfold.
Joe’s style has a uniqueness to it. He quickly manoeuvres from one completely different subject to the other and yet it’s all very well-structured and cleverly sequenced.
Joe is a prolific writer, of that there cannot be any question. He is constantly driving his craft forward and you can see he thrives on hard work. He will never be accused of being a lazy comic because straight after a set he’s already working on new material for his next gig.
Original, different but really ultimately funny” – Graham Stewart (comedian)
Joe’s solo show was rocking. The packed room roared with laughter as he pranced and swayed – a style known to anyone who has ever had the fortune to see him perform live.
Bouncing effortlessly through his set with rhythm and poise, big Joe blasted out some memorable lines from an incredibly varied set of topics. His JFK (John F. Kennedy) piece is formidable and as much as Joe works hard to freshen things up, it would be a shame if one day he was to drop this great little gem of writing.
There wasn’t much Joe left out. It was all in there from quirky little innuendos to the supernatural, then crisscrossing through some edgy material that raised the bar.
The audience were treated to some slam poetry and there was even a duet with fellow comedian Desky Lewis that brought the house down.
In his own admission, Joe declared the possibility of losing weight on stage as he rigorously dug deeper and deeper to make sure his paying audience were given their money’s worth. Testimony to how Joe believes in giving everything he has.
During Joe’s whole set he never let up. He was relentless throughout. His energy is infectious and the crowd responded accordingly.
A thoroughly enjoyable end to the Glasgow International Comedy Festival indeed.
“I can see why Joe is highly regarded. His energy is matched by his skilful writing and his overall delivery is as good as I’ve seen from anyone at the highest level” – Stephen Hamilton (comedian)
If it’s a variety and unpredictability you’re after then Joe McSloy is a highly recommended candidate to put in your entertainment calendar.
Dafty News spoke to a few more of the audience who came to see Joe’s solo show.
“Great show with great lead-ups,” said Aussie Tony.
“Scot Laird started the night off with a bang, Kimi Loughton kept the fire going, then big Joe McSloy hosed it with gasoline and laughing gas, brilliant!” said Alex.
Comedian Joe McSloy is not afraid to swing from the hip and his punch has lots of ferocity behind it. Making him definitely, one to watch.
Backstage with Joe McSloy
Dafty News caught up with rising comedy star Joe McSloy just after completing his debut solo show, I Am Joe McSloy.
The highly-rated Glaswegian comic took time with Dafty News where he told us how and why he got himself into comedy and what it means to him.
Not long ago Joe took the first steps into the world of stand-up comedy after his girlfriend enrolled him in the famous Viv Gee comedy workshop class.
Joe told Dafty News: “It was probably the push I needed. I was bored. I’ve always enjoyed comedy and I’ve always been funny around my family and friends. Three years down the line and I’ve just completed my first solo show. If someone was to tell me this three years ago I would not have believed them.”
The city of Glasgow is pouring with stand-up hopefuls but with hard work, dedication and lots of application, you just never know what can come out of it.
Joe confesses he really doesn’t have plans as such. He prefers to just see where this will all take him.
“My off-the-cuff style and writing go hand-in-hand. I just couldn’t go on stage and say anything just for the sake of it. I like to craft a joke then kinda U-turn it to give the audience something that is not predictable” – Joe McSloy
The self-confessed self-critic has enjoyed a fair bit of success since his early stand-up days. When Joe looks back he will pinch himself if he hasn’t already done so. Gigging with his idols like Frankie Boyle is just one of the highlights so far. However, you won’t find Joe dwelling or letting anything star strike him. He told Dafty News: “I never wanted to be anyone else other than to be myself. That’s it, I just want to be me.”
Having gone the distance in other uncompromising cities such as Liverpool, Hartlepool, and London, Joe’s belief is there is a duty to provide a set that is comfortable outside the comfort zone.
He said: “You need to write stuff that travels.”
He’s right. Stifling oneself and concealing a potential can do more harm and Joe is having none of it. He might not have plans as such for the big time but he is sure as hell going about it the right way. If ever that day comes one thing is for sure; Joe McSloy won’t have arrived there by luck. It will be down to his abilities that are matched and backed by a sheer hard-driven work ethic.
“I’ve always looked at the world from a comedic angle. I write about happy things as well as sad situations – Joe McSloy”
Naturally Joe is delighted with his debut solo show. “I’m very proud of the show,” he said. And rightly so he should be.
Joe admits himself he was nervous in the beginning of his comedy journey, although the nerves were more a nervous energy, but he feels at ease now that he has found his voice.
Another landmark in a short span so far in the comedy business but there’s more to come from the likeable big fella from Glasgow. A few days’ rest before his next stage outing and he humbly announced he’s written a handful of new jokes.
There seems no rest for the wickedly funny.
*Dafty News would like to thank Joe McSloy and a special thank you also to Scot Laird and Kimi Loughton.