For the first time in an absolute age, I was back on a stage, performing to paying customers. This was the high point of a weekend where I mostly lay around the house, devoid of energy, trying to prevent my daughter headbutting furniture, so it was a good way to end Sunday.
The show was in the Hood Bar, a bright pink bar/restaurant on the fifth floor of Bugis+, a shopping mall with a name designed to confuse search engines. It was at 5:30 in the afternoon, a strange time for a comedy show, which in normal situations don’t start until it’s dark out and everyone inside is drunk. A high-ceilinged room with a dirty great pillar blocking good sightlines is not the optimum environment for comedy.
There was also something up with the sound system, so there was a constant high pitched whine throughout. And no, that wasn’t just the sound of my voice.
The crowd was a bit different to what I’ve played before. The show was a benefit gig for the man responsible for Demoncratic Singapore, a comic bemoaning the plight of everyday Singaporeans, beset by foreigners stealing their jobs. The audience wasn’t your typical, drunken good time crowd: a lot of them looked like they were waiting to hear all their complaints be made flesh by a rabble-rouser. If you gave them something crude that conformed to their prejudices, they laughed. If you tried complicated wordplay or multiple layers of irony, they looked at you like you were mentally ill. But I savour the contempt of strangers, and although I was wobbly I got through it without falling over, catching fire, or going too far over time. I did forget my joke about how all Singaporeans (and Japanese) should be grateful to the British for the events of the Second World War, but then with a crowd like that it was probably for the best.
Or maybe they just really couldn’t understand my accent.
Afterwards, I met my wife and our inexplicably happy, if sleep deprived baby, and took them to the ridiculously clean, underutilized MRT platforms for the Downtown Line, where the Serpiente Negra could confidently walk around, far from the madding crowd of 24-7 commuters.
Took her home, put her to bed, passed out in front of the motorcycling. A good end to a vague weekend.