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Take an Englishman, a Scotsman and a Welshman. Put them in a pub in Coventry and give them a stage. You'd expect a night of raucous laughter.

The Campbell is a lively pub and clearly a second home to Coventry students. Its major advantage is the Grolsch - on tap - heaven. Like all the `It's a Scream' pubs, the decor is bright and the bar is stocked with every drink a student can imagine (and that's saying something).

The Campbell's bright comedy night is upstairs in Club Campbell (change the name, guys, it's very 80s). For [pound]2.50 on the door you get a table (if you're there early enough), a compere and two acts. As ever it's pot luck with these comedy nights but judging by the turnout they must get it right most of the time.

Vladimiar McTavish: compere, Scot, great name, dreadful dress sense, enjoys satirising students and `new' universities.

He describes himself as `Rod Stewart without the dress sense' and he isn't far wrong.

A funny guy with a great accent, Vladimiar is brilliantly spontaneous and claimed that the worst part of university wasn't finding someone to sleep with (although that wasn't the phrase he used), but getting rid of the boring idiot you met on the first day (again those weren't his exact words).

Ian Moore: first act, bad fringe but still cute, `that's so true' anecdotal humour, English, a hit with the audience.

What can I say about this guy except that he was fantastic. If he isn't famous and stinking rich within the year I shall be very surprised. His humour is gentle and relatively inoffensive.

He highlights the absurdity of daily situations and has an invaluable feel good factor.

He's the sort of guy you would watch if you needed cheering up. By the end of his act I was crying with laughter. Look out for this guy, he'll go far.

Noel James: second act, scary man, Welsh, surreal humour, basically he was rubbish.

His act is little more than one-liners and very bad puns - the sort of humour that makes you cringe rather than laugh.

His jokes rarely linked together and if he couldn't think of a joke he sang the tune to Echo Beach. What a waste of space. He was paranoid, unfocused and clearly on something. Did he really think the audience would be so stupid as to laugh at him? He did get laughs, but it was nervous, even terrified laughter.
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Slack, Kathy
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 5, 1999
Previous Article:Sounds great at Surreal night; SURREAL - THE ART OF NOISE THE COLOSSEUM, JANUARY 30.

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