A host of must-see names are set to bring way too much hilarity to RockNess this summer as the festival has announced its comedy line up. Masses of new acts have been added today - guaranteed to have you falling about (for all the right reasons!) and the whole huge comedy thing is headed up by rock superstar Tim Minchin. From the freshest homegrown talent to some of the biggest comics from around the globe, it’ll be rip roaring giggles galore each day.
First up is Scotland’s fast rising comic prodigy Daniel Sloss. Half-man-half-Xbox, this twenty one year-old started doing stand-up aged just 16. Three sold-out Edinburgh Fringe seasons, appearances on Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Rob Brydon Show, Jason Manford’s Comedy Rocks and Mock the Week plus his own BBC show The Adventures of Daniel followed - all before he started to shave. Now with a 50 date UK tour under his belt and just-recorded stand up DVD, RockNess welcomes the self deprecating and unstoppable star in the making to Dores.
Like a comedic Kalashnikov, Des Clarke’s sets are a blistering cacophony of comic neurosis, astonishing humour delivered with an energetic scattergun style. A clutch of awards and countless TV appearances bear testament to his genius wit, also heard each morning across the Capital Breakfast airwaves as he stirs the nation.
The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolfe III - the alter ego of Jim Muir - is a one man tornado, a fount of masterfully timed, pitch-perfect jokes that flout the very laws of censure. He once was lost but now he's saved, explains the bearded, shade-wearing, white-smocked Obadiah, in a Southern preacher's drawl. In his moments of temptation, Obadiah asks himself what would Charlie Sheen do? Channelling the spirit of every crazed hick who ever found God – the hard-drinking, spouse-abusing, morally bankrupt Reverend grinds all the usual subjects (sex, drugs, religion, porn). Howlingly funny.
Billy Kirkwood, the Ayrshire born ‘comedy fizz bomb’ is a must see with a massive cult following. His surreal style of storytelling and near non existent attention span is unspeakably juvenile and undeniably funny. Joining him is Aussie comic Benny Boot, aka alter ego Water Montgomery, the big-wigged South African and ‘President of Stand-Up Comedy’ renowned for unleashing an arsenal of consistently brilliant gags in a unique manner of disdain.
Also on this year’s line up is a comedian who walks a fine line between irony and downright obnoxiousness, Marty Mclean. His fearlessness of offending is legendary and the laughter in the audience is usually peppered with gasps of disbelief, and occasional cries of outrage, as those who witnessed him at last year’s RockNess will testify. Previous Scottish Comedian of the Year winner Ro Campbell is back for more again too. The cheeky Aussie has entertained audiences from Bangalore to Helsinki with a few maximum security prison gigs in between, and was hailed “biggest laugh of RockNess 2011” by the NME. Top notch.
Scott Agnew is tough, funny and original, with a brilliant and distinctively Glaswegian line in creative insults, RockNess is delighted to welcome back Scott for what promises to be another big, burly, barnstorming performance. Unmissable. Alongside Scott Agnew, and with a repertoire of blistering, unadulterated material which pushes dangerously near the boundaries of good taste is one of Scotland’s true comedy gems, Mark Nelson. Winner of the inaugural Scottish Comedian of the Year and with a sold out Fringe debut, Mark’s RockNess performance is strongly recommended.
Perched on the shoulder of decency, shouting his skewed, dark view of the world, Parrot is one of stand-up comedy's great mavericks. His massive influence on the modern comedy scene extends far beyond his own stand-up act, having written for such stars as Dave Allen, Jack Dee and Jo Brand and shows including Rab C Nesbitt and Jonathan Ross Live. Expect a hard-hitting, quick-fire performance.
If there’s a rabble that needs roused, Alan Anderson is the comic of choice. One of Scotland’s top comperes, he has shared a stage with Johnny Vegas, Peter Kay and Jimmy Carr, annually hosts the heats of the Scottish Comedian of the Year, and most match days can be found hosting gigs in the nation’s main sporting grounds. Joining Anderson is happy-go-lucky and loveable Geordie Kai Humphries. His monthly shows at Newcastle’s Punch Drunk Comedy have been instant sell outs since the start and his high octane delivery is seeing him rising through the professional comedy ranks.
Chris Henry started his joke telling career after performing song and dance shows in the holiday industry for six years (took him that long to figure out he couldn’t sing or dance). Now this loveable rogue can be found sharing his bizarre, eccentric and occasionally shocking tales – not of the variety for the dinner table - at the UK’s biggest comedy venues. Expect a routine leaner than Brad Pitt’s six pack.
After a blinder of a performance last year, former Asda trolley boy Darren Connell returns to Dores to delight with his distinctive brand of Glasgow banter while James Kirk is another comic to check out. Winner of the So You Think You’re Funny? New Act James “does comedy on his own terms”. At the ripe old age of 23 and with countless radio and television appearances and writing endeavours to his credit, Kirk is already a veteran of the comedy scene.
Winner of Scottish Comedian of the Year 2011, Jamie Dalglish paints a comical picture of Glasgow, merging anecdote and observation with a healthy dose of congeniality. A committed atheist, his material on religion and its defects is delivered with drollness and reserve. A solid and shrewd performer, Dalglish is one to watch. Another comic destined for lofty heights is Mikey Adams. A string of well reviewed support slots to his credit including appearances at the Glasgow and also Leith Comedy Festivals plus acclaim as part of the improvisation troupe "Dance, Monkey Boy Dance" has seen to that.
Sunday Mail Champ winner and Scottish Comedian of the Year 2009, John Gavin is “an assured everybloke eager to decry his emasculation at having to watch Gok Wan and Mamma Mia! yet capable of nailing a cheeky oneliner” (The Scotsman). Want to know what girls really want from a guy? Don’t miss his set at RockNess. Also Highlands bound is Scott Gibson, stand up comedian and Glasgow Mad Man. After “playing a sellout show to all my teddy bears at the bottom of my bed, I thought it time to move onto real humans. So far it’s been good, met some nice people, played in some cool venues and to date no one has burst into tears, been sick or tried to stab me. I’m classing that as a pretty good”
With a show entitled ‘Accept Your Inner Plonker’, emerging Scottish stand-up Chloe Philip reflects on red-faced brushes with celebrity, calamitous experiments in seduction and plays a medley of scorching joke-songs. Fast rising MC Ray Bradshaw joins the bill too. Ray is ginger and it’s caused his some pain. Expect a set peppered with witty one liners.
Young Glaswegian scoundrel John Walker delivers “pure quality banter, no daft themes, just making punters laugh”. He’s one of Scotland’s best up and coming comedians as a result. Check him out and see for yourself. Stuart Mitchell swapped a life of banking and fast cars for comedy…an astute move as his hectic gigging schedule proves. As well as studying acting at the RSAMD, Mitchell became an "internet sensation" (Daily Record) after he appeared on Frank Skinner's Opinionated TV show receiving a standing ovation by panel members Patrick Kielty, Sarah Millican and Skinner.
Eddie Cassidy’s rock solid comedy stacks funny line upon funny line as he builds to room killing punchlines. Eddie is one quarter of the Raw Natural Talent comedy collective. Anna Devitt gave up her 9-5 to pursue her comedy dreams, a decision well made. Her sets deliver fast paced material, peppered with higher-than-average cheap jokes (her admission) but offset by supremely elegant wordplay she weaves into her routines.
Neil Bratchpiece aka The Wee Man is the smallest member of the Bratchpiece Family. The Wee Man is a pure wee fiend whose stage demeanour ranges wildly from quite threatening to really very threatening indeed. An enthusiastic swinger in his spare time, his favourite TV shows are Crimewatch, Britain’s Dumbest Criminals and Watercolour Challenge and numbers Malcolm X, Ving Rhames and Sandi Toksvig among his heroes. Joining The Wee Man at RockNess is big brother David Bratchpiece aka Bratchy. As one third of Scotland’s only family of stand up comedians (father Mark completes the trio) expect plenty of sibling comedic ribbing. “We are just the ringmasters of a very lunatic circus” says Bratchy. Indeed.
“The comedy programme has been a brilliant addition to the festival and its gone from strength to strength. Led by Tim Minchin, we've got a great announcement of the very best from the Scottish comedy circuit and so the pub is going to be the place to grab a drink, kick back and have a few laughs.”
Festival Director Jim King
So there you have it - with a top notch line up that includes Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro, Deadmau5, Ed Sheeran, Justice, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers and a whole heap more there's an awful lot to look forward to at RockNess this year.
A glorious setting, a great line up and comedy set to have you rolling about - what more could you ask for?
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