Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman Fly the Flag at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival

WHAT do you get when an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar?

You get a room packed to the rafters, a high-octane energy level and a bursting of roaring laughter.

The Yesbar, a particular favourite comedy spot in the heart of Glasgow.

Throughout the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Dafty News have taken in some great comedy nights and have grown accustomed to many a roof been blown; but for three relatively new guys to the comedy scene – and the fact this was a daytime encounter – the laughometer now requires a brand new scale thanks to a trio of very funny and entertaining comedians of completely varied styles.

The show, aptly titled: An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman, Walk Into… consists of Englishman Ben Morston, Irishman AJ Sixsmith and Scotsman Tommy Ashe.

Graduates from the well-respected Viv Gee comedy workshop, all three comics not only have different styles to their act – they also have different reasons why they got into comedy in the first place.

The elder statesman of the troupe, Tommy Ashe, confesses his comedy fate is purely down to a long-lost scarf. A good a reason as any to take up a position in the uncompromising world of stand-up comedy.

Circuit regular and rising comedy star Pablo Serski kindly offered his compering services.

Having met the trio for a drink before their show, the only nerves they showed concerned audience numbers. Will the ones who bought tickets show up? Will those who promised to show actually deliver and put their backsides on one of the few available seats?

As time drew closer the stairwell began to swell. Family, friends, tourists and even a few of our very own readers converged – which is always pleasing and shows our advertising shows does actually work.

The three lads’ earlier concerns were quickly suppressed and shoved aside, allowing full concentration on their show some breathing space: the Yesbar’s comedy room was, as they say in Glasgow - heaving.

Scots comedian Pablo Serski warmed the crowd before introducing the first act, Englishman Ben Morston.

A somewhat quiet and unassuming gentleman with a graceful manner and careful approach delivered tales of what it’s like being an Englishman living in Scotland.

Englishman Ben Morston

Cutting an articulate perfect English gentleman stature, Ben successfully utilized his ‘Englishness’ to great effect – and this is in a basement, low ceiling comedy venue that changed its name in support of Scottish Independence. No mean feat for a mild-mannered intelligent man from the south of Hadrian’s masonry assemble.

Ben’s references to all things Scottish – from the way an Englishman sees them – warmed the audience to him which was further enforced by not taking his Englishness too seriously.

His take on the Scottish tourist industry, and, in particular, Edinburgh Castle, had the audience in fits of laughter and warming even more to his almost deadpan style of comedy.

As one audience member said of Ben after the show: “It takes balls to go up there in front of a packed crowd but it takes testicles the size of Glencoe rocks when yer English.”

A huge compliment indeed in pure Glasgow style and a well-earned one at that for Ben Morston, who departed the stage to a friendly Braveheart applause.

Good fun, fast-paced, and fantastic value for money” – Ann Marie

Irishman AJ Sixsmith continued the flow of continuous rapture with his brilliantly executed set that included, of course, most things Irish, and about being an Irishman.

Irishman AJ Sixsmith

The soft-spoken, charming Irishman who you’d love to have a pint with…and could, himself, get a pint at anybody’s door, moved smoothly from one gag to the next with a nice free-flow.

AJ’s performance as part of the trio entailed some great reference points to his Irish heritage. His light-hearted take on his relationship with a Northern Irish girl of the other religious persuasion had the audience in hysterics as did his swipe at all things Irish including Ryanair and Westlife.

All the time, AJ masterfully engaged and delivered a sequence of rib-ticklers with seamless effort and ease.

It was a great day out by all. The comedy on show was tremendous. Three very funny guys delivering a plethora of great stories and short liners, all based around their nationalities but without being too stereotypical. It was brilliant” – Louise and Derek (Dafty News regular readers)

The last piece of the trio troupe completed a memorable afternoon at the Yesbar.

It’s easy to see why Tommy Ashe reminds you of your funny relative. He has all the family charms and father figure characteristics but don’t be fooled – Tommy has the ability to distance himself from any such genetic responsibility to deliver the way he sees the world in hilarious fashion – just ask his sister!

Scotsman Tommy Ashe

The self-proclaimed ‘grumpy pensioner’ is, in fact, a life experienced hard-line social critic, whose worldly views are based on years of not only attending the University of Hard Knocks – he’s the janitor who looks like he’s had to clean up after everybody.

The loveable man in his twilight expertly captured the audience with some resounding moments alluding to what life will be like for them when they, themselves, hit community centre age.

The ‘grumpy pensioner’ certainly endeared himself with a well-earned applause for a cracking performance..and damn right, too.

In all, Saturday afternoon at the famous Yesbar in the heart of Glasgow’s city centre, saw three smashing comedians carry the flag of great quality comedy – to waves of captivated laughter.

Two audience members vowed to return as they hailed the funny trio: “We loved it. All three comedians put on a brilliant performance and for a tiny entrance fee. We’d definitely go and see them again.” Margo and John.

We couldn’t agree more. It was indeed a sterling performance crowned by a union of three very funny stand-up comedians.

Really good show with a mix of comedians. You could relate to them all. The older Scottish guy Tommy was like listening to my dad. Good wee venue, too” - Lynne

There’s hope and anticipation the three likeable lads will grace more stages with their show but separately each and every one of them is well capable of flying the flag on their own.

Whether they choose independence or being better together really won’t matter. The audience will be guaranteed a belly full of laughs.

*Dafty News would like to thank Ben Morston, AJ Sixsmith and Tommy Ashe for their generous hospitality and for a most enjoyable afternoon of comedy. Also, a special thank you to audience members for their input.

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