It’s not often a comedy night starts by the host being heckled by a passing festival, but just as Katie Tracey kicked off Laughing Cows in the back room of Bumper, the Brouhaha International Carnival decided to pass by. But, after cleverly herding the crowd out onto Hardman Street to watch all manner of drummers and belly dancers, Katie and the acts worked hard to top the parade.
Kicking of the night – and as far away from carnival can be – is Scot Fern Brady. A disarmingly dirty comic in her tales – and her story of love and sovereign rings is 24 carat. So natural in delivery it’s like having a pint with a mate.
Next up was Kerry Leigh, another solid performer who got the laughs from marriages, family life and her kids. The latter struck a distinctive chord (‘cos they are little bastards) and had me giggling constantly.
Headlining was Jen Brister and – despite a smallish crowd – was a one-woman dynamo; providing enough heat and energy for the entire room. With a stage presence like Russell Kane and a feel for the audience, Jen previewed some of her Edinburgh show Now and Then. I could listen all day to the stories of her and her mother and, as bizarre as this may sound, she was fearless in her worries about imperial and metric measurements.
A perfectly balanced night with three great acts and laughs throughout, Laughing Cows is already established in several other cities and will hopefully build on its first few shows.
It’s refreshing to have an all-female comedy night and good to have more established nights wanting to set up in the city, so make sure you get to the next one (on 11 August) and support local comedy.
Laughing Cows is on the 2nd Saturday of the month at Bumper, Hardman Street