Photo Copyright © Jo Forrest
What better way to spend a scorching Bank Holiday weekend than in a dark tent watching a whole bunch of top comedians which is precisely what we did this weekend at the annual Leeds Festival. Day one of three days of top comedy featured a line-up made up of some great up and comers as well as established comedians including Friday’s compere Kemah Bob, a young lady from Texas, who is definitely a name you should watch out for. Amongst those providing the laughs in the melting heat of the Alternative Stage tent, was Dane Baptiste, a familiar name to festival comedy fans here at Leeds, to Mock The Week regular Josh Widdicombe who treated fans to some familiar routines. New names like Kae Kurd and Brennan Reece delivered great sets and should be on everyones radar to watch out for, and Carl Donnelly, although a new name to us, is no stranger to the comedy circuit and was really popular with the crowds, definitely another comedian that we shall be looking out for in the future. Finally, the first day of scorching stand-up comedy couldn’t have ended in a more suitably roasting finale as the devilish Marcus Brigstocke’s alter ego delivered a top class headline set.
With no sign of the heat letting up, day two of our visit to the comedy tent saw more big-hitters from the stand-up world take to the stage including a slew of Mock The Week regulars. Newcomer Masud Milas had the job of comparing the days events, never a easy task, but one that was handled effortlessly by the host. Another returning visitor to Leeds in the form of a late addition to the bill, Tiff Stevenson, who earned laughs talking about everything from politics to big boobs, ended with a brilliant impression of Stevie Nicks/Cartman, not to be missed. Other familiar faces included Ed Gamble and the utterly brilliant Russell Kane who, even in this heat, still managed to deliver his set in his own breakneck fashion. With more new names to add to our list including the brilliant Masud Milas and the day closer Bridget Christie, the quality of comedy at Leeds Festival 2019 was getting better and better with one day still to go.
Organisers pulled out all the stops for the final day with the humour getting more risqué as the day went on ranging from compere David Morgan getting kids to swear in front of their parents to the brilliant Kiri Pritchard McClean talking about her boyfriend. The not-so-suitably dressed for this weather Tom Allen knocked it up a notch with his wonderfully camp set. Elsewhere, Nick Helm manage to put together a song made up entirely of film titles, and ended his hilarious set with confetti and a member of the audience waving a flag with ‘I am a c**t’ emblazoned across it. Lloyd Griffith wowed the crowd with his choirboy revelations while Shappi Khorsandi ended up discussing bisexuality with a confused member of the audience. The day and the weekend ended with the fantastic Chris Ramsey, another familiar face at Leeds Festival who, aside from having to wake up two members of the audience, had a packed tent in stitches with his blistering Geordie humour.