Wolfson Howler with Robin Ince

The last Howler of term ends on a high for DANIEL JONES, who deems it ‘still one of the best comedy nights in Cambridge’.

Alex Dixon Daniel Jones Ellis James Johnny Lennard King's Jest Liam Williams Robin Ince Wolfson Howler

Wolfson Bar, Monday 14th March, 7.30pm, £5

[Rating: 4/5]

The last Wolfson Howler of term served up a variety of oddball comedy, all the while keeping up the very high standard we have come to expect from it. All in all, this was a very solid, if slightly unpolished, gig.

The new compere Ellis James did a stand up job of keeping the evening together, and contributed to the mood with some good material of his own. You had to feel a bit sorry for him getting hustled off the stage by the headliner, Robin Ince, but he dealt with it well. Hopefully a couple more gigs will see him, and his attempts at subliminal messaging, come into their own.

Liam Williams provided some high-quality, at times awkward, laughs, but was outshined by later acts. Johnny Lennard had an even funnier set than his last gig at the King’s Jest, having moved on from a critique of sweat-shops to a Maoist interpretation of Thomas the Tank-Engine, complete with the “equally nourished controller”. He managed once again to produce that ‘laugh along and then feel slightly guilty’ sensation. His ripping off of the socio-politics of the Lion-king was also very successful, despite it feeling slightly familiar.

David Trent’s set was very well planned whilst still remaining fresh. His was the most enjoyable on the night, completely winning over the crowd with his “tight, well planned spontaneity”. Whilst I am not usually a fan of multimedia in comedy (it tends to fall a flat and feel like a PowerPoint presentation) Trent pulled it off wonderfully, and had the entire audience in stitches. His skit on the BBC and Sigur Rós was genius, made all the better by his deadpan delivery. The sound guy Alex Dixon deserves a mention, both for pulling off Trent’s media-heavy set, and for keeping the audience amused in the intervals.

Robin Ince was predictably good, on his high rambling and antisocial form. Cambridge provided the perfect environment for his science-based puns and comments on the stupidity of humanity in general. Whilst all the material was good, and he was undoubtedly a fine addition to the evening, Ince’s slightly chaotic style and lack of focus dampened the set’s potential. Still, he was excellent, and his inclusion shows the pulling power of the Howler in getting big names involved, something which we have been told will continue next term.

All in all, this was a fun and varied evening. My verdict: the Howler still reigns supreme as one of the best comedy nights in Cambridge.