Cameron James – Mixtape

By Lisa Clark

Cameron James is a talented musical comedian who’s been around for a while popping up on TV and at gigs, but this is my first full show with him and his glorious, hilarious (I don’t use this word lightly), gorgeously romantic Mixtape really blew me away.

The atmosphere is set for the audience as we enter with nostalgic and emotionally charged house music. On stage there is an old fashioned boom box, Cameron’s electric guitar and the ubiquitous screen. Most shows I’ve seen this year have had a screen, but Cameron uses it fairly sparingly and intelligently, helping the audience with the witty lyrics of the songs, and giving us a real glimpse into his past.

Cameron is very relaxed on stage with the vibe of a mate telling you some jawdropping stories in a pub or at a party. He also has the perfect show ice-breaker, a funny song on his guitar about teen love and been ferried about by your dad. It’s a banger that gets the audience’s toes tapping and the audience feel safe and warmed up for a brilliant hour of laughs.

The laughs come thick and fast with belly laughs hitting and tears flowing. Tears of laughter and tears of poignancy. There are not as many songs as I’d expected from a Mixtape. I thought it might be a list of 10 songs with a show wrapped around it but there were only 4 or 5 songs and they were intertwined in the story, moving it along and telling their own tales, like the songs do in the best musicals.

A love letter to growing up in Newcastle, hanging out with his daggy mates, growing up, dreaming of kissing a girl and meeting her at a blue light disco. SMS messenger, slam dancing, young love and a first job. Cameron is a stunning, evocative storyteller, conjuring nostalgia for an audience who were not there but can easily relate.

At the centre of it all is an epic tale that involves a speeding ticket, his first job at a horror themed dinner theatre restaurant called Koffin that becomes a dream job and turns into a nightmare. This has a bit of a vibe of the TV show The Bear, where he brings the characters of the skanky venue to life and even the worst become somewhat lovable. The tale is insane, hilarious and goes to unexpected places. It includes a whole medieval style temptation by the devil vs angel type thing that is just the cherry on the top for me.

Mixtape is a show full of really awesome, original comedy songs and beautiful insights by a grown man looking back to his youth. He admits to his follies and some dumb decisions, but it never gets very dark. This is musical comedy after all. He may be looking at his past through slightly rose coloured glasses, but with a show this funny, who needs the ugly truth? I cannot recommend this show more highly, but particularly for lovers of romance. This is one to take your crush to, it might just get you laid.

Cameron James Mixtape is on at Rydges Two until April 21

2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards

The Melbourne International Comedy Festival Awards were given out today live on the Festival’s (rather choppy) Facebook feed. Opened by Steph Tisdale and hosted by Joel Creasey.

Congratulations to ALL the nominees and winners!

Most Outstanding Show 

WINNER: Rhys Nicholson – Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

Aaron Chen If Weren’t Filmed Nobody Would Believe
Cameron James Electric Dreams
Danielle Walker Nostalgia
Geraldine Quinn Broad
Greg Larsen We All Have Bloody Thoughts
Laura Davis If This Is It
Rhys Nicholson Rhys! Rhys! Rhys!

Best Newcomer

– for a solo performer or group of performers doing their first Festival show

WINNER: Frankie McNair – Relax Your Knees

Will McKenna Appellation
Frankie McNair Relax Your Knees
Bronwyn Kuss Any Goss?
Steph Broadbridge Hot Chick/Tired Mum
Sunanda Loves Britney
Mish Wittrup Soy Fat White

The Golden Gibbo

– in memory of the late, great Lynda Gibson – is aimed at finding a local, independent show that pursues the artists’ idea more than it pursues commercial gain.

WINNER: Alex Hines To Schapelle And Back

Mel & Sam Shit-Wrecked!
Maria Angelico The Disappearing Act
Geraldine Quinn Broad
Ashley Apap Ouch!
Aiden Willcox Lightly Familiar
Ross Purdy Hey Hey It’s Doomsday
Alex Hines To Schapelle And Back

Directors’ Choice Award 

– awarded by the Festival Director in consultation with festival programming colleagues to a show they think deserves to be celebrated;

WINNER: Wil Anderson – Wilogical and Bronwyn Kuss – Any Goss?

The People’s Choice Award

-for the most popular show of the Festival as determined by the ticket buying public;

WINNER: Urzila Carlson – It’s Personal!

The Pinder Prize

– honouring Festival co-founder John Pinder, and supporting a performer to travel to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

WINNER: Danielle Walker Nostalgia

The Piece of Wood

– comics’ choice award, selected by past winners and presented to a peer literally for “doin’ good stuff ‘n’ that”

WINNER: Tina Del Twist!

5 Good Reasons To See Cameron James in Chilled Out/Fired Up

1. Right. I’ve got a joke about pandas having sex that is absolutely the best panda sex joke you will hear in this country at the moment. That alone should move a few tix but I need to come up with 4 more reasons. Hang on…

2. When I was 13 I went to MICF & saw a guy I didn’t really know and had the best night of my life. That man’s name was Dave Hughes. I’m not saying I’m the next Hughesy but fuck wouldn’t you be pissed off if I was & you didn’t go.

3. For my ticket price you can get a Crispy Chicken Clubhouse meal, a cheeseburger & an Oreo McFlurry. Not sure why I brought that up. Just giving you another option for your cash I guess.

4. I actually think I’m going to get Maccas for lunch. Is that crazy? It’s a weekday, but fuck it!

5. I reckon you’ll laugh a bunch. It’s a good show full of jokes. Plus I have this joke about pandas having sex you’re just gonna love!

Chilled Out/Fired Up is on at the Greek Centre from March 29 to April 22

World Record Show

By Noel Kelso

If you were one of those kids who always looked forward to getting the newest Guinness Book of World Records, ignoring the feats of strength or athleticism and just poring over the records for most boiled eggs fit in the mouth or most drawings of a cock and balls drawn on one forehead, then this really is the show for you.

Full of silly, stupid and downright ridiculous stunts World Record Show at the Melbourne Town Hall is an hour of awesome hilarity and shambolic daring from start to finish.

Hosts Andy Matthews, Adam Knox and Dave Warneke guide the thronging audience through a series of mad, bad and dangerous to know challenges which rope in some of their fellow comedians from other show.

First off the rank are Adam and Dave whose bitter rivalry is legend and are challenged to find the Most Adorable Baby Photo of themselves. Adam cheats and is disqualified.

The next challenge involves the evening’s first guests – Jared Jekyll and Cameron James – who disappear backstage to see who can place the most temporary tattoos on their body. They will return later.

The second guest is Jon Conway whose challenge – Most People Broken-up With In One Minute – involves members of the audience throwing tiny glasses of water in his face as he tells each one separately that he no longer loves them.

There are five more ludicrous challenges – including a race to the door wearing packets of two-minute noodles as shoes – before the next guest, Rose Callaghan, is brought on to attempt to create the World’s Best Hand Shield From Cheese Slices In One Minute. Adam Knox wins this round, but precisely what a hand shield is and why it needs to be made from cheese slices is still a mystery.

Incidentally – cheese slices make excellent Frisbee alternatives.

This is a silly, hilarious show with originality and brimming with ideas performed by three fabulous comedians and their mates. If you fancy some comedy which will most definitely not tax the mind and is utterly hilarious, then this is the show for you.

World Record Show is on at Melb Town Hall – Backstage Room until April 14