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Cracking Leeds comedy to start 2015

Written by
Marissa Burgess

You can stick to all the New Year Resolutions by going to see some comedy rather than going out on the lash. Exercise your laughing muscles with this little lot.

The HiFi Club, Sat Jan 3, £9-£12
The weekly comedy night at the well respected HiFi nightclub kicks off the new year with a typically fine line up. Born in Glasgow Alun Cochrane is blessed with a wonderfully dry Yorkshire accent having grown up here, with this endearing drawl he tells his deceptively funny tales.   

The Comedy Cellar, Verve Bar, every Tues from 6 Jan, Free
The comedy cellar has been giving acts a leg up from bedsit stand up to fledgling career comedian for many years. Get down there and it check them out, you never know who you might see just starting out in their comedy career. 

Brendan Riley, Jongleurs Fri 9 & 10 Jan, £17 
Scouser Brendan Riley can cajole even the most belligerent of audiences into a smile and a laugh. A consummate stand up and brilliant compere. If you're very lucky he'll call you 'sausage.'  

Justin Moorhouse, The HiFi Club, Sat Jan 10, £9-£12
Manchester lad Justin has come a long way since starting out on the north west scene in early2000. The day after winning the City Life North West Comedian of the Year later that year he was on the set of Phoenix Nights with his face painted like a tiger'   Luke Toulson, Jongleurs, Fri 16 & Sat 17 Jan, £17xxx Lanky and laidback, if his stand up is to be believed Luke Toulson spends much of his time being a terrible dad but the kids' loss is stand up's gain as it makes for great comedy.

Martin Mor, HiFi Club, Sat Jan 17, £9-£12
Northern Irishman Mor started out as a circus performer and his early gigs on the stand up circuit often involved him firing a gun with his nipple. But following 9/11 he found it increasingly difficult to travel to international gigs with his performing gubbins. So he turned to straight stand up and hasn't looked back since. Also on the bill are Markus Birdman and Nick Dixon.

Sara Pascoe 'Sara Pascoe v History, The Wardrobe, Wed Jan 21, £12
Pascoe has been performing considered and intelligent material for a few years but last year at the Edinburgh Fringe '...V History' caught the attention of the Comedy Award panel and she received a nomination. So off she pops on her debut nationwide tour.  

Luisa Omielan, Jongleurs, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Jan, £17
Omielan's show What Would Beyonce Do? Has been one of the runaway successes of the last few years. Based on a traumatic break up the resulting show lifted her above the jobbing stand up and into something of a comedy superstar. Her follow up was a sassy look at expectations of women so expect plenty of attitude and an equal amount of laughs in this set.

Kill For a Seat, Seven Arts, Wed Jan 28, £11/£9
Relocated Scouser Silky's top gig in the indie arts space in Chapel Allerton returns this year with a double header from fellow Liverpuddlian Steve Gribbin and the cheeky Carl Hutchinson.

Diane Spencer, Jongleurs, Fri 30 & Sat 31 Jan, £17
In appearance Spencer is sweetly, innocently pretty but don't be deceived – she has a mouth as filthy as the cupboard under the stairs. But for every over-shared piece of information about her life there are big, big laughs to be had.

Katherine Ryan, HiFi club, Sat Jan 31, £9-£12
In the same manner of Spencer, Ryan is also deceptive in her appearance. Delicate and elfin looking, she's the spiritual daughter of Joan Rivers with a wickedly bitchy demeanour and sharp as a sherbet lemon. Support comes in the form of up and coming acts Pierre Novelli and Andrew Ryan (no relation).   

Words: Marissa Burgess

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