Dream Gig: Adam Flood

Amused Moose Fringe 2022 Best Show Nominee and social media star Adam Flood takes a surreal sidestep into the world of Dream Gig

Article by Adam Flood | 14 Feb 2023
  • Adam Flood's Dream Gig

My best ever gig… that’s a tough one, but if pushed (read: had agreed to write an article about it), I’d say it was when I first felt like I was a real comedian. 

In 2020 there was no Edinburgh Fringe because of strikes or climate change or something, so it had a holiday and came back in 2021 but much, much smaller. My friend Paddy Young and I decided to split an hour doing 30 minutes of stand-up each. Did we have that much material? Nahhhh. But who cares because we thought ‘let’s just work stuff out’ in front of what, 20 people? Not quite. 

There were basically no big comedy names at that Fringe and 75% fewer shows than usual. The audience, with little other choice, were strong armed into our show. All eight nights sold out, 120 audience in, no promo or flyering or begging or paid audience plants. The first two shows were wobbly with whoever was up first struggling their way through, but the next act would always take the roof off, helping keep us both humble and scared. A few shows in though we stepped up, relaxed and put on a proper show.

The final show was THE gig. I was on first and had my best set of the run. Lots of improvised stuff and new bits went well. It felt electric and the audience were amazing. It was the first time I felt I could do stand-up for a living and not perish.

I still can’t believe that gig actually happened. As for a gig deeply rooted out of reality, I’d say my dream gig would go something like this *windchimes sound*...

Gigs underground are best, so let’s have a room deep in the Earth’s mantle with good air con. A few hundred packed in. You, reader, are there as you always are in my dreams. The ceiling is low so the laughter is explosive and the room does not stink (rare).

We’ve got two hosts. I’ve only seen Daniel Kitson do solo shows but I hear tell he rips MCing, so let’s get him on that. The second host will just announce the acts. It’s Jools Holland and he does the voice that gets higher each time he announces a band on Hootenanny. But under no circumstance are you to do ANY boogie-woogie piano, Jools. 

When you start doing stand-up you have to go through years of being bad and humiliated and that in itself is funny. Once at a gong show (where acts have to last five minutes without getting booed off stage) I saw a drunk, arrogant guy get on stage with hood up, pint in hand, babbling on for a minute about nothing. All in front of 300 people baying for blood. The guy went to take his hood down, forgot he had a pint in his hand and accidentally tipped it over his head. The audience erupted then immediately gonged him off (not a euphemism, they hit a gong to kick you off stage). I want him on the bill and to do that again, if I may.

I used to be in a band and unlike comedy, you do not get to gig with any of your idols any time soon. With stand-up, you gig with heroes quickly at new material nights. If I’m dreaming here, I want acts who I’ll probably never meet, so let’s say American comedians I love who won’t for love nor money come and do 10 minutes of new material at the Carlisle Chuckle Bucket: Gary Gulman, Katt Williams and Sarah Silverman. 

Oh, you better believe I’m on too. What sort of pathetic worm would I be to not book myself on my own dream bill. To close the show let’s get some greats on who have passed away. I’ll take Norm Macdonald, who is perfection, and Victoria Wood. I used to watch her stand-up growing up because my mum was a huge fan so she has a place in my heart. 

The gig is a stormer and everyone has the set of their life (or death). We all stick around in the underground club’s bar, drinking and half-listening to a cool house band. Jools stays off the piano and when it’s closing time the drummer hits us with a windchimes sound.

Adam Flood: Clayhead Remoulded, Monkey Barrel Comedy, 25 Feb, 8pm, £7Van Winkle West End (part of Glasgow International Comedy Festival), 22 Mar, 7pm, £5
Find Adam on Twitter and Instagram @floodhaha, and on TikTok @adamfloodhaha