Tuesday, 17 June 2014


I was born in 1979, and primarily my introduction to comedy came through cassette tape recordings that Dad would play in the car. I was given no visual, just a stream of consciousness that came from one lone voice on a stage, with the only other stimuli being the sounds of audience reactions. For years, I didn't even know what people like Rodney Rude or George Smilovici looked like, I just knew their rants, their jokes and their potty mouths.

There’s something special about listening to comedy when you haven’t already come to a conclusion about the performer based on their appearance, mannerisms or the type of setting you’re about to watch them in. It’s kind of like seeing a movie when you haven’t seen the trailer - you haven’t already formed an opinion against which you’re going to measure the experience.

That’s a long-winded way of saying; I like listening to audio comedy. Also, the accessibility of it means that more and more comics, from no names to big names are recording albums and podcasts, and finding a voice online.

I just had the pleasure of listening to a guaranteed future big name, Matty B, in his debut album, ‘Philosophical Bogan’.

Now, I’ll confess at this point, I know Matty, as I am a fellow comic, but in sitting down to listen to this album, I tried to approach it as though I was that young kid again, listening to George Smilovici or another cassette or record of the day, hearing the jokes of a stranger for the first time without being distracted by visuals.

One thing is astoundingly clear, when you are consuming comedy like this, your focus is on the strength of material and how well it can transcend the limitation of being communicated to only one of your senses. And listening to the album confirmed one thing that I had already strongly expected, Matty B is one of the best joke writers in the country, and by the sounds of it, this relative newcomer is only just getting started.

Recorded at The Oriental Hotel in Newcastle, where Matty grew up, and has an unmistakable fondness for, ‘Philosophical Bogan’ gives us insight into Matty’s creative mind and his unique takes on; Newcastle, drug use, drinking, his dad, bogans, Aldi, getting a coffee, shouting from cars, and fence security, just to name a handful of topics.

Matty takes observational comedy, based on everyday topics, and puts it through the blender of his imagination and articulate translation of his internal monologue to deliver material that will make you laugh at another part of the one joke just after you’ve laughed at your initial interpretation of it.

It’s clear that the audience at “The Ori" were having a feast with the wealth of jokes being fed to them; laughing at jokes a number of times as they repeated them in their heads. As Matty candidly and cheekily said at one point; “I just blew this prick’s mind.”

Yes Matty, minds were blown.

Sharp jokes and one liners were weaved seamlessly into stories and musings, leading to even bigger punchlines - all delivered by a relatable dude you could imagine having a beer, or some form of substance, with.

Now, I know The Oriental Hotel, and to be honest, I thought that it was an ambitious place to record an album, with all the ambient noise and typical rowdiness of the crowd, but the sound on this is perfect - crisp and clear - you can hear every joke, every laugh and every enthusiastic utterance from the audience, including a good old fashioned, “your mum” joke, nicely shot down by Matty.

Matty B is launching ‘Philosophical Bogan’ this Thursday 19 June at The Friend In Hand in Glebe with a bunch of stellar acts and one of the best Emcees in the country, heard at the top and tail of the album; Andrew Barnett. Mic in Hand is one of Sydney’s best rooms, and this Thursday’s launch is going to make a guaranteed good night even more special. Show starts at 8pm and it’s only 10 bucks or $8 for concession.

Matty B: ‘Philosophical Bogan’ is available right now on iTunes:

By Dane Hiser
Follow @DaneHiser on Twitter


Noel said...

LOL! Finding this old article written by one of my favourites, Dane Hiser about the hilarious Matty B has made my day!

Sydney Comedy said...

It has not escaped my attention that there are only a couple of comedy articles here and while I agree with the asserted merits of Matty B and A Mic in Hand, I admit to being somewhat perplexed by the dearth of other comedy-related posts, especially from blog authors evidently articulate and informed about comedy.