#LetLloydSing - Lloyd Griffith at the Docks Academy Grimsby. 05 March 2020.
Updated: Mar 6, 2020
Lloyd Griffith is a Grimsby boy, there’s no denying. He loves his hometown, and he loves th
e Mariners. He was the perfect act to open Grimsby’s newest venue, the Docks Academy. In his opening remarks, he tells the audience that upon arriving at the venue yesterday, it was patently not ready. And yet, the venue is amazing, just what the doctor ordered for Grimsby. As you walk in, the slightly rustic charms and the smell of “newness” hit you, but the impressive, new venue above Docks Beers does not disappoint. It is still a work in progress, some of the plastering looks as if it may only just have dried, but its one which ran smoothly and provided a terrific experience for the attendees. Entry by e-ticket made for a smooth entry and though busy, getting a pint was easy too. I look forward to attending many more live events at this venue in the future.
Enough about the venue, Lloyd Griffith took to the stage as a warm-up to his warm-up act. His easy-going bonhomie saw him getting to know his audience as he encouraged interaction with those in his eye line. No cruel mockery, just genuine Grimsby charm. He knows his audience and he played them like a finely tuned violin. We met Danny the Euro Park café owner and Lauren who realised she’d eaten his sandwiches, along with her fiancé Josh, who could only barely recollect a conversation as they ate the sandwiches on the train to Manchester, because one of the sandwiches, astonishingly, had butter in it! This was a theme Lloyd repeatedly returned too with glee and relish as the night progressed. It set up his later set brilliantly and we heard from Cami from Canada and her husband Mike who works as a VR developer. Michael inadvertently provided one of the lines of the night as Lloyd gasped “****ing hell! You do that in Grimsby?” to which the reply came “Well it's virtual…” leaving the Grimsby comic giggling that he’d been stitched up like a kipper.
William Stone provided the actual warm-up for the gig with some fantastic one-liners. He was a bit of a slow burn to start with but once he got into his stride, the audience really got onside, willing him to succeed and applauding his very silly sense of humour. “Recluses. You don’t see many of them these days…” It's hard to recall too many of his jokes as the rapid-fire delivery meant you were already onto his next. However, I personally enjoyed his gag about not really eating enough salad to need use of a dressing room. But I can’t do him justice in writing. You had to be there - you really did.
Then came Lloyd. The return of his set heralded with music and ready to sing his show opener only to find his mic didn’t come on until halfway through his first line, causing him to “throw a tantrum” and have to start all over again. Once he did it became obvious to anyone who doesn’t know him or his work, that they are in the presence of a professional, trained singer who just happens to be really funny. His material works because he embraces who he is and celebrates it with joyous abandon. Lloyd knows he’s fat. We’ve all seen fatter. But he mocks himself and his condition with anecdotes about his love of biscuits, visiting a new GP, who already followed him on Instagram. And recollecting his childhood as a wannabe footballer obsessing over a chicken lasagne that would await his return home, after a trial for Grimsby schools. The comic was frequently self-deprecating and clearly doesn’t mind being the butt of his own gags, but if his early banter with the front row provides any decent material he pounces on it and devours it with relish – probably burger relish given all his food references throughout the show.
Its really hard not to like Lloyd Griffith. He is “one of the boys”, he’s your mate. He’s the scally who went to school with you and made you laugh (in this case about half the audience HAD been to school with him at St James). He told a story about a choir trip when he was young, to sing on the national lottery show and being chaperoned by Toby Anstiss. He told how a chance encounter with his childhood idol, Mystic Meg, went disappointingly wrong and the audience loved his innocence and vulnerability. Then at the climax, he reminded us that we all have dreams and goals. His is to be invited to sing the National Anthem at Wembley during this Summer’s Euro finals. He implored us to get the hashtag #LetLloydSing trending as the start of a whole-hearted campaign which will shortly begin in earnest and his finale saw him lead a communal singing lesson to the tune of Bread of Heaven with the refrain “Let Lloyd sing at Wem-ber-ley”.
And as suddenly, it was over almost as quickly as it began. Leaving the Tap Room below, it felt like I had had a really good night out at the pub with one of my mates.
The team at Docks Beers is to be commended for taking the bold step of opening a venue as a secondary outlet for their business and we hope that the public responds supportively to ensure that the forthcoming Red Herring Comedy Club gigs are supported as well as Lloyd’s homecoming tour. The next gig features Alistair Barrie at the Academy on Saturday, April 4th and tickets are available from the box office via www.docksacademy.co.uk.
Review by Andy Evans