Thursday, 15 October 2009


I'm enormously happy to discover that Irish comedian and Mock the Week presenter Dara O'Briain is coming to the Margate Winter Gardens in March 2010 as part of his stand-up comedy tour. He's an incredibly funny man; witty, intelligent and erudite, he's like a whirling dervish of wild ideas which I personally find apt and hilarious. I'm warning you a good few months in advance, as I'm guessing tickets will sell out pretty quickly, and since they go on sale tomorrow (Friday) at 10am and cost approximately £19.50 per head, I'd snap 'em up if I were you. Visit for more info.

Now, I'm a notoriously difficult bugger to please, but I'm gonna defy my natural inclination to be a cynical sod by applauding Paul Palmer, the entertainments and venues manager of the Margate Winter Gardens, for the fabulous job he's doing. He's done a sterling job in bringing fantastic acts to Margate, doubtlessly putting a feather in the cap of what's left of Thanet's reputation in due process. I know the Margate Winter Gardens always had a quite reputable history anyway, but I distinctly remember it going through a fallow period quite a few years ago, and it's only recently that some widely-acclaimed acts have started to perform at the venue (i.e. The Enemy, Kasabian, Stereophonics, The Specials, Paul Weller, Michael MacIntyre, Jimmy Carr, etc.), thanks largely to Paul's diligence and hard work.

Needless to say, the problem with booking mainstream acts like these is the tickets sell like hot cakes, so it's not always possible to muscle your way to the front of the queue, but that's just hard cheese, isn't it? My main point is we finally have a local venue which is successfully competing with other more prominent Kent-based venues based in, say, Canterbury, Chatham or Tonbridge Wells, so this in itself is doing our local community a great service by putting Thanet on the map and giving it a boost into eminence that it sorely needs.

I'm sure you'll agree, the music, comedy and events industries are very London-centric (or at least very urbane), so it's fantastic that Paul Palmer is still pulling his punches and getting lots of TKO's in his mission to boost the Margate Winter Gardens's reputation and I'm immensely impressed by the sheer number of brilliant acts he's coaxed onto the stage. I definitely think it's worth giving credit where credit's due; after all, it's one thing booking great acts, but it's another to maintain that level of consistency over time, so it's not just him who should be congratulated, it's the staff at the Margate Winter Gardens too, who I'm sure work hard to make it such a great venue that top acts feel compelled to perform at.

Regretfully, I doubt I'll be able to see Dara O'Briain perform his comedy schtick. I'm afraid my piggy bank's oinked out the last of its gold teeth, but I'm just as happy watching him on YouTube if I'm honest. I am, however, very pleased at the direction the Margate Winter Gardens is heading, so I just wanted to reflect this by celebrating the fact that our local venue's star is almost certainly rising. Long may it continue to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see you praising Paul Palmer's efforts here, I agree that he's doing a great job in bringing some top acts to The Winter Gardens (& I'm not just saying that because he's my boss!). Can't wait for the forthcoming The Specials & Paul Weller gigs (both long sold out).