In the bowels of the Gilded Balloon, in a sticky nightclub still feeling a violent hangover from the late 90s, New York muso-comic Lach curates the finest showcase of the Fringe's freelancers, locals and those seeking somewhere to test their new material. Each act gets eight minutes or two songs to prove their worth, with Lach judging audience enjoyment. The two or three best, as determined by our eponymous host, get the chance to return at the end of the Fringe as part of his Anti-Idol. The in-venue bar is open until 3am - which Lach was especially keen to reiterate the importance of - and the acts span from midnight to the end of your drinking-time.The quality of each night is naturally going to wax and wane, based on what performers Lach is able to attract. The night I saw kept the quality up for all three hours with only a few lulls. The Good Ship evoked the sea with their gentle shanties. Tragic O'Hara, in a shiny silver suit, looped his Blues songs until it felt like he was projecting a new Blues future from the year 2133; you could imagine him stamping his space-boot on the front porch of his helium-3 farm on Titan. Cheeky Nikki Lynn Kat, with her comic songs and chorus of "balls b-b-balls", made me seriously consider enrolling in the high school she teaches/misteaches Sexual Education at.Such is the unpredictable and fantastic nature of Lach's Antihoot, anything could happen in those strange hours between midnight and three. You know, like established comic Hardeep Singh Kohli just casually popping in to do a topical eight minute set on the riots. Or anti-comedian Bob Slayer, passive-aggressively shuffling onto the stage and lynching me - reviewing ‘scum’ - turning me against the back wall, getting the remaining audience to stamp and clap, before revealing me and my genetically similar cheekbones as that of Freddie Mercury, complete with clip-on moustache and leotard over my shoulder. And Lach didn't even stop him.This is definitely worth your three inebriated hours, hours that you might have wasted sleeping anyway. And if you don't like what's happening on stage now, don’t worry because someone else will be along in a few minutes who will no doubt entertain.

The Blurb

NYC's infamous open stage! Acts chosen by audience acclaim win a chance to be on the Antihoot CD! Lach discovered Beck, Regina Spektor, The Moldy Peaches, who will be next? ***** (The Herald). ‘Face-ache funny!’ (Guardian).