I am as happy as Larry to go to any sort of gig by myself in the past I have been to Jimmy Carr in the front four rows, One Direction because I guiltily wanted to see them before they broke up and even moshed to Pigeon Detectives by myself as my friend let me down last minute. But when you turn up to a small comedy venue like the stand and you arrive which you think is fashionably late (40 minutes before the gig starts) you think there will at least be a table you can sneak in at the back, but no, all the groups that are together have already done that and there is only one option – you have to sit at the front and make that walk around the crowd to enter a seat where everyone looks at you like a fascination and a loser there is only one word that comes to mind F******KKKKKK ( and you know right there and then that you are going to be the butt of jokes and this is totally a Bridget Jones calamity type moment) You even know when you walk to the door and the ticket guy asks you is your boyfriend already inside that you already are the biggest loser in the whole room.
I don’t mind going to things by myself, it doesn’t usually bother me, I am an outgoing person and if no one I knows want to go to something with me it doesn’t bother me – I live life to the full, take advantage of the moment and do it. My life is basically one big comedy facade at times so at least I have a glass of wine and hey, I am not scared of that tiny stage I have been on it with improv god dammit!!!
Anyway, back to the show at hand and the reason for this humiliation of being in the front row, for the past year there are two voices that have dominated my commute and weekly life and those two voices are of Welsh comedian Elis James and Bristonian comedian John Robins, who I was here to see tonight live, in the flesh and bone.
The duo have their own radio show on former XFM and now called Radio X every Saturday morning. Joined by their producer Dave (who is also on the Chris Moyles show) the duo bring pure comedy bliss every weekday with their obsessions with emails, ales, Queen and Wales it really is a hilarity to listen to every week. That was the reason I was sitting right at the front of a tiny comedy club waiting for a comedian to jump up on stage – if they can bring laughter into my life every week, let’s see if they can do it in reality too.
Whilst waiting for the show to start the sounds and musical melodies of Queen fill the room, which if you know anything about the 33 year old comedian this is nothing unpredicted as this man lives, drinks and breathes Queen (when he isn’t sipping on session ales or rum).
Robins approaches the stage in his cheerful personality that podcast devotees will be so familiar with. The basis of his show is about his girlfriend, fellow comedian Sarah Pascoe and about her being away in Australia and how he deals with it. The show was very entertaining to watch, John unlike some comedians uses all the stage he doesn’t stand still in one place he actually uses all of it and as an audience member it’s nice to see that and it also emphasises his personality and persona.
On stage Robins comes across as a teddy bear of the ‘big bad’ comedy world. The moment he approached the stage he made everyone feel extremely welcome and part of his show and “team”. He spoke to the audience in a friendly and can do way like you would when you see a mate down the pub. Another thing i really liked is that he could see I was on my own and didn’t comment on it which I really appreciated. Some comedians I have seen in the past will pick up on that and make it part of their show now whilst I am not the most shyest of people (I wouldn’t have been on a stage many times acting like an idiot if I was) I really respected the fact he didn’t do that to get cheap laughs.
Being from London I have heard Robins name around the comedy circuit for a quite a long while and sure I heard it when I was editing promo videos of comedians back in 2012, but like I have stated previously never really listened to him until I heard him on XFM – the first true time was when they did a takeover show for Josh Widdicombe and that’s how he initially got on my radar.
I have been wanting to see him live for a long time but the shows he did in London last year especially work got in the way that I was never able to see him. Now I have, I can honestly say that he lived up to expectations and more.
Throughout the shouting, the many references to funny stories (which if you listened to the podcast and become a “onner” like myself You will understand the references like many I have used in this review) and the anecdotes that a lot of them i actually really agree and relate to (The whole online identity part he discusses in the show) I really wonder why he isn’t on television as much as other comedians.
I think he would work well in panel shows and really would get more of the recognition he deserves. Someone who has this much wit with a personality and feelings thrown into his show to make it feel personal to the audience should really have a star growing on his name.
For his first ever gig in Newcastle he did fantastically and really liked the fact he didn’t try and do the accent like so many others I have seen do before (whilst it’s funny, it is nice to experience a comedy gig like a London one). I really enjoyed being a “Holly Amongst The Robins” and from seeing him live he definitely has made a solid entry into my top 10 favourite comedians list.
The Laughter Factor – 8/10