I’m still in Edinburgh reviewing away, here’s a couple of other pieces from The List
‘Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Bobby Spade.’ Phil Nichol’s transformation into a white-suited lounge lizard with a sideline in psychopathy, is so complete that all that’s missing is the trademark Stars in Their Eyes dry-ice intro. Accompanied by jazz piano and double-bass, the Canadian comic unfurls his man’s tragic back-story – an abusive mother, a series of ‘uncles’, a string of failed marriages – in hilarious verse, riotous song and priceless one-liners.
Early offering ‘My Show’ – a paean with enough egomania to fill a clutch of gangsta rap records – is pure Spade: misogynistic, lecherous, unnerving, and deeply, consistently funny. From then on in it’s a rollercoaster ride of black comedy gold with beat poetry about adultery and incest, rockabilly ditties redolent of an incurably demented Johnny Cash and a witty meditation on Helen Keller’s husband. Nichol’s stand-up is certainly an acquired taste but in Spade he has found the perfect vehicle for his substantial lyrical gifts. There is physicality to his humour too. While reciting a punk poem entitled ‘Do Everything You’re Not Supposed To’, he grits his teeth and butts the air like an angsty teenager at a My Chemical Romance gig.
The laughs come thick and fast throughout, aided and abetted by a string of one-liners so depraved Jerry Sadowitz would think twice before using them – but so good he’d never pass them up. Nichol even creates a new literary form in the ‘pong’ (a poem/song hybrid) during which he admits: ‘This show won’t make you think/It’s just something I wrote when I’d too much to drink’. Bobby Spade may not be the most cerebral character on this year’s Fringe, but he could well be the funniest. (Peter Geoghegan)
The Stand II, 558 7272, until 30 Aug, 9pm, £10.
Acid-tongued and sharp as a barrelful of tacks, Englishman Longley is a comedian with an axe to grind. His rants on everything from politics to pregnancy don’t always hit the bullseye, but his witty one-liners keep the laughs ticking over.
The Stand III & IV, 558 7272, until 30 Aug (not 17), 8.35pm, £7 (£6).
Stocky Welshman Bubbins is the spit of The King of Queens’ Kevin James and, unfortunately, his Fringe debut is about as adventurous as the tepid US sitcom. The former PE teacher’s tales of daytime TV, smalltown life and material strife are often underwritten and lack punch, but a natural charm and confident delivery just about sees him through.
The GRV, 226 0000, until 30 Aug, 1.40pm, £5.
This straight-talking Glaswegian is not one to mince her words: so when she tells you about unwittingly smoking crack or catching Mexican swine flu you’re inclined to believe her. Immensely likeable, Godley’s well-crafted anecdotes are sharp and engaging enough to cover an occasional lack of originality.
Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 7pm, £11–£12 (£9.50–£10.50).