By Carmel Shortall
Having never seen Robin Ince perform live before, I had nothing to compare Monday night’s show to. I enjoyed it but apparently Ince didn’t feel that he was on his best form and apologised to the audience for this. High standards indeed, considering he’d just done 71 gigs in 13 days at Edinburgh…
If this wasn’t Robin Ince at his sparkling best, he was still pretty damn good and his act kicks the arse of many another comedian’s. He has no need or desire to assume an ‘edgy’ persona – his bemused anger at the stupidity surrounding us is as heartfelt as his amazement at so much else – including his celebration of the simpler things in life like a two year-olds ability to multi-task by eating sweets and watching TV while on the potty. (I myself have retained this ability but don’t like to boast about it.)
Not only does Robin Ince not pick on his audience – two latecomers who were obliged to sit in the otherwise shunned front row seats were treated courteously and given a brief summary of the show so far – he doesn’t patronise them and, instead, expects them to keep up. And there’s a lot of keeping up to do. How many other comedians would reference Euclid when confronted with the geometric oddity that is the upstairs performing space at The Camden Head? Or would make the ‘Ride of Terror’ at the Trocadero scarier by incorporating scenes of existential crisis from the films of Ingmar Bergman?
Other highlights in a packed set were his rants against people queuing for iPads and his description of two women on a hen night suffering existential crises while mooning out of the windows of a stretch limo.
If at times he seemed a little distracted, Robin Ince still produced a tighter, smarter and funnier set than so much else out there at the moment. A blast of fresh air!
Robin Ince Asks Why is at The Camden Head on Camden High Street on Tuesday 24th, Thursday 26th and Friday 27th August at 8.45pm.