10 August 2007

Phil Nichol - Hiro Worship

The belated winner of the inaugural If.com Eddy award (he should have won the final P*rrier Award for his show Nearly Gay) Phil Nichol returns with another hour of hectic story telling and guitar playing. This year his story is about idols and hero worship, so clearly demonstrated by his Japanese friend Hiro's worship of the Rolling Stones. The story is about loving your friends and not becoming obsessed with idols and even stalking them. This year Phil is performing on a big stage (quite a contraction in terms actually) in the Stand comedy club (rather than the Stand II). Whilst he is now playing nightly to about 150% more people, his room for manoeuvre is a lot less; the stage is only about 2m2. With his band either side of him he comes across as a rock and roll star although the huge stand mural of a guy in a Mexican hat and a gun to his head is a bit distracting at first (why they could have the black curtain from the Stand II covering it is beyond me). It's okay though because it's still the same Phil Nichol delivering belly laughs rather than the simple facial giggles that a lot of other comics distribute. What has been noticeable about his previous two shows is that he manages to take you with him on his journey and you share his feelings. In previous years this has included fear but you never feel that at any point in this story was he afraid (and there were some opportunities for that to come through). I can't really say if the location and lack of real lighting contrast was to blame (although there is a better lighting rig). The content of this show was, intentionally or just because of the story, toned down a little bit. There were no crude sexual anecdotes that have previously caused so much shock and painful laughter. To be fair this story didn't lend itself to those kind of tangents, I guess it's just obvious having won the big prize last year. On that subject The Naked Racist and Nearly Gay are better shows (and I believe they've been recorded for DVD now) however this is still one of the best shows of 2007 and a deserved full five groupies out of five. Don't delay - see Phil Nichol in the flesh soon (preferably at one of his shows as apposed to stalking him)!

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