8 August 2009

John Bishop - Elvis Has Left The Building

Last year was my first exposure to John Bishop despite being the biggest comic to come out of Liverpool in many years.  He has a warm and friendly manner and tells his stories in such an amicable way you can't help but like him and enjoy the experience.  This year's show, which was still technically a preview, starts slowly about unconnected subjects including the some guys in the audience.  The title is a small reference to a documentary he saw in which he realised he is now the same age as Elvis was when he died. 

It takes a good 20 minutes before he moved to his strong suits, notably his bizarre job, his family and his father.  In short John's material revolves around his continual quest to manage the strange aspects of being a comic whilst also trying to be a man, a husband, a father and a son.  On paper sets about his son trying to be the new lion in the pride should be old and tiresome but John's likeable (Scouse) nature make them enjoyable and funny.  Yes, he does spend sometime towards the end talking about Liverpool Football Club (and why wouldn't you?) which still appeals to anyone with basic knowledge of football.  Whilst I have mentioned there isn't a steady stream of gags, moreover humour from the situations, I haven't stressed just how funny those situations can be.  I'm talking about bent-over, hard belly-laughs. It's very hard not to connect to John and be sucked in to his world.  As such it's hard not to leave his show uplifted and thoroughly amused.  Open, Likeable and Truthful – 8 out of 10, that's four stars of amiable fun.