Reviewer: Paul Downham
If you like your comedy delivered at hypersonic speed then you will love a Robin Ince gig. Ince’s comedy style is non-stop from start to finish, at times he even seems to be too quick for himself… Best known for his Radio 4 programme The Infinite Monkey Cage with Brian Cox, Ince delivers more of a science lecture than a traditional stand-up routine. The main ongoing theme throughout the night was that of the brain and the things it is capable of.
Taking to the stage in what Ince describes as his third best cardigan he begins the show by announcing that this will be the last visit to The Lowry for some time as he is planning to take a sabbatical from stand-up comedy blaming Twitter for this choice. According to Ince there is no need for him to do comedy as long as there is Twitter describing some of the arguments he has become engaged in through the social media tool.
Referring to many situations he has found himself in as a result of his comedy including having three brain scans for fun, and scientists approaching him to do experiments on him. A story about an incident in a café bar at Euston Station perfectly highlighted the fact that your brain can work in mysterious ways.
Towards the end of the first half solo vocalist and acoustic guitarist Grace Petrie was introduced to perform a number of folk songs. Her left wing views and anger against the current government was plain to see from the songs she performed. Her deftness on the guitar and clever lyrics were a welcome relief from the whirlwind that was Ince.
As the second half began Ince mentioned that he had promised his crew that the show would end by 10pm as they had a long weekend ahead of them. This was somewhat of an empty promise as he finally left the stage at nearly half past ten naming himself a babysitters second favourite comedian after Ken Dodd.
During the second half Ince declared there was so much he had to say but so little time so he would try and talk a little faster to fit everything in. What followed was an uncountable number of stories including dolphins on LSD and bees on cocaine. The randomness of the stories at times is mesmerising however the constant switching between subjects proved confusing.
Ince works hard during the show and you are left wondering how long it takes him to unwind after a show such is the energy and passion he displays on the stage. One thing is for certain it is not just the performer whose brain gets a workout during the evening.
Reviewed on 23rd January 2015