Stand Up and Rock, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Comedy and rock n' roll persistently get paired for the comparative superlative “comedy is the new rock n' roll” and tonight they were again bedfellows.
On this occasion the genres vied for the attention of the audience at Stand Up and Rock, a fundraiser for the homeless charity Crisis.
Ross Noble was charged with hosting duties at this standing gig and was told to keep up a pacy rhythm. “They asked me 'Can you do a tight 10 mins?' 'You've not seen me before have you? I said.” Noble later suggested that headliner Paul Weller “would be lucky to get on before Christmas.”
However, Noble proved that he had more self-discipline than he gave himself credit for. The buoyant Geordie saved up enough time to goof around with a member of the first act, The Choir With No Name, who he encouraged to crowdsurf after his performance.
The choir arguably the most successful out-and-out musical outfit tonight. Of course the adage “just play the hits” (their covers included 'Fairytale of New York') was always going to be most relevant to them, but both Graham Coxon and Paul Weller could have prospered from this advice too.
Comedy provided the highlights tonight. Veteran comedian Jo Brand succeeded because she has a tight twenty-five minute set that stands up to repetition. “My husband never learned to drive...in my opinion.” is one of many pithy pops she takes at her other half in it, and, while she's not short of self-deprecating gags either, her version of married life is a rich seam: “We argue about which side of the bed we want. He doesn't like it underneath.”
Tim Minchin may initially make more grandiose and politically correct statements about the battle of the sexes in his song 'Confessions' but he then deliciously undercuts them with the chorus about loving boobs: “They're just so jooby/they make me feel groovy/I would rather watch boobs than a movie.”
Fast becoming ubiquitous, the Australian musical comedian was received as if he was the headliner and indeed he represents an obvious mid-point in the comedy and rock equation. The semi-autobiographical song 'Rock n' Roll Nerd' almost implies a value judgement on the status of a rock god to a comedian, a inequity not borne out by tonight. Furthermore the lyric “He keeps writing songs the world will never hear” is a demon surely banished by the runaway success of his score for the hit musical, Matilda.
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Doctor Who film will definitely happen, leaked Sony emails reveal
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate