On this cut is my review on Mr Lees gig in manchester a few months ago. Sorry for it late-ness. I am busy with exams and such.
I am also having problems getting my Herring interview onto another online computer but I will do my best.
I thought the review is quite subjective and at times maybe bias as I was writing as a critic, not a fan. Although we all know we are plinny mad. But yes. I shal stop now.
XS Malarkey, Fallowfield
March 7th and 8th 2005
Comedian Stewart Lee is better well-known for his work with Richard Herring in the early to mid 1990s with such shows as “Fist Of Fun” and This Morning With Richard Not Judy (or “TMWRNJ” to me and you).
Largely underappreciated even at his peak, he and writing partner Richard Herring have spent the last few years in the relative wilderness. Not wanting to repeat old “TMWRNJ” styles, writing separately. But is it as good? Here is my experience of one Lee solo performance.
Support act: Josie Long
The up-and-coming Josie Long was in support, and after seeing this I quite frankly don't know how she got to do Adam Buxton's Last Chancers.
Mr Buxton and I deserve better...
Stewart Lee came on and made obvious 9/11 jokes, dick and fart jokes, after being drowned in party poppers that he told certain audience members to pop. He shrugged for far too long, I didn't find this funny, more awkward, he treads a fine line between co-opting and alienating his audience
None of this seemed like quite his style, too Micheal moore, too much “fashionable politics” for someone as cynical as he. But of course the audience seemed to be transfixed; they sucked it all up, whatever political statement, whatever the comedian. In fact the audience was a low point of the night for me. At one point a group of people even cheered at the word "metaphysical", just because it was long (on this occasion Stewart Lee did in fact make a ‘student’ joke out of that, and rightly so), a couple beside me kept cheering, whooping, reapeatingly, when he was talking about dead people in Basra! They hadn't had a clue when to chuckle or not. Some people (graduates who still live in that area) did the same . People went mad whenever Peter Kay's name was even mentioned… I callthese people “look around you two fans”.
…My hatred for people grew.
But yes this isn't about people; this is about a person, A Mr. (Sexy) Stewart. (Sorry, he is lovely). This is about his transitional period from “The
Darker side” of Lee and Herring, to the Mr Lee who had written the controversial play “the Jerry Springer opera” and managed to receive more complaints than any other TV show…
I feel that he is a stronger writer when with Herring, and makes less political points; this shows in the fact that some of his jokes were far too long with little punch line… Some jokes were good and childish, back to TMWRNJ roots. It was equally refreshing and disappointing. This gig made me want to watch old Lee and Herring again... It wasn't solo enough.
In all fairness it got better as it when on. He made some fantastic Jimmy Hill jokes.
So in conclusion it was good, I was expecting better, but the other people (students) yummed it all up like the cheap beer (that incidentally the XS bar sell). He started off quietly and made us laugh more and more by the minute but only about 50% understood him, which is a shame. But it makes me feel more special.
I feel if they both want to be respected as separate comedians he shouldn’t refer to such “TMWRNJ” jokes as they still have a big cult following, but because of that factor people like me will always find them funny.
Seven cress punnets out of ten
Over view then: XS Markaley is somewhere to check out for the odd gems if you don't hate people or are willing to put up with them for people like Stewart Lee. It had cheap drinks, and the night was a non profit making one. Which was refreshing.
Richard Herring will be playing In Manchester later this Summer for more details check out www.richardherring.com