The Liverpool 3

Rawhide Comedy Club
Royal Court Theatre
5th February 2006

Reviewed by Mandy McFarland

Having been lucky enough to get a table near the front but far enough to the side of the stage to avoid being singled out as an object of ridicule (unlike poor John in the anorak – you know who you are!), we settled down for what we hoped would be an evening of laughs, laughs, laughs courtesy of the three Liverpool lads.

And we weren’t disappointed. First on was Brendan Riley, a lively chappy who’s no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe and who can take off the Scouse scallies in all their Neanderthal glory as if he were once one himself. He was easy-going, light, and seemed to find himself as funny as the audience did. His spot-on look at Liverpool life and his impression of Craig of ‘Big Brother’ fame was hilarious; as was his plight to stop a scally kid from throwing a brick at a swan delivered in flawless physical slo-mo any film director would’ve been proud of.

Second up was Simon Bligh. Hmmm, I must admit that this guy brought to mind a special needs kid who’d overdosed on E numbers washed down with vast quantities of Red Bull; spouting twaddle, raving on hyper-drive and spraying spit over everyone. At times the audience looked genuinely scared (especially the young girls at the front) and twitched with nervous laughter whilst looking for the emergency exits as he ranted about his Catholic school upbringing, violent sex, tampax adverts and knife-wielding menstrual women. But we laughed; sometimes more at him than with him, but we laughed.

Last up was Steve Gribbin - complete with his electric guitar and a bundle of popular songs rewritten especially for the likes of Richard Branson (whom he loathes), Dr Who (whom he loves), the Liberal Democrats (who he just finds sad) and fag-smoking Scottish men (who I think he admires!). He delivered them all in the style of songsters such as Morrissey and The Proclaimers. His quick wit and humour took us on a rollercoaster of topics - from Daleks ranting at being typecast and never being offered a part in Pride & Prejudice, to lesbian weddings, highly-strung Northern Irish men in balaclavas being forced to quit smoking, and a Mancunian gecko overheating in his mum’s house ‘cause she has her central heating too high. He was sharp, quick, observantly spot on, very, very funny and he us on our merry way with a chuckle echoing in our hearts.

A night of belly laughs was rounded off with a rendition of their own song ‘City of Culture’ - written especially for the 2008 happening - which was silly and fun, but I can’t see it hitting the number one spot!

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