Rawhide: Martin Beaumont, Christian Reilly, Roger D

Friday 24th February 2006
Royal Court, Liverpool

Reviewed by Mandy McFarland

We were greeted with a warm but not over-sugared welcome by the hostess and shown to our seats at the practically full house Rawhide on Friday 24th. The atmosphere was buzzy, with a mixed bag of people up for a night of laughter, but unfortunately the auditorium was absolutely freezing and stayed that way the whole night, despite our requests to have the heating turned up. It was so cold that we didn’t take our coats or scarves off all night and I’m sorry to say that it spoilt our experience, because you have to be really, really bloody funny to make a freezing person laugh!

And two of the four comedians were funny enough to make me forget my chattering teeth and shivering bones! The cheeky-scouser-chappy compare Brendan Riley always makes me chuckle because he’s just so open and warm and funny, even though I had heard a few of his cracks before. He finds his audience-target within seconds of being on stage, and this week it was the ‘birthday girl’ table that ‘got it’ and kept us all in laughs every time he was on stage.

Next up was Martin Beaumont, and I’m afraid my blood ran cold for more reasons that the lack of central heating two minutes into his set. Sorry, but this guy is just not funny. He’s droll, lacks stage presence and has a very one-dimensional imagination. Perhaps when he’s in a Beefeater Pub with a few of the lads, with the footie on the big screen and lots of luke-warm lager he’d get a few larfs, but seriously – are we still supposed to find dick-size and Bobbit jokes funny - “I’m hung like a slinky…. You should see me going downstairs”. I’ve got nothing more to say!

I was intrigued to see the next act - Christian Reilly - as I used to know him moons ago in Nottingham but had never seen his live comedy. It was worth the wait! He bumbled on stage with a guitar slung over his shoulder wearing bad clothes andbad hair, but there’s where the ‘bad’ stopped and the fun began because the rest of his set was great. Some of his material is deliciously childish and cuts through the politically correct barriers that can prevent comics from being true to their humour; to repeat some of his gags at a party would have you thrown out on yer ear! But coming from him they were downright funny! He finds it nothing short of stunning that Christ Martin (Mr. Coldplay) writes miserable songs when he’s fucking Gwyneth Paltrow. His short burst musical dedications are hilarious, like Cher’s dedication to KY Jelly - “Love really hurts without you!” - and his Star Wars The Musical set in Cornwall is side-splitting. He’s young, he’s fresh, and best of all he’s funny...and the crowd lurves him, oh yeah!

Last up was Roger D who jumped in, all billowing shirt and sweat-wiping hanky in hand, with terrorist jokes that we’ve all heard before - “…..at least the IRA were nice terrorists!” “At least the IRA phoned you first to let you know they were gonna blow you up…” Zzzzzzzzz. He then went on to inform us that you never see black people stuck up a mountain or marching in anti-racist marches – it’s always stoopid, stoopid white people. Oh, and he loves slapping fat girls' arses and getting them to give him blow jobs…and that’s about as much as I can remember because that cold, numb feeling set in again!

It was also too cold to stay for a boogie afterwards, so I’m afraid I can’t tell you how that rounded off the evening of joviality, but overall the atmosphere at Rawhide - with its mixed bag of people - is lively and warm. Shame the place itself isn’t!

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