Lorenzo Pacitti

Edinburgh Fringe review: Andrew Bird, Up Against It

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Andrew Bird settles into his show immediately with little introduction and faff, content to roll along with the whole hour to deliver laugh after laugh at a steady pace.

It’s this delivery that encapsulates Andrew’s likeability. He doesn’t ramble and rave, he doesn’t go off on tangents or fill time with crowd work. What you get with Andrew Bird is an expertly delivered, tightly written hour of great observational comedy.

Bird’s casual exterior contrasts how much writing and effort has clearly gone into this hour. Each progression to the next topic feels natural and clever, punch lines aren’t left to linger, they get their laugh and we move on. Despite this, Andrew’s performance puts the audience at ease throughout the show, the pace and volume of material, which often lends itself to a more involved and on edge audience in fact, creates a situation where the audience is encouraged to sit back, relax and enjoy.

The material covered by Bird is by no means ground breaking, jokes about family, money, getting older etc. are common ground particularly for observational comedians of Bird’s age. However nothing here feels old hat or tired, Andrew impresses a relatable take on these topics that still feels completely unique. It’s interesting to see the audience nod and laugh along; I got the impression, particularly from those sympathetic to Andrew’s situation with kids themselves, that this was all familiar to them while being completely fresh as comedy.

Andrew Bird’s style of observational comedy outclasses much of what we are offered on mainstream television, and is an absolute steal on the Free Fringe with genuinely laugh out loud patter.


Date of live review: 17 August 2014 @ Maggie’s Chamber, The Free Sisters

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