Review: The Stand Late Show – The Stand (1), Edinburgh.
Tony Jameson is on compere duties tonight at The Stand’s diverse Late Show, and he whips up the crowd with his infectious Geordie accent. The front row aren’t very helpful, all having vague jobs to do with ‘renewables’. Finally, Jameson finds Henry, a bike mechanic who is all too willing to cheer-lead the first act to the stage. Promising to find Henry something to fix in the interval, Jameson then takes his leave, including the first act to the late night comedy bear-pit.
Hannibal Buress isn’t quite what we were expecting. Leaning back against the wall, his quiet American drawl lulls the crowd. Then suddenly he explodes, delivering a blistering gag about an energy company that leaves the room gasping for breath. The pattern of his soft, languid delivery – giving way to a hilarious reveal – continues for the next 20 minutes or so, the only criticism being that the Chicago native struggles to maintain the standard set by his opener as the time moves on.
After a slightly unnecessary 15 minute break, Jameson is back on stage. This time, his audience banter is more awkward, failing to establish any meaningful rapport before the next section of the show. The format has now changed, too, with 3 acts in quick succession taking the stage.
First up is cabaret act Lady Carol. Performing two songs from her routine, the tiny set jars uncomfortably with the mood of the evening. Following the musical vein is out of breath Liverpudlian Silky. He is immediately comfortable in front of the crowd, infusing short bursts of song with his twisted, macabre take on life – while ruining the Match.com adverts for everyone concerned. A slick set here from Silky. Then last up in this section is Andrew Lawrence, short and sweet in more ways than one but not really given enough time to shine tonight.
After another 15 minute break – fine for those who wish to urinate, smoke and buy another drink, but not so much for tired, hot and bothered reviewers – the headliner finally arrives. 2012 Festival favourite Tom Stade emerges, providing the rowdy, lewd fun you would expect from a late night comedy gig. Commanding the front row with his deep Canadian accent, Stade viciously interrogates a couple about their sexual habits, masterfully keeping up the filth before taking his leave as the clock hits 2AM.
The Late Show line-up changes every time, but The Stand provides enough quality guests to recommend this show as your evening closer. Issues such as the half an hour waiting policy may rankle with some, but the amount of variety on show tonight just about justifies the higher ticket price.
Date of live review: Saturday 18th August 2012.