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Just For Laughs - Adam Bloom
Adam Bloom performs at the Montreal Just For Laughs comedy festival.
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|Just For Laughs - Adam Bloom|
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Adam Bloom was 18 months old when his parents nicknamed him The Voice, and when he was 10, he told them he was going to be a comedian. By the age of 23, he was.
His first show at the Edinburgh Festival was in 1996, and he returned in 1997, 1998 (where he won a punters' prize) , 1999, 2001 and 2004. He was named best stand-up in the Time Out awards in 1998 and nominated for best club comic in the 2012 Chortle awards.
Bloom has also appeared at Montreal's Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in 1998, 2001 and 2005, and at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 1999 (where he was nominated for the Stella Artois award) and in 2000. He has also played in Sydney, Auckland, Wellington, Kilkenny and Cape Town as well as a 27-date tour of Canada organised by Just For Laughs.
He has appeared on various stand-up and panel shows on TV, and has recorded three series of his own Radio 4 show, The Problem with Adam Bloom.
Adam Bloom etc at Ginglik
These days, you have to spend a little more than a penny to get into Ginglik – the bar that used to be the public toilets on Shepherds Bush Green – but it’s still a prime example of the excellent value-for-money you can get from a good local comedy club. Eight quid - or five for members – last night got you not just the advertised headliner Adam Bloom, but a famous face off the telly trying new stuff, and a Mock The Week neophyte tipped for greater things.
Things started a little slower, though. Opening act Joe K is one of the plethora of modern comedians with charm, style and control over the room, but little real soul. He offers a a few interesting tidbits, such as a section about wedding tradition in his native Ghana, but generally this is a set of mildly amusing anecdotes told with technical skill that disguises their lightweight nature.
It’s evidenced by a call-back that’s awkwardly jemmied on to the end of a silly tale of a midget on a train; the reference mechanically generates an applause break, even though it doesn’t fit into the story. So he’s entertaining enough, but not in a way that would make him stand-out.
He was followed by the first unscheduled act, Seann Walsh, running through a ‘greatest hits’ package of everyday observations with the broad appeal that could make him a mainstream star. Animatedly acting out everything from the commuters asleep on the Tube to his own laptop viewing stance, his witty material about common experiences strikes more chords than a thrash metal guitarist.
Opening the second section, Laurence Tuck had more difficulties engaging with an audience not convinced whether his awkward style was an act or genuine discomfort at being there.
With his quirky one-liners, he’s going for a Milton-Jones-in-a-tweed-jacket vibe, but doesn’t quite judge the level correctly. He needs an opening stronger that the waffle about his dress sense to make a convincing argument that’s funny from the get-go, and his rigid style gives him no wriggle room when the material falls on stony ground, as it did tonight.
It’s a shame as some of his best jokes are inventively offbeat – though there are some groaners in the mix too. He’s better that the frosty reception he received, but not good enough to be able to do anything about it.
A frisson went around the room when compere Tom Craine announced a big name known to all would be taking to this intimate stage to work through some new stuff. Then Patrick Kielty arrived and admitted he probably wasn’t the comedy superstar they were expecting.
It may have been his fame, or perhaps a mastery of technique only experience can bring, but he got warm reactions to some pat lines about this low-ceilinged basement being reminiscent of Josepf Fritzl’s cellar, or complaining, tongue-in-cheek how the Muslims have taken all the terrorism stereotypes from the Irish.
Kielty is, of course, from Northern Ireland - and he griped at how that made him an instant expert on the recent riots, at least in the eyes of lazy TV producers. Yet he has his Molotov cocktail and throws it, for he does, indeed have some sharp and funny comments on the disturbances. Just shame on you for expecting him to.
Elsewhere he had some nice comments on Beyonce, which permitted him to dance badly to the crowd’s delight, and rather patchier material on footballers and phone sex that went down an obvious route. Quite how much of this will end up in the tour he’s presumably trying for, and while the writing is understandably shaky, he does have an impressive stage manner.
Reviewing Adam Bloom is always redundant, as he offers his own ultra-nerdy biopsy on every moment of his set as it progresses, even down to explaining how he’s slowed his pace to adapt to the ‘jazz club’ feel of this small venue. Not that you’d know he was more relaxed if you hadn’t seen him before, as his fidgety style fizzes with nervous energy.
Bloom is one of the circuit’s best joke craftsmen, always wrong-footing expectations, switching earnest set-ups about his wife and child into bold punchlines and tagging on endless witty asides. Nor will he ever settle for an obvious payoff, with a strong vein invention running through the writing.
Yet although the tone is always jokey, with anything fair game for a gag, even chatty audience members who he insults and charms in equal measure, there’s some heart to the set too. Despite cracking out the witticisms, Bloom reveals something of himself as an over-analytical geek who’s fallen on his feet.
|Date of live review: Wednesday 28th Sep, '11|
Review by Steve Bennett
Monday 24th Jan, '11-
Show - Misc live shows -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2007 -
Saturday 1st Oct, '05-
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2004 -
Show - Edinburgh Fringe 2001 -
Awesome, a truly funny act. At the Chuckle Club he was amazing.
Saw him here in Canada as part of the Just for Laughs festival, was the opener act for bubbling with laughter. Blew the roof off the rest couldn't follow. looking forward to him coming back to these shores soon. Best comedian I've ever seen.
So original. He stands out from the 'same old' comedy routines you see in clubs. In my view no one comes close. Should be a star .
This dude's a god. Too funny, should come with a warning sign.. surely. He has a rare talent others don't have. I giggle for days after hearing his jokes.
Side-splittingly funny last night in Piccadilly, the pick of the bunch in what was a strong line-up. Look forward to seeing him again.
Plenty of problems is right - this guy is insane and not that funny.
Plenty of problems! Plenty of laughs.
A very funny set from a great comic. His observational humour is second to none and his likeable charm shines through. He enjoys the night just as much as the audience
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Adam Bloom talks - and talks - about his new radio show
22/03/2009 Permanent link
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Brendon Burns answers your questions
16/03/2007 Permanent link
Adam Bloom: And God Created Adam
Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Adam Bloom: Entertaining The Thought
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Adam Bloom: Look At Me, Anybody
Misc live shows