Arnold Bolt – Original Review

Note: This review is from 2008

Review by Steve Bennett

Bolt's a very old-fashioned folk-club-style comic, with an efficient line of banter between his songs and poets.

He is an instantly identifiable type - audiences warm to him, and his material always goes down well. No surprise really, as his observations have been carefully honed... normally by the people who actually made them first.

The stand-up part of his set is very much a comedy by numbers, slickly reeling off comments and attitudes he's absorbed from the circuit, rather than giving us any unique insights or gags. Perhaps his material original when this veteran first started, but now they feel decidely creaky.

His musical numbers are equally uninspired, such as a tired parody of The Smiths (whose last hit was more than a decade ago, topical comedy fans) that 'insightfully' points out that Morrissey could be a bit miserable.

His poetry is his strongest suit - especially a John Cooper Clarke impression (though again the age of the reference is a concern) - but even then, nothing stunning.

And the climax of his set ­ a country and western number about shitting in a barn - invites far too many easy comparissons with the quality of his material, that are probably best unsaid.

Nice stage manner, though.

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Published: 2 Jul 2008

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