Paul B Edwards
Paul F Taylor
Paul Harry Allen
Paul T Eyres
Peter Buckley Hill
Peter von Natzmer
Piff The Magic Dragon
Priorite A Gauche
Pierre Hollins: White Man Blues
Pierre Hollins has all the bases covered Ė sex, religion, drugs Ė and the sort of admirable commitment to the punchline demanded by the New Mainstream circuit on which heís a stalwart.
Rejecting, or mocking, religion is the backbone of his set, and while itís a staple of a lot of stand-up, he has the gags to back it up Ė including a neat set piece that makes easy but effective fun of the Bible. One gag about crucifixes around the neck is a little close to one of Bill Hicksís better-known offerings, but thatís by-the-by.
Material about sex involves gags about how its frequency decreases with familiarity, which the audience enjoy acknowledging as a truth of their own lives, while sections about dope-smoking are, he tells us, entirely historic, since heís sworn off it now.
Nestling amid this wll-honed, tried-and-tested club material, Hollins tries to explore something thatís more interesting to him... an idea which Ė†even if he no longer indulges in the weed Ė sounds very much like a stonerís late-night conversation. Evoking quantum fields, biophotons, the theories of Werner Heisenberg and the principles of holography, he suggests human consciousness is some sort of electromagnetic projection that could endure past death.
The science is not entirely convincing, and it does seem as if heís simply replaced a God to explain of the unknown with something requiring a similar leap of faith, but that might be because this section is rushed through. He doesnít have the confidence that the audience will stick with the explanation, and admits he hasnít yet found the funny path through it Ė today being the first outing of this material. But interest is infectious, and we bear with him since heís clearly fascinated by this odd topic, which he has spent three years researching for a planned book.
Hollins is an old pro, and guides the gig back to solid jokes, bookending the hour with proven hits. Thereís a strong rhythm to his delivery, and he even ends in the traditional way, with a couple of songs, including a particularly funny take on the blues, as if sung by a British misery.
But if a jobís worth doing, heís ultimately going to have to bite the bullet and fully commit to exploring his esoteric theories. Itís surely too early to say in which direction this material will go and whether he can find the funny to match the fascination, but with command of comedy techniques, the affable Hollins certainly has the tools with which to do it.
|Date of live review: Tuesday 19th Feb, '13|
Review by Steve Bennett
Monday 15th Jun, '09- Headliners
Tuesday 1st May, '01-
I think he's a great act.
Genuinely blew me away. Worth another look I think, Mr. Chortle. He's inventive, clever and got some of the best lines I've heard in ages.
Yes, a proper good laugh, natural and warm - not textbook gags at all, just solid comedy
Great, the highlight of the night! Very relaxed and confident, good material and took the audience with him all the time.
It may not be 'comedic rocket science' but Hollins can still react to the audience with great speed. The audience liked him so much last night that one person gave him a spliff (albeit containing just tobacco) which he managed to get several gags out of. Very relaxed, cool style.
Excellent blues-inspired rants and great timing. Highly recommended.