Rob Deering: Superkings

Note: This review is from 2003

Review by Steve Bennett

Many comics proudly describe themselves as iconoclasts, vigorously attacking everything we hold dear.

Not Rob Deering. He's the polar opposite - whatever the word would be to describe an upbeat comic who joyfully celebrates all that he loves.

Comic-book superheroes, rock musicians, even cigarettes - Deering comes to praise them, not bury them. They might come in for a bit gentle mocking, but always with affection.

His catalogue of topics obviously reflects the obsessions of a young, single man, but the cuddly, effusive Deering has universal appeal, skilfully dodging the ever-present temptation to turn overtly laddish. Though perhaps examining the chord sequence of a Jimi Hendrix number does push the nerd element a bit too far.

Deering's musical talents generally lift the show though, as he turns to his guitar to punctuate many routines. Indeed, by the end of the show, the comic has become little more than a human jukebox, offering to play any TV themes we care to mention. No wonder the line "Ladies and gentlemen my guitar!" is the closes he has to a catchphrase.

It's very light entertainment, the scripted comedy having long been left by the wayside, but only the most churlish wouldn't enjoy it.

At times, Deering demonstrates that he doesn't need to be fluffy. The innocent persona can disguise some harsh-but-true stuff about the Iraq war and American gun ownership laws. The observations are not, perhaps, as hard-hitting as they could be, but they are perceptive.

But essentially, he's a solid all-round entertainer. Not perhaps clever or original enough to stand out in a crowded Edinburgh, but a skilled purveyor of good humour nonetheless.

Review date: 1 Jan 2003
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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