Pierre Hollins at Headliners

Note: This review is from 2009

Review by Steve Bennett

The hugely experienced Pierre Hollins adopts an amiable ‘grumpy old man’ persona that fits him as comfortably as a moth-eaten overcoat. He gets annoyed enough to have a moan, but will ultimately forgive any gripe with a matter-of-fact shrug.

It makes for an engaging, natural stage presence and ease of audience interaction that sees him over the inconsistent quality of the material. There are some very good lines in his set, but some tired routines, too.

Comedians shouldn’t really be doing the same gags months, or even years, after a news story broke that they could have easily done on the night. Many comics’ first reaction on hearing about the baggage handler who waded into the failed Glasgow airport terror attacks was, understandably, to think: ‘Typical aggressive Scotsman, punching a man even when he’s on fire.’ Fine when it was news, but two years later you might expect a more interesting angle. But Hollins – like a lot of stand-ups, to be fair – still pushes that instant line he might have further dwelt on by now.

There’s also a musical element to Hollins’ conversational act, and he brings on stage a guitar – or sometimes a modified squash racquet – which he plays like the finest grizzled pub rocker. The terrorism song, inspired by the above, isn’t great, but his particularly English take on a blues song is entertainingly spot-on.

A mixed bag of material, then, but Hollins does have the laid-back performance skills to make the best of it.

Review date: 15 Jun 2009
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Headliners

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