Christian Reilly: How To Rock
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2007
“Only 240 months ago I was a geek, getting more sand kicked in my face than a Saudi goal-keeper and being rejected by girls for having a sandy face…that was before I learned How to Rock. From a broken home, with a tender heart, and an expanding waistline, it’s not easy to find out where you fit in. Then one day Mum’s Boyfriend #6 puts a Gibson Flying-V in your chubby hands. The journey begins….. College bands, hippie festivals and dubious male role-models; follow the heartwarming musical adventures of a comfort-eating, Van Halen-worshipping teenager finding Love and Happiness with a budget six-string and a fuzzpedal.”
Play Real Guitar. Do air day jobs. Come with me
Christian Reilly’s first solo show is a feel-good, effervescent song fest. With talent to burn, Reilly composed and sang his own walk-on music, a nice little gag there for those who have ears to hear it.
Reilly performs and commentates as he goes along. He was probably born being ironic, so when he talks to his ‘beautiful audience’ and the ‘beautiful laydeez’ he is acknowledging a well worn format, but it still keeps him in his comfort zone.
Sketching in a the background as the only child of a single parent, a gorgeous young woman., married and divorced too young but determined to make a go of life for her and the boy. The gift of a guitar, from one of his mother’s many suitors, to his pudgy 12-year-old self enabled him to start the journey out of Ilkeston, a hole in Nottinghamshire. His burgeoning musical talent increased his self esteem, keeping him away from comfort eating and leading him to the benefits of being a musician and performer: getting the girl and travel.
Some people flinch at musical comedy and song parodies, but when it’s as good as this, sung well, proper lyrics and an appreciation of adult orientated rock, you’d have to really make an effort not to have a good time.
The word ‘charisma’ is bandied around too often, but Christian does have it in spades. He’s exuberant and joyful, without being childish or saccharine drenched. He’s an experienced and intelligent comic, and he’s put together a tight and very funny hour. Nice work.
Reviewed by: Julian Chambers
Date of review: Aug 2007