Tom Stade: Setlist

Note: This review is from 2007

Review by Steve Bennett

Tom Stade likes to mention how naughty he’s being, how his jokes aren’t politically correct and how everyone who doesn’t get them is an uptight prude.

In all honesty, their tone is not all that exceptional by circuit standards, let alone festival ones, but it is a good trick to make the audience feel united in subversion, everyone feeling more wicked that we actually are.

Where the gags really do stand out from the circuit norm, however, is in their quality. The under-rated Canadian is one of the best practitioners of straight stand-up we’ve got, with a shedful of classy routines.

The tip of his iceberg is exposed on a whiteboard on stage, busily listing dozens of subject titles, such as ‘pussy burgers’, ‘tragedy time’ or ‘David and the foreskins’. He doesn’t get through even he majority of this setlist of the title, nor does he attack it in a linear way, it’s just a little tease to intrigue the audience.

Stade doesn’t need gimmicks as the material speaks for itself. But he is giving his routines a musical bed to sit upon this year, gently, distractedly strumming his guitar as he progresses through his list, adding a pleasant rhythm to everything.

He’s unapologetic about having a few drinks inside him, but then he doesn’t really need to be super-alert. His style is laid-back, conversational rather than commanding, even though no one’s ever in doubt who’s in control. His opening riff, on how booze, money and drugs are his best friends sets out his stall, and just happens to be wittily funny to boot. In fact, the more you think about it, the better it is.

He’s proud to have maintained a student lifestyle up to the age of 37, and has kept the same adolescent values when it comes to having a good time or to saying the most inappropriate thing just for the glee of it. Sometimes it’s inspired by stuff that’s happened to him, that he’s seen in the news or just plucked out the ether. He seems to have a routine for every occasion.

Stade is the sort of comic you could listen to all night, and you suspect he’s got the material to be able to pull that off.

Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

Review date: 1 Jan 2007
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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