Nick Helm and The Helmettes at Latitude 2013 | by Steve Bennett

Nick Helm and The Helmettes at Latitude 2013

Note: This review is from 2013

by Steve Bennett

With his balls-out aggression, Nick Helm isn't the obvious choice for a gentle lunchtime appetiser at one of the more middle-class festivals. But the fact the audience never lives up to his exacting expectations is what fuels his furious disappointment, so a relatively chilled crowd gives him plenty to react against... even if the dissatisfaction he so angrily voices is actually rooted  how wretched his own life is.

However, early in his Latitude set, the line between mock frustration and the real thing becomes very blurred, as indistinctly enunciated set-ups and more than one screwed-up punchline take the wind out if his high-impact, if dubious quality, one-liners. 'Don't be angry with me,' he barks. 'Be angry withe the cunt who booked me.'

Comedian and audience continue to size each other up uncertainly, as be tries to lead a singalong, which ends up resembling a demented Simon Says as his victims can't follow simple instructions. Luckily, his brusque irritation gets the comedy back on track.

And when he's growling out dick-kicking glam rock with the aid of The Helmettes, the energy is palpable, even in such a large marquee. Tracks such as I've Got Dreams Motherfucker, Believe In Yourself and Five Good Reasons are anthems of stubborn defiance, belted out with all his desperate passion. Meanwhile an inflatable cock and (beach) balls bounce around the audience's heads.

And seeing a six-year-old girl merrily punching the air as Helm hollers out his filth  is certainly an incongruous site, if not the finest example of good parenting.

Review date: 22 Jul 2013
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Latitude

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