Otis Lee Crenshaw: Pernicious

Note: This review is from 2014

Review by Steve Bennett

A toe-tapping bluegrass frenzy from The Black Liars set the perfect scene for Otis's latest sold-out extravaganza.

And our jailbird philosopher doesn't disappoint either, bantering with the almost awestruck audience, and showing off his predominately new show with a fresh raft of innovative compositions.

Osama bin Laden, Elvis, Garth Brooks and Shania Twain are all tongue-lashed by the unforgiving Crenshaw, as he trundles through his well-written, well-observed catalogue covering everything from death row blues to bag ladies, and the poor lad known as Incest Boy following a heinous clerical error.

Hall certainly hasn't been resting on his Perrier laurels and crafted yet another fine show, touching all those that dare to laugh at the sometimes unthinkably shameful, which thankfully is most of his substantial fan base.

However, some of the 800+ audience in the Assembly Rooms Music Room did get restless, and started about their business during the performance, proving a real distraction for audience and performers alike.

Perhaps they felt safe to more around in a room this size, something unthinkable in smaller, more intimate venues where Otis would have pounced on anyone who dared to even move an inch.

And while the show suffered from this lack of interaction, it was as well-written and skilfully performed as always. But the good 'ole boys may need to start adapting their fine act to the larger venues that their talent inexorably draws them towards.

Review date: 1 Jan 2014
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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