Vince Atta: Massive Attack | Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett
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Vince Atta: Massive Attack

Edinburgh Fringe review by Steve Bennett

Vince Atta’s a warm, cheeky and gregarious host – not to mention a great beatboxer. However, he hasn’t tied them up in a show with enough sense of occasion, thanks to just a few too many underpowered, unlinked stand-up sections between his set pieces.

The music segments shine as he uses his loop machine, à la Reggie Watts, to lay down a quirky bed with his vocal stylings. Trilling ‘Edinbra’ in the silliest voice on repeat is a memorable refrain, while his song about dating the undead is a more conventional comedy number. However, using his sampler for a bit of good-natured audience participation doesn’t provide a payoff strong enough to justify the long set-up and technical fannying about.

When it comes to stand-up, Atta kicks off with sharp, amusing punchlines on being mixed race, not quite fitting into either side. ‘Being black is tough,’ he muses. ‘Especially if you’re not.’ It prompts him to consider what parts of black culture he can claim, especially in relation to his white friends flirting with the use of the n-word in hip-hop, 

A brief consideration of whether James Bond can be black doesn’t add the much-discussed subject – but he has a more distinctive take on the similar recasting of Ariel, even if it’s a little too offbeat to connect squarely. 

First Dates viewers might recognise Atta from being on the show a couple of years back – when he memorably realised that he had previously been on a date with the same woman some 20 years earlier. 

But while he clearly wants to address this claim to wider fame, the stories he tells about the experience are tangential: about messing up the filming and being recognised in his local fast-food joint. Neither are really noteworthy enough stories to get an airing as a stand-up routine, though he has a nice line about hidden cameras.

Toward the end of the hour, Atta turns his attention mental and physical health issues, though not enough to bring the tone down nor milked for faux-gravitas to win that arts-festival credibility. Instead, his message, casually delivered, is hugely positive.

And for that perfect feelgood moment he ends with video footage of his son beaming from ear-to-ear with pride at his dad that will melt any heart. Cockles will be warmed as you emerge blinking into the daylight.

Review date: 23 Aug 2019
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett
Reviewed at: Just The Tonic at The Caves

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