Rhod Gilbert – The Man With The Flaming Battenberg Tattoo – Live

12 Jul

The Dome, Brighton: Monday, July 9 2012.

For one horrible moment at the start of The Man With The Flaming
Battenberg Tattoo, it appeared that Rhod Gilbert was playing with fire
with his career.

Apparently he is a lot more relaxed these days and no longer lets
life’s mundane, yet exceedingly irritating banalities whip him into a
state of blind fury.

Good for him, but it is these outbursts of rasping rage that have made
him a favourite of the Live At The Apollo era and helped him pack out
venues as big as the Dome.

Luckily for us, though, his two-hour set didn’t focus on how he
presumably now meditates in an incense-filled teepee, but charts how
he came to realise he was ‘in a bad place’ by recounting some of the
‘petty’ issues that really got his goat in the past.

Cleverly dipping in and out of his anger management diary, he
breathlessly let rip at electric toothbrushes, the outlandish claims
made on bottles of shower gel, supermarket packaging and the food
available on trains.

On paper, it doesn’t sound especially impressive, but Gilbert’s talent
lies in the way he forensically dissects his subjects, picking them
apart at the seams with indignant contempt.

Amid the tirades, there were actually very few punchlines, but his delivery, sarcasm and clever-dick language ensured the laughs rarely stopped.

He also made sure the set was more than a riotous rant, skilfully
weaving in how his contrary nature impacted on his relationship with
his girlfriend. Not only did this provide a contrasting personal
touch, but it also teed up a cracking pay-off at the end.

Gilbert is a comedian at the peak of his powers, but it will be
interesting to see how he develops his act next. Is it wrong to hope
for an anger management relapse?

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