Alan Davies – Life Is Pain – Live

19 Dec


Brighton Dome: Sunday, December 16 2012.

After taking a pasting for the past decade as TV’s favourite whipping boy on QI, Alan Davies wasn’t going to set himself up for a fall by crafting a comedy routine outside of his comfort zone.

Instead, his return to the stand-up circuit after 11 years was an autobiographical and nostalgic affair, which veered from the brilliantly perceptive to the blindingly predictable.

His whining about social media, stale gags about “poking” on Facebook and disgust at how mobile phones have decimated the art of conversation have already been spouted by countless middle-aged blokes who still think Genesis are the future of music and refuse to go to a football match that doesn’t kick off at 3pm on a Saturday.

On the flip side, his tales about getting a rollicking from his dad for making a phone call before 6pm struck a chord with everyone under 30, while his dissection of the Essex vocabulary (“basically, essentially, effectively anything ending with ‘ly’”) was sharp and secured plenty of giggles.

He was at his best, though, when he was most animated – most notably when graphically assessing the aggression in modern-day porn: “It’s like a crime scene,” he spluttered, wildly gesticulating to portray the “actors” moves.

Had there been a bit more of that gnarly passion and a little less ambling down memory lane, Davies’s entertaining return would have been considerably more than quite interesting.


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