Comedy Review: Josie Long and Robin Ince

NARC. Issue #89, Oct 2013

Robin and Josie's Shambles
@ The Stand, Newcastle (02.09.13)

Josie Long and Robin Ince were quick to quell any assumptions that the night was a regular old rehearsed stand-up show, instead openly warning us that it would stick to its namesake of being "an utter shambles". Having just finished up their respective Edinburgh stints, the twosome have long been collaborators on podcasts, shows and zines, and the evening that followed was delightfully far from my pet hate of stand-up: knowing the punch line of every joke, having seen them recited on various panel shows and live clips. The twosome were refreshingly conversational, testing out new material and chatting about whatever popped up (mostly the middle class aspects of music festivals, creationism, and Stewart Lee impressions) giving the whole evening an intimate "proper comedy club" vibe.

Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra made a surprise cameo, joining Robin onstage to add dramatic free jazz accompaniment to his hilarious skit of reading passages from the dregs of charity shop book bargain bins, which on this occasion was tales of killer crabs, and a letter of space-age admiration to David Bowie. Grace Petrie offered support with inspired satirical self-penned tunes on all things Thatcher, but her saddening love songs about heartbreak seemed a little out of the evening's tone. Robin and Josie were respectively droll and whimsical, but next time I'd rather see them headlining solo, without a sense of competition for stage room.