LONG established as a live circuit favourite and on Radio 4, Milton Jones’s spots on Mock The Week, where his surreal interjections and colourful wardrobe set him apart, have brought him to a much wider audience.
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But sustaining that level of expectation and incessantly touring demand, especially in a conference centre venue, is tricky for a one-liner comic. Even the uninitiated can struggle to retain interest in the regimented gag-gag-gag rhythm of a 90-minute set.
Appreciating this, Jones, as ever, mixed it up a bit. Prior to support act Chris Martin, he whizzed on stage riding an electric scooter, in the guise of his grandfather. The performance was relatively short, the character slight, a more doddery version of Jones’s usual metier with a few choice lines about fighting in the war.
Elsewhere, he incorporated a few visual setups with the lo-fi aid of a projector and rudimentary stick men drawings. Generally though, this was simply characteristic, occasionally classic Jones, an endless cavalcade of silly, leftfield jokes, invariably more inventive than they initially appeared.
Ad-libbing banter with the crowd isn’t his forte, yet he more than held his own this evening. Despite having a little gentle, teasing fun with the Edinburgh-Glasgow rivalry, a song derived from it was underwhelming.
Regardless, he successfully countered any and all resistance, justifiably saying with confidence of his best material: “You’ll be telling it tomorrow!”