IF ROBIN Ince really means what he says about taking a five-year sabbatical from touring, then the science-loving stand-up certainly went out with a big bang.
Robin Ince - The Stand, Edinburgh
* * * *
By his own admission, there might not have been quite enough science in the first half of this show (judging by the unusually high number of beards and glasses in attendance, this was perhaps the main draw for many) but Ince did his utmost to keep veering Blooming Buzzing Confusion towards his main topic: the human brain and its many wonders.
Thankfully, no one appeared too miffed at the secondary matter, such as the time he almost got into a fight at a coffee shop, how his young son is becoming a master manipulator and why he finds himself crying at films about mercenaries. And anyway, Ince was soon discussing the behaviour patterns of bees and squirrel monkeys, and analysing his two favourite Brians: Blessed and Prof Cox.
There won’t be too many stand-up shows this year which namecheck German filmmaker Werner Herzog and American “psychonaut” John C Lilly, but Robin Ince has never been your average comedian. If you didn’t know any better, you might assume that he would have a gentle, bookish act, what with his fondness for knitwear and love of literature, yet his rage and passion are almost unparalleled in contemporary British stand-up.
He might dub himself a “renaissance idiot”, but until he jumps back aboard, the comedy circuit is going to miss this devilishly smart and funny man.
Seen on 13.01.15