Gig review: Alex Horne, Glasgow

You could never accuse Alex Horne of lacking ambition with his shows.

Alex Horne. Picture: Facebook
Alex Horne. Picture: Facebook

Alex Horne – The Stand, Glasgow

***

The affable comic is right to question the premium placed on honesty in stand-up. But this typically high-concept effort, marrying laptop gimmickry, celebrity memoir and his own tall tales, was an unfocused, occasionally clunking 90 minutes.

This was his first gig back after the festive break. But some early technical gremlins left him struggling to command the first half, an occurrence that the self-deprecating act appeared almost too comfortable with.

His principle wheeze is that he’s accompanying himself with a series of backing tracks, featuring pre-recordings of himself, a toy panda and snippets from the autobiographies of Michael Caine, Andre Agassi and Cherie Blair QC.

When it works well, as during a daft bout of mimed beatboxing in the style of Justin Timberlake, or when he pieces together the right inane utterances or inappropriate blurts from the books, it’s frequently very, very funny.

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There’s an appealing world-weariness too in his allusions to his three young sons, the ridiculousness of his vocation and his instinctive capacity for telling fibs. But the audio collage isn’t tightly stitched together and for every bellylaugh, there’s an awkward longueur. Add to this the impression that with Caine and Agassi’s least self-aware statements, snatched out of context, that he’s shooting fish in a barrel, and you’re left with the impression of an admirable experiment that hasn’t quite come off.