I arrived with high expectations for this gig, as a ginormous fan of the Clinton Baptiste podcasts. It’s not always easy to replicate what you hear via the aforementioned audio medium (like what I did there?), but… well, there is no but, just pure entertainment. I have not laughed so much – and very loudly at times – in years.
Granted, we have been unable to attend comedy gigs for a while, but I need to go back to seeing Ricky Gervais on tour for my last bout of convulsion with laughter. I got the impression many in this packed crowd had seen Clinton perform before, or were at least fellow podcast listeners, as every audience member approached by the main act was more than happy to participate.
Clinton Baptiste, for the uninitiated, is a character portrayed by Alex Lowe who first appeared, albeit briefly, in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights as a cringeworthy clairvoyant, medium and psychic. Invariably going down like a lead balloon by offending the audience, in a real-life setting Clinton can and does get away with stepping over the line. (If you are of a sensitive disposition, my previous invocation of Gervais may help you get the gist and offer a small warning.) Good-natured heckles, and the consequent retorts, render this very much an evening of audience participation: at many shows, crowd members would likely cringe when in reach of the comic, but it felt like everyone wanted to be picked on by Mr Baptiste. You just didn’t know what he was going to say next.
Also worthy of mention is the stage set (giant letters spelling out the words C L I N T – the eponymous star pushes the L and I together at one point, needless to say) and an appearance – of sorts – by Barry White, which might make you wish never to hear anything by the big man again. If you like your humour, then you will lap up what a night with Clinton Baptiste throws at you.
Glee Club, Cardiff Bay, Tue 5 Oct
words CARL MARSH
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