Jasper Carrott's Stand Up & Rock
- Jay Richardson
- 27 March 2019
Mix of affable stand-up and musical interludes from wry former TV mainstay
A fixture on UK television from the late 70s until the Millennium, Jasper Carrott still attracts an enormous amount of goodwill. At 74, his appearances on the box might be limited nowadays; a consequence of his inability to cook, he deadpans. But he seems genuinely energised by performing, supported on this tour by childhood friend Bev Bevan (the drummer for ELO) and his backing band. Delivering two half-hour sets of stand-up between their musical interludes, he's as wryly engaging as ever.
True, there's a daftly amusing anecdote here about meeting Princess Diana that he was telling at least 15 years ago, if not longer. And he updates his always entertaining collection of far-fetched and ludicrous insurance claims, proving that human idiocy and yarn-spinning are never likely to go out of fashion. But Carrott's tales have always been characterised by bemusement and incredulity at modern life, so his autumn years afford him even greater opportunity to indulge in some grumpy old geezer shtick.
Most is easily relatable, middle-of-the-road fare, as evidenced by the murmurs of assent that periodically accompany set-ups to routines about mobile phones, medical examinations and the extortionate prices in airports. A routine about caravan towers is surely outrage-for-outrage's sake, but elsewhere he's surprisingly edgy, referencing the migrant crisis, the swathe Operation Yewtree has cut through his performing peers and venturing some mild filth. All of this is delivered in a skilful, casual way that doesn't give undue prominence to it.
With Suzi Dian and Geoff Turton of The Rockin' Berries as supplementary guest vocalists, The Bev Bevan Band offered an early nod to Carrott's Birmingham roots with a chugging rendition of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid', before Turton took lead vocals for a couple of Turtles tunes and 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.' Fine, as far as it went, the music was nevertheless elevated by Dian's soulful diversion into Carole King.
Jasper Carrott's Stand Up & Rock is on tour until Saturday 28 September 28. Seen as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival at Theatre Royal, Glasgow.