David Kay at Glasgow Comedy Festival (3 stars)

David Kay

Laconic comic avoids slickness in favour of heightened foolishness

As he wryly acknowledges, David Kay is just below the radar of most comedy fans, having wound up on the cutting room floor of both Rab C Nesbitt and Scot Squad. Still, his is a singular and cult act with its own recurring mythology, as he returns once again to his whimsical musings on UFOs and scones. The fashion for adding jalapeño peppers to the baked good is shared as a quantum leap forward in savoury foodstuff that's left him reeling.

Taking the stage with little ceremony he ironically declares that he's come flying out. With eyes routinely downcast and taking overlong sips of his water mid-sentence, he eschews slick professionalism, tongue-in-cheek maintaining that he's bursting with energy. Gentle, understated and quintessentially Scottish, with frequent recourse to the modifier 'awfy', he draws you into his tiny world, recalling a harmless idiot muttering away at a bus stop. Indeed, his statements might sound sarcastic if they weren't shared via his character's complete lack of guile.

Without self-awareness, he discloses that he's read the autobiographies of various celebrities – Andy Murray, Mary Berry and Pablo Escobar to name just a few – and found uncanny parallels with his own life. Yet when he uncovers a point of principle he disagrees with, he thinks nothing of phoning these icons up to share an agitated piece of his mind. As a running gag that gets funnier the more it's deployed, it also adds a patina of structure to a set that's characteristically scattershot and eclectic in its preoccupations.

There's a glimmer of an ambitious future routine in his hastily sketched and quickly discarded comparison of The Beatles' Hamburg with Ardrossan, and a flash of genuine feeling in his Republican views towards the monarchy. But otherwise this is vintage Kay, heightened foolishness, meandering but comfortingly amusing, his persona so strong that you often find yourself laughing in spite of yourself.

Seen as part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival at The Stand, Glasgow.

David Kay

Quirky, surreal comedy from the star of Comedy Central's Alternative Comedy Experience.

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