Comedy Review: Gary Little (3 stars)

The big man shares some little white lies in this work in progress

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Comedy Review: Gary Little

Skillful storytelling from a comic who's forcefully opinionated but not afraid to foreground his failings, only a few crowbarred routines towards the end betrayed this being a work-in-progress show from Gary Little. Warming the crowd up with some workaday, observational dog excrement material, sarcastically taking fools to task for asking the bleeding obvious, he flirts with sexism in worrying about the desperate type of women he can still attract at 52. Nevertheless, the joke makes social comment and has a brutal equality behind it.

At heart, this is a wry, affectionate reminisce of the little white lies his parents told him growing up in deprived Maryhill, the comic sharing them with punchy, hilariously escalating incredulity. The distinction between the strapping ex-con and his daft, easily-led 'wee dick' of a younger self couldn't be more marked. Yet rather than rose-tint his childhood or over-emphasize the contrast with kids' experience today, he links it to his adult criminality and the BBC's head-in-the-sand mentality concerning Jimmy Savile.

Willfully deceiving oneself is something this sometime heavy drink and drug user understands well. And he has no truck with self-pity and mythologising, blasting Alcoholics Anonymous and their adherents for failure to take personal responsibility and Facebook users for their narcissism. As with Bill Burr, who chose him as his support act when he last played Glasgow, Little makes arguments that I rationally disagree with. But on a deeper, more instinctive level I find them very funny indeed and the conviction with which he sets them out is a big part of their appeal.

Projecting some amusing scenarios out of ludicrous US sex laws, there's a contrived bit about Jesus being a 'bevvy merchant' too. But as ever with Little, it's the searing honesty of the personal anecdotes that suggest this will be another really strong show.

Reviewed at The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 11 May. Gary Little is on tour until Thu 25 Jun.

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