Greg Davies: The Back Of My Mum’s Head (2013)

WHAT: The Back Of My Mum’s Head
WHO: Greg Davies
WHERE: Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
WHEN: 18 November 2013

gregdaviesbackofmumsheadFollowing a sold-out 2012 tour and due to popular demand, Greg’s critically-acclaimed and riotously funny show, The Back of My Mum’s Head, comes to Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on Monday 18 November.

This show will be funny, but to be clear, if you’re looking for insight into the human condition you’ll be better off eating a bun or picking up a stick…

‘One of this country’s best comedians’ – The Times

‘A joyous celebration of our shared idiocy and a snook cocked at self-importance’ – The Guardian

As we were waiting for the show to start, I said “I hope his stand-up is funnier than his sitcom”, because I’ve been following Man Down and failed to find it funny or, for the most part, even mildly amusing, which is terribly disappointing. Putting Greg Davies and Rik Mayall together sounded like the best combo ever and I couldn’t wait to see the result … and when I did, it somehow wasn’t funny. Anyway. The answer is that Greg Davies’s stand-up is hilarious.

To start off, the warm-up act, Barry Castagnola, was really funny, and entertained us by having done his homework on the history of Nottingham before the show. His set wasn’t more than maybe 20 minutes long or so, which is a shame, because I wouldn’t have minded listening to him a bit longer. He later made an appearance toward the end of Davies’s show, dressed in a black onesie with a plastic bonsai tree strapped to his head. That’s a sight that could stay with anyone for quite some time …

Brits have a tendency to be very self-deprecating as it is, but Greg Davies makes self-deprecation into an art form. He’s his own heckler, basically. It could easily turn awkward, because if most people made that much fun of their own physique, you’d wonder if they were all right. When Davies does it, he makes the audience laugh along with him. Yes, his t-shirt is perhaps a bit too tight, but whatever, it’s not a big deal.

We were treated to a variety of stories, like the cabbie who wasn’t “a racialist” and wanted the secret family recipe to pie, the time in his youth when the family went on a driving holiday in America, and what happened when Davies tried to eat like the local Spanish people. We also got to hear a moving song, learn some new quotes – yes, the first thing that came into my head too was that “It’s not normal love” needed a comma – see the back of his mum’s head, and the audience participated with a bit of live roleplaying of a phonecall with his mum.

During the day, I didn’t fancy going out at night and sort of regretted getting these tickets that we now had to use, but in the end, I’m glad I got the tickets, because it really was a night of tremendous fun.

Hats off to the big man with the small guitar and a rather nutty outlook on life. He manages to be completely bonkers but heartfelt at the same time, and I guess has a style similar to that of Russell Howard, because parts of the set might be dark, but nothing ever actually nasty, even when he uses anecdotes to poke fun of his friends and family. And I like that. (I also quite like Frankie Boyle, who is the antithesis of what I just said, but that’s another story.)

5 out of 5 shell necklaces.

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