Experimental Music Love

August 28, 2008

Stephen Lynch – Liquid Rooms, Edinburgh 24/08/08

Filed under: Live Reviews — by Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 4:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,
Something special.

Something special.

AIDs, Nazis, racism, Catholicism, mocking the disabled and Freebird by Lynyrd Skynryd. It may read like a list of humanity’s greatest disasters, but such controversial subjects fill the set list of Stephen Lynch as he took to stage as one of those incredibly rare feats of culture – a musical comedian whose wit is as honed as his skills at guitar.

Flight of the Conchords may have made acoustic amusement as acclaimed and accepted around the world as traditional stand-ups, but Lynch was finding various rhymes for swear words and STDs for years before. The following he’s built up over this time was in force tonight, turning this travelling jester into a true rock-star, with epic choruses about less mentally adept children sung proudly by a dedicated crowd.

Lynch has the confidence in his humour to stand up alongside Jim Jefferies and Dylan Moran as comedians who could charm any audience, even with such cynical, acerbic material that wouldn’t get past many US TV censors. To start with a new song (“unless you’ve watched Youtube” as Lynch sardonically points out), would fill many audiences and performers with a nagging dread. But Waiting and its lyrical torment over an AIDs test is a more pithy, touching Philadelphia. And with a lot more laughs.

The rest of the material is just as strong, including such old favourites as Vanilla Ice-Cream that ends with a hotly contested debate over whether Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson can be ranked alongside Thomas Jefferson as a man who, veering away from the rather more contentious words of one audience member, liked the more ethnic ladies.

His voice is never in any doubt too. When allowed the chance, his choruses can soar, and the range he shows makes you realise his recent Tony Award win for his role in The Wedding Singer was far from a fluke. There’s an angelic in that devilish mind somewhere.

The show does descend into near farce towards the end, with songs of unusual sexual activities and the Prince inspired finale almost stretching the beautifully simple structure of Lynch’s earlier activities too far. Things do stay on the right side of Tenacious D ridiculousness though, and this turns out as a refreshingly funny double-header of inspired comedy and more than competent music. And who wouldn’t admire someone who has the talent to do impressions of Hank Hill, the Swedish chef from the Muppets and still write lyrics like “if you’re a cracker, you better get blacker or else you best get out.”? Lynch is a comedy marvel.

8.2/10

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1 Comment »

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