John Robins is an English comedian who I believe should already be a household name and it is a travesty that he isn’t as of yet. His 2013 Edinburgh show is downloadable online so I took the opportunity to properly listen to some of his stand up, having only seen him on television shows beforehand.
After listening to John Robins: Where Is My Mind? I was struck by a number of realisations. Firstly, why had I not listened to this before? John’s material was heartwarming, clever and hilarious and I’m annoyed I was missing out previously. Secondly, I was suddenly extremely looking forward to July 10, as I have tickets to see his and Sara Pascoe’s 2014 Edinburgh previews.
This show combined the story-telling genius of Rhod Gilbert with the relatability of maybe Jon Richardson or Josh Widdecombe and there was a heavy theme of self-deprecation, as John talked about his awkward teenage years and criticised his current way of living. I think it’s always good to hear a comedian who’s act doesn’t necessarily revolve around making themselves look good, because while John was busy slating his own personality and life choices, the audience, myself included, were slowly falling in love with him. (The crowd on the track clearly thought he was wonderful as they laughed continuously throughout, even to the point where John had to check if one of them was dying.)
Listening to Robins relay his funny anecdotes, it was impossible not to notice how smooth his transitions were, with perfectly timed call-backs throughout. This element made an hour plus show pass by in seemingly twenty minutes or so, which is a skill that few comedians have, and I could have listened to more afterwards.
It was an absolute pleasure to hear John Robins’ stand up show and I feel refreshed and even enriched having done so. The events of the hour spanned over many years yet fitted together seamlessly and beautifully. Not only did I enjoy the time spent listening to Robins, I also feel like I’ve learned something as a result.