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Review: Glasgow Comedy Festival

Russell Kane

Russell Kane

The Garage, Glasgow

Marianne Gunn

AS festival opening weekend gigs go, Russell Kane's sold-out show was always going to be a pretty solid bet.

As he wound up, the Essex comic praised the "good old" Garage and admitted he wouldn't be returning to spaces like the King's Theatre, where he played last year.

A venue is almost as important as a comedian's material as it sets the tone. The dingy Garage - with bleached remnants of the previous evening's antics still emanating from darken recesses - remains a good fit for Kane and his upbeat but ever-so-slightly seedy comedic persona.

Things were looking up for Kane when he wrote his Smallness tour last year. Newly-engaged to a Manchester lass and with a corker of a story about Nicole Scherzinger and Lewis Hamilton, he has since brought his laugh-out-loud funny material to 100,000 people (he says) throughout his 90-odd-date tour.

Where a tour typically starts in Edinburgh in August (where Kane insists you get heckled with quail's eggs) it seems to end in Glasgow in March, and it is testament to Kane's talent and professionalism that he still made the show feel fresh.

With some decent audience participation he made energetic observations about the independence vote and pontificated on why people on our small island seem obsessed with our smallness, hiding behind our shyness in an almost broken way.

Being mistaken for Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw provided the evening's final punchline, though his newborn baby phobia and more physical comedy worked for me. Strong support (and Paisley-bashing) came from Paisley's Davey Connor.

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