Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Hail to the ale, 22 Feb. 2013
This review is from: Al Murray: the Only Way is Epic (Audio CD)
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This is the Brighton leg of Murray's 2012 "The Only Way is Epic" tour. As a recording of a live act there are visual gags and moments that you will miss. Namely, the introduction, presumably played on a big screen, where Murray casts around for the venue, to the "riddle" gag of packing a tent away at the end.
But there is more than enough to make this a brilliant standalone audio. The Pub Landlord is a brilliant piece of character comedy. His trademark is of course a strain of British identity that out Mails the Daily Mail, that, and incredible verbal set pieces that build in pitch and scope to epic rants that end with a punch line cried out as an appeal to sanity. An example of this on this cd is the discourse on entry to the EU, and an examination of Greek fiscal history, ending with the cry "why did nobody f@#%ing check?!" Then there's the countdown of all governments to Churchill, listing their huge non achievements and loudly declaiming each one as "the worst Government of all time."
The cd opens with a prolonged piece of audience engagement and improvisation that is brilliant and very funny. That established, Murray launches on his self-improvement seminar of what it means to be Epic. He tackles the EU, "kids today," political disenfranchisement, national identity, the debate on Scottish independence, and more. In this respect he differs from Peter Kay, who keeps his focus largely on the domestic, appealing to those everyday quirks of family life we all recognise. Murray is more about the corporate, national and societal. Yes he is a character who is a grotesque stereotype. But he does it so well as to imbue it with an incredible pathos, and like the best comedy, his outrageous gags throw up the occasional truth.
I listened to this on a run, and it had me guffawing in the street. It works, it is very funny, give it a go.
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