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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 21 September 2002
The fact that I've been motivated to contribute a review about the Phoenix Nights DVD says it all...Without a doubt, the funniest, most original comedy I've seen in years. Phoenix Nights turns over more material in the opening pre-titles sequence than most shows offer in 30 minutes. Each episode is a mini-classic: the opening show with TVs own Roy Walker having to pay 30p to get in ("And don't forget the raffle!"), Keith Lard's photo showing "a look of satisfaction rarely seen on an Airedale", Clinton Baptiste's psychic show ("Hands up, who can't have children?") and of course, Brian Potter's attempts at seduction ("You haven't seen me jukebox yet - have you got any change? It's 5 for £1"). Watch out for the (many) visual gags in the backgound - you'll spot a new one each time you watch it. I've watched the DVD end to end dozens of times, and it still make me laugh out loud. Excellent DVD special features include a great commentary by Peter Kay, Dave Spikey, Neil Fitzmaurice and Patrick "Paddy" McGuiness. If you haven't got a DVD player yet, here's your motivation!
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VINE VOICEon 7 August 2002
It's brilliant, this!
I'm a big fan of Peter Kay and already own the video of the stand-up concert he did at Blackpool Tower, so I was really looking forward to this. I wasn't disappointed.
I watched this on Channel 4 last year (twice, thanks to the marvel that is the modern video recorder!), and couldn't stop laughing. I've just watched it again the second time around and laughed just as much.
As well as being part of a continuing storyline, each episode stands alone as a comedic masterpiece. Great characters like Brian Potter, Max and Paddy the bouncers (what've you done to your 'air? Is it a wig?), Jerry St Clair and others, together with excellent scripts make this a series not to be missed.
If you've already seen the series on Channel 4, you've probably already got this video on your shopping list. If not, buy it anyway. You won't regret it.
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on 30 October 2002
This is compulsive viewing for anyone who likes a laugh. Enough catch phrases and subtle in-jokes for it to be a classic. I can still watch it all the way through without any fear of reaching for the skip button. Absolute genius and it's even funnier if you turn the commentary on to hear Peter's high pitched, girly laugh!!!
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on 25 August 2002
I watched the repeats of this First Series on C4 an loved every minute of it. Peter Kay is just wonderful as Brian the disabled owner of the club, as well as the rest of the cast. The accents are spot on, ill never think of a Bolton accent the same again, and the observations about a working mans club are so true it almost hurts. Each episode is a classic, and is the best comedy on TV At the moment by miles.
If you've only started watching it from the 2nd series this is even more a must, or if you loved Peter Kays stand up video, "On Top Of the Tower" this is right down your street.
All in all
Excellent stuff.
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Peter Kay is a comedy genius. His beutifully observed take on the Northern Club scene is spot-on, with exactly the sort of charicatures of the sort of people you would expect to find in a club like "the phoenix". From the crusty old war-hero on the door, to the tone deaf M.C.(who murders every song), they're all there, with the icing on the cake being of course wheelchair-bound club owner Brian Potter. This dvd of the first series contains 6 episodes that to me are already classics. I defy anyone to watch 'Phoenix' and keep a straight face. Some of the comedy goes unsaid and can be very subtle so you can pick up on different things each time you watch it. Amongst the acts appearing at the Phoenix in this series, my favourites would be;
the 'safe' folk band who turn out to be completely racist, the pyschic medium who dishes out divorce papers and tells a woman she's dying and of course Trigger, the inebriated horse. The evening always ends in mayhem with Potter spitting venom. Hilarious, priceless humour in the Alan Bennett league, but funnier.
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on 31 August 2002
Peter Kay's Pheonix Nights is fantastic! The series is cleverly written and full of subtle wit! The central character, wheelchair bound Brian Potter, owner and licencee of the pheonix club trundles around the place barking orders at his staff and punters. The regulars are - Compere Jerry "the Saint" StClair(who cant sing). Max and Paddy the club bouncers (Kay plays Max in the show as well as Potter). Ray Von "Dodgem Car" gypsy turned club DJ. Kenny Senior, a pathalogical liar (who in the event of a fire claimed that he had special asbestos skin that had doctors baffled!). Young Kenny, "Holy" Mary who works behind the bar, and the backing band "Les Alanos". As well as prising "Talent Trek" from rival Club Owner, Den Perry, there is plenty of fun. Opening night with Roy "say what you see" Walker, a Western Night with a REAL horse in the Pennine suite. A Singles Night with song lyric chat up lines and a brush with the DSS, and the Pheonix Club version of Robot Wars! A MUST SEE show with the potential of becoming a Classic!
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on 22 October 2002
More blinding fun from comedy geniuses Peter Kay, Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice.
Episodes 1-6 feature on this DVD following the Club that'll never Die-The Phoenix Club. There are hilarious deleted scenes, out takes and a Peter Kay commentary.
Don't buy this DVD at your peril, you'll miss out on the best comedy to come out of the north of England in years, plus you'll miss out on the fabulous Phoenix employees with, of course, the king of clubland-Jerry 'the saint'Sinclair (played by Dave Spikey-comedy god!)
This is one of the funniest comedy series I have watched in years.BUY IT-SHABBA!!!
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on 16 September 2002
Phoenix Night's is an absolutely cracking comedy. All the characters are brilliantly portrayed and acted. There hasn't been as good a family comedy show since Dad's Army. Brian Potter the wheelchair bound club owner played by Peter Kay and his compere Jerry "The Saint" St Clair played by Dave Spikey, remind me very much of the relationship between Captain Mainwaring and Sargeant Wilson.
Phoenix Nights will appeal to everyone, men, women, young, and old, I'm sure even the family pet would laugh at this series. Peter Kay even asked his mum about the standard of each episode before releasing it, just to get that different viewpoint.
The DVD has some wonderful features...the out-takes are 'fall off your chair funny', and Peter Kay and Patrick McGuiness' comments over each episode are brilliant.
This truly is a great comedy, whether you like Peter Kay or not (and how could you not?), this is magnificent observational comedy at it's best.
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VINE VOICEon 5 August 2004
Peter Kay has certainly come a long way since his regular nostalgia spot on cult hangover-cure The Sunday Show. Phoenix Nights allows him a lead role in writing, casting and performing in a comedy so quirky and lo-fi that it's the nearest thing to US director Kevin Smith's "Jay and Silent Bob" quintet that Britain in general, and Bolton in particular, has ever produced. Like Smith, but presumably on a much smaller budget, Kay has assembled a wonderfully deadpan supporting cast; he has also found a perfect location (a genuine working-men's club in the heartland of the industrial north-west) around which to assemble a whole mythology of cultural reference and modern-day folklore. Whether it's the racist folk band, the musical re-enactment of "The Karate Kid", the embarrassing jingles of local radio station Chorley FM, or the alarming propensity of proprietor Brian Potter's clubs to burn down at the slightest provocation, the back stories of "Phoenix Nights" have an almost instant place in the memory.
The style is deadpan, a brilliant pastiche of the "docu-soaps" which have plagued TV schedules for the past decade, but the humour is intense, quick-fire and full of disturbingly memorable one-liners ("talk to the organ, not the monkey grinder" has become a catchphrase in my house!). Kay, as club owner Potter and bouncer Max, manages to wring every drop of tragedy and pathos from his characters. Dave Spikey, as Gerry St. Clair, would be unbearable as a real-life club compere, yet his every appearance wins a sympathetic tug at the heart. The humour runs so close to bad taste at times that it's incredible just what they get away with - yet somehow the team have managed to create a comedy which never offends, or which upends a sackful of sh-you-know-what on those who do. The DVD extras are well worth a look, particularly the inspired "Armchair Superstore" series of QVC-style ads for the kinds of gadget that no modern man should be without...
In short, this is the DVD to put Bolton well and truly on the cultural map. I haven't laughed so much in years.
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on 28 August 2002
Peter Kay strikes through to the big time with a fantastically observed look at the northern working men's club. Each of the characters are brilliantly fleshed out and believable from the sarcastic and stressed manager, Brian Potter right down to Ray Von, the mullet wearing DJ who thinks everyone is into hardcore dance music, even though most of the customers are over 60.
Like 'The Office' this is the type of show that gets better the more times you watch it as you notice jokes that passed you by before.
Peter Kay's Pheonix Nights is an easy recommendation as the humour is so broad, there's very little swearing, hardly any crudity (apart from a rather drunk horse and a mechanical bull...), the show is what the club is, nice clean family humour, with a bit o' blue for the dads.
The only thing about this show that you may dislike is it's VERY northern and quite a few of my southern friends just 'don't get it' but i say forget them, get me a pint o' bitter and bag o' pork scratchings and stick t'video on.
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