YOU may have seen Phill Jupitus on telly as a team captain on BBC2’s pop quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks over the last 20 years, or heard his dynamic voice over the radio presenting shows and regularly contributing on comedy panel shows. However, not many in the crowd would have seen Porky the Poet, one of his alter egos and the opening act of the night, writes Aaron Leask.
Straight from the village with fedora hat and fanned out scarf, Porky introduced a welcoming Shetland audience to his verse. The threat of a “cultural hostage situation” was met with trepidatious laughter, but his rhyming couplets and zestful performance along with astute social commentaries demonstrated Porky’s comic genius and warmed up the audience.
Some particular highlights were “Schrödinger’s Hat”, which brought out an early laugh, and a poem on why Dylan Thomas only wrote one poem about tigers. He finished off the first half with an anecdote about meeting Paul McCartney that revealed much about his inner love for music.
Back on stage with a guitar and stripped of his poet persona after the interval, Phill Jupitus, the man himself, began a song that was quickly hijacked by some Tina Turner fans – and Jupitus just rolled with it.
After bashing Coldplay through the medium of song and a skit about breaking up fights with a well-known Scottish brothers’ song, Jupitus picked apart some classic Scottish habits and cultural nuances such as chips, curry sauce and cheese, casual pessimism while out walking, and the strange atmosphere at lower league football matches.
Jupitus described his local experience going to see puffins and made some suggestions on how to enhance the experience for gullible American tourists, such as the origin of skittles (you don’t want to know).
One of Jupitus’ daughters brought the next section on herself by telling her dad how nice it was that he had devoted his entire Live at the Apollo segment to her sister. This section took on a more prurient tone, broaching issues such as his daughter’s homosexuality; the objectification of women; menstruation cycles in an office scenario; and masturbation.
The more conventional second half of comedy rounded off with Jupitus asking the Shetland audience “How do you live with so much beauty?”, hopefully suggesting it is not the last we’ll have seen of Phill Jupitus.
He was well received on Saturday night by a near full auditorium in Mareel. Porky the Poet, keen observations, energetically acting out scenes and finding the beat, Jupitus got plenty of laughs and a big ovation as he danced off the stage. There was something on offer for everyone in his diverse one-man show.
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