Christian Reilly: Rock'n'LOL

Rock’n’LOL’s title is a crystal clear statement of intent: Christian Reilly promises to provide both rock and LOL, music and comedy, and, most of the time, he delivers on solidly both.

An eminently agreeable set.

In terms of Reilly’s specific brand of musical comedy, he’s kind of a guitar-strumming, cowboy hat-wearing Weird Al, dealing primarily in changing the lyrics of popular songs to suit his purposes. He bounds around the stage, the joy he derives from performing is clear in the smile which rarely leaves his face. Reilly is characterised by an infectious sense of fun, and establishes an instant connection with the crowd.

When it comes to comedy, music is not only Reilly’s method, it’s his primary subject. Some of the targets are predictable: Coldplay, Bieber, One Direction are all ribbed, albeit in novel enough ways to be funny. More unusual targets include AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, the “seamless” fusion of African music into Paul Simon’s Graceland, and Elton John’s Diana-themed version of Candle in the Wind. Reilly has a keen ear, a talent for finding the mockable in the music we’ve unquestioningly listened to for years.

When he branches out into political observations, however, the quality dips; the witty precision with which he deconstructs musicians and their music is sadly missing. Still, even his political material is never less than reasonably entertaining. A couple of longer narrative songs — about “cheating vehicles” and Paul ‘Bono’ Hewson — also slowed down the pace of the show; they weren’t quite as funny as their runtime demanded.

Rock’n’LOL is a solid hour of musical comedy: the worst of his material is still funny, the best sharply conceived and energetically executed. Reilly is a talented comedian, and an impressive guitarist; and although his show waxes and wanes, on the whole he delivers an eminently agreeable set.

Reviews by Jamie P Robson

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Performances

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The Blurb

Perrier award-winning musical comedian smashes his guitar of truth against the amp of current affairs while you OD on LOLs. Features: NWA on authentic, loving relationships, Coldplay on unicorns, Elton John on paddling pools and Sleaford Mods on hosting the perfect dinner party. ‘Blisteringly funny songs’ (Stage). ‘Hysterical’ **** (ThreeWeeks). ‘Hyperventilating with laughter’ ***** (Student). ‘Amazingly high-quality’ **** (BroadwayBaby.com). ‘The comedy equivalent of Motörhead slamming straight into Ace of Spades’ (Scotsman). ‘Seriously funny' (Richard Herring). ‘Funny sonofabitch’ (Rich Hall).

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