Christian Reilly is on a mission to save the world through music. That’s the premise of this excellent stand-up show and, while it’s a pretty loose thread to hang his material upon, Reilly’s material is so strong that it barely matters.
Reilly is what I would call a top-quality all-round stand-up. He manages to combine seamlessly and effortlessly many different characteristics into one very-funny package. His act touches on political commentary but also on the eccentricities of relationships. He’s at once laddish and cultured, risqué and occasionally childish, a grumpy old man but one who clearly understands the down-with-the-kids music that he very ably parodies in ‘Sexy Ass’.
Because Reilly’s real strength is that, as well as his sharp wit, he’s an excellent musician. A recurring joke throughout the set are his spot-on parodies of established acts such as Mumford and Sons and Bruce Springsteen. When he launches into the Arctic Monkeys-esque ‘Dirty Dancefloor’, his imitation is so perfect that you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between his voice and Alex Turner’s, right down to the deadpan Sheffield delivery. (In fact I’m slightly concerned he may have ruined the Arctics’ next album for me…)
His original songs are brilliant too, especially the gloriously daft ‘Popin’ Nine to Five’ and one rather edgy number speculating on what it’s like to be seduced by a maths teacher. My favourite track though was the piss-taking ballad ‘Dark Wood and Light Wood’, a song which takes a slightly trite analogy and mocks it by hyper-extending it over three and a half very funny minutes.
Thrown into the mix are a couple of slightly weaker routines – ‘Musical Racism’ struck me as a little simplistic – but overall, this is an amazingly high quality show and well worth an hour. Christian Reilly isn’t saving the world but he’s certainly making it a funnier place to be.