Dan Nightingale has that rare and slightly unnerving attribute that induces instant familiarity. Without having seen the man before, the moment he steps onto stage you get that uncanny feeling that you have met, maybe even had a heart to hear. This is possibly because Nightingale is not a threatening comedian. A self confessed softie, he doesn't apply to the aggressive/ obnoxious school of comedy (or as he puts it; the 'you like that fuck you! I wrote it!' style of stand up). His infectious confidence make even his habit of laughing at some of his own jokes endearing.
The beauty of Nightingale's stand-up is that while he clearly has a lot of material stacked up to use he doesn't need to rely on it. He spent a good twenty minutes of the show throwing comments back and forth and building up a rapport with the audience that was strong enough to merit a show of its own. This was done without the usual formulaic question and answer session that comedians use to kill time, instead he entered into conversations that lead to well handled tangents. At this point we should note that Nightingale is master of tangent juggling, casually flitting from topic to topic and never dropping the ball note again that these were audience inspired tangents, not the scripted asides that many stand-ups masquerade as improv.
By the time he actually entered into his set he was on first name terms with the entire audience (this is no exaggeration as the audience of that night will testify). Any moments that may not have produced the desired audience effect were finely recovered and, in general, it was such a slick and funny show that it was quite a surprise to find out it was his first Edinburgh visit. He easily rivals, if not betters, the 'big-name' comedians that are posted at the thousand seater venues. I look forward to seeing him up again but I would insist you catch him now before he sells out.