Henry Rollins – Charmingly Obstinate

The force of nature that is named Henry Rollins graces the Edinburgh Fringe once again, bringing with him another hour of profound advice and big laughs. The former frontman of Black Flag is a man you’ll want to see talk, whether you are a punk or not.

You get the feeling he’s only said half of what's on his mind and you’ll be clamouring to hear more.

Rollins takes to the stage and scarcely moves from the spot, rooted to the ground like an angry tree. For a lot of performers this would look unnatural and would be off putting but even in his 50s Rollins raw physicality coupled with a natural amability makes him an engaging stage presence.

He has lead a fascinating live and he’s happy to share. Usually people discussing how great their lives are is a quick way to bore the audience. But his enthusiasm for subjects is infectious and everything is told with the right amount of humility.

During the running time a number of topics are covered, including his meeting with David Bowie, America, his love of music, and Mark Twain. He’s got an amazing insight and the show is littered with philosophical lines that most artists would hang entire shows on.

Getting older certainly isn’t starting to making him mellow. Maybe he’s not as brash has he has been in the past but sometimes it is crude humour that still tickles him. He states during the show that he doesn’t know how to write a good joke. Maybe he doesn't but there is plenty of good jokes in there and if it interested him, he could probably be quite an adept comedian.

The show is over an hour long but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. By the time he has left the stage, you get the feeling he’s only said half of what's on his mind and you’ll be clamouring to hear more.

Reviews by James W. Woe

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The Blurb

The legendary Black Flag frontman, author, Hollywood actor, Grammy Award winner and passionate stream of social consciousness raconteur. Hard-hitting, side-splitting, always in your face, Rollins is an unmissable live powerhouse.