Few talents serve a stand-up better than audience rapport and I’m happy to say that Matt Tiller has it in spades. Perhaps it was a benefit of the limited audience but by the end of the gig I think we all felt like we were his friends.
A sweaty little box-room isn’t the best venue for lively stand-up but Tiller has massive stores of energy which drive both him and his audience through this loosely assembled showcase of material on things that Tiller loves. The musical aspect of the show, a collection of songs ranging in subject from his ex-Marine father’s ninja exploits to his own ‘amorous’ encounter with a French truck driver, form a good framework to the hour and are all perfectly amusing. However, what’s particularly impressive is Tiller’s skill at involving the audience without making anyone feel victimised or embarrassed (a pleasant and surprising rare talent in contemporary stand-ups)
What I think was lacking was a little variety in the show. For a primarily musical comedian, he doesn’t really experiment with diverse musical-styles. This is a pity as, when he does step outside his standard approach of long rambling sentences backed by a simple tune, the results are actually pretty good. His freeform-rap-madrigal about the Crusades is interesting and his Billy-Bragg-style protest song about being bullied for going to private school is very well judged. A few more of these lyrical touchstones could give this slightly stream-of-consciousness show the strengthened structure it needs.
‘Matt Tiller’s Musical Messaround’ is described as a work in progress and, to be honest, it kind of feels like it. But with a little more focus to his chaotic likeability, Matt Tiller will do well. Nice one, mate…