“You don’t know what heckling is!” screams Michael Legge at a woman in the first row, cutting down her contention that the Northern-Irish comedian is lovely. As Legge’s tirade increases in vigour, the partially voiced Robin Ince braces himself for the first of many reference heavy, absurdists rants to come. As a comedy coupling the pair fill the dingy, lager filled comedy club perfectly.
The show is a must see, not only because of the free admission ahead of their UK tour, but as a chance to see two veterans, showing off in the most unrestrained, anarchic of ways.
The premise of the show is simple. Legge asks the audience what annoys them and then him and Ince take sides, arguing whether the annoyance is backed up by justified bile or not worth the effort. Suggestions included Justin Beiber, prompting blank looks from Ince, Gender Norms, prompting a distinct “I can’t be fucked with them” from Legge and the Edinburgh Fringe. Whether a mark of their high standing on the alternative comedy scene or the product of their joyful arrogance, the tirade of inter-discipline abuse that follows the Fringe suggestion feels less vindictive than barbed roasting. Ince’s spiky undermining of compatriot Stewart Lee briefly allows us a glimpse into the current circle of “intellectual British comedians”, only outdone by legge’s raw impression of Jason Byrne.
Amidst their general critic of society at large come some fantastic, seemingly improvised one liners from Ince. “I follow UKIP. Not as a political party but as an art movement.” As his frenetic mind moves to Noam Chomsky and the Gilded Balloon, the ITV of the comedy circuit, Legge stands back and wryly concedes “you’re on good form tonight.”
They both are. The show is a must see, not only because of the free admission ahead of their UK tour, but as a chance to see two veterans, showing off in the most unrestrained, anarchic of ways.