Paul McCaffrey seems less like a performer and more like a mate in a pub. Though distinctly a routine, his stories of music festivals and run-ins with the council would not be out of place in amongst a group of friends. As a result, far from being the cosiest gig, a distinctly intimate and friendly atmosphere was created. The side effect of this is that you can’t help but think you would rather chat to Paul (he feels too chummy to use his surname) in a pub over a drink rather than sit through an hour set piece.
The opening gambit of the act felt dated. Talk of Cee-Lo Green’s F*ck You as if people hadn’t yet come across it in some way implies that his routine is quite old. The majority of the routine, too, feels niche: based predominantly around music festivals, his observations are not immediately accessible to everyone. Nevertheless, his open and engaging manner ensures that there is no alienation.
The trouble is that there is little to say either way about Paul’s performance. On the one hand he is likable and his storytelling is strong, but there is little in the way of sparkle or indeed any stand-out elements. This is not to say that the set is poor - his material and delivery is superior to many - only that nobody should expect to leave with a hernia.