In the last year the comedian who has had the most stratospheric ascension to the top of the comedy tree is Scotland’s Kevin Bridges. The 23-year-old Glaswegian has become a national sensation almost overnight through his brand of cutting edge observational humour and storytelling. Much like a young Billy Connolly it has to be said.
His first DVD release, The Story So Far… Live In Glasgow, sees him play to his hometown crowd in Glasgow’s SECC; which incidentally is without doubt the worst music venue in Scotland. The DVD begins with Bridges driving round Glasgow to the soundtrack of The Sopranos. Thereafter it is all about Bridges’ ability to hold an audience in rapture. His jokes are funny, and he is quite happy to trot out the colloquialisms in Glasgow as you would expect – some of which may bypass the better spoken amongst you.
In little under 90 minutes, Bridges tackles subjects such as complicity around masturbation cycles between a father and son; going on a lads’ holiday; why there is a less than pleasant term for residents of Edinburgh; the difficulty in being a Scottish comedian in England, and much more.
It is hard to believe given the maturity of the performance that Bridges is only 23 years of age, and he looks much older too. He has the devilish appearance of a young Glaswegian who has been involved in a lot of scraps, scrapes, and shenanigans, and as a result has a fair few stories worth sharing, so long as they are sprinkled with a dose of comedy magic. He has an acerbic wit and relies on his wiles to get him through.
The one major criticism with The Story So Far… Live In Glasgow is that much of the material has been shown on terrestrial TV already and, if you have seen Bridges’ performance on Live At The Apollo, you’ll be familiar with about 20 percent of this release. Bridges himself has admitted he was uncomfortable with this as the DVD was filmed about six months before it hit the shelves and given the exposure comedians have at the moment, it was almost inevitable that there would appear to be an element of recycling of his material. That said it doesn’t come near the level of regurgitation that the likes of Peter Kay are guilty of.
In his encore he attempts to engage with the by now pretty drunk audience members and handles the heckles exceptionally well, which is in my mind the mark of a truly great comedian: the ability to think on his/ her feet being a strength that gets them up through the rough and tumble to the regional comedy circuit. Oh, and as an addendum, the ‘f’ word is trotted out like a typical Scot where the flexibility of the word is beyond peer – be aware.
DVD extras include Bridges’ appearance on BBC’s Live At The Apollo.