Posted by: martinworster | April 12, 2008

101. RUSSELL BRAND

Hollywood beckons, man of the moment, shagger of the year…take a bow Russell Brand…

I’ve been listening to his podcast for over a year now, so I was excited to hear Russell was coming to LA for a show. He’d been mentioning about his regular visits to la la land as he’s on a mission to conquer the US and is in Judd Apatow’s latest film ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’.

Walking into the Paul Gleeson ‘theatre’ on Hollywood Boulevard it seemed like a very small joint for a man who is basically a rock and roll stadium filler in the UK. It must have been 150 people capacity, a narrow room with a small stage at the back. We were going to be in for a treat. It’s prob part of his strategy of US domination, to test the water in a smaller venue. It was billed as ‘sold out’ – not difficult, I could have sold it out.

I was interested to see how his humour translates, a lot of it is very UK based with it’s references, language and and general lilt. But then hearing all the British accents in the audience maybe he wouldn’t have to adapt to the market. After a half hour delay due to a long toilet queue, Russell hopped onto the stage like the little pixie that he is. He has a look and persona that manages to embody the cultural zeitgeist of London in the last five years. A waif like heroin chic nod to Kate Moss, an ex-junkie of Amy Winehouse proportions, tight indie jeans of The Libertines, a big hair do a la Noel from the Mighty Boosh and the general foppish air – and language – of an Edwardian dandy meets London spiv. It’s a great marketing mix.

He prances around like a fairy, playfull with the borders of his sexuality, half effeminate queen, half the hetero-thrusting shagger of the year. I can tell he’s someone who’s taken lots of drugs, in fact it’s part of my theory as to why he’s so talented. Lots of drugs have opened up new neural pathways, blurring the social receptors that normally inhibit how we think (and talk), giving him that manic motormouth quality, eradicating the need of an editing suite from mind to gob. Speak as you think, streams of consciousness, an aural ejaculation. The gateways LSD offers to new psychic realms and alternative thinking, the rabid manicness of a crack head, the stoner humour of weed, the   silly banter of a pisshead. It’s all there.

Some of the material I’d heard on his podcast (plus the two DVDs I own of his stand up material). That’s not a criticism. I was expecting it. There was also some new material. And some very new material which he made up on the night, morphing from his humourous soliloquies. He’s a clever lad. He did some good stuff on the differences between the UK and UK. Then lots of his normal sex schtick – fecal matter on your privates after anal sex, jerk, I mean, wanking, off, necrophylia etc – all delivered whilst chatting up a cute pair of blondes who sat two rows back.

So Russells still man of the moment. Shagger of the year. Dandy of the month. Geezer of the day. As we left, I saw Morrissey heading back stage, so he can get that miserable Manc to laugh then the world’s his oyster.

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