Bridge Over Troubled Lager (Volume 2)

★★★
music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 16 Aug 2014
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121329 original

Destined to be snubbed by the discerning, this show has the appearance of a complacent cash-in intended to exploit the dwindling celebrity of Rory McGrath. It’s easy to forget that before he became known for his down-to-earth quips on shows They Think it’s All Over and Three Men in a Boat, the star was a jobbing gag-writer of repute. Both Frankie Howerd and the Not the Nine O’Clock News team saw fit to use his material, while even the notoriously prickly Peter Cook chose to spend time with him socially. The self-professed "bearded tit" knows how to speak the language of comedy when he isn’t resting on his laurels, and musical partner Philip Pope is no different. The latter may not get top billing here, but he appeared in Blackadder and no one can take that away from him.

The blokeishness hinted at by the show’s title is admittedly off-putting, yet entirely charming in person. These men are obsessed with beer and onanism to such a pathetic extent that their endless stream of knob gags and innuendo starts to seem surreally sophisticated. Picture them, if you will, sitting in front of a word-processing unit, typing out the line about Scarlett Johansson bouncing atop McGrath’s member. Imagine their snickering faces and trembling, hairy hands.

Their comedy songs may touch upon conceits already associated with Jake Thackray and Loudon Wainwright III, but so much joy has been channelled into this musically-minded opus that it’d be churlish not to go along with it.