This was my first review in Edinburgh and to be honest at the time I was a little annoyed. I never like any review the first time I read it but this one has grown on me, if for no other reason then reading it feels like a GCSE English test. I will get to the words in a moment, first the reviewer. You may have noticed in previous reviews I've not mentioned the person just the publication and that's because I don't wish to make it personal but I have to touch on this one. My show only had about ten people in because 'Insert Edinburgh excuse here'. A friend who was in said to me after the show ‘That bloke on the second row was annoying’ that was our reviewer.
I'm a great believer that reviewers should blend in and be like David Attenborough, studying not disturbing. At one point during the show my reviewer rolled a cigarette (so im told), Never did I see a lion trying to bring down an antelope only to be slightly put off by Attenborough leaning up against a tree rolling a fat one (Maybe the BBC edit those bits) I also never saw David noisily putting his coat on rather than watching the last kill of the day but hey ho, maybe he had another show to rush to.
Lets us get on with the review.
Watching Luke Graves at work is rather akin to listening to one of the Icelandic Sagas of old, Egil’s Saga perhaps, when the life-long adventures of an epic hero are recited in a cheiftain’s hall. On this occasion we found ourselves instead in a modern-day luxurious hotel, & of course our bard has a microphone in hand as he delves into his own life to give us Luke’s annual account of his adventures.
What is an Icelandic saga? I had no idea, very rarely do you have to start Googling things during the review.
In 2016 we are witness to his recent engagement to Lauren – next year, he tells us, will be the wedding chapter of his saga, followed by the baby year & in 2019 his dressing up as Superman for parental rights.
Spoiler Alert - That is one of the shows jokes it should not be in the review (he has put the joke in his own words).
Fact Alert - Lauren was happy by being name checked.
Luke oozes a peace-cruising demeanour as he delivers his material in a cute & poignant manner. His audience is very much with him, an intimate connection that finds many comedians’ egos difficult to circumvent. But the cheeky chappie in Luke is only a witty aside away as he thinks on his feet throughout his laid-back, friendly show. Perhaps Luke is a little too laid-back at times, but I guess he’s just a nice fella & that’s his way. He’s a bit like a wolf-pup – adorable with the occasional risque snarl. Indeed, just as one stares inanely at a lovely puppy, so I found myself at times simply gazing at Luke as he sported through his perfectly formed set.
I did not realise that i ‘sported’ anything but i like it. I think this is one of the most creative reviews i've read, which gives me some nice quotes to use but it also makes me feel a bit dim.
So… I guess its a matter of how does one like one’s comedy. ‘I’m really cool with any of this,’ said one of the audience tonight, & I have to agree. Its good to see a comedian with a genuine smile & if its at a nice, steady pace when you feel fluffy & ready for humour, then Luke is definitely your guy.
...and their you go, i’m not sure i have much to add. It seems a nice review and i don’t know if its the performer in me but it does not feel like he enjoyed it. Over all it felt to me like a man that had to be there, had to write something but best £35 for advertising I ever spent.
My beautiful little one
Having been a way for a month in Edinburgh, I really missed this little girl.
So we had a little photo shoot.
Check out Squig on Instagram under... #LadySquig
I also made a new friend in the garden.
Before we start can I just thank people for their messages. Let me assure you that I would be in the wrong line of work if I worried about what people write about me. I reviewed 'The List' and 'Fringe Biscuit' first because neither of them were proper reviews but these last few have at least reviewed the show, which is nice.
I'm working on my next project and I had to look through the reviews for usable quotes and I've found loads, although I still will try and use more from audience members if I can.
But before future stuff let us live in the past this is my Chortle review. For those who don't know this is the main comedy website, I knew before they came that they would not be too keen, although I did secretly hope I could win them over. The biggest shame about this review is how it opens and closes.
Read the original 'review' without my interruptions by clicking on this sentence
In black is Chortles review word for word. In red my comments
Luke Graves makes makes much of the fact that he offers a money-back guarantee if you don’t enjoy his show – an arrangement that’s simply a far more bureaucratically cumbersome version of everything on the free festival.
What a terrible opening. I ‘make much of the fact’ of it because it’s a marketing tool, it seems a little silly to keep it a secret. Also what a shame Chortle misunderstand the Edinburgh festival, ‘far more bureaucratically cumbersome version of free festival’. I invested in a professional venue and my audience paid up to £8 for a ticket on the understanding if they didn’t enjoy the show they can get their money back. This is not the same as being able to walk into a free show and choose if you want to donate. Although I understand how someone could relate the two, they are very different.
It’s a fair bet that no one will every ask for that refund, for he is indeed immensely likeable – and also rather bland. How can you possibly dislike anything so tame and well-intentioned?
Likeable is what i'm going for :) Bland less so but I have to agree in the sense I'm not exactly putting the world to rights. I was told by someone this year ‘Your show is like having a conversation with your best friend, if your best friend is really funny’.
Living Luke is the state-of-his-life show. He’s about to get married, so tells us about the proposal and the wedding arrangements, then ponders whether he should have kids, whom he says he dislikes, but without expressing real conviction. That’s pretty much the depth of it: throw in some stories about online dating, vegetarianism or Fathers 4 Justice for padding and job’s an good ‘un
‘State-of-his-life show’ I like that, that is now added to the description of my show. I don’t express any real conviction about disliking kids because I don’t have any, which is why I end up talking about my love for my hamster and that I will have children. That said that has come up a couple of times so maybe im not expressing myself properly.
FACT ALERT - I have no stories about Fathers 4 Justice. (one punchline not a story make)
There are some nice anecdotes about the stag do in Ayia Napa, thanks mainly to his mate with the missing toe, having some fun with his mildest of disabilities. But ‘nice’ is about the most enthusiastic adjective you would attach to Graves.
FACT ALERT - The Stag do is not in Ayia Napa.
Stop one moment. This same reviewer once said of me...
"there was no lack of jokes, as he proves himself a more-than useful writer. Although his nine-toed mate probably deserves a co-writing credit, since many of the best lines come attributed to him."
I need to point out something, I don’t have a friend with a missing toe, in fact I don’t even have a friend that got married in Ayia Napa. It is all made up, I make stuff up.
Any way where was I...
He comes across as one of the good guys: affable, cheery and easy communicator who engages in charming and welcoming to-and-fro with the audience, teasing every so gently. A career in local BBC radio might suit him.
If anyone from local BBC radio is reading, yes I would (I have a wedding to pay for)
The central story is about him birthing a lamb, ending on a gentle pun, and again showing what a nice bloke he is. The hour is so effortlessly genial, but as mild as unflavoured yoghurt. Raised by a single parent he notes: ‘My dad was a superhero - the invisible man’; or he tells of a type of bee where the male dies after sex. ‘A lot of ladies think that’s a good idea!’ That’s about as hard-hitting as he gets.
FACT ALERT - I was not raised by a single parent.
SPOILER ALERT - 'Invisible man' is one of my jokes (Reviewers should not print jokes)
This I don't understand 'about him birthing a lamb, ending on a gentle pun'. The gentle pun is a throw away line in the middle of the routine and I joke about it being a bit shit. So has this reviewer mis-remembered or have they decided to make it sound like I wrote a whole routine with a crap pun at the end because they want to put a negative spin on it?
Incidentally, I was also intrigued by the quote on his poster, blown up into an on-stage banner: ‘A brilliant young comic bursting with potential,’ said Arthur Smith. Young? He’s in his 30s. This couldn’t be the way Smith brought him on stage for the Hackney Empire New Act final in 2010 could it? Most ancient and disingenuous marketing if so…
I love this. This reviewer really cares about marketing. Where do I start.
FACT ALERT - Arthur Smith couldn't pick me out of a line up of just me, but he did say that he enjoyed my set once and I asked for a quote.
Quotes I may use next year from this review...
“Immensely likeable” - Chortle
“Charming and welcoming” - Chortle
“Hard-hitting” - Chortle
“‘A brilliant young comic bursting with potential,’” - Chortle