Glenn Wool stands triumphant in a Guns’n’Roses t-shirt as the self-confessed “scruff” turns in a stunning performance at Manchester’s Frog and Bucket comedy club.

His seamless blend of hillbilly politics, surreal jaunts into the land of fantasy and “average-Joe”, common sense rants are what mark Wool’s style as unique and charming. The intelligence to his comedy, hidden behind a veneer of hard rockin’ and hard drinkin’, is of pointing out the hypocrisy in society; how things work differently when you’re long-haired and bearded than when you’re in a sharp suit.

For a Wednesday evening show, the audience was a real mixture of people, and nicely populated; not too busy, not too empty, and the atmosphere was very warm and friendly as a result. The Frog has had plenty of experience with shows like this, and the ability to close the balcony and effectively halve the size of the club allows for great flexibility in audience sizes, while maintaining the atmosphere of a busy club.

Wool’s cheeky asides to the audience, and sly digs at himself, really were the icing on the cake here. The audience was friendly enough that he could rant without impediment, and then crack a joke about himself without inviting a barrage of heckles from drunken sales reps. As much as a few characters dotted about the audience can add to the atmosphere of a comedy club, the tendency towards attempting to one-up the comic’s performance can often spoil an act’s momentum. This was entirely absent here, which is what I enjoy about the more polished mid-week comedy rather than the brash, stag-do-orientated weekend shows, despite the smaller (“more intimate”, to use a useful reviewer’s euphemism) audience sizes.

This is the second date of the UK tour of his Edinburgh Festival hit “No Land’s Man”, and it’s a great show. Glenn Wool has a real talent for making people laugh, and manages to wield multiple types of humour at once, from the political to the down-to-earth, via surreal flights of fancy and the downright crude and borderline offensive. Fitting all that into a single anecdote is a mean feat for any comic; not bad for around a tenner.


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