DVD review: Brendan Burns, Sober not clean
After refuting his label as a 'New Offender' of stand-up comedy by the Guardian a few weeks ago, it perhaps seems suiting that Brendon Burns looks like he might actually be mellowing a little.
Fans of his caustic approach needn't worry too much; this recorded stand-up show shows that Burns can still take on hecklers with the best of them, find bile for Fairtrade consumers, and ponder what the consequences are of the Chinese state circus women being so bendy.
His trademark approach of giving out tongue-lashings for the state of the world is also still alive and well, with time given to his fellow Australians, Brits, Americans, and especially the citizens of Liverpool (and to pull off insulting Liverpudlians without sounding like an eighties throwback is an achievement).
But alongside looking at what he thinks is wrong with the world today, there is also a fair portion of the show handed over to looking back at his own life.
With the recording made two and a half years since Burns went into rehab for drugs and alcohol, basing a section on the 'reasons not to leave a notepad next to the bed after taking cocaine' feels a little stale.
Without that urgency, it doesn't have the heartfelt feel of his splenetic attacks elsewhere in the show.
Still, introspection is clearly never going to be a major problem for someone like Burns, and this is only a minor complaint.
It's the oneliners you come for, and for those he doesn't disappoint (“say what you like about cancer, but it's a good way for bald kids to meet sports stars” would be one of the kinder lines).
To watch someone keep up an energetic anger for an hour-plus show is an impressive feat that's worth seeing.
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