Stuart Goldsmith


Brighton Komedia, Sunday, June 17

STUART Goldsmith has just turned 41, he’s newly married with an infant son and has recently “completed” therapy.

His podcast, The Comedian’s Comedian, has been downloaded more than seven million times and features in-depth conversations with comedy superstars like Bill Burr, Stewart Lee and Jimmy Carr.

His latest show, Like I Mean It, is a man contemplating that for all these reasons and more, he is happy – honest – while simultaneously grappling with the transition to full adulthood.

These are well-trodden topics by middle-aged comedians and, while funny in parts, the show struggles for real original insights.

Goldsmith’s handling of a persistent, maddening heckler was indicative of his material as a whole – he dealt with her kindly and calmly and no matter how much his face betrayed annoyance, he always seemed to be holding something back, constrained by the fact that he is clearly a very nice man.

The lack of edge seeped into the show, which felt restrained and lacking in any real danger.

This is possibly because Goldsmith truly is genuinely contented and the flames of panic, rage and fear that he tries to manufacture simply do not burn that brightly.

Goldsmith describes this show as “stupider and less clever clogs” than his previous work and it’s the silliest bits that are the most successful.

Highlights include a ranking of robots by degrees of smugness and tales of his and his wife’s struggles to overcome their own ineptitude to keep their son alive.

Overall, Like I Mean It was funny in parts, a little uneven and ultimately very safe.

It would have benefited from greater emotional depth but there were enough laughs to make this a good hour, even with interruptions which were beyond his control.

John Holden

Coming Soon

Gaz Coombes

Concorde 2, Brighton, Thursday, October 18

Hot off the presses and just announced, Gaz Coombes is hitting the seaside in October, probably a bit cold for a dip by then.

So it is just as well that no swimming will be involved, unless you feel the urge.

Instead, the man best known for leading 1990s indie-rock legends Supergrass will be bringing his solo tour to the Concorde 2.

The career of Gaz Coombes has been interesting to say the least; starting in the early 90s with alt-rockers The Jennifers, Coombes got his first taste of leading a band, at just 16 years old.

The story goes that when the band went to sign with Nude Records for their first album, Coombes was under 18 and thus had to have his mum sign the papers for him – not exactly the most rock and roll way to start a career in music.

Even less rock star is the fact that when The Jennifers split, in 1992, Coombes spent some time plying his trade in a local Harvester in his native Oxford.

Some may not see how this links with the superstardom he has now, but it was in this very restaurant chain that he would meet Mick Quinn and Dan Goffey and Supergrass was formed.

It was in Supergrass that Coombes would achieve superstardom, his sideburns becoming almost a trademark – growing steadily across the sides of his face.

The group enjoyed 17 years at the top of British rock music, releasing six albums in that time.

They split in 2010, citing musical differences as the reason. A host of farewell shows followed but the group haven’t played together since.

Their seventh studio album, Release The Drones, is still unfinished and gathering dust awaiting release, whether it will or not is yet to be decided.

The disbanding of Supergrass hasn’t hindered Coombes’ career.

Now a household name, he has enjoyed success with all three of his solo albums.

The last of these, World’s Strongest Man, was released earlier this year and is where you can expect the bulk of content from this show to come from.

However, with a back catalogue of well-known tracks there will be plenty for any Gaz Coombes fan to enjoy.

I’m sure there will even be a Supergrass song thrown in for good measure, here and there – although I can’t imagine you’ll be in luck if you go expecting anything from The Jennifers.

At 42 there’s still plenty of show time left in Coombes, so you can expect him to put on a show that the fans will want to replay in their minds over and over again.