Belfast Telegraph

John Bishop review: Grumpy middle-aged man raises smile

By Amanda Ferguson

John Bishop was in good form at the Odyssey Arena over the weekend for two packed-out gigs.

The 48-year-old Scouser spoke of his love of Ireland and shared his thoughts on the changes he has witnessed over more than 25 years of visiting Belfast.

The football-mad father-of-three doesn’t tell jokes.

As he told the audience he just wanders through life hoping funny incidents happen to him so he can retell the tale.

He is most comfortable swearing and being grumpy when talking about his family life, how his wife of 20-plus years doesn’t find him funny and his changing relationship with his three sons.

Sharp comebacks to hecklers, thoughts on life in the ‘80s and joining the ‘mile high club’ on his own on a first class flight to Australia were highlights.

The 8,500-strong crowd loved him but for me Supersonic has its share of shortcomings.

I found myself smiling a lot rather than laughing at Bishop and there was a peppering of casual misogyny throughout the material I found quite unsettling.

I chatted to people during the interval about what they made of the show and the reaction was 100% positive.

On my point about some of the content being old-fashioned, one woman quite rightly pointed out Bishop is a ‘middle-aged bloke’ and not a ‘new man’.

Three stars

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