Rich Hall’s Hoedown
Country and bluegrass gig from the gravel-voiced comedian
This article is from 2011.
There’s a reason Rich Hall has two shows at the Fringe – let’s get that out of the way first. His stand up show is his outlet for the majority of his jokes; his Hoedown set is an opportunity for him to flex his musical muscles, in the company of friends (and fellow Fringe performers) such as Ronnie Golden, Nick Pynn and Antonio Forcione. There’s certainly some overlap – a good many of the songs have humourous lyrics, and there’s sharp stage banter in between – but those looking for a straight comedy gig should look elsewhere.
With that cleared up, the show can continue enjoyably. Hall encourages audience members to act like they would at a gig – go grab a drink at the bar, get off your seat and have a dance if the mood takes you – and to be fair, this does appear to be the best way to enjoy the show, as the boozed-up booty-shakers from the first row this particular night can testify. Hall appears to enjoy a measure of flexibility in the set-up, taking the stage solo for a few numbers, improvising songs left and right, and even leaving for a couple of tunes to give the musicians a chance to take centre stage.
Like Hall’s distinctive voice, the performance is pretty rough around the edges, but it’s driven by the fun-loving spirit of a group of people kicking back, enjoying a beer and playing some country, western and bluegrass tunes. If that’s your idea of a good night out, you could do much worse.