DeAnne Smith (3 stars)

This article is from 2011.

DeAnne Smith

Boys want to be her, girls want to sleep with her

DeAnne Smith is a cutie and she knows how to use it. With a perky demeanour and little-girl voice, Bieber-esque fringe and a wardrobe nicked from Billy Joe Armstrong’s slimmer days, she strides onto the stage and lulls us into a false sense of saccharine security.

Ruthlessly tapping the potential of a sweet smile and outsider schtick, she sugar-coats some material that sails surprisingly close to the wind, and gets away with it. No overly original corners are explored as she talks and sings (with ukulele accompaniment) about racist grandmas, chronic social anxiety and unrequited sexual urges towards her ex-girlfriend, but all the elements are pulled together into such a neat package and served up with such charm that you can’t help but fall for it, and her.

There’s a carefully maintained tension in the vague sense she’s playing with you, using that appeal to win you over and inviting a generous admiration with her self-deprecation, or acting all blokey and testosterone-fuelled in a way that may or may not be tongue-in-cheek. As she points out herself, it’s one way to cater to all demographics, with Smith leaving a room full of boys who want to be her, and girls who want to sleep with her.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 29 Aug (not 15, 22), 8.15pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

DeAnne Smith: The Best DeAnne Smith DeAnne Smith Can Be

2011 Barry-nominated powerhouse of hilarity makes her Edinburgh debut. Canadian/American. Distinctly warped. Nerdy-hot. Freakin' ready to rumble. ‘Smart, accessible, engaging. A winning combination.’ (Age) ‘Endearingly offbeat’ ( Plus bonus ukulele!

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