Andrew O'Neill - Heavy Metal: A History (4 stars)

This article is from 2014

Andrew O'Neill - Heavy Metal: A History

Huge connection with a subculture results in massive pay-off for those in the know

From the black clad hordes, sporting Mastodon t-shirts and Mohawks, waiting in line you know Andrew O'Neill is preaching to the converted. The clue is in the title if the thought of anything heavier than Coldplay brings you out in a cold sweat steer clear, in his own words: 'there are two types of people in the world: metal heads and dicks.'

Unfortunately, if you're not a metal head, and can't tell thrash from NWOBHM, you'll miss out on some of the best jokes. You'll wonder why repositioning the microphone before a gag about Motörhead gets a laugh in itself, and the parody of System of a Down will just be baffling.

It's a risk writing material for such a specific audience, but when you can connect so succinctly with a subculture, there's a huge pay-off. It's the most comfortable O'Neill has ever looked on stage, buzzing off the energy from the crowd. He knows his material and loves the music with a passion, hammering out riffs on his Flying V to illustrate his points. Most metallers already know their history, but given this wicked comic twist it's greeted by big laughs, cheers and a closing singalong. The only downer is you can't really see the projections on the black (naturally) backdrop. Horns aloft: Mr O'Neill we salute you.

Pleasance Dome, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 11), 10.45pm, £7.50-£9.50 (£6.50--£8.50).

Andrew O'Neill

After the apocalypse, hope. Also, jokes. Award-winning cult comedian Andrew O’Neill brings sunshine to the party with a show full of anger, optimism and very, very silly mucking about.