Jim Holland: Shoegazing (2 stars)

This article is from 2014

Jim Holland: Shoegazing

Entertainingly awkward shuffle around comedian's quirks in need of extra texture at 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

‘Anything an extrovert can do, an introvert can do more awkwardly.’ That’s the mantra of Jim Holland, Portsmouth-born shy guy. He also believes that real integrity is persevering with a thing you love, even if no one else will like it. He drops in this last pearl of gauche wisdom as an in-joke, a wink to his charmed crowd who he knows he’s definitely got onside with his nervous, blinky delivery, but just not quite managed to have in stitches yet.

His material in Shoegazing hangs loosely around his sartorial dilemmas (growing up, he had aspirations to be dapper like Fred Astaire, then an acid jazz fan, then a metalhead), and his brief love of shoegaze music which, like him, was ‘mopey, teenage, introspective and non-confrontational’. There are lots of Slowdive / Ride / Kevin Shields references in there for fellow shoegazers, as well as Tin Machine appreciation and Lighthouse Family revulsion, but Holland’s style is still a bit too reticent for the crowd’s liking, even when the whole show is about being timid.

His shyness is nice, to quote another man he no doubt listened to during the Fred and Ginger years of his youth. The hour is an entertaining, awkward shuffle around his quirks but, a bit like the shoegaze style he loves, maybe his comedy needs more noise or distortion or texture to lift Holland from being a shy storyteller, into the much more distinct wallflower-hero entertainer he’d really like to be.

The Caves, 556 5375, until 24 Aug, 6.20pm, £5-£7.50.

Jim Holland: Shoegazing

  • 2 stars

Jim Holland It’s shoetime! Polite comedy maverick Jim Holland brings intelligent wit, conversational delivery and two-tone shoes to his debut show of dapper introversion. 'Jim is a fantastic comic who has a wonderfully distinctive comic voice. Everyone should go and check him out' (Romesh Ranganathan). ‘I cried with…