Joe Jacobs: Orthodox Joe
Awkward and unsettled tale of attempt at rap stardom
It's a tough start to Joe Jacobs' late-night set. The magicians before him have run over time and there's a rogue projector that's distracting the audience. Before comedy, Jacobs was a rapper and this show charts his journey to make the big time following a self-imposed ultimatum.
It may be due to the rush getting on stage but his backing track is too loud and it's a strain to make out the lyrics to his raps. One about his penis and another ribbing middle-class habits are amusing but far from riotous, while a recording of Jacobs being discussed on BBC 6 Music, presumably there to help frame the story of his rap comeback, just seems self-indulgent.
He doesn't exude the confidence you'd expect from a rapper, he seems uncomfortable from the off. After a few opening sentences, he states that we're a tough crowd and continues to assess our reaction throughout. After each rap he comments on who clapped until eventually the audience feel compelled to offer a perfunctory hand. When people start to chat, most of his insertions are reminiscent of a teacher who has lost control of a class. There is some shock value in his blasé attitude to personal questions but it's lost in an awkward and unsettled hour.
Frankenstein Pub, until 29 Aug (not 27), 10pm, free.