Russell Brand – Messiah Complex

St George’s Hall


Russell Brand's clever showy-offy show last night was upstaged by one stunning physical gag – thankfully his own.

Prior to his slick Messiah Complex gig – a witty romp through life's icons (himself included), Brand descended to the stalls and met his people.

Clutching a knitted figure of himself given by a fan, he sashayed and stroked his way round the hall.

Until he came to Tariq at the back.

Tariq sitting on his mobility scooter.

And this was when the utterly unforgettable genius happened.

Asking "give us a go, mate" Brand, quite naturally, mounted Tariq and his metallic red little motor.

We instantly knew this could go badly wrong.

Reassured by Brand, Tariq fired it up and with the superstar on his lap they sped towards the stage.

We all knew this could go very badly wrong.

But Tariq was laughing and the comedian's long leather legs were waving in the air – filled with his own colourful commentary.

They made a tight right, squeezed past the front row then shot back down the straight.

We all thought – this might not end so badly.

But then came a cabling hump by the mixing desk.

Brand cried: "Come on Tariq mate – give it all she's got!"

They made it.

Tariq had not been killed.

And the true comic force of risky slapstick hit the audience in the face.

We erupted.

It was a moment of brave, brilliant opportunism in a world where the thrill of violent comedy has almost vanished.

"That was ACE!" shouted Tariq.

It flipping was.

And so was Brand.

The brainy/mucky stuff of the actual show about Gandhi, Jesus, Hitler etc was funny too.

But riding with a smiling disabled man – that was quite divine.