Having shot to infamy via his role as Larry David's unlikely sidekick – the street smart, no nonsense and absolutely hilarious Leon Black in Curb Your Enthusiasm – a little highlight reel displayed on the big screen was a great way to warm the crowd to JB Smoove's no-holds-barred start.
Opening act Matt Okine had done a good job of his slot, garnering giggles and guffaws in equal measure while regaling the crowd with tales of managing to suck his own penis, amongst other things. But it was Leon Black people were here to see, almost more so than Smoove, and in that way Smoove delivered; occasionally cracks appeared in the boisterousness that revealed the man behind the character, but for the most part it was hilarious sex and relationship advice delivered with a charismatic and dumbfounded incredulity at everyone else's stupidity.
You get the sense that while there may be some loose plan for proceedings, Smoove, much like Black, likes to fly by the seat of his pants, to rely on his hustle. These elements of improv come to the fore in the way Smoove circles before landing a joke, he'll arrive at a topic – ejaculate (a topic, and not the act of, kind of), or why he likes high heels – and spends time feeling it out before the punchline lands. Occasionally the wait is worth it, but too often it's not. As a show that started late and goes for well over an hour, it starts to drag.
This week's new sets include the return of UK's Foals plus local acts Last Dinosaurs, The Snowdroppers and The Paper Kites.