Appropriately enough the sound of The Ramones’ 1980 hit This Is Rock ‘N’ Roll Radio usher us in to Roland Gent’s show. The 50’s American nostalgia as depicted in the song, though, seems a million miles removed from contemporary community radio, and not just geographically.
Roland Gent tells his autobiographical story as a journey, a journey from darkness into light; from discordant sound to rock ‘n’ roll radio.
He is an inclusive comic, making sure that everyone is involved and having a good time. Several times he checks that his audience are comfortable with filth; it’s just as well they say ‘yes’ because filth comprises some of his best material. There is unalloyed joy in hearing (once again) the Today programme mispronouncing the name of the then Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt. Gent trumps that with equally hilarious examples from Radios 2 and 5.
Stand up is, quite possibly, the hardest of all the performing arts because it relies on a degree of personal exposure; of establishing an instant relationship and rapport based on your own personality. Thankfully, Roland Gent’s personality is both likeable and very funny; and for all the bluster and swearing you sense there is a genuine empathy with those who have no escape from the depressing Salford estates where the community radio station is based.
What Gent does is create a temporary community out of his audience, and that temporary community celebrate together tiny victories as the Daily Express, Cabinet ministers, and various other powerful institutions are shown up for what they are. We are united in our ridicule; it may not change the world, but it makes us feel better.
So, if you have a spare 45 minutes go and see Roland Gent’s show. He deserves to been seen by more people; this would be electric with a full house. Providing you’re not offended by words that rhyme with sock, duck and hunt, you’ll be in for a liberating and uproariously comical evening.
Where: Korova Cafe, Studio Theatre
When: Friday 31 July 2015 7.30pm
You can find out more about Roland Gent at his website here.
Will you go to see ‘Rock N Roll Idiot’? Let us know in the comments below.