Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Russell’s brand close to expiring

Last night I headed over to the famous Brixton Academy in south-London to see the stand-up comedian Russell Brand’s new show Scandalous.

Although I have never been a big fan of the former MTV presenter, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt when my sister gave me two tickets for the show and to enhance my impartial approach I invited my partner, who seems to like his style: “kind of like him, yeah”. So we gave it a go. Well, his performance in three words: what a disappointment.

The tour name ('Scandalous') said it all and it was immediately clear that the free publicity that Brand received after the Andrew Sachs/Jonathan Ross BBC Radio affair was going to be exploited, big time. The gig began with a compilation of damning news clips and the subject took up a good part of his one and-a-half hour show. Here it became clear that the man who thought it was funny to go to work on 12 September 2001 dressed as Osama Bin Laden is nothing more than a self-obsessed, obnoxious exhibitionist, telling the audience he ‘brought down the BBC’. Yeah, right.

Described by some as ‘an intelligent and witty stand-up comedian’, it was not what I saw. It was obvious that the Captain Jack Sparrow incarnate is very frustrated about his failed attempt to break-through in the US: the audience at the MTV Music awards was horrified by his controversial cheap jokes about Britney’s vagina and the Jonas Brother’s cock rings, in LA in September 2008. Even before the live awards show ended, it was clear his career in the States was over. And what did he have to say about it tonight here in SW9? ‘America just does not understand me. They are all losers, wankers, tossers, and bastards. I did not even want to be there, so I came straight back to England.’ Yeah, right. They just did not want you, Russell. On top of that he decided to make fun of America’s religious traditions and became even slightly racist when he made a certain remark about a black rapper colleague and described himself as an ‘English gentleman’.
While he was claiming that at least here in Brixton he is understood, I could not avoid the impression Brand was trying to compare this modest, regional music hall with seats for around a 1000 to a worldwide television audience consisting of millions and millions of viewers. It is clear Russell’s brand is fading away in unrealistic self glorifying attempts to remind ‘the Great British public’ how big he once was, and still is. He had one global shot and he blew it; millions detested his cheap taste and negative approach. Because that is perhaps the most typical thing about Brand; he is so incredibly negative. Everyone is a wanker, slut, cunt, liar or loser. Luckily, in his world, above everyone else, lonely at the top, there is the Holy Brand, Saint Russell: ‘I am great in bed’, ‘I am a genius’, ‘I am fucking good at that’, and ‘I do so many more crazy things than you every day.’ Please, give me a break. Where is the self criticism, the ability to poke fun at yourself? After a good hour I was dying for moment of weakness, a moment of russellita, a moment in which he admit he is also just a human being

That moment never came. Perhaps it is a pretty smart way to cover up what he has always secretly known deep inside; that the tousled-haired sex addict has no other talents than to swear and shout, poke fun at others and disrespect everyone and everything around him. Brand against the world. That explains why he is best known for his heroin, alcohol and sex addictions, raunchy routines and his frequent trouble with the law. Happenings he happily exploits to get maximum publicity. Hence, I am writing about him so it works. But it makes you wonder, where are his impressive books, legendary performances, stunning TV-shows? They simply do not exist. While I was watching him I came to realise that when he claimed the whole world did not understand his sense of humour, it illustrated perhaps just one thing; an attempt to cover up his complete lack of sense of humour. (pictures: BBC, Russell Brand's blogs,,