Perrier and Emmy Award-winning grouchy American Rich Hall brings us the “3:10 to Humour.” A train ride that is most definitely steam-driven - classic comedy delivery with a lot of Country and Western, from both sides of the Atlantic. You might have noticed the spelling of “Humour”, the British way; Rich admits that he loves Britain, he loved it so much that he married one and she’s from Liverpool.

Rich’s dry sense of humour and gruff southern drawl are very amusing - almost a grumpy old man ranting at the injustice and stupidity of the modern world but with clever insights and intelligent wit and satire.

Rich is a well-known comedian, writer, musician and documentary maker. He has appeared regularly on many British comedy panel shows, as well as, five appearances on Live at the Apollo. There were familiar jokes in tonight’s set, but much of it was new, improvised and musical.

Hall’s set included insights into the differences between Americans and the British: the gun debate; Donald Trump, the Clintons and David Cameron; and the idea of coalition. In fact, he felt that the world was so depressing nowadays that the only remedy was a six hour show!

He also likened Christian denominations to different sandwiches and the trouble in Syria, to a meeting of rival fans for ‘middle of road’ singers from the 70s and 80s.

However, the major component of tonight’s performance was the music; Rich is a very accomplished Country musician. In fact his comedy alter-ego, Otis Lee Crenshaw, he has released albums and a Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh Fringe in the year 2000.

In the first half Rich performed improvised songs based on familiar county songs, using a talk-singing style and information from audience members. This resulted in a sing about Satan’s new Health and Safety Press Officer from Toxteth; a lumber merchant from Crosby called Big Bad Rich; and a love song between a car insurance salesperson and shoe salesperson, with a warning about meeting your true love in a Wetherspoons!

In the second half, after some further stand-up material, we had pre-written songs and the dangers of trucking in the UK; a greyhound’s realisation that he’d been duped all his career by fur on a stick; The Border Collie Song; an ode to The Rose of Hawick; and Rich’s saddest song ever about Bob Dylan, including his fabulous harmonica playing - something you have to witness to believe! (Can you read the sarcasm?)

In the beautiful surroundings of St George’s Hall Rich’s music sounded amazing, with the support of Rob Child on lead guitar. Unfortunately, there were some sound issues in the first half, the echo made some of Rich’s material difficult to decipher, thankfully this was rectified for the second half.

A great evening with a very accomplished performer who offered some sage advice: “Be the best YOU, that you can be”, Rich Hall definitely gave his best tonight.

Reviewer: Alan Harbottle

Reviewed: 4th May 2016