To most people Phil Jupitus is one of the familiar faces of TV shows like Never Mind The Buzzcocks and QI but, for the last 16 months, the comic has been on the road touring his current live show the length and breadth of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. His journey comes to an end in the Yorkshire town of Otley where a packed but very intimate Courthouse joins Jupitus for a show which is not only the final date of this extensive tour but, by Jupitus’ own admission, could be the last live stand-up show he does.
Supporting Phil is Porky The Poet (Phil’s alter-ego) with Porky joking “we kept that off the advert as poetry is a hard sell thanks to Brexit”. For thirty minutes though, Porky entertains everyone with a collection of his own laddish verse. From Beano characters to touring with Madness to his nativity appearance as a child, Porky’s poetry is a superbly written, comical collection which, as a result of 35 years of experience, sees a succession of killer lines delivered with absolute perfection.
Just prior to this tour starting in September 2017, Phil decided to upend his family from Essex and relocate to a remote village by the sea in Fife and the majority of the ninety minutes he is on stage revolves around his life and experiences North of the border. After admitting he only moved to Scotland so he could refer to Yorkshiremen as “bloody Southeners”, Jupitus explains the pitfalls of living in a small village right by the sea including the unhealthy interest in his business from the locals and the 4am discovery that local seals don’t sound quite like the romantic vision he had conjured up before moving.
Revealing that Scotland is one of his favourite places to tour, Jupitus recalls the difference between hotel biscuits North and South of the border before revealing one Scottish gig where he played to eight people only to find that this was more than the Beatles had played to in that very same venue at the height of their popularity. His Scottish adventures continued with him spending a day on Shetland hoping to see his favourite bird, the Puffin, only to find out from the local bird sanctuary that the flock of forty thousand puffins he’d been expecting, had buggered off the day before.
His love of Puffins sees him veer off into a routine about how the strange looking bird had come into existence before he ends the night and the tour discussing being the father of a lesbian daughter. Jupitus becomes emotional as he recalls the moment his daughter phoned him from America to inform him she was getting married to her partner and would be moving out there. For about ten seconds Jupitus keeps the entire room hanging on before delivering another one of his killer punchlines to bring this show to an incredible finale.
During the interval the comic had taken time to mingle with the crowd and, as he finishes up the night, he takes time to make a wonderful gesture by thanking every person involved in keeping venues like the Courtroom running. If this was in fact the final curtain-call on his career as a stand-up, he’s gone out on a high but every person in here tonight will be hoping for an encore from the man in the not too distant future.