I’ll just say that this is the review that doesn’t review – review. The reason is that as we queue for unreserved seating for the Peter Kay warm up gig at The Lowry, we are faced with notices making it clear we shouldn’t record anything. We would be monitored to make sure that we don’t take photographs or video the show, the notices declared. It seemed to me that pen and paper and human memory are just as useful recording devices, but not mentioned in the list of forbidden actions. However, I got the message, it would not be a good idea to include spoilers in my blog before Kay’s big stadium tour, or as it is called ‘The Tour That doesn’t Tour- Tour’.
The Lowry studio space is for about 130 people and I managed to get a seat on the front row. This meant I was very close and it all felt very intimate. It was odd listening to Kay through his microphone, when I was close enough to hear him if he’d whispered to me. Though the space was much smaller than the Manchester Evening News Arena where most of the ‘tour’ takes place, the atmosphere was still fantastic and there was lots of laughter. I’m sure the tour won’t disappoint those with tickets for the arena. Kay has an eye and ear for the everyday. He picks up conversations, the way members of families react interact. It felt at time, that he must have lived in my house and observed the things we did and said. At times I was taken back to my childhood and I can realised many of my memories were shared by Kay and it seemed the rest of the audience. I suppose Kay’s style draws specifically on a Northern humour, and his Bolton roots are extremely important. In his routine there are some of the familiar characters, such as Uncle Knob Head, but this is a new routine, beautifully timed and brilliantly delivered.