Phill Jupitus JUPLICITY Review: A thoroughly enjoyable gig with its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments

Phil Jupitus 2018 Tour

From poetry and music, to conversation and comedy, Phill Jupitus latest show JUPLICITY certainly has it all

Fans battled through an actual blizzard on St. Paddy’s night to see Phill Jupitus perform his show JUPLICITY at The Lowry

Already sat comfortably with his back to us on stage, Phill is listening to Elvis Costello’s ARMED FORCES as if at home in his own Scottish living room. As the audience filters in, it is clear straight away that the show’s format is going to be an unusual one.

The house lights go down and Phill greets us warmly after jokingly announcing his own arrival to the stage. He’s truly appreciative that so many have attempted and actually managed to get to the venue despite the extreme weather conditions outside. For anyone worried about digging themselves out of a snow trench afterwards he quips “Don’t worry! If we get snowed in, at least there’s a bar, think on people!”

Opening the show as his own support act Porky the Poet, Phill gives a nod, acknowledging The Bard of Salford, John Cooper Clarke as a massive influence on him as a performer and the reason he does what he does after having seen him live in the early 1980’s. After performing his first poem “They’ve All Grown up on The Beano” you can hear his influence just from its delivery. We are then treated to an autobiographical poem “Supporting Madness” educating us on his time on tour supporting the notoriously badly behaved boys of 80’s British ska revival.

Next up, a musical interlude. Phill invites the 30 some members of The She Choir of Manchester on the stage to join him in a supportive showcase of their vocal skills. After an acapella Whitney Houston mash-up performed by the choir, Phill joins the choir onstage with his guitar and they provide his backing to a rendition of Talking Head’s ONCE IN A LIFETIME. Some might say unconventional at a comedy gig but thoroughly entertaining nonetheless.

Given the seemingly random format of the show, Phill advises us all directly that it is now time for the interval but instead of retreating backstage he jumps into the persona of his tour manager Susan. She deals with the admin and is prone to the odd fan selfie, jumping down from the stage to mingle with the theatregoers and thank the majority personally for coming to support him.
Act Two continues the musical theme and commences with the song “Owls Are Bastard’s” – a ‘hoot’ of a tune, before “This is a Coldplay song” accurately and rhyming the wisecrack they’re always about “five minutes too long”.

Here Phill moves on to his sheer disbelief that of the two team captain’s from now defunct music panel show NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS, Channel 4 chose to hire Noel Fielding over himself as a replacement host for the decade’s most popular TV programme, THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE-OFF. “I’ve worked with him! He doesn’t eat!! He survives solely on pollen and Love!”

Next come two hilarious, if not wildly exaggerated stories from the last 12 months, Phill receiving his honorary doctorate from the University of Kent at Cambridge Cathedral and the escapades of a day off after a gig, spent on the Isle of Shetland in search of the illusive puffin!

Although the gig has no specified end other than a “That’s all folks”, we still get an encore of the trials and tribulations, nay the sheer inequity of being a father to girls rather than boys. A thoroughly enjoyable gig with more than its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments. Well worth a watch and more than worth the ticket price.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Phill Jupitus’ JUPLICITY performed at The Lowry on 17 March and is on tour nationally until 14 June 2018.