Tom Stade – Live Review – Ilkley King’s Hall
By Laura Whiteley, November 2017
Stade waltzes onto the stage with an arrogant swagger and raises his arms as if he were at Wembley Stadium. His hardcore fans applaud with vigour, while the rest of us, who aren’t entirely sure of the comedian’s credentials yet, are more restrained.
At first glance, he appears to be a little too cocksure for my liking, but he soon began to win me over. Jokes are cheeky, with all politeness and political correctness rapidly becoming extinct elements of this show.
Right from the start there is limitless bad language, although Stade declares the nature of the show at the beginning to give the audience a taster of what is to come.
Swearing is obviously in his nature and is a large part of the style within which he performs. Although it’s not for everyone, I will admit that it adds to his rebellious charm and his performance would be severely lacking without the profanities.
Stade divides the audience by their age groups to define his candidates for participation. Then, he swiftly selects one audience member from each group. This works well apart from, as usual (and maybe for ease of performance purposes) he chooses people from the front four rows.
Sitting at the front in a comedy gig though usually means there is a chance of being asked to get involved, right? I was just a bit disappointed that being 31, I was in a category that he somehow forgot about! All it meant really was that I could laugh at others more than myself – which makes a refreshing change.
What happens next is the cleverest, most admirable element of Stade’s interactive performance. He manages to direct the next section of his piece towards these three selected audience members.
It is extremely fast-paced and interesting to watch. He goes from telling a story about his own life, to questioning the volunteer on that topic. Of course, he remembers all names accurately and then keeps referring to these audience members throughout the rest of the show.
It is an effective way of making the show more intimate, interesting and unpredictable.
Other audience members such as myself, are asked to respond to questions by raising our hands. This makes it feel much more like a conversation with a lively, excitable story-telling friend down at the pub as apposed to a comedy gig.
Stade is the kind of comedian who enjoys shocking an audience. Often I find myself laughing and feeling guilty about it because he dares to put things in a way that is blunt, honest and often offends. But actually, sometimes, some things just need to be said.
I found myself comparing him to Bill Hicks in his callous yet humorous approach to certain taboo subjects. It’s difficult not to laugh, even if you don’t agree with him; it’s just the way he puts it.
Funny for those who can hack it but not recommended for those easily offended. Tom Stade is hilarious yet equally offensive. Just a middle-aged, modern comedian that isn’t afraid to say it like it is, then.