For over forty years now Robert Norman Davis, better known by his stage name Jasper Carrott, has been entertaining audiences up and down the country with his cheeky humour and witty observations. Along with his friend Bev Bevan and a selection of other musical guests, the 70-year old put on a night of laughs and music for the people of Southampton at the O2 Guildhall on the 6th September.
Carrott arrived on the south coast as part of his Stand Up And Rock Tour, which incorporated a mix of stand up comedy from himself and a selection of rock ‘n’ roll hits from the past 50 years. Of course the main attraction and big draw of the night was the Acocks Green-born star, who explained that this was the first time he had performed in Southampton since before the turn of the millennium. He quipped, “They say you only play the Guildhall in Southampton twice during your career. Once on the way up… It’s nice to be back!” to many laughs from those who had braved the Sunday evening cold to see him.
The former Golden Balls presenter hasn’t lost any of his admirable charm. He still comes across as the playful comedian he was twenty or thirty years ago and he treated those in attendance to numerous new stories, whilst also revisiting old favourites, including his encounter with the infamous Magmaloo curry in Newcastle. His silly humour still remains a massive hit with those of all ages, with his relatable jokes and puns that everyone can understand. “You know that look a woman gives you when she’s sexually aroused? No, me neither!” being a particular tickler from the evening.
After a half hour or so, Carrott welcomed Bev Bevan, who used to be apart of the Electric Light Orchestra alongside Wizzard’s Roy Wood, and his band to the stage to treat the crowd to some of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll hits from the past. Vocal guests included Rockin’ Berries frontman Geoff Turton who did a few great renditions of some of The Beatles’ greatest hits, and Midlands-based folk/rock band Quill’s vocalist Joy Strachan-Brain. The group performed numerous foot-tapping hits that got a few heads bopping, but unfortunately I feel most people would have just preferred to see Jasper do a whole stand-up routine rather than have to put up with live music.
Carrott was able to prove that despite now being in his 70’s, he is still just as funny as ever. There aren’t many comedians who can draw a crowd of all ages and have an even split of gender coming to watch them, but Jasper can. His personality lights up the room whenever he’s in it and he’s able to draw a smile from just about anybody. I sincerely hope that he decides to carry on touring and will be back in this part of the country in the not-so-distant future – everyone needs a bit of Carrott in their life.