Billy Kirkwood Review

Posted on Monday 23rd November 2015 19:00 by FreckFest

Shhh? What’s that sound? That rising, riotous ripple coming from the harbourside? You might’ve heard it yourself had you been near the environs of the Magnum Theatre last Friday night. It was the sound of people letting go, doubled-up with laughter. It was the sound of Irvine folk having a right good old-fashioned laugh. It was a magical sound.

Billy Kirkwood had the 300-strong sell-out crowd in stitches.

“I've been fortunate enough to play in front of some massive crowds and I honestly don't remember being so nervous before a show, but as soon as I took the stage, the energy just hit me and we had a ball.”


With no apparent structure to his show (a neat trick, as this show was well-thought and carefully structured from the off) he freely ad-libbed on everything and anything that came into his slightly twisted head; growing up in Irvine, wrestling, having children, giving up alcohol and joining a gym, his tattoos and the love life of the brave audience member who happened to look his way at the wrong moment, much to the amusement/awkwardness of his girlfriend and parents sitting beside him. Large portions of the show were a peek-through-your-fingers cringe at subjects and situations you yourself have stumbled into, and it was that familiarity that helped everyone in the audience see Billy as ‘one of us’.

“The Magnum holds a special place in my heart, my mum worked their when I was a kid and I have nothing but fond memories of going there and growing up in Irvine.”


After a quick break, the second half was built around subjects suggested by the audience – in the bar before the show and during the interval they’d had the opportunity to scribble down a word or a phrase that could trigger Billy’s thoughts into a comedy routine. Billy brought the large pile of suggestions with him onto the stage and went through them at random. No topic was taboo and the second half flew past in a riot of colourful language, exotic subject manner and a bellyful of laughs. If you weren’t there (and why not?!?) you can only imagine.

“I think all in I ended up doing over two hours on stage. It’s all a bit of a blur now but if it hadn't been for our curfew I think I'd still be going now.”

Billy was overwhelmed by the response he got and although this was billed as his ‘Finally at The Magnum’ show, don’t be too surprised if it happens again at some point in the future.

“Being the last comic to headline the Magnum was an honour. I was blown away by the support I received in the run up to the show, not only by the local community but also further afield. The amazing folks at Freckfest helped make this little boy’s dream a reality. We’ve got 10 months before the Magnum is no more. Maybe we'll do one last show, again. The very last show at the Magnum… Watch this space.”


Before we end we must give a special mention to Kevin Scott and his bar staff who were as busy as we’ve ever seen them at a Freckfest show. It’s a thirsty audience, a comedy crowd.

And we’d also like to say thanks to Vanilla Joe’s who took the opportunity to sell ice cream (the best ice cream in Scotland, no less) at the show. This was the first of what we hope will be a successful partnership between ourselves and the ice cream parlour at our events. There’s a pun in there somewhere about giving it big licks at a rock concert, but I’ll leave that for someone else to refine.


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