It seems fitting that for a man who endearingly looks and sounds predominantly drunk and/or hungover, that Brightonian Seann Walsh’s set is almost entirely based on the pitfalls of alcohol. Having seen Walsh a few times on the last train home to Brighton, I was wholly convinced this was content with honesty and, with England being a nation of drinkers, it’s subject matter that every Englishman understands. His observational skills of the down and out are beautifully illustrated in talk of sweaty hungover bus journeys (including the awkward moment of reaching the top deck to find no seats), the feeling that pressing the 9 minute snooze button will actually help you and the two single words within the English vocabulary that generally endorses bad decisions: “Fuck it”.
Though some may feel topics of drinking and degenerative behaviour are obvious and one dimensional, Walsh’s dark wryness not only adds charming character and brutal honesty, but covers the small and twisted things we may unknowingly do, at a comedic level with Dylan Moran. For example, when receiving a 20 minute voicemail from a friend, full well knowing they’ve accidentally dialled from their pocket, “You listen because you think you might hear a secret,” and when walking down the street, suddenly realising you’re walking the wrong way, you then “attempt to not look a maniac by immediately turning around.” Thoughts on people who only go out for “one drink” are met with applause by the seemingly and fittingly drunk audience, during which a crowd member runs out because he has “the shits”. One sympathises.
Guidance on how to know when you are drunk is taught in when you “bang your teeth on the glass,” or when “your elbow slides off the table,” as well as being prepared for when the “surprise sick” arrives and you can’t keep it within your hands. Moving not completely away from the talk of hungover mornings, Seann discusses his wish for breakfast news that offers real hosts, instead of the happy shiny people we’re used to, and would prefer “people who can’t talk yet with morning glory”. He feels adverts for Lucozade should stop being aimed at sportsmen, as the only people who seem to drink it are clearly hungover and not sportsman in any shape or form. Finishing with a poetically acted moment in slow motion of when you’re asked by the barman if you’d like “anything else” and subsequently ordering jagerbombs climaxes in applause for the talented raconteur whose brutally honest scattered thoughts on the middle class down and out are beautifully entwined.
Words: Simon Herriott