One of the most exciting young comedy acts in the UK, Liverpudlian comedian Adam Rowe is currently touing the UK and is bringing his show Undeniable to Cardiff’s Glee Club on October 28. A hit at Edinburgh Festival for his uncompromising, brutally honest stand-up style, Adam recently took time out to talk comedy with Andy Howells.
What led you to a career in comedy?
I grew up watching comedy; my Mum loved watching stand-up and had a great sense of humour, so it was always a part of my life. At 18 I was working in McDonalds and a colleague and I would watch stand-up together on our breaks.
It wasn’t long before he suggested that we perform at an open mic night. It was an incredible experience! I just gave it a go for a laugh but looking back it seems like a natural progression and I don’t think I’d survive doing anything else now.
Who are your comedy heroes and why?
When I first started out I would look up to comedians like Kevin Bridges, whose anecdotes come across so natural and relaxed as if they haven’t actually been written. His working-class upbringing and early start as a teenager also resembles my own start in comedy, so it was definitely encouraging to see that it’s possible for people like me to make it.
As I’ve progressed as a comedian and experienced more within the industry I view Bill Burr as one of my biggest comedy heroes. One of Bill Burr’s philosophies, ‘make yourself undeniable’, is what inspired my latest tour. His provocative honesty is admirable and his attitude towards comedy is something I identify with. Be distinctive. Be funny. Get the audience on your side.
You write comedy as well as perform it. Does writing comedy come naturally to you?
Comedy itself comes naturally to me, but I’m not the type of comedian who performs scripted. I usually only have a few bullet points for new material, so it is more difficult to fine tune a written piece and perfect every word than it is to work through a new bit on stage. My experience really allows me to read and judge audiences and not having that immediate response to written work takes a bit of adjustment.
Who or what inspires your comedy?
I write about my life and the people in it. Real life and real people are funnier than anything I could make up. I even told my girlfriend when we met that she’s signing up for a life of public stories and exaggerations about our life and time together. You’re going to be a huge source of jokes and if that’s not going to work then we’re not going to work. Luckily, she stuck around and is a good sport – I’ve gained a lot of material from her.
Who or what makes you laugh?
I’m friends with a lot of comedians but the people who make me laugh most are my best mate and my little brother. Sometimes you can become desensitised to comedy when you’re exposed to it so regularly, but those two never fail to have me doubled over for hours
What’s your funniest experience at a gig?
I’m not sure about the funniest but the most memorable was when a rowdy, obnoxious heckler tried to charge the stage, tripped over a chair and knocked his tooth out on the edge of the stage. That was a hilarious dose of karma and, after the initial shock, I think that made the rest of the audience’s night!
You’re visiting Cardiff soon with your show Undeniable. What can people expect from the show?
An hour of funny stories that also make you think. You won’t necessarily be crippled laughing the whole time because the show is more than a string of one liners or a 15 minute set of your biggest crowd pleasers – it is truly a show. You’ll learn more about me and my upbringing, how and why I got where I am, issues I have and have overcome and you might even learn a bit about yourself too. You’ll be laughing your heads off, don’t get me wrong, but it’s so much more than a few unconnected jokes to pass an hour of time.
Where can people find out more information about your tour and work?
You can find out more about me and my upcoming tour from my website: www.Adam-Rowe.co.uk and you can also get tickets from www.livenation.co.uk. This is my first tour in full collaboration with my agent, PR, managers and a tonne of other amazing people, so I’d love the people of Cardiff to come out and see the show we’ve worked so hard on.