Kevin Bridges is a funny man, but I have to admit I found his first stand-up DVD, The Story So Far, rather patchy. He seemed more than a little nervous and was too prone to laugh at himself in a way that almost seemed to be entreating the audience to laugh too. It rather hurt the impact of the routine, as the writing itself was admittedly very good. The Story Continues catches up with Bridges two years later and sees him as a more assured comic who seems less in awe of playing in front of giant crowds at the likes of Glasgow’s SECC, where this disc was filmed.
He now knows more what he’s doing, how to time a laugh and how to play to a crowd, which allows his sharply observed humour to have a stronger impact. He has a real everyman touch and is helped enormously by his Glaswegian low tolerance for bullshit. While some comedians appeal to the middle-class and others to a comfortable modern working class, Bridges is rooted in the salt-of-the-earth world of Scottish council estates. He may have bought a house – as he reveals in the disc – but he’s still not far from the world he grew up in.
Some of his funniest jokes see him bringing his wry wit to the lot of those on the edge of society, from his revelation that Jimmy Carr’s tax dodging is nothing because Bridges says he’s still signing on to the dole (he’s keen to add he’s only joking), to the ridiculousness of making the unemployed do unpaid jobs to help their self-esteem – as he points out, British Gas doesn’t take self-esteem when you need to pay the bills.
Admittedly the first half of the show is funnier than the second, but there’s entertainment to be had right the way through. His conversational style makes it seem surprisingly intimate – as if you’re listening to a mate down the pub. There are moments where a slight lack of confidence still comes through though. Some comics almost demand the audience to laugh, whereas Bridges often seems to be worried the joke won’t work and he’ll have to vamp. He needn’t be concerned, but you can see the fear there. However this is far less of an issue than on his first DVD, and actually becomes rather endearing.
I have a feeling that while he’s already had huge success, especially in Scotland, Bridges hasn’t yet reached the limit of what he could do. With slightly tighter routines that are a little better tied together, along with perhaps finding a vague ‘point’ to the gig (I don’t mean he needs to give things deep socio-political meaning, just find something that makes it feel everything is part of a greater whole, rather than series of discreet skits and observations), he could be truly great.
If he keeps improving the way he has been, within a few years he’ll be a master. At the moment we’ve got a very funny man who perhaps found success a little bit before he was ready for it, but who’s now growing into it. The result is a witty 75 minutes with plenty to make you smile. It may not be a classic, but The Story Continues is very amusing and will certainly please Kevin’s fans and those who like a good down-the-pub style laugh.
Overall Verdict: Bridges has grown as a comedian in the last couple of years and while the 25-year-old may not have yet reached his zenith, The Story Continues will still give you plenty of laughs.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac