“ Publisher: BBC Audiobooks Ltd / Published: 7 July 2011 „
I ordered the CD of the radio show Rhod Gilbert's Bulging Barrel of Laughs as, not only so I quite like Gilbert, but I am a huge fan of his special guest in this episode: Mark Watson. This episode was first broadcast on Radio 2 in 2010, and is the only one I have seen available on Amazon, even though it is the third out of six. It is an hour long show, recorded in front of a live audience.
Rhod Gilbert is the lead presenter and he is ably assisted by Greg Davies and Lloyd Langford. Another regular is Sarah Millican who does a short stand-up routine based on the female viewpoint. This was a bit of a bonus for me as I am a big fan of hers. It is only a short slot of a few minutes, but very typical of Sarah's other comedy work you may have seen.
Mark Watson has a slightly longer slot as the guest stand-up, and again this is very much in his usual style and was definitely a highlight for me. Something a bit different was live music from UK Ska band Kid British who played three original songs. I was not familiar with them prior to listening here, but enjoyed their music, but of course they won't be to everyone's taste. Realistically, you don't buy a comedy audio CD for the music...The main downside I would say is that although they performed live, the format seemed to suit a TV show rather than a radio show.
Although there is quite a bit of comedy within the show, I found some of the links and informal off-topic chats and banter sometimes fell a bit flat, and it lost its momentum slightly. The concept is that Greg Davies (usually) pulls a topic out of a 'barrel' (allegedly) such as 'Confessions' or 'Greg's Indecent Proposals' (involving going to a funeral with the Chuckle Brothers - well worth a listen). Other highlights for me included Rhod's Rant Club, which centred on buying things you don't really need (such as toothbrushes with 'on-board' computers) as well as a few other topics that involved his co-stars more. To claim the show is Rhod Gilbert's is a bit mis-leading as it is more a combined effort from a number of comedians and some audience participation.
However for an hour long show, it was a bit too hit and miss for me, and I think it could have been condensed into a half-hour episode easily enough. It is also strange that this is the only episode available on CD (apparently others are available to download) and the current price of £7.40 for a one hour episode isn't really good value, as the comedy (at least in this format) doesn't really inspire a re-listen in my opinion.
By all means give it a listen if you are a fan of any of the contributors, especially if you can get it for a good price, otherwise, I am afraid you many be better off listening to something else.