If comedy is (still) the new rock'n'roll, then Russell Kane is surely at the forefront of comedy's very own Britpop era.
Aged just 30, Essex boy Kane is far from being a late developer but live performances over the last two or three years appear to suggest a comedian maturing show-by-show. He seems to have begun to reconcile his working class roots with the comparatively middle class career path he chose; not least in pursuing a degree in English (he gained a First).
This juxtaposition manifested itself most readily in Kane's relationship with his father, frequently exercised (and exorcised) on stage, not least in his "Smokescreens & Castles" tour. A rich source of funny, Kane's characterisation of a father at odds with his son's choices contributed to a show that earned him an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2010 after two prior nominations.
Having shared his experiences with the group, a comparatively calm performer emerged; affording audiences longer to dwell on Kane's undoubted talents as the breathtaking pace of many a comedy tangent gently subsided. While the title of his award-winning Smokescreens tour hints at depth and subterfuge, the new material hits the road under the rather less cerebral tour title of Manscaping (Urban Dictionary: Manscaping (v) - a term used to define male grooming below the belt).
But be in no doubt; Russell Kane is a clever man and his comedy has intelligence on many levels. Manscaping may hint at the lewd and obvious, but deeper meaning is certain to lurk just a nick below the surface.
With just one month for Kane to recover from his massive Smokescreens tour, the extensive new tour starts in Salford at the Lowry on 18th September, with the 2011 leg ending at London's Hammersmith Apollo on 11th December. The 2012 leg starts in Hereford on 2nd February, continuing (currently) until 23rd March in Barnsley. Tickets are on sale now, starting at £17.50 (£20 for London).