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What stands out about Rob Deering is that he is perpetually uplifting. While many comedians’ personalities seem to be a mire of insecurity, self-loathing and sarcasm, Rob Deering consistently seems friendly, energetic, and personable. His likeability doesn’t come from his ability to make fun of people or himself in a witty or clever way; it comes from his genuine charm. It’s that charm that makes his show The One work so well.
Deering is funny throughout, but strictly speaking The One isn’t really a comedy show. The stage set-up is an oval of musical instruments and pedals: an electric piano, a guitar, a small drum set, a pair of congas, and some hand percussion. Using a loop station, Deering records each part of a song individually live on stage, then performs the song. While the songs themselves are toe-tapping and fun, the interesting part is the way that Deering explains the process as he goes along, and talks about different forms of music and the way they are constructed. In this way it’s not really a concert or musical performance, more of a demonstration, with some non-confrontational audience banter peppered throughout.
This night’s performance was a rather quiet one, but it didn’t look like Deering was holding back on the energy and good cheer (although a large on-stage coffee probably helped). The finale to the show was affected, however. When the room is packed, one imagines Deering is able to find members of the audience to come up on stage and play all the instruments. This night, he wasn’t able to find all the musicians he needed, and the song fell to pieces a little. While the show was far from an emotional journey, The One was enjoyable, humorous, accessible, and a joy for music fans.
Rob Deering - The One
1-27 (not 14th) August 20:15 (1hr)
reviewed by Myke Hall