Having appeared in two festive TV favourites, Rob Brydon is now looking to take a step outside of his comfort zone.
The Welsh comedian was part of ratings winner Gavin & Stacey, on Christmas Day, and also hosted the long-running Would I Lie To You? Christmas special.
Now, he’s going back to his first love of stand-up – with a twist.
As well as his usual comedy and impersonations, his new tour will feature Rob singing, accompanied by an eight-piece band.
“It’s a deliberate risk,” he said. “I’ve got to the stage of my career where shows I’m in like Would I Lie To You? And The Trip and stand-up tours all return.
“But I want to go outside my comfort zone and test myself.
“I’ll be nervous before this tour, thinking, ‘What will the reaction be?’
“But I’m taking a chance, and the fact there is risk involved is part of the thrill of it.
“It will take some people by surprise.
“They might only know me from Gavin & Stacey or Would I Lie To You? and they often say to me, ‘I didn’t know you could sing’. Yet I’ve sung a lot.”
Rob has enjoyed singing since school and has even had a No.1, with his cover of Islands In The Stream alongside Ruth Jones, Robin Gibb and Tom Jones, a Comic Relief charity single.
But it was a trip to see actor-turned-jazz musician Jeff Goldblum in concert that made the 54-year-old Welsh entertainer decide to launch this new tour.
“He played his songs, but he did lots of other things as well, like film quizzes,” Rob continued. “The show followed no rulebook.
“I found that quite liberating and quite instructive. It showed me you don’t have to follow the rules.
“You can make the show whatever you want it to be, so that’s what I’ve done with Songs & Stories.”
Rob, who trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff before moving to a job at BBC Wales, reveals that Songs & Stories will recount his life story through a series of anecdotes and songs by artists such as Paul Simon, George and Ira Gershwin, Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits.
Rob’s comedy and music roots go back to his rather uncool teenage years.
He said: “It goes back to my childhood. I was 16 and starting to get interested in girls, but I was always pining from afar.
“In my teens I lived in Porthcawl, a coastal town, and all the cool boys were surfers.
“I wasn’t a surfer. I had a go once, but I hurt my knee!
“My musical taste was never considered cool. I never set much store by stuff being fashionable.
“I loved David Bowie and The Police, but also Shakin’ Stevens and Cliff Richard, which not many boys of my age did. Well, not the ones sitting at the back of the bus!”
Rob hopes the show provides some escapism for the audience.
“As a performer in the last few years, you can really feel people just want to escape. It’s tangible.
“People come up to you afterwards and say, ‘I’m so glad you didn’t talk about the state of the country or the current US President.’
“My show is an escape. It’s a service.”
Rob Brydon: Songs & Stories Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, Perth Concert Hall, Aberdeen Music Hall, Apr 28-30
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