Liquid Room Annexe, Edinburgh
Brendon Burns strolls on to the stage to the tune of Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire, mostly because, he tells us, he couldn’t think of a better song to illustrate the theme of ‘Dumb White Guy.’ This live show is an extension of his popular podcasts, which are numerous and varied, and available on iTunes. He then launches in to his routine and it quickly becomes apparent that maybe ‘Funny White Guy’ would have been a more accurate title. Burns is what you might call a provocateur. He talks a little bit about Brexit and a lot about being a white Australian and he explains how he trialled a version of tonight’s show at a comedy festival in Adelaide where he got pretty hostile reactions to most of what he said. He tells us he can’t get over the freedom of the Fringe, how you can say pretty much anything you like and get away with it.
His style is undoubtedly abrasive and liberally peppered with four letter words, but there’s clearly a reasoned political mind behind many of his jibes and I found myself pretty much in agreement with his views. Like a lot of comedians at the festival, he seems to be under the impression that most of his audience this afternoon are actually Scottish, when I’d wager we’ve come from all over the world, but it matters not, because wherever we’ve come from, we’re all laughing uproariously. Some high points of this set for me are his comments on the differences between Australian and English drivers, the genocide of the aboriginal people and his largely doomed attempts to put on a show for indigenous Australians in Australia.
There’s a surprise towards the end of the show but he makes us all promise not to reveal what it is. So I won’t. But I will say that amidst the plethora of comedians at the free fringe, Burns is definitely a name to look out for. If you require a heady mix of intelligence and hilarity, this would be a very good place to start.