Joe Jacobs: Grimefulness


Just the Tonic at The Caves
Aug 5-11, 13-25 (16:00)

Material: four-stars.png  Delivery: four-stars.png Laughsfour-stars.png  Room: three-stars.png

I must admit I’m a fan of Joe Jacobs & his film-star beard. Two years ago while reviewing the Fringe I saw him in action, & invited him to headline a comedy showcase in a rammed Corn Exchange, Haddington. The whole thing cost me a fortune, but it was worth it, especially when Joe smashed it at the end. Two years later he was standing before me once more, at the Caves this time, with his new show, Grimefulness. Its all in the name really, for Joe Jacobs seems to be growing up, a self-confessed ‘rapper in retirement,’ & in 2019 we see ourselves on the true bridge of his art.



Joe’s show is a gryphon of meticulously penned raps, & razoredge comedy. When he’s rapping, its all a bit of a rave really, whipping me back to the bedrooms & warehouses of London & it’s squat parties in my own mispent youth. Joe is still chopping the lines out, but pardon the metaphor, I mean his spitting & his wisecracks. He’s a funny, smart, lyrical geezer, who has the good fortune & talents of being a cut above most comedians – a pinpoint performer. This is easily measured by his ability to wrench a guffaw out of the stoniest of guts, & rip it yelping through our walls of social introversion.

The overall experience of Grimefulness is something like this. He’s like a lion on a tight little island & the audience are skittles which Joe bowls over with his gags, then stands us up again with his raps as we sit in stunned appreciation of his class wordsmithery. Personally I prefer his comedy – the speed of his observations to the beat leave my information receptors a bit dazed, tho’ his garage rap & his crikeeeeey catchphrase is cosmically funny! All-in-all, everyone should buzz of Joe, from the pensioner-age toffs in the Haddington Corn Exchange to the budding teenage Grime MCs down Vauxhall.

Damian Beeson Bullen


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