Review: Jordan Gray: People Change ****

Jordan Gray: People Change

Just the Tonic at The Caves

Venue 88

August 2-12,14-26th


**** 4 Star

What a life Jordan Gray has had. No less than 7 alternative pop albums under the moniker of Tall Dark Friend and an incredibly frank and open podcast with Scroobious Pip that garnered her a whole new fan base (myself included.) But the most impressive is clawing her way into the mainstream in 2015. Getting to the semi-finals in The Voice tv show, a task made all the more notable because she is one of a handful of trans performers now in the UK public consciousness.

With a looming marriage, Jordan by her own admission is the happiest she has ever been. She has taken the bold step of changing the trajectory of her career, putting to bed the dark songs she could no longer relate to and instead dipping her toe into the world of stand-up comedy.

It’s an almost aggressively positive hour of songs and stand-up. She’s more than happy sharing stories about her career and her life and just what it means to be a trans woman. Playfully chatting to the audience about how nice it would to have a face and genitals that match. I’m sure there are many bleak tales she could tell, but she’s far too busy making some utterly filthy observations about Jesus Christ and cute tales about trans misconceptions to dwell on such things.

She’s a fun performer, hyperactively bouncing about the stage with an infectious level of energy. Genuinely funny and totally sincere it’s impossible not to get won over by her and her charms. Once she has worked her magic you really don’t care that the show is a little rough around the edges. Sometimes leaping about from topic to topic at random. It’s clear she’s still fine-tuning the show and finding her own performing style. Occasionally channelling Russel Brand wholesale in delivery and body movements but I’m sure she will come into her own in good time.

For me personally I really enjoyed the funny songs she peppers the show with. Gorgeously sang they are self-penned tunes that could give Tim Minchin a run for his money. Great at setting up an idea and then flipping expectations at the next line. Specifically ‘Celia C’ a filthy little song that seems to be about her trans journey but is really about her being gluten intolerant and wanting bread so badly you would happily be fucked by it. As innocent as she looks she’s not afraid to get incredibly dirty, referencing her fucked arsehole in love songs and getting the audience to sing-a-long to some religious things that even I dare not write here.. and that’s a first!

If you’re looking for a fun hour with the most enthusiastic performer in town make sure you go check out the delightful Jordan Gray.

Martin Miller