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4* Review: Justin Moorhouse – ‘Destiny Calling’ – The Lowry, Salford Quays

Tonight was a special night in Justin Moorhouse’s career trajectory.

After 15 years waiting in the wings, he was given the opportunity to record his own DVD. And where better to do it than right here in Salford?

From the set design, to the camera crew and the standard of his warm up act, Danny Mcloughlin, everything tonight was about going the extra mile.

And, boy, did he show that he’s come a long way from being the painted-faced buffoon in Phoenix Nights.

This new routine follows Justin’s life as a 45 year old because he’s “probably about half way through”.

He told stories about his friends, who may or may not have interfered with cats, explained why a long term relationship is exactly the same as riding a bucking bronco, shared a little too much information about his hatred for feet, and why the life of every pharmicist is a true anti-climax.

All of this infused with a local, down to earth feel, that resonated with everyone in the audience.

After all, nowhere else in the country would you understand the pain of emulsion painting your house number on to your wheelie bin or driving over the 5,000 roundabouts in Warrington.

However it felt at times like the pressure of recording a DVD got the better of him.

The delivery of some stories felt forced, while punchlines often felt a little off the mark. Also, if you were from anywhere south of Stoke, a large chunk of the set would be lost on you.

But for the most part, he had us right in the palm of his hand. He’s a comedian who understands life as a northerner, regardless of your age and gender.

And no doubt this performance is just the first of many DVDs in Justin’s future.

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