PHIL Cool is the self-styled stand-up chameleon – an impressionist who doesn’t just sound like the people he mimics – he looks like them too.
The veteran performer is blessed with an amazingly adaptive face. One minute he’s a pouting Mick Jagger, the next he’s a grinning Tony Blair.
Cool was a regular on TV screens 20 years ago and right at the start of Saturday night’s gig he remarked a little sourly that he hadn’t been on the box for a long time.
But pushing 60, he’s still performing and still hitting the mark – most of the time.
His show included some surreally brilliant routines, like his impression of a dummy stuck inside the body of its ventriloquist.
But there was also some tired material, like the Rolf Harris impression, which could do with being jettisoned.
And there was also the long routine about the loveable, thick Irish which would have been out-of-date in the 1970s. During this section even his mimicry failed him, with his Gerry Adams sounding more West Virginia than West Belfast.
The crowd liked it though, laughing along with the idea that the ninth-richest country in the world is populated by simple-minded folk.
It’s a shame really, because Cool has a lot of strong material.
The show lasted two hours, which is good going for a stand-up gig. But it would have been better if 30 minutes of weaker material had been trimmed off.