We're dealing with a man who is occasionally touched by surreal greatness but who's also inclined to moments of childish reverie...
Oh Tim, stop it, you’re killing us. Part misplaced vaudeville showman, part Michael Barrymore, Tim London is what you might call a personality. Tonight, as Yossarian, he slurps red wine like a nervous party host and, in between his flights of musical fancy, delivers the kind of cryptic soundbites normally reserved for presenters of The Crystal Maze.
An entertainer, then, and one with a startling six keyboards – some of which he knows how to play. Those he has difficulty mastering Tim leaves to his assistant, a woman with the good-humoured disposition of Carol Vorderman, as he surfs his own personal zeitgeist. For while the destination remains unclear, Yossarian‘s travels are vaguely connected to a peculiarly English neo-bohemian, art-house ‘vibe’: witness the knees-up oompah of ‘Gilbert & George’ and the engaging cacophony of ‘Dungeness’, the latter’s title taken from artist Derek Jarman‘s final home.
Tim’s is a constrained psychedelia, at times colourful and rewarding, at others simply irritating, as on the British seaside postcard prurience of ‘Ooh Henry’ and the ‘wacky’ ‘The Sultan Has Singed His Moustaches’. We’re dealing with a man who is occasionally touched by surreal greatness (‘My Shy Boy Saint’) but who’s also inclined to moments of childish reverie, as the absurd ‘Witches & Bitches’ waltz inevitably attests. Two sides of the same coin, one suspects.
A unique character, certainly, and in this current climate that’s an unusually attractive proposition.