Fittingly it was love that allowed me to see Richard Herring perform at Eric’s. My girlfriend knows me so well and loves me so much that she put my happiness before her own and sent me with her blessings to watch his latest show What is Love Anyway? Either that or she knew I was horny, she was tired and it was the perfect way to get rid of me.

In front of what must have been a sell-out crowd, Herring became the Brian Cox of Love, scientifically dissecting the cosmically divine randomness of love and its end products. All of which are described with fantastic new words and phrases that now mean that I won’t be able to look at my daughter the same way – or my Mum in her eye.

This confessional-cum-lecture had been brought about by Herring’s impending nuptials and his need to question the concept of love, just as he has previously done with Christ and Hitler (questioning, not marrying). This led to poetry to describe his younger self’s ineptitude and naivety in love and lust, illustrated theories on stalking using his odd relationship with Press Gang star Julia Sawalha and the mathmatics behind a Ferrero Rocher love pyramid.

Frenetically delivered in a manner befitting the punk history of the venue, the show reached a crescendo on a story about his Nan and her Alzheimer’s where I found myself crying and bent double – which is sometimes the position I assume for love. It’s one of those stories takes you through a gamut of emotions as the climax of the story draws near – and is then taken higher with a second laugh-out-loud tale.

Both moving and hilarious, Herring showed a piece of his love and the audience reciprocated in kind with a showering of applause for a lovingly crafted show that makes me hungry for Herring’s Cock in Edinburgh, but did he manage to wrap up the show by answering the show titular question?

I’m not sure, but consider the wisdom of the young scally who I overheard talking to his two mates on the way to grab my bus back home: “…17, she was dead tight, took a while for me to get in.” Now if that’s not love…

Che Burnley

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