This peak-time performance to a densely-packed room of mildly intoxicated revellers allows DeAnne Smith to explore different aspects of her persona with terse, compact singer-songwriter interludes and dry set-pieces on sexuality, America and pessimism.
An early song, No Worries, condenses some key Smith virtues into three minutes, putting the comic firmly in command of the room whilst disconcerting those of a mildly hopeful disposition. Smith has the most accurate feel for the mood of a gig I've witnessed so far this August. Kinder Eggs and tins of tuna are dished out to the audience with passive-aggressive relish, although stinging put-downs are always offset by self-deprecatory charm.
Gathering pace with a well-drilled performance on evolution, the middle of the set finds Smith nudging the audience well out of the comfort zone with a harrowing segment on two-year olds. 'Six minutes of bonus hilarity' is probably the strongest section of the show, allowing her some well-earned, spontaneous interplay with the front row. Closing song, Sexy Feelings, is a bitter-sweet, ecstatically received finale, prompting several members of the crowd to tell Smith how brilliant she is on the way out.
DeAnne Smith: The Best DeAnne Smith DeAnne Smith Can Be, Gilded Balloon 2-28 (not 15, 22) Tickets from £9.50