Elis James

Article by Rebecca Gordon | 31 Aug 2009

Elis James is a risk-averse Welshman. Hence the cutesy title, an inspired choice by James following his agent’s demand to 'sex up' his forthcoming festival debut. But James doesn’t need to be sexedup. James is content with caution, satisfied with safety. And in his presence so, it seems, are the audience. Mining the well-hollowed ‘growing up in…’ subject area, James’ Celtic wariness is justified by an ‘oppressively supportive’ mother, whose unchanging dinner menu defines his youth. Chronicling an awkward adolescence, he isn’t afraid to grinningly divulge every painful moment - a catalogue of bashful encounters with the opposite sex and disastrous experiences with drugs. But James has come a long way since his virginal teenagehood. Still youthfully affable, with a refreshing distaste for the ‘c-’ word, he’s matured into a self-assured comic. Though his material isn’t exactly cutting edge, he delivers it with natural absorbing wit. One to watch.