Danny Baker – The Sausage Sandwich Tour– Epsom Playhouse – 12 April 2023. A review by Epsom and Ewell Times.
Once television’s go to cheeky chappie Cockney, Danny Baker demonstrates how much more there is to his life and career than that lazy characterisation: West End record shop assistant at 14, partying with Elton John and Rod Stewart by 17, co-founder of Sniffin’ Glue underground punk magazine at 19, New Musical Express journalist, TV presenter, radio host, script writer to Jonathan Ross, Chris Evans, Peter Kay, Ricky Gervais et al all by 40, and now at 66 add to that list raconteur touring the country and playing to sell-out audiences with his stand-up show.
Stand-up? More like stand still, Danny for Pete’s sake! Baker notches up his 10,000 steps comfortably in the first half as he walks to and fro across the stage in his fezz and brandishing a wand. After four hours we are exhausted, one can only imagine how Baker is feeling. Leaving the Playhouse at 11.20 p.m. after kicking off at 7.30 p.m. you can see that our host is giving the late Ken Dodd a run for his money in giving his audiences value for money.
The wonderful undercurrent of Danny’s life is the sheer unpredictability of it. John Lennon once famously said ‘Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans’, well in Danny’s case life is what happened to him when he was busy making no plans whatsoever. Driven only by the advice from his Dad never to sign on because ‘then, they’ve got you’, Danny meandered into one fabulous job after another. Of course, if he wasn’t innately talented and possessing a natural connection with audiences of all kinds he would have fallen at the first hurdle. Baker also has bucketloads of gumption.
Danny hurtles through his life until his knee deep in the names he has dropped. But, why not? He has worked with and knows nearly everyone from Q4 20th century popular culture. But his feet remain firmly planted in Deptford soil as he refused to play the celeb game. Despite it all he remains one of us, not one of them. He’s our imposter in their world. He’s a fighter, shaking off cancellation and cancer along the way. He’s funny. He doesn’t do emoting. He has no messages for us. If there is an opposite to virtue signalling this show is it. He has no lofty pronouncements on his “art”. Instead, he tells us his nice home is “the house that Daz built”, referencing his cringy TV ads from the 1990s. Danny Baker is an unvarnished old school cockney and there are few left. Go and see him while you can.