Sheer joy | 

Partridge was so bad that we left seven minutes into the second half...but Sheeran was incredible

No laughing matter: Steve Coogan on stage as Alan Partridge

Ed wowed us at Croke Park (Pic: Steve Humphreys)

Daragh Keany

Like a flashy git, I went to two gigs last weekend. Yep… two nights out in one weekend. Who even am I?

The big one was Ed Sheeran on Sunday, which I didn't really care for in advance but bringing my kids to their first concert was a big deal for them, so I was all onboard for it despite only being able to name four songs.

With very few expectations, he blew our minds. One skinny guy with stupid tattoos and a slightly nasally voice on his guitar for two hours in Croker was top-notch entertainment. Even the songs we didn't know were great.

Ed wowed us at Croke Park (Pic: Steve Humphreys)

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the previous night when I went to a show I'd been looking forward to for two months.

I've been a huge Alan Partridge fan since Knowing Me Knowing You started in 1994. I watched every episode on repeat for years and can still quote most of them verbatim.

But fast forward 28 years and Alan Partridge has well and truly lost his mojo.

On Saturday night Steve Coogan presented a series of off-the-mark gags, badly timed monologues with the digital Partridge on the big screen, and he read out 95 percent of the script from the four strategically placed prompter screens dotted all over the front of the stage.

Some of the jokes were funny, by the way. Especially the physical comedy ones. And there were a few comments that were simply funny because it was Alan Partridge saying them and wouldn't have been even mildly humorous had they been uttered by any other comic.

But the whole thing as a spectacle (keep in mind this is the 3 Arena with 13,000 seated spectators) was just awful. Myself and my mate left seven minutes into the second half to catch an early train home and even managed to watch the Tyson Fury fight on a dodgy stream.

The next day I was onto another mate who was at it and he said he thought is was pretty good, but added that he was drunk going in so conceded that it may not have been as good as he remembered.

Should we have to get pissed to enjoy a comedy show that cost €60-€70 a ticket? Jesus, no!

Nights out are at a premium these days. What a waste of brownie points cashed in at home. Both of us at the gig had left our families for a night of pints and laughs.

Unfortunately, all we got was a pain in our arses and the stark realisation that the great Steve Coogan is nowhere near as funny as he once was and didn't even bother to learn his lines for a packed-out stadium gig.

Luckily, I had the ginger, guitar-strumming, wannabe Irishman the following night to remind me how to entertain and treat fans to a show that will never be forgotten. Certainly not for my 11- and eight-year-old daughters who have been singing his songs and talking about the gig all week long.

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