Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Matt Hoss confesses he named his show after the Pixies’ hit of the same name before he realised that it was about a homeless man murdering someone… which is not surprising, since it isn’t. But neither is it a particularly romantic song, and while Here Comes Your Man is an homage to hopeless romantics everywhere, the emphasis is firmly on the former word than the latter.

Over the course of his hour-long show, Hoss takes us through the last year of his love life, including its ups (or perhaps just the one up) and its many downs. Awkward sexual experiences, overeager presents and heart-breaking separations all feature as Hoss pokes fun at his own ineptness when it comes to dealing with the fairer sex and mines his fuck-ups and faux pas for laughter and look-on-the-bright-side moments.

His honesty is endearing, his experiences often universally relatable and his observations on-point, while self-deprecating humour will always be welcome in Scotland. But when it’s pursued so relentlessly and without any variation in tone or pitch, it soon becomes difficult to watch. Witnessing a man punch himself in the face might be amusing for a minute or two, but there comes a point when the urge to laugh subsides and it simply becomes distressing.

For a man who seems to lack the self-assurance to connect with the opposite sex on a regular basis, it’s hugely impressive that he has the balls to get up in front of a crowd and expose himself so vulnerably via stand-up. It’s a point that Hoss himself makes and one worthy of recognition, and if Hoss could translate some of that audacity into his delivery of the material (and into his interactions with those he fancies), everyone would likely go home a lot happier.

As such, Hoss has clearly established the bones of a successful onstage persona; i.e. himself. He’s congenial and charming in his gaucheness, and if he could only recognise that fact to exaggerate the former while toning down the latter, he’d have a cracking comedy set on his hands. In fact, the uplifting resolution of the conclusion and the message of spinning positivity out of negativity do hint at that approach already being pursued; Hoss just needs a little more conviction in the hunt. Then our man really will be on his way.