Preview: Jamali Maddix at Hackney Empire

PUBLISHED: 14:53 31 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 01 November 2018

Saturday's event is the only London date in Maddix's 17-country Vape Lord tour. Picture: James Deacon

Saturday's event is the only London date in Maddix's 17-country Vape Lord tour. Picture: James Deacon


The comedian, who hails from east London, will play his largest solo gig at the same venue where he got his first TV break.

Jamali Maddix showed his journalist credentials in his Hate Thy Neighbour documentaryJamali Maddix showed his journalist credentials in his Hate Thy Neighbour documentary

Jamali Maddix – the comedian and host of VICE documentary Hate Thy Neighbour – finishes the European leg of his tour with a highly-anticipated gig at Hackney Empire this weekend.

The show, which is titled Vape Lord, has taken the east Londoner all over the UK and Ireland as well as mainland Europe, where audiences from countries like Latvia, Estonia, Denmark and Switzerland have experienced the honest and unflinching style of comedy which has gained Maddix primetime slots on shows like Live at the Apollo and 8 out of 10 Cats.

Chatting to Maddix shortly after he arrived back from performances beyond the Irish Sea, here was a comic understandably keen to enjoy some downtime (“I’m going to play some video games and switch off my phone”) before the sole London appearance of his tour on November 3.

“It’s just me trying to do some funny and honest s***,” he says.

“I saw a show at Hackney Empire when I was younger, and it’s where I did my first TV gig (The John Bishop Show, in July 2015).

“East London is my hometown and it feels good to play there.

“It’s a nice feeling to play a legendary venue like this. It’s difficult because if you start overanalysing things it can become a bit surreal.

“It’s also nice to be playing a gig where I can get the train home afterwards.”

In the four years since he won Chortle’s Student Comedy Award, Maddix has developed as a stand-up known for his charisma, his command of the stage and a balanced yet uncompromising approach to issues that even his more controversial peers might avoid.

Maddix has also proven his presenting credentials via his podcast The Breakdown, which sees him chew the fat with a different creative person for each episode.

His VICE documentary Hate Thy Neighbour, meanwhile, displayed a talent equally at home in front of the camera. Maddix stripped bare the far-right views of extremist groups in the US and closer to home across six episodes that were at times uncomfortable but always compelling.

For now, though, Maddix’s focus is on Saturday as he plays one of the stand-out venues for any east London-based comic, before he opens his American tour with a sold-out show in Philadelphia on Tuesday (November 6).

Jamali Maddix: Vape Lord is at Hackney Empire this Saturday. Click here for tickets.

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