RRS fondly describes himself as the cardboard simulacrum of the artist formerly alive and known as Prince. He’s an awful lot funnier than the diminutive Minnesotan ever was though. Presenting as an archly-awkward and un-self-aware performer, Robert’s shows, like the best comedy and the best improvised music, implode and fall apart in all the right ways. Roughly sketched and heavily improvised, including unwittingly muffled backing tapes awash with presets, his shows and recordings contain searing honesty and openness, classic English farcicality and a surprisingly strong rapport with his audience that, despite the numerous calamities, always leaves him fully in control. It could also be that a subliminal implication of vulnerability and sensitivity further endears the audience and keeps them very much on Robert’s side despite the many, often self-inflicted, performative pratfalls. Its an easily tossed around phrase but our sides literally did ache after having him perform at TUSK 2018 and it’s a miracle we’ve been able to wait this long to bring him back. All hail the cardboard Prince!