Dead Cat Bounce | Vicar Street
Words: Robin Murray
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Dead Cat Bounce, shame on you! They are a comedy band from Dublin comprising of Demian Fox (on drums), Shane O'Brien (bass guitar) and James Walmsley (guitar and lead vocals).
I went along to Vicar Street, knowing fairly little of the band's work (in fact, the only song of theirs I had heard was Rugby, which I'd seen on Republic of Telly).
Prior to DCB taking to the stage, Australian comic Damian Clark warmed up the crowd with an enjoyable if not particularly memorable set. Half of comedy is confidence, and Clark has lots of it as well as bags of energy. He had fun tormenting people in the front row and the rest of us had fun watching him do it.
His best material came from him observing Irish culture, with the Perth funnyman joking "I love how summer in Ireland is, like, one day. The skangers go mental - they're in the park, lying down with their tops off, looking up at the sun going, ‘Burn me, ya fucker!'"
There was no danger of Clark ever upstaging the main act who bounded on stage in a dramatic entrance and without any introduction, went straight into their first song, Giant Illegal Stew, a rock tune on the subject of Chinese people smuggling food into Australia. Inspired by the TV show Border Security, it's an original and clever number and made a good opener, though it wasn't one of my favourites of the night.
Their second song, Christian Love, was more up my alley. With lines such as "Like a chimpanzee in a bumper car/ They're touching things, not knowing what they are", it had me laughing out loud from start to finish.
One thing I wasn't prepared for was the sheer pace of the show; while the lads did sometimes take time out in between songs to speak to the audience, there wasn't much time to catch your breath, with joke upon joke being fired out. But, depending on what floats your boat, that might not have been a negative. It's great to get so much bang for your buck, but the condensed nature of the show meant that the crowd's reactions didn't have a big enough part in the show.
That tiny criticism aside, I was very impressed by the band; in terms of creativity, DCB are a first-class act with wonderful song titles such as I Was The Very Last Person You Should Have Gone Kayaking With (In The Sea).
Though the tone of the show was good-humoured, their subjects were often dark and the contrast made for interesting, edgy comedy. In one song, a nursery rhyme about what farmyard animals say, James and Shane cheerily sang "What does the hen say?" to which Demian responded, "DON'T TAKE MY BABIES! PLEASE!"
Perhaps my favourite song of the night was Really Tall Woman, sang by Shane O'Brien. Sang almost to the tune of American Woman by Lenny Kravitz, it delighted with such lines as, "Really tall woman/ Can you tell me what's over that wall?"
All joking aside, Shane has an impressive voice, sustaining high notes to brilliant effect. In fact, the quality of singing and musicianship is very high, meaning it's enjoyable on two levels and not just all about the lyrics.
In fact, in terms of listenability, I'd say their music is better than Tim Minchin's, while lyrically, it's closely behind.
Overall I found Dead Cat Bounce to be infectious. Their humour is simple and unpretentious, while their execution is excellent. (For this reason, their jokes are a lot funnier on stage than written down).
For me, DCB are one of the only young Irish comedy acts that you can see resonating globally. They look good, they're supremely confident and they are universal without being overly general.
The sky is the limit for this Dublin trio.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Monday 27th February 2012 | Comedy
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