Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Outlandish rock and roll parody from this extremely talented and comedic Irish quartet.
The smoke machine is on full blast and the set is a crowded mixture of rock drums, mikes, keyboards, guitar stands and loudspeakers. Disco lighting adds to the feeling that this is more “T in the Park” than “Fringe in the Dark”, down as we are in the depths of the Gilded Balloon Night Club.
Bouncing onto the stage come four energetic, young Irish musicians who, without a word of introduction launch into a hard rock number……..about an accountant with glasses called Steve and his girlfriend who is, ‘erm, a stripper. What you’ve got is lyrics from the lead vocalist and an extremely funny set of counter-lyrics coming from the bass player. A highly original start to what proved to be a highly innovative gig.
Dead Cat Bounce are an Irish based rock and roll comedy quartet that includes Mick Cullinan (keyboards), Demian Fox (drums), Shane O’Brien (bass), and James Walmsley (guitars, lead vocals). They write in a variety of styles, from hip-hop to slow jams to 1980s rock anthems in the best “Queen” style. Their performance (and it’s some performance) is augmented by tight trousers, outlandish hair, an almighty amount of rock style posturing and lashings of dry ice.
It’s part rock parody and part pastiche at times, with some wonderfully crazy and at times surreal lyrics. Music is clearly their mistress as they roll out numbers visualising what Christians might get up to on their wedding night, the antics of 30 year old single girls out on the pull and a neat parody on the alleged sexual deviances of those in positions of responsibility in the Catholic church.
The biting satire wrapped around some quality rock rhythms in many ways reminds you of that iconic BBC 1980’s series “Not the Nine O’Clock News” that featured the quartet of Atkinson, Rhys-Jones, Smith and Stephenson. But that’s where the similarity end as behind the clowning antics of DCB are four very gifted musicians, all experts at teasing out great sounds from their chosen instruments.
It’s a wonderful mix of tightly written and achingly funny lyrics, high quality musicianship and pure, undiluted showmanship. Timing is everything, and this quartet has it down to a fine art with the patter linking the numbers all being part of the performance rather than the rambling drivel that “real” rock bands get away with. Hard to fault and a very hard act to follow.