Dead Cat Bounce
This Irish comedy band formed in 2008, after meeting at Trinity College Dublin in 2002 where they were all members of the sketch comedy group H-BAM.
The group originally comprised James Walmsley (guitar and lead vocals), Demian Fox (drums), Shane O'Brien (bass) and Mick Cullinan (keyboard) – although Cullinan left in October 2011, and they became a trio.
Named after the stockbroking term for a small, brief recovery in the price of a declining stock, they have performed in festivals around the world, and in 2011 were the house band at the Gilded Balloon's Late N Live show.
They won the Time Out Jury Prize at the Sydney Comedy Festival in 2010, and the people's choice award at the same festival the following year.
Dead Cat Bounce Videos
Dead Cat Bounce: Howl Of The She Leopard
Whatever strides the genre of musical comedy takes, there always remains the suspicion among purists that the instruments are props for substandard stand-up. Indeed, with their Aussie-specific opening number, inspired by the local TV series Border Security, Dead Cat Bounce immediately validate that criticism, with a fairly pedestrian routine about ‘What’s the deal with all the Chinese people trying to smuggle meat into the country?’
Thankfully, though, that’s a rare bum note in a show that’s as much about the laughs as it is about rocking out. The spangly-trousered Dublin outfit are a fine bunch of musicians, and the combination of stadium rock excess and mundane subject matter, from kayaking to golf, is appealing. They don’t parody rock, but embrace it to get their jokes across.
They are a man down on their previous line-up, having embodied the rock and roll cliché of having a band split. Keyboardist Mick Cullinan is no longer on board – and their reluctance to even make jokes about it suggests the break-up wasn’t entirely amicable – but the remaining three certainly amp up their performance to compensate, with an even more axe-heavy glam rock sound than before.
The remaining dynamic works well, too. James Walmsley is the charismatic, narcissistic lead singer, clown-haired drummer Damo Fox is the simple-minded fool, and knows it, while bassist Shane O’Brien is more everyman, though not without his foibles.
Their repertoire is mostly new – thanks in no small part to having to lose anything that relied too heavily on the keyboard. But back-catalogue favourites Christians in Love and Rugby made a comeback; the latter becoming a YouTube hit despite (or more likely because of) it’s obvious comic premise that for a sport that attracts a lot of homophobes, it has heavy homo-erotic undertones.
On a similar theme, Leroy The Homophobic Penguin perhaps owes a titular nod to Flight Of The Conchords’ Albee The Racist Dragon, but is distinctively funny in its own right; Really Tall Women contains some offbeat oneliners; and their excellent take on a childhood ditty about farmyard noises would give Old Macdonald nightmares.
Banter, as is so often the case with acts such as this, is less reliable, especially Fox’s demonstrations of comic drumming, allegedly for a future Teach Yourself DVD, which stretches a week joke very thin. But when given his solo, he certainly shows he knows his stuff.
But they know how to rock, and the sheer power of that performance ensures a good time’s had by all. That most of their songs are funny, too, is a most welcome bonus.
Dead Cat Bounce Dates
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