David O'Doherty Is My Name
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2006
if.comeddie award nominee
The viscount of rumpled whimsy returns to Edinburgh with two small keyboards from 1985 and quite a lot of things to say. Some of the things will be ridiculous, some will be vaguely profound. There will be a song about how he was born twelve days before Tiger Woods.
What's this? A change to David O'Doherty's Very Low Energy Musical Whimsy™? Well, don't fret, it's only a minor one to Very Low Energy, And Slightly Furious, Musical Whimsy, as he gripes ineffectually about mobile phone bills or airline check-in procedures, all in the pretence of challenging major corporations.
Otherwise, this charming Irishman is still doing what he's always done, celebrating petty trivialities and simple pleasures. Only this year it's earned him the big award nomination. "To be honest,' he admits at the start of this post-shortlist sell-out. 'It's been quite easy to get tickets to my shows for the past five years. But not in the last 72 hours.'
Why this year? Well, it is the funniest show he's ever done and possibly slightly more accessible and structured than previous years. But it still has the air of being amiable, carefree and shambolic, which disguises some subtly clever writing.
Broadly, it's another biographical hour, but not really. Inspired by the self-aggrandising 50 Cent movie Get Rich Or Die Tryin' O'Doherty presents a series of made-up and exaggerated vignettes from the childhood story he wishes he'd had.
It's all just context for the unrelated, but quietly marvellous songs accompanied as ever by his low-fi keyboard. Not for him music's usual big themes of love and loss, instead he celebrates obscure things that everybody might do, but have been criminally overlooked by previous songwriters. Self-evident tracks include I Think Your New Girlfriend Is An Arsehole, I've Just Send A Text To The Person The Text Was About, and the wonderful Very Mild Superpowers.
Delightful, expertly-told anecdotes, rich in descriptive prose provide a third strand to his show, and O'Doherty seems to have a stronger collection of tales than ever this time around. Favourite is the story of how he conducted a phone interview with a Dublin radio station in such a drowsy state that he wasn't even aware of doing it.
Proof, were it needed, that the D.O.D. can be funny in his sleep.Reviewed by: Steve Bennett