This Is Spinal Tap... but with Whitesnake

Dead Cat Bounce make mockumentary

Irish comedy rock band Dead Cat Bounce are making their own This Is Spinal Tap – a ‘guerrilla mockumentary’ about Eighties soft rockers Whitesnake.

Shot in the UK and Scandinavia, Discoverdale traces Dead Cat Bounce lead singer James Walmsley’s attempts to meet his biological father, whom he believes is former Deep Purple vocalist and Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale.

Produced by the people who made This Is Jinsy and Dirk Gently, the low-budget, improvised feature follows Whitesnake on their recent European tour.

Over the course of the film, which is set for a summer release, Walmsley, bassist Shane O’Brien and drummer Demian Fox are recruited into Whitesnake but are quickly fired.

The Dublin-based trio, who’ve performed Whitesnake covers at late-night shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, spend most of the film busking around Scandinavia.

But O’Brien said: 'This is more of a fan movie than a movie about us being a band. ‘It was a genuine effort to try to track Coverdale down but he’s a notoriously difficult man to get in touch with.

‘There’s a weird, physical similarity between him and James, so that when we finally meet and explain, you can see him momentarily look at James as if “wait now ... it couldn’t be ...”

‘I think he’s been in that situation before. He’s honestly very funny and mad.’

The film, directed by George Kane, was originally conceived for Channel 4’s Comedy Blaps series of online shorts, but within a week in November they had written a script, secured funding from BBC Worldwide's DVD label 2 Entertain and flown to Norway with a small film crew.

‘We knew what scenes we wanted to get but not how we would get them, so we were improvising across Scandinavia, trying to pursue Whitesnake while they were oblivious to us,’ says O’Brien.

‘We had to busk our way around because we had so little money, playing a cruise ship and quite a lot of truly odd venues. There was no plan, but Scandinavian audiences are great, they have perfect English but no sense of irony. To them we’re just a very weird band.’

Producer Chris Carey added that Coverdale is ‘reviewing the film as we speak in his Lake Tahoe mansion. We won’t be able to afford all the Whitesnake music, not with our budget, unless he’s incredibly generous.’

Dead Cat Bounce are also writing another film, funded by the Irish Film Board, about a middle-aged man with a terminal illness who convinces his best friend to cycle around Ireland on a tandem bike.

  • Carey also confirmed that Harry Hill will return for the second series of This Is Jinsy when it returns to Sky next year – and was hopeful of landing Jennifer Saunders again, too. ‘There are some fantastic opportunities for guest parts already. It’ll have more of a “gang show” feel and the song quotient will go up from season one,' he said.

-by Jay Richardson

Published: 13 Mar 2012

Live comedy picks

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.