James Goldsbury: Da Bitchy Code

Note: This review is from 2005

Review by Steve Bennett

There is really very little distinctive about Irish comic James Goldsbury.  The cynic would claim that is why he has chosen to name his show after one of the most wildly popular novels in recent memory.  This way, he is guaranteed a constant stream of interested punters. 

However, most likely, they will be left disappointed as he neglects to engage with the concept, preferring to embark upon an hour of competent, if completely average, observational stand-up.

Whilst also taking in such topics as contemporary Irish Catholicism and BBC Wildlife programmes, Goldsbury superficially attempts to build upon Dan Brown’s novel by comically deconstructing some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s works. 

However, by casting his net of topics so widely, Goldsbury fails to make any particularly interesting arguments.  Instead, his trains of thought are often only tenuously related to the show’s main thrust and so feel completely forced.

As a performer, Goldsbury is reasonably friendly, getting involved in a chat  with an audience member from near his Irish hometwon.  This moment showed a certain level of professionalism, as he was able to cut the conversation off at the correct point to avoid being obtrusive and also made a call-back to it later on in the show. 

His delivery and timing are also decent, being able to get laughs and create a degree of interest no matter what his topic.

However, the subjects are just not original or imaginative enough to buttress these performance talents.  Occasionally he will hit upon a nice idea (such as a gag involving Charles Clarke), but will quickly move on rather than developing any one direction.  Often Goldsbury will make a slightly risqué comment, before following it up with a comment such as: ‘I’m going to burst into flames after this gig’.   But he is nowhere near as cutting these comments would suggest, breaking no new ground over well-worn circuit topics such as paedophilic priests or suicide bombers.

There is nothing wrong with the show as such, but its utter lack of inspiration and uniqueness renders it  quite a dull way to spend an hour.

Review date: 1 Jan 2005
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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