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Dead Cat Bounce...Too Fast for Love
Published on Thursday, 12 August 2010

4 stars

Gilded Balloon Teviot (venue website)
4-29 Aug (not 16), 9:45pm (10:45pm)
Reviewed by Lee Zhuo Zhao

I'm going to honest here: I'm a massive Dead Cat Bounce fan. Last year, their show was only one of two I went to see more than once. I bought their CD last Easter, I've watched the YouTube video of Golf countless times and I basically know the lyrics of their big song Switzerland off by heart. So you can guess how excited I was when I heard they were back this year, with an all-new show and all-new songs.

The big difference in this year's show is that between their songs, instead of doing short sketches - which I thought were the weakest part of last year's act - they have simple comedy banter.  This is usually at the expense of their drummer, Damo Fox, probably because he's a drummer... who wears animal print trousers... and has curly ginger hair.

So why did I become so hooked last year? One reason: if you changed all their song lyrics to take out the comedy, you'd still have a fine rock song. You could book these guys for a gig on their music alone - the fact they're funny is just a huge bonus.  Another reason: their numbers aren't your usual parodies.  They don't amusingly imitate individual songs, but instead fill their lyrics with unexpected punchlines.  The jokes come at you out of nowhere, leaving you in a fit of giggles... and by the time you've recovered the next comes along, keeping you laughing for the whole song.

So it's with a heavy heart I have to say I enjoyed last year's show more; I just didn't find their new songs as funny.  There were songs with one joke that couldn't last the whole way - and one where the joke only comes when Mick Cullinan, the short cheeky-looking one on keyboard, heads into the crowd to find a volunteer to do a dance.  Also, to my mind we didn't hear enough from Shane O'Brien on bass, with his trademark quips.  He has wonderful deadpan delivery, although a dubious moustache, and wasn't used as much as I think he should be.

But enough of all that.  There still was one standout gem of a new song: Christians in Love.  And there is also something new for those who, like the female friend I went with last year, think lead singer Jim Walmsley is (to quote) "hot".  I have no comment to make - but he does strike a presence on stage like the lead singer of any rock band, and he was oozing cool when he walked past me at the Loch Fyne oyster bar wearing sunglasses and all in black.

Despite my slight disappointment, Dead Cat Bounce are still the best parody rock band I've ever come across, and they still put on a great show.  They don't pump up the volume too badly, so even those averse to loud music will enjoy it (provided you sit far enough back).  There is something ever so cool about these guys, and they do give their all in each and every song.  So much so, in fact, I advise catching them early - just in case, like last year, they're losing their voices towards the end.

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These are archived reviews of shows from the Edinburgh Fringe 2010.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to those we've featured, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.

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