This rock power trio is The Jimi Hendrix Experience only Irish and funnier.
DCB is a sneery leathered guy on guitar, a glam-boy on lead vocals and bass, and a drummer who's as dexterous with the sticks as with his "how to be a comic drummer" interjections. There are songs that sound like '70s rock, except these are less street-wise-romantic and more about bad wardrobe choices, homophobic penguins called Leroy, pissed off farm animals and the romantic benefits of a "really tall woman".
You are probably wondering if there's a point to any of this. Well, yes, but they're so good that pointlessness doesn't matter. Stadium-style rock is not normally my thing, but with the funny commentary and parody, Howl of the She-Leopard is as shiny, slick and tight as these three guys' trousers.
A band made up of three guys from Ireland. I know what you’re thinking. Oh please, spare me another Boyzone. A wannabe Westlife? Sickly sweet harmonies of love and understanding? Hand me a paper bag.
Thankfully the lead singer from Whitesnake may or may not have had an illegitimate son. And he may or may not be the front man of Dead Cat Bounce. And if the name doesn’t destroy any illusion of a bunch of clean-cut talent show rejects, then their songs certainly will. And after an hour or so with Dead Cat Bounce at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival the lyrics left bouncing around your head may be slightly disturbing, but they won’t have you heaving.
Take their seemingly innocent song about the game of golf – ‘the only place a handicaps a good thing’. Or the synth-pop ditty about christians in love, which has the couple ‘rubbing away like they’re getting a stain off the carpet’.
Yep, refreshing and slightly disturbing. Nothing is sacred to these self-styled rock gods - from homophobic penguins to yearnings for unprotected sex in the song with a mouthful of a title: Over-enthusiastic Contraceptive Lady. Fans of the Australian TV series Border Control will appreciate the opening number about Asian travelers who keep getting fined for bringing banned food into that country. As the song unravels to reveal the possible reason behind the continuing infringements the audience has a good idea where the night is heading. And you’re in for a rocking great time.
Their cleverly constructed songs are broken up with stories of the potential Whitesnake connection, band chit-chat and drum demos from Damo. (You really can find these on YouTube if you’re so inclined). At times the words from Jim Morrison-modelled lead singer James Walmsley seemed to get lost in the mic. Or perhaps the ear wasn’t quite atuned in some places. At times it does take a bit of concentration to get the lyrics, but the effort is rewarded with gems of genius.
Their YouTube hit Rugby is well received and as they roll out song after song about dancing accountants and other random things, the audience is warned there will be an encore. They shouldn’t have worried. Better than a boy band at Vector? You betcha.
It's not often a comedy show gets you wanting to flash your boobs at the band, but understandably this has happened to the members of Dead Cat Bounce several times.
This is quality comedy rock 'n' roll, after all.
Usually I shy away from musical comedy, but Irish group Dead Cat Bounce have become one of my festival favourites.
Three guys wearing a lot of leather and sparkly fabric play songs that make the audience howl with laughter (ironic, given the show's title).
Some of the material between songs is a little weaker, but they are completely forgiven thanks to the brilliance of their musical numbers and besides, the audience needs time to catch its breath!
Subjects for the musical interludes range from illegal stews made from products smuggled into Australia, sounds that animals make, homophobic penguins and really tall women.
This act is unlike anything you've ever seen and so worth seeing - that's probably the reason they won last year's people's choice award at the Sydney Comedy Festival.
What a wild ride! On the opening night of Dead Cat Bounce's NZ debut, the crowd walk out raving, laughing and totally uplifted. This Irish trio is like a testosterone-fuelled glam-rock version of our own Flight of the Conchords or The Front Lawn. They are the most talented Irish musical-comedy trio I've seen, and it's no surprise to hear they've supported both Jimeon and The Darkness.
Lead singer James Walmsley thinks he's former Deep Purple vocalist and Whitesnake front man David Coverdale's love child.* To me, he's a dead-cert for Jim Morrison from The Doors, though this guy's got the added appeal of his leather-clad legs which have a sexy Edward-Scissor-like sway – a wonderful distracting show in itself.
Drummer Damo Fox, with his shiny pants, complex rhythms and counter-melodies, is a phenomenal human metronome. Plus his face is comedy gold, as are his witty side comments and perky little count-ins (“2, 3, drumming!”). His cheese-grater solo during the Johnny Cash-sounding Leeroy the Homophobic Penguin, plus his simultaneous command of the drums and a bass guitar during Really Tall Woman, are both amazing. While his drum solo is also a thing of wonder, Walmsley's guitar solo while at the same time making and drinking a cup of tea, is off the wall.
Being the least outwardly wacky member, by default, bassist Shane O'Brien seems like the ‘Everyman' of the trio. Yet he has his moments, no more so than when he picks up a bow and his electric bass and plays it in the style of a violinist.
Technically, the audio design is perfect for musical comedy, which is of course, all about the lyric. The vocals are mixed well forward, while the more easily manageable electronic (rather than acoustic) drum kit, guitar and electric bass, are a smooth supportive blend, well back in the overall mix.
The trio's chat between songs is well paced and as pitch-perfect as the vocals. Songs are generic and familiar on their ear – Older Woman is a variation on American Woman by The Guess Who and Old Macdonald Had A Farm will never be the same after hearing Down On The Farm. Each item is brilliantly played, with tight harmonies and commanding vocals.
Lyric wise, some songs are laced with a bit of social commentary (Boarder Control), but mostly they are a delicious opportunity for DCB to expose awkward circumstances – Christians In Love: “no discernable sense of rhythm” rhymed with “explosive cataclysm”, bring tears to my eyes – and mock everything that deserves to be mocked (Golf! Outfits; Comedy Drum & Bass). Just as hilarious are songs about bizarre situations (Kayaking) and characters (Cormac The Dancing Accountant, and of course, Leeroy.) Rugby, with its analysis of heads in the scrum, is a crowd favourite.
Masters of the seemingly impossible (simultaneous subtlety and hard-sell), they wind up with Let's Make Love, from their CD which happens to be available in the foyer, then oblige their new fans with a couple of encores.
I walk out of the theatre and straight to the merchandize. I never do that.
Stuff.co.nz'But [the] banter was not the main part of their gig, it was the songs and they were great. The songs covered a range of topics like golf, rugby, homophobic penguins and Christians in love (who apparently rub each other like they are trying to get a stain off the carpet). Each one got the audience laughing.'open/close
I'll admit I was a little nervous about reviewing a comedy act on the weekend. My main fears were a) I'd get pulled up on stage in some sort of crowd-participation nightmare or b) that it simply wouldn't be funny and I'd have to write about a show that left me with pan face. However, I'm relieved to say that instead of having to meet my fears head on, I was instead treated to an hour of surprisingly good rock'n'roll comedy (yes, there is such a thing).
Dead Cat Bounce hail from Ireland, they wear glittery pants with black singlets or open-buttoned shirts and they play 80's style rock music on electric guitars. They told us that they are the only band in the world that has opened for both Jimeoin and The Darkness, and they sang the same material for both gigs- quite an achievement.
A reviewer in Adelaide called them the "silliest, most stupendous rock band since Spinal Tap" and they were the winners of the 2010 People's Choice Award at the Sydney Comedy Festival. So my hopes were high that I would be entertained.
It took only five minutes of banter between them on stage for me to relax, no crowd participation here and yes, they are in fact funny. The songs are punctuated by moments of reflection - the lead singer's search for his father (who he believed was Whitesnake's lead singer), the drummer who was working on a 'how to' DVD for other comedy drummers out there and so on.
But banter was not the main part of their gig, it was the songs and they were great. The songs covered a range of topics like golf, rugby, homophobic penguins and Christians in love (who apparently rub each other like they are trying to get a stain off the carpet). Each one got the audience laughing.
The show was short and sweet, fast and funny. I enjoyed myself heaps more than I had initially thought and with the Festival just kicking off, I'm thinking I should head back into the city to take in some more live acts, it was that much fun.
If you, like me, have avoided stand up comedy in the past for fear of being singled out (yes i'm obssessed with public humiliation) then I recommend these funny Irish boys as a way to wean yourself onto the live comedy scene. Essentially it's like a novel rock concert with belly laughs. What's not to like about that?
Details: Dead Cat Bounce is performing every night this week at Q theatre, from 7.15pm. For more information visit: qtheatre.co.nz or
In my last review of the 5 star preview, I completely forgot to review the last act, Irish comedy rock band - Dead Cat Bounce. The term refers to the jump in a market the day after a large scale sell off, very appropriate for the Irish market at the moment.
I left them off out of absent mindedness, their gig was a couple of songs long and didn't make much of an impression on the preview night, but I was willing to give them a second chance and it was at the lovely Q Theatre on Queen street, so the pros out weighed the cons.
In terms of the comedy musical genre, Flight of the Concords have set an incredibly high benchmark, but Dead Cat Bounce get to own their own chapter, they were hilarious. "I'm not a kayak instructer', 'Christians in love' and 'Australia Boarder control' were the funniest things I've heard in a long time, the CD is definitely worth buying.
This is a very funny night out and well worth a punt.
Mixed between songs were comedy drumming demonstrations and I spilled my beer laughing at the sudden breaking into African dancing. I'm so glad I gave this a shot, Dead Cat Bounce are a festival highlight.