Sunday, August 12, 2007

Edinburgh Fringe 2007: David O'Doherty - It's David O'Doherty Time, Assembly Rooms, 22.15

Being such utterly different stand-up comics, it was a joy to see Frankie Boyle and David O’Doherty on the same night. Boyle is all angular glasses and sharp suits; O’Doherty more a mass of hair and slightly crumpled white shirt. To use O’Doherty’s own way of describing his comedy, he rocks our world ‘like a delicious cake’, whereas Boyle’s more a ‘bag of drugs’. You know, in a good way.

Tonight the theme, such as it is, is Facts. ‘Haha’ is no longer good enough, we’re told; now’s the time for ‘Ahhhh…. haha’. The sort of facts O’Doherty is interested in are the facts that we were all interested in as a kid - facts about sharks and dinosaurs, not medical or technological things. They’re boring, and O’Doherty doesn’t do boring. He may love his iPod (the number of musical references in the set confirms this), but he doesn’t care how it works - in fact he’d rather you opened it up to find ‘a white feather and a puff of smoke…’ In other words, he prefers magic - and let’s face it, so do most of us.

It won’t utterly surprise you to learn that the joyous, off-beat charm that O’Doherty exudes as he discusses these facts, completely appeals to my love of, well, joyous off-beat charm. Apart from Demetri Martin, with whom there is certainly a comparison, my limited knowledge of the comedy circuit means that my points of reference for O’Doherty are generally musical - he’s like an even-more-comedy Beck; he’s already got the keyboard, just give him Two Turntables And A Microphone and the comparison might just start to look reasonable… he’s nu-folk, lo-fi, he’s The Spinto Band, or Simple Kid. He’s certainly got the air of that kind of performer - as he sits down to perform his songs, he’s at once geeky and massively confident, like Ross Gellar showing off his music. You know, in a good way.

For a few moments tonight, though, we got a glimpse of mildly-annoyed David O’Doherty, as he tried to explain to a guy that using your phone in the front row isn’t really the done thing. O’Doherty laughed it off with the offer of a high-five, but when that offer was refused (the height of rudeness, and I mean that totally sincerely) it was changed to an offer of the guy leaving. Unfortunately, that wasn’t taken up on either.

If anything, these few understandable moments of slight prickliness only served to endear the audience even more to O’Doherty, and he responded with a set that, importantly, had laughs to match the charm.


Ok, official review over. I got to have a little chat with the DOD! Yay. After I'd downloaded his album ("Giggle Me Timbers", get it from Trust Me I'm A Thief) I said on his myspace how much I'd enjoyed it, and we got a little correspondance going - he seems to make time for anyone who makes time for him. He signed a CD for 'Anna from Myspace', gave me a hug, and went off on his way, leaving my mum thinking him to be a perfect gentleman. Which, it appears, he really is.

1 comment:

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Awh, its always nice to have people leave a good impression: seems this went both ways - you left him a good impression, and so did he with you (and your mum!)