Review: David O'Doherty - Ultrasound at Assembly

The warm glow of happiness you get from an hour with David O’Doherty is just what’s needed in the rain of a stormy Edinburgh. The youthful whimsy has matured, but O’Doherty is still reassuringly rumpled and his thoughts on the world delightfully unpredictable.

He warms us up with a barrage of funny about modern jobs, foam parties, the ‘work’ he has had done and dogs on wheels, before settling down to some tales of monkeys, his gun smuggling grannie, British Airways’ website and his reawakened relationship with his racing bike. His hour is impressively varied – combining short and long form sections with his songs, a little bit of politics, a look round the Dublin branch of Victoria’s Secret and a lovely extended gag about the figures on exit signs. The old guy can still whimsy with the best of them.

The songs are – as always – a sweet, interesting mixture that owes little to accepted codes of scansion and rhyme but keeps the giggles rolling nevertheless. He even has a spirited go at some Young People’s Music in audience favourite ‘At The Club’ and shows off his jazz skills (which doesn’t take long). The story with which he finishes is utterly hilarious. It’s an eye-wateringly funny account of what must have been an eye-watering experience for David.

This is a comfortable, cheery hour packed with good stuff, and reminds you that a real comedian doesn’t need high concepts, three acts or narrative threads. David eschews a forty-minute lull in favour of simply keeping us laughing. He does have an interesting line in merchandising and, although I don’t see anyone attempting a purchase tonight, it’s certainly more attractive than a mouse mat or a badge. He is also more appreciative of us, the ‘dream audience’, than any comic I’ve seen. We love you too, David.

David O’Doherty: Ultrasound, Assembly George Square, 31 Jul – 26 Aug (not 13), 7.30pm

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