“Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!”cries a voice, and with a blinding flash of gold lamé and a gargantuan leap that would make a nimble show pony gasp, Dave Eastgate quite literally launches himself into this: his first ever Edinburgh Fringe extravaganza, I Wish I Had a Band. Showcasing his rock capabilities and limber legs, this hour-long musical comedy is as bizarre as it is endearing.
To all intents and purposes Eastgate is an Aussie larrikin with a guitar in hand. Rock is his bread and butter, and though his dreams of packing arenas are a mere fantasy, he is just as enthusiastic to play for the audience at hand as the one in his imagination. His eagerness to entertain and mischievous nature make him a joy to watch, but here also lies the problem: he runs himself out of steam with his sheer exuberance.
This fatal flaw extended into his songwriting skills: too much energy was expended on some, while others appeared thin by comparison. Indeed, while his cancer-awareness gangster rap and his appropriately titled send-up, ‘Nickelbreed Twenty,’ were undeniable hits, the rest seemed to miss the mark. His dependence on the apparent hilarity of the word ‘poke’ during his Facebook song was a particular low point of the show.
Had his stamina and material been consistent this would have been an ingenious, high-octane fanfare not to be missed. Hopefully, he will come back next year with a vengeance.
Dave Eastgate: I Wish I Had A Band, Gilded Balloon Teviot, August 3-28 (except the 15th), 23.15