MICF: Dead Cat Bounce – Howl of the She-Leopard

Irish comedy-rock act Dead Cat Bounce return to Melbourne with their new show Howl of the She-Leopard, and maintain their habit of giving polished musical performances and getting laughs from unexpected sources.

Judging from the applause, a large crowd at the New Ballroom in Trades Hall were solidly entertained for the whole show.

Dead Cat Bounce
Dead Cat Bounce

Make no mistake, this is a funny band, not a joke band. It takes skill for lead singer James Walmsley to be able to make a refreshment with one hand and play guitar with the other, or for bassist Shane O’Brien to play in an unconventional manner. This visit finds Dead Cat Bounce as a three piece, without – but possibly not missing – their keyboardist of past years as no explanation of this absence is given during the show. Certainly drummer Demian Fox seems to enjoy having more to do in this outing. While most of the songs are new, fans will enjoy a couple of old faves such as “Christians in Love” and their big international song (which they candidly admit the audience still might not know) “Rugby”, an unexpected slant on male sporting culture. Newer songs continue the Dead Cat Bounce tradition of visiting terrain left unexplored by rock bands, such as songs about fashion outfits, comparisons of wine with women, the charms of a big tall girlfriend and the thoughts of farmyard animals and penguins.

The show works on two levels; you get humorous observations or short stories and you can rock along with the songs. It’s such a cliché, but I did find some of the newer songs not quite as good as those from past outings. This could just be a matter of personal preference. Even so, the band deserves praise for working up new material instead of being locked into successes of the past.

Undeniably this is an enjoyable show that brings welcome variety to the MICF 2012 programme. Go, and be ready to Rock!

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