Comedy review: David O’Doherty, Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

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IF YOU were to read a transcript of an entire David O’Doherty show, you’d think that he was the angriest Irishman ever.

David O’Doherty

Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh

****

There’s a fair bit of indignant cursing as he rails against life’s pitfalls which have resulted in him being very single, crying while chomping on home-delivery pizza.

He even uses his encore to lay out for us “My Beefs”, his now annual update of the things that get right on his wick (his 2013 irritants include friends who make him feel guilty for not getting through essential American TV box sets and multinational companies who brazenly pass themselves off as local concerns).

Yet this loveable Dubliner dishes out his bile in the most gentle way, refusing to pack a punch when a jovial high-five will do. Describing his own musical comedy act as “blah blah, plonky plonk”, O’Doherty rapidly undercuts his own critique by continuing to pen some lo-fi classics on his tiny keyboard. There’s an opening song about life being rubbish, while he supplies an amusing sonic motif in analysing a book of sex tips for women.

While humanity sometimes gets him down, he patently has a soft spot for swans (the puffed-up intellectuals of the animal kingdom, he reckons), though mice and stick insects should probably keep out of his way.

As he approaches two nights at the Glasgow Comedy Festival, he may claim to be uneasy burrowing away in the “desperate awfulness” of showbusiness, but David O’Doherty revels in hilariously carrying a torch for the lost and the lonely.