September 20th marks the end of an era for Shane O’Brien, James Walmsley, Demian Fox and Mick Cullinan. Having toured 6 shows internationally, won numerous awards and starred in their very own movie, Dead Cat Bounce have a lot to show for their 6 years together. Their final Vicar Street show gives the guys the chance to sum up their vast number of songs, gags and shows while their first movie ‘Discoverdale’ is set for a Dublin showing the very next day.
What can we expect from the final show?
D: We had three types of smoke machines and pyrotechnics. Mick’s found a company that supplies massive props and sets, so in terms of what it looks like it’s not going to just be us with a microphone.
S: It’s going to be a kind of ‘leave it all on the stage’ type thing.
D: We’ll be playing the songs that people like but it’ll be different to a generic ‘Best Of…’ show, it’ll be more like the ‘DVD extras’, like songs we never performed because one person hated it but everyone else thought it was funny….
S: Or our favourite song that bombed, we have a few that have just never worked in front of an audience.
So you’re going to leave the audience with a legacy?
M: Well it’s been impossible to get all four of us in the one place for the last few weeks, but there’s talk of going through the various stages of our career from the sketches to Radio Play, which involved a lot of sound effects and then the band. So we might incorporate some of the earlier aspects of our shows to explain the nonsense job that we did for a few years during our twenties.
D: It probably will cover some of what we’ve been through.
Mick, how is it coming back to band? [Cullinan left in 2011]
M: It’s great, I mean it was kind of unexpected in that the lads gave me a call to say Shane’s getting married, and Jim’s coming back from Australia for it so we talked about doing another show and then about this show being the last one and we agreed we should finish it as the four of us so I was like yeah, let’s do it, let’s….kill this thing.
D: Let’s drown this kitten.
Do any of you fancy getting back on the stage in a comedy capacity?
S: I don’t find the appeal of stand-up particularly, because we have lived that touring lifestyle and I didn’t enjoy that, I have done bits and pieces here and there…maybe I’ll do a tight five at my wedding and then pass around a hat.
What about your movie Discoverdale, will it get a Dublin release?
D: Well we’re going to have a screening in Dublin on September 21st in the IFI actually, the day after the gig. It actually won ‘Best Documentary’ at some film festival who appear to have entirely missed the point.
How did you end up pursuing David Coverdale?
D: That was so out of the blue. We talk to a lot of people about TV ideas but they usually end up going nowhere. Then we spoke to this group in London about the idea of us on tour chasing Whitesnake because Jim thought David Coverdale was his Dad – they liked that and Googled Whitesnake only to find they were already on a European tour. So while we thought you know, we can write this over the next year for TV they were like ‘how about in 4 days, you get on a plane and try and catch Whitesnake?’
S: We had a rough storyline but it kept being thrown out the window because circumstances changed.
D: Right up until the end when we do finally come across him it was improvised. We’d had no contact from him or his camp and we were being turned away from the door at gigs and we had no idea what the ending of the film would be if we never caught him, or got clearance to talk about him throughout the movie and show pictures of him playing music. In the end he got back to us and was a massively good sport, said he’d give us five minutes and didn’t want to know anything about the project.
S: He took it in the right-spirit and he’s been tweeting about it loads now and encouraging people to see it.
Are you closing the book on comedy for the moment?
S: It’s putting an end to Dead Cat Bounce as an act but I suppose we all got to a point when we wanted different things and wanted to be in different cities.
D: We’re already talking about the next movie which is a version of the characters that we presented in a Fringe play last year called ‘Clowns’ – about three really beleaguered clowns who realise they’ve spent their lives doing really stupid jobs. It’s quite autobiographical, they end up going on a bit of a journey of discovery so we’re developing the script for that. So while Dead Cat Bounce might be ending we’re still using comedy, just in a different way.
What are your favourite memories of Dead Cat Bounce?
M: Getting pissed on by that possum on stage in Australia. They’re an endangered species so they couldn’t shoo him away from the lighting rig even though he kept pissing on us.
S: There are definitely circumstances you find yourselves in that make you go ‘hold on…’ like when we found ourselves posing in costume with The Chippendales.
D: We had a five-minute slot on the main stage of the Sydney Opera House, which in terms of performance is ticking a pretty big box. I think that’s the main reason I’m not too concerned if I don’t do many more big performances. Because it was only five minutes we couldn’t set up the drums or the bass guitar so I ended up playing a cheese grater with a spoon which just felt so wrong, yet appropriate.
S: You find yourselves in these mental meetings about hilarious things that never would have happened otherwise. We’d had this really dumb idea for a movie…
D: It’s a fucking amazing idea for a movie! We have this amazing London agent who we really have no right to be represented by.
S: We’re essentially his mid-life crisis, we played at his 40th.
D: So we were over in London and we met up with him for lunch and we were telling him ‘we have this idea for a movie where a cop goes undercover as a bass player in a rock band because he’s discovered a plot where cocaine is being smuggled in speakers, and it’s set in the 80s…wouldn’t that be hilarious?’ He literally got on his phone and set us up a meeting with Working Title and we met some head honcho who said ‘So I hear you have an idea…’
S: Yeah he was like ‘I see Colin Farrell in this role’ and they called up Colin Farrell’s Irish agent and he was like ‘Colin’s not doing it!’
D: Yeah it was basically Point Break with rockstars, I mean it writes itself, it’s a formulaic 80’s action cop movie.
M: So possibly part of the show will be touching on some of this madness…we’ve never really done that before.
Dead Cat Bounce play Vicar Street on Friday, September 20th. Tickets are €20.