Des Bishop is a beguiling, cheeky comedian who was born and raised in Queens, New York and has lived in Ireland since his teens. His latest show, Des Bishop Likes to Bang
is a one-man stand-up meets variety show that sees Bishop alternate between conversations with the audience and discussing the various foibles and attitudes of Irish, American and Australian cultures (sections which feature Bishop’s deft ear for accents) to rapping and drumming. There is certainly nothing but fun on his mind, even when he goes on off one of his manic rants, during which Bishop relies on his speedy momentum to support the punch lines – a trait which comes across as a weakness when you notice how long it is between laughs when he performs this way. Having said that, this is a key part of Bishop’s shtick and only adds to his range.
Bishop packed out the Hi-Fi, which felt like a suitable venue for such a show as this, where the audience could almost feel as if they were having a drink a ‘man for the people’; one of Bishop's most noticeable strengths as a performer. There is something about Irish culture which encourages such mischievous camaraderie between the performer and their audience, which certainly pleased the predominantly young crowd.
One moment making satirical remarks about Australian, Irish and American follies, the next Bishop would suddenly launch into a tirade on an unexpectedly foul subject, during which no-one could chime in but could only laugh in shock, which he would then manage to talk himself out of. It is this range, on top of his ‘one man variety show’ approach, which made him so enjoyable to watch for 60 minutes.
One thing which I would have liked to have seen more of was Bishop’s electronic drumming, where phrases from all the aforementioned cultures were programmed into the drum kit and put together. I could have easily listened to this for half of the performance, and certainly Bishop’s talent for hip hop and drumming could have been utilised more.
Des Bishop is great fun, and while his ability to rant can occasionally be exasperating, his latest show is a truly fun night out.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Des Bishop – Des Bishop Likes to Bang
The Hi Fi, Melbourne
March 29 – April 22
Melbourne International Comedy Festival
March 28 – April 22