David Brent and Forgone Conclusion review

April 9, 2014, Article by Tom in Live reviews, Music

The earring’s back (‘fashion, innit’). Foregone Conclusion are back. David Brent strode out onto the stage complete with Bono-esque sunglasses and leather waistcoat (Sergio Giorgini perchance?). 

With this tight hour of tunes at the Bloomsbury theatre, Ricky Gervais has found the perfect vehicle to celebrate his most glorious creation fronting the band that famously spurred Texas on.

We were treated to an album’s-worth of songs debuted during Gervais’s Learn Guitar With David Brent, all performed brilliantly by Brent’s backing band (‘couldn’t get the original guys back together unfortunately’), whilst Gervais sang with rock-star earnestness, before breaking out Brent’s trademark bottom lip biting for air-guitar solos.

Gervais has been there before, of course, so he knows very well how to put on a gig. Any criticism that there should have been more mistakes, that the band is too tight, is missing the point. This is Brent’s dream when he’s not repping he’ll have tried his absolute hardest. Also, musical comedy is one of the most difficult things to get right and it never, ever works when there are ‘deliberate’ mistakes. Look at Tim Minchin, Bill Bailey, The Concords, Isy Suttie and Bo Burnham, they work because they’re brilliant musicians.

Only when the music’s stopped are we treated to some excruciating (and hilarious) stage patter, particularly when he introduces rapper Dom Johnson (played by Doc Brown): ‘Chris Martin has Jay-Z, Frank Sinatra had Sammy Davis Jnr. And I’ve got one!’ That’s the thing with Brent give him a microphone and time to speak and it’s only a matter of time before he digs himself into a gloriously awkward hole.

The new song ‘Lady Gypsy’ was a particular highlight part wistful reflection on Brent’s coming-of-age, part recollection of his clarification about a cash exchange and some heather…

Whether or not the inevitable stadium gigs will work is another matter this did seem suited to a tiny venue; after all, the function room of a pub with the smell of stale beer and feedback squeaking through the silence is where Foregone Conclusion would be playing every Sunday afternoon.

But then again, I kind of want as many hardcore Brentians as possible to see Freelove Freeway performed in the flesh…

As he walked off stage, fist raised in the air like a conquering hero, I thought there goes David Brent. I must remember to thank him…