I’ve felt like David O’Doherty has been stalking me ever since I arrived in Edinburgh. I nearly bumped into him the second I stepped off the tram on Princes’s Street, too preoccupied hefting suitcases to come over remotely star-struck.
Then, filing into the Assembly Theatre on George Square, as I ventured towards the steps up to the stage he jogged nonchalantly past me with an air of being late for something important without being especially bothered about it. Had he followed me into his own gig? Or was it a case of one haggis toastie too many too close to kick off?
When his show begins – all that nearly-late adrenaline channelled into energetic ramblings over his trademark keyboard as the latecomers trickle in – he doesn’t exactly do a lot to convince you he’s not the sort of bloke to pick a random punter and follow them around all weekend. Tales of misery over wealthy uncles buying him the wrong Star Wars models, and spending £18 trying to fish a particular stuffed bear out of an arcade machine (“You Only Live!”), are hallmarks of his TV persona that didn’t disappoint.
What did we learn about the man behind the Yamaha? We learned that he shat himself when Ireland voted in favour of gay marriage. We learned that he’s a big cycling fan who blames Lance Armstrong for all the world’s problems. We learned that he can’t quite work out how to pun Shirley EmBassey. In amongst all the surrealism, angst and whimsy, however, he takes the mask off just briefly for a bit of back-and-forth with a guy in the front row dressed as a dalek. When the audience are crazier than him, he actually comes across reassuringly grounded and normal.
A relief really, since the rest of the time he’s the type to follow you round a city until you’re physically in his show. Go see him. Or else.