Jack Docherty fell in love with David Bowie, watching him sing Starman on Top of the Pops.
Over 50 years after that moment, and 26 years since he interviewed Bowie on his channel 5 chat show, he has written a show about the role the music icon played in his life.
But with Docherty remembering that he is first and foremost a comedian, this is not an overwrought, sycophantic tribute show, it’s a stand-up set that is as much about Jack and Edinburgh than it is about Bowie himself.
Opening with Docherty dressed as Bowie in a kimono that was possibly a bed sheet his mother decorated so that he could go to a school event dressed as his hero, he muses on other 70s stars and attitudes that are normally the forerunner to the words ‘they were different times’ before winding back to that first TV appearance that he saw.
Eleanor was the girl he fell in love, or lust, with while watching the show and his stories of what he did in his efforts to win her over, call to mind so many shared childhood memories and forgotten moments for anyone who was alive at that time. While Bowie looms large as the reason why he is telling the stories, the stories go far wider than him.
The funniest moments centre around his granddad and his funeral, which was the same day that Docherty was due to see Bowie live for the first time. Having already painted a vivid picture of his granddad as a thoroughly unpleasant, miserable person, he turns the funeral into a hilarious series of events that the dead man would have hated to see.
Winding forward another ten years, Docherty is on equally good form when he talks about seeing Bowie on his Serious Moonlight tour. Bowie is once more, entirely coincidental to the story. It’s only when he talks about meeting him on his chat show in 1997 that Bowie takes equal billing.
Docherty is a returning hero and a Scottish comedy icon playing to his home crowd. He establishes an immediate rapport with an audience that are with him from the start to the end. Early in the set, he jokes about how he is playing the fringe while Ricky Gervais plays to 20,000+ audiences, suggesting that something is wrong in a world where this can happen. By the end of the set, you feel like he has a point.
Gilded Ballon, Teviot, to 27 August (not 14 or 21)