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“Music sounded better, we had more fun, the sun never stopped shining.” | David McIver on reliving the golden days of youth in Festival!

Tell us about the show you’re bringing to the Vault Festival.

It is a work in progress character comedy show set at a music festival in the year 2010 (back when every single one of us was 17 years old). It is currently called Festival! although I am still searching for the perfect Los Campesinos! lyric to work as a permanent title. Everybody loves Los Campesinos! as much as I do, and so this is sure to translate into massive audiences.

What inspired you to write a show about music festivals and being 17?

For a long time I have been convinced that going to music festivals with my friends when I was 17 was the happiest time of my life. It was great, wasn’t it? Music sounded better, we had more fun, the sun never stopped shining.

Last year, I made a show about the worst time of my life, and a lot of the writing process was pretty miserable, so I’m hoping this year just to have some good, honest fun, creating a show about a sweet summer that totally rocked.

How did you get into character comedy?

I started out just doing stand-up, and then I did a mixed bill show at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015, where I said the same 15 minutes of anecdotes and observations in the same way every day, and I found it very boring. At the same time I was seeing loads of character comedians, clowns and absurdists, and basically just came to the opinion that it was a lot better, and looked a lot more fun than what I was doing.

I came back from Edinburgh and experimented with lots of different styles and ideas, until I sort of settled into characters as the main way of expressing myself on stage.

How much of your own personality goes into the characters you create?

All of the characters are just me in a different t-shirt or a hat or something, barely managing to do a silly voice. They don’t really have personalities like mine, but I think my personality comes out with the characters, through my total lack of acting ability. That said, I did once do a character called ‘A Shy Man,’ who was a very shy little man, and that’s not far off me.

This is a work-in-progress show. How much do you expect it to change between the Vault Festival performance and the finished product?

I’m sure it will change loads. It’s important to experiment and make lots of changes in the early stages of making a show, in order to find what works. Maybe it will change for the worse? I hope not. 

What do you hope people take away from your show?

I want people to take away the fact that being 17 is wicked and 2010 was the best year ever. Also that Los Campesinos! are the greatest UK indie band of the last 20 years. 

Are there any other shows you’re looking forward to at the Vault Festival?

I am excited to see Matt Hutson’s show on Feb 23rd, and I have already seen shows from Crizards and Will Rowland, which were very good.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to break into comedy?

No idea. I haven’t done that myself, really. I guess my plan is to focus all my efforts on making shows that I find really fun to create and perform, and that I am eventually proud of, and eventually this will hopefully translate into some kind of external success. Should I be admitting that I’m not very successful in an interview? That’s not good publicity, is it? Maybe this is why I haven’t broken into comedy yet.


David is performing at Vault Festival on 5th March.

Book your ticket here.

You can keep up with David’s work by checking out his website and following him on Twitter and Instagram.

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