Dave Eastgate is a dude. Ten seconds into our call, he yells “Do you need a jump?” It takes a moment for me to realise he isn’t asking me, but a man whose car has broken down. Dave disappears to jump-start the guy’s car, then comes back to our conversation.
“Sorry about that,” the comedian says. “I just had to be a hero for a minute”.
And in case you haven’t seen Eastgate’s comedy, he’s just as much of a dude on stage. Clad in spandex pants, bandana, Flying V guitar slung low. So, is it a character, or is this really him?
“In high school we had to say what we wanted to be when we grew up,” Dave remembers. “Everyone was saying ‘doctor’, or ‘cop’. That sort of thing. I said I wanted to play rhythm guitar for Guns N’ Roses.”
“My teacher said I was stupid. Well, look at me now!” he laughs.
On stage, Dave Eastgate gets to be Izzy Stradlin AND Axl Rose every night. Eastgate isn’t playing rock n roll, he IS rock n roll. It’s just that his songs are hilarious.
Eastgate stands out from other musical comics because he was a muso long before he was a clown. As an angsty teen, Dave wrote earnest Jeff Buckley-esque songs about heartache, death and other depressing stuff, sang in real bands opening for real-er bands like Eskimo Joe, and george, touring Japan, and living his angsty teen dream. Until the band kicked him out.
“I kept cracking jokes between songs,” he says. “Apparently, I wasn’t serious enough”.
As a solo comedian, he is a high-energy machine of improvised crowd work, physical stunts, and tongue-in-cheek glam songs. And the industry is noticing. The last year has seen him star in several ABC projects, including the critically acclaimed A Moody Christmas, and he is currently filming a new project to be aired later in the year.
But what he’s most excited about is the new live show, Bad Specimen.
“It’s me with a guitar playing a bunch of new songs and jumping around”, he says of the new show. “It’s an hour long party”.
At the end of the call, Dave leaves to further assist the guy with the broken down car. His show is called Bad Specimen, but maybe it should be called Good Samaritan. What a dude.