With a storied career that has seen him playing festivals all around the world and writing songs for the likes of Jasper Carrott and Phil Cool, Keith Donnelly opened Lichfield Arts’ Spring 2020 season in his own inimitable style.
With a set that ranged from broad comedy to well crafted songs, some intricate guitar playing and pastiches of some classic rock and pop songs, there was something for everyone.
Whitby Town was a solid opening, but Plagiarism Blues took elements of so many other songs, using the chord progression that underlined them all to make a point about originality and how everything borrows from everything else.
The spoof songs were well thought out with Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sounds of Silence becoming the children’s song The Sounds of Pirates, and the singalong, slapstick Ghost Eiders in the Sky being a new version of Johnny Cash’s Ghost Riders in the Sky.
Politics were never really far from Donnelly’s mind, with Jesus at the Airport being a pointed attack on Donald Trump, while The Girl on Platform Three was another love song, this time with a happy ending.
He encored with a series of spoof songs, that took in the likes of Leonard Cohen, James Blunt, Warren Zevon and Daft Punk, allowing the audience to look at familiar numbers from a different viewpoint.