The Church of Malcolm
Bland religious philosophising falls flat
This article is from 2015.
Malcolm Doherty sets out to recreate world religion in his own image, but commits the gravest festival sin of all: thou shalt not take yourself too seriously. Doherty bills an hour of original pop songs and rudderless philosophical musing as an attempt to blend the best aspects of Christianity's separate doctrines together, using his own X Factor tearjerker tale as a sort of empathetic epoxy glue.
However, fortune-cookie mysticism and misunderstood metaphysics are the least of his failures when cast alongside such bland spiritual chorus hooks as ‘say a prayer, save the world’ and our self-appointed prophet's glaring lack of charisma, which was exposed with a tragic and hastily abandoned request for an audience singalong of 'Hey Jude'.
Despite his missionary spiel, Doherty's sermon appeared to be largely directed at himself and his bandmate-cum-disciples – and was conducted in a manner akin to those Christian rock bands that tour high schools to preach to teenagers about the need to Wait Until Marriage. Furthermore, an over-reliance on backing tracks and dodgy lightshow projections took away from any power that his earnest songwriting might have had.
There's nothing less funny than a zealot who's come to believe in their own myth, and, left waiting for a punchline that never came, I remain unconverted.
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