Monday, 28 March 2016

Tripod in 101 Hits, March 27, 2016 ****

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
The Famous Spiegeltent, Arts Centre Melbourne, until April 17, 2016
Reviewer: Kate Herbert  
Stars: ****
Review also online at Herald Sun Comedy Festival. KH

The spin of a bingo ball dictates their repertoire but you’ll still hear the thrilling, three-part harmonies and loony lyrics that characterise Tripod’s musical stylings.

The Tripod trio (Scod, Gatesy and Yonny) spin a bingo ball cage that spits out a numbered ball and they must then perform the corresponding tune from their songbook that is titled 101 Hits.

According to Tripod, the term ‘Hits’ applies only loosely to their original, quirky but not necessarily world-famous songs.

This show may be less structured than Tripod’s usually tight program, but it is exhilarating for both audience and performers to nervously anticipate what comes next and whether the trio will remember the lyrics or even the guitar chords.

The jam-packed crowd of die-hard Tripod fans at the Spiegeltent hears an eclectic program ranging in style from lilting ballads to up-tempo tunes, jazz, rock and country numbers.

Tripod’s songs startle and titillate the audience as they tilt seemingly predictable tunes on their heads with mischievous lyrics and bizarre narrative twists.

They start with number 12, Bubble Helicopter, the lyrics of which Yonny can niftily alter to include Traitor Jim or any other character, it seems.

Thank You, The Wheel, Number 99, is a clever jab at the technological advances that changed our lives – to allow us to watch countless, stupid YouTube videos.

Ode To An Alarm Clock is a cute, country music tune that the lads wrote in an hour for a radio show, while The Blueprint is a wicked ballad that takes the mickey out of hipster couples, their matching designer kids and rabid self-interest.

A short and hilarious highlight is the upbeat Fear of Shorts, a song to warm the cockles of any man who just won’t wear shorts and fears showing his legs in public, even if his girlfriend says he looks fine.

The guys sing plenty more Tripod toons but their audience request, Ghost Ship, was a splendid finale to a really entertaining night with Scod, Gatesy and Yonny who are now Melbourne institutions at the Comedy Festival.

By Kate Herbert

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