Steven Gates, Scott Edgar and Simon Hall, have been playing music, singing together and making audiences laugh for 20 years. The banter between Scod, Yon and Gatesy is more whimsical and sillier than ever. All three are excellent singers and Gatesy and Scod are accomplished musicians. They send themselves up better than most comedians and tonight’s show was pacey and smart.
The Heath Ledger Theatre was not full, although judging from the rapturous reception from a lot of hard core Tripod fans, sales should really lift off tomorrow for the remaining two shows. From the outset the audience was up for a good time, clapping along enthusiastically and rocking with laughter.
Tripod set themselves a challenge by compiling and publishing a book of their comic numbers, then selecting numbers at random from a tombola full of table tennis balls, like bingo callers. They then selected songs by their numbers from a list of all the songs. Because of the random song choices it was a very varied show but they had the prerequisite skills to hold together these disparate numbers. The patter was great, there were put downs all over the place and mock boasts and posturing galore.
The first number was 37 and proved to be a delightful number about being cool enough to pick up on a new trend. Never a leader but sitting comfortably just mid field behind the trend setter.
Number 20 was next and Yon took the lead in a piece about video game featuring guns. Some excellent harmonizing and acapella sound effects underpin Tripod’s work and in the mirth it’s easy to overlook their verbal skills, which are considerable. Unconstrained by devices such writing lyrics which have to rhyme they put together some remarkably creative, witty numbers. 84 was a peon to Peter Jackson and in particular his epic film King Kong. I can reveal these details as I know that tomorrow and the next night’s show will be completely different so I am not giving away too much or spoiling the jokes.
By this time the crowd was well into the mood and each number announced drew a roar of approval. Number 18 was a very clever lament by a torture victim protesting that he was not the suicide bomber who blew up the bus yesterday. I had heard The Dilf Song before but is was funnier than ever as the men posed and preened before us extolling the virtues of the perfect mate.
101 revealed Tripod’s experimental trial at being a boy band. I was in hysterics at their “choreographed moves”. A highlight, as was number 76 a twangy country and western number about storage entitled The Second Drawer Down.
All too soon it was time for the two promised audience requests. Suggestions flew in thick and fast but Tripod settled on the wonderful seduction number X Box Song, sung in glorious falsetto by Scod (think Marvin Gaye in Let’s Get It On). This was an oldie but such a goody.
Tripod concluded the show with another familiar Tosswinkle the Pirate, but attempted to bring it up to date by recreating the story from a feminine perspective. Rampant, inspired silliness reigned. It was good to see Tripod appeared to be enjoying themselves enormously as well as entertaining the audience. No mean achievement for a 20 year collaboration. Congratulations are in order!
Marnie Foulis & Smartartists presents
Venue: Heath Ledger Theatre | State Theatre of WA
Dates: 12 – 14 May 2016